Former Host Tom Kelly of Singalong Jubilee Passes Away


Submitted by Mel Shaw

Tom Kelly, singer/songwriter, passed away after a heart attack on November 25th in his  home town of Burlington, Ontario  and Canada has lost another marvelous soul of music. His passing silences another voice of reason and compassion for others.

Tom was a writer of songs all his life. He had recently finished creating material for a new project he called, Legacy. From his explanations of the songs and spoken word narratives I know his creativity was alive and well.

Tom was quiet, thoughtful and compassionate. His relaxed personality was known by many friends and music industry acquaintances.

The general public never had that three minute song to identify his career nor did he have a major music happening to make him and his songs a household name. Tom didn't mind. He was all about the words and a melody to lift the spirits of those who were listening.

One highlight he fondly recalled was back awhile, when It looked like Tom was on his way to national fame'  He  took over the hosting of Singalong Jubilee on the CBC in Halifax. He was stepping into the studio spotlight of the program that the legendary host and singer, Bill Langstroth, had built by introducing the magic Maritime music to the nation.

Tom retained his easy manner, love of music and pride in introducing talented artists on the popular music program.  He brought his own relaxed signature personality to the program. Singalong Jubilee continued on the air for a national audience for three more years with Tom at the helm.

I was part of a major campaign to change the copyright law for songwriters and music publishers twenty five years ago. Tom Kelly and his great friend, Gene Maclellan, were two writers who were involved in helping to bring the campaign to light. They were front and center standing up for the songwriters of Canada and fortunately their voices and messages will be seen and heard on video in the twenty fifth anniversary celebration of Freedom For The Song.

Tom Kelly was a soft spoken person who loved music. His voice has been stilled, but not the memory of the  impact he had on those who called him a friend. I will miss  him and look forward to 2013 when a new generation will see and hear Tom speaking on behalf of all songwriters in the video of Freedom for the Song.

Tom your life was rich in caring and thoughtfulness for others. For those who came to know you they are fortunate indeed. You were and are greatly appreciated.

Industry Quotes:
"Tom was always a gentleman. He was always there for songwriters"
Greg Hambleton, former President of the Canadian Music publishers Association

"Tom was truly a kind and gentle man. He was generous with his time and talent as evident with the long hours of writing and travelling he did with Wayne Pronger a song writer who was severely disabled with cerebral palsy. He helped Wayne realize his dream and spearheaded an album called "Tom Kelly Sings Wayne Pronger". As an accomplished songwriter, Tom recognized Wayne's talent and became a vehicle for his work. Tom will be sadly missed by everyone who loved and respected him."
Bruce Good of the GOOD BROTHERS

"Tom Kelly and my husband Wayne Pronger were soul brothers and Tom helped Wayne so much but he always said Wayne helped him. There are two more shining stars in heaven singing in God`s choir!  On a still winter`s night you can hear them as they belt out Silent Night, Holy Night, All is calm, all is bright!"
Lillian Pronger, a great friend of Tom Kelly and the widow of Songwriter Wayne Pronger

"Tom was a real talent with a wonderful spirit"
Fran Shaw, Coordinator of the CMPA "Celebration of Songwriters Awards"

Editor’s Note: Legendary Industry Icon Mel Shaw informed Cashbox Canada of the passing of Tom Kelly. Shaw was the Founding President of CARAS and Founding President of Canada's Recording Legacy. He currently resides with his wife in Nashville, Tennessee and is still involved in production.