A beloved southwest icon received a heartfelt tribute yesterday at The Bentley in Swift Current, in which around 200 friends, family, former co-workers, and fans attended. 

Art Wallman is known as a radio legend in the southwest, he spent 36 years on air for CKSW in Swift Current and played a major role in connecting people across the southwest.

He taught himself to play guitar and travelled with the 'Johnny Manz' band during the '50s, later orchestrating a band called 'Art Wallman and the Big D Jamboree Boys', which became 'Art Wallman and the Ambassadors'.

Wallman was born in 1928 with spastic paralysis to an impoverished family, he grew up during the Great Depression, with dirt swirling and without the use of his legs until he had over 14 operations.

Additionally, Wallman achieved several awards and even wrote a book, perhaps most notably, he was inducted into the Canadian Country Hall of Fame.

Marlene Abel married Art Wallman in 1989 in Las Vegas, Nevada and since then was not only his wife, but also his support, carer, and best friend.

"I miss him very much, every day actually," she said. "It was a very, very good tribute put on for him and that's great because he deserves it."

Abel noted how Wallman used to lovingly refer to the old radio station downtown as "the bubble machine" because of the round window upstairs.

The tribute began with a free barbeque lunch before a video detailing Wallman's life and journey to success that brought tears to people's eyes and smiles to their faces.

Around 2 p.m., the guests headed to the dining room for live music from the 'Currie Boys' and Abel, who used to sing with her husband and still sings with Wallman's friends.

"I'm just happy to see all the people that came out and paid tribute to him, it's been a good day," added Abel.