The Toronto Historical Jukebox: "Mr. Heartache" by Pat Hervey

Pat Hervey was still just a teenager in the early 1960s, but she was about to become one of the biggest pop stars in Canada. She'd been born and raised in Toronto, where she sang at high school dances until she finally caught the attention of Al Boliska, the popular morning DJ on 1050 CHUM. Hervey was only 5'3" but she had a powerful voice — it earned plenty of favourable comparisons to the American superstar Brenda Lee. Before long, she was a regular on the CBC, making repeated appearances on six of the TV network's music shows.

Her Canadian success, in turn, helped to attract the attention of one of the most famous guitarists of all-time: Chet Atkins. He was now a record executive at RCA Victor, responsible for signing some of the biggest country music stars in the world, including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Waylan Jennings. He signed Hervey, too; even produced a bunch of her singles himself, along with her full-length debut.

Hervey recorded a wide variety of songs over the course of her career, everything from bubble-gum pop to fiery soul to melancholy country ballads. But one of her biggest hits was the very first single she ever released: "Mr. Heartache". It soared up the CHUM Charts during the summer of 1962.

MP3: "Mr. Heartache" by Pat Hervey

You can buy Pat Hervey's Girl Next Door here.

You can listen to more songs from the Toronto Historical Jukebox here.

Posted by Adam Bunch, the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project and the Toronto Historical Jukebox. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at

All songs are posted to promote the artist and the history of Toronto. If you're the copyright-holder and would like the song removed, please contact us here and we'll be happy to do so.  


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