The New Brunswick Country Showcase has been around in one form or another for over fifty years. In 1953, George “Bud” Brown, an announcer on Radio Atlantic CFNB, produced and MC’d the first “Capital Co-op Jamboree” in the old Teachers College, on Queen Street in Fredericton. For the next nine years this program was to remain the number one live country music radio stage show in Atlantic Canada and Bud Brown scripted, selected all the artists, announced, and produced every one of the shows! Many well-known artists and groups received valuable stage and radio exposure on the Jamborees including Earl Mitton and the Valley Rhythm Boys, Gordie Cole and the Millers, The Sunshine Boys and the Casa Loma Rhythmaires.
After Bud left in 1963 for Montreal, The Jamboree went into hiatus for several years until Jim Burns; a former City Councilor and country music performer founded the “Capital City Jamboree” on April 3, 1982 at the Playhouse in Fredericton. The “Jamboree” was telecast on ASN and featured local and national country music singers. On February 4, 1988, Jim changed the name to the “New Brunswick Country Showcase” and set it up as a non-profit corporation. Jim continued to produce and host the “Showcase” until he passed it on to Kevin Neilson in 1992.
Kevin, with the help of his co-producer, Tom Hoyt presented shows in Plaster Rock, Woodstock, Oromocto and Saint John as well as the Playhouse. Over the years they have had guest performers including Joan Kennedy, Jullian Austin and Chris Cummings as well as hundreds of local artists.
In the late 1990’s Kevin passed the lead role over to Tom, a position he still holds today. Hoyt says “We’ve tried to shake it up a bit to insure our audience doesn’t get tiered of the same old thing. We’ve presented shows with only performers up to the age of 16, had local favorite bands on like the ‘Hardcore Troubadours’, produced theme shows, including ‘The Legends of Country Music’ and of course our annual ‘Rock & Roll Show”. In 2015, Roger TV recorded 4 - 1/2 hour live shows and presented them province wide for 2 years. Using the Fredericton Playhouse as their home base, the Showcase has become and continues to be the premier event featuring local programing for New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada!