Airchecks: 1968

 

Talent: J. MICHAEL WILSON
Station: WKNR Dearborn, Mich.
Date: January 8, 1968
Time: 15:29

Put a quick-witted Top 40 jock and a rascally rodent together and what do you get?

Great radio of course.

J. Michael Wilson and his sidekick Rodney Rodent made some wonderful Top 40 radio over a career spanning four different decades. His resume includes several of the top stations of the time: WIRL, KOMA, WKNR, CHUM, WGR, WMEX, WWDC and many others.

One of the most appealing aspects of Wilson's act was Rodney, which was actually J. Michael himself on tape played back at a much faster speed (similar to the Chipmunks.) Back in the days when deejays talked before and after most of the records, this was quite a feat, but Wilson carried it off seamlessly.
 

Enjoy J. Michael Wilson on WKNR here.

Enjoy J. Michael Wilson on WKNR here.
 

(The Bill Dulmage Collection)



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Talent: DUFF ROMAN
Station: 
CHUM Toronto
Date: 
January 27, 1968
Time: 52:39 (unscoped)

       



Long-time weekend announcer Duff Roman got his own weekday shift late in 1967 when Dick Hayes left after two years in the early afternoon slot. One of CHUM's most endearing personalities, Roman left the station in 1968 and - after a year-long stay at CKRC Winnipeg - landed a stint as program director and morning man at rival CKFH in the fall of 1969. He returned to the CHUM group in management in 1974.

On this aircheck, Roman is on remote at Speed Sport '68 on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition. For years, CHUM had a booth at the 'Ex, which he held every year at the CNE during the last two weeks of August.
 

Hear Duff Roman on CHUM (UNSCOPED) here.

Hear Duff Roman on CHUM (UNSCOPED) here.


(The Charlie Ritenburg Collection)

AIRCHECK RESTORATION BY CHARLIE RITENBURG




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Talent: CHRIS CLARK
Station: WYSL Buffalo, N.Y.
Date: February 9, 1968
Time:
 
11:22 (Upgraded 9-18-11)

(l-r: Sean Grabowski, Gary Byrd, Kevin O'Connell, Jeff Heustis, Chris Clark, Jim Bradley, Paxton Mills)
Larger view here. (Courtesy: Terry Corcoran)

It had a tiny signal but the memories live large.

At 1,000 watts by day, and 250 watts by night, WYSL didn't exactly blanket the Eastern seaboard like its Top 40 competitor WKBW. But many outstanding talents passed through its doors, and listeners and employees still remember it fondly many years after its call letters disappeared from the 1400 spot on the Buffalo, N.Y., AM dial.

The roots of WYSL go back to January, 1948 when WXRA Kenmore, N.Y., signed on at 1080 on the AM dial. It was originally owned by Thaddeus Podbielniak and Edwin R. Sanders (The Western New York Broadcasting Company). George "Hound Dog" Lorenz was an announcer there until he was fired for playing too much "race music", as R&B used to be called. John W. Kluge bought the station in 1957 and promptly changed the call letters to Top 40 and the call letters to WINE. In 1960, Gordon McClendon purchased WINE, dropped Top 40 in favour of beautiful music and changed the call letters to WYSL (for "Whistle".) The station moved to 1400 in late 1961 and flipped to a Top 40 format in early 1966. WYSL continued playing hit music until it turned in its call letters September 10, 1986, and became a full-time simulcast of WYSL-FM.

Paul Palo was one of WYSL's early Top 40 jocks as Chris Clark. Palo tells Rock Radio Scrapbook about his career and the early days of WYSL:

"My life in this business started when I was 16 back in North East Ohio in a town call Conneaut and WWOW went on the air with 500 watts of daytime power. Being a nighttime relentless fan of Dick Biondi, WLS, I loved music and the power of communication. I figured this was something I could do, so after much looking thru the glass at DJs a couple of the jocks let me run the board for them on weekends and the next thing I was working Sunday morning running tapes and reading breaks etc. after much practice and help from those great guys from Virginia, Jamestown and Maryland.

I was cheap labor at $1.50 an hour. One of those guys in that little station was from Cleveland, the late Ernie Anderson who I would 20 something years later meet in LA at ABC where he was the voice of network promos "You know..On the Loveeee Boat". I worked my way up the food chain and finally got full time at around 80 bucks in 1964 after high school, But I had my own profitable business running dances and hops and bringing in rock acts like little Anthony and The Duprees which was part of my deal with the manager "free promos" as long as I promoted the station. I even had my own shirts made at my expense with the call letters.  

After a year or so in Ohio one of the other jocks "Charlie Brown" Larry Snyder at WOW got a gig in Erie, PA and the next thing I was working at WWGO in Erie. In 1966 I met PD Larry Vance and got the early afternoon in Buffalo on WYSL using the name Chris Clark. (I always hated that name because my real name sounded like a radio name anyway) We were know as "little whistle" with heavy echo & lots of screaming and shouting as part of  the format. We didn't even need a transmitter!!  We had blue blazers with the call letters and the Bills were in the playoffs so we all had to have our hair died white and blue. That was one time I was glad they lost in the playoffs early and I am a giant Bills fan. It was then I found the real joy of hats. So here we are Jack Mindy, Tim Kelly and me sharing a big house on Elmwood Ave....now that's the sounds like an on going party. It was, we did and I won't tell.

Paul Palo with Frank Zappa (Courtesy: Paul Palo)

The hair grew back, but Uncle Sam wanted me for six months of active duty with the NY National Guard. Late in 67 Sean Grabowski was the PD, but I was hired back doing the news. Now that was something foreign to rip and read me, amidst the greatness of Ed Little, Jack Mall and Brad Messer's 20 20 news. Brad Messer was one of the most amazing talents I have seen and could have written and done TV shows or anything. He made the news  compelling & interesting by his very visual creative writing. Please give an hear to singing news (see below). Jim McLaughlin was the new news director and taught me so much about news, writing and ethics of reporting. I made a lot of mistakes, but finally learned to read over that hot teletype sound effect and weather jingles and such as Paul Palo. Sean even got me back on the air and I was a man with two names depending on news or DJ. 

In 1969 McLendon let the FM sidesplit to go progressive and I got the job as PD and at 7 till dawn we blasted Stones, CCR, Joni Mitchell, and anything and everything. The beginning of "Sets" and free form rock. I formulated the format from tapes of KSAN in San Francisco and CHUM-FM and anything I could steal. I always thought air personalities should have their own choice as artists. Seems to me "Jack" tries to achieve that essence even today.

We brought George Hamberger for nights from the cold of the roaming Van and Jim Santella did the evening show. Then it was really a full-time job with a shift on AM and the FM was given the calls WPHD which regardless of what anyone says had no real hidden significance. We called it frequency modulation for no particular reason. It just sounded cool. Hamberger, Santella, Freddie Mann, Carl Walters and a very young Cal Brady. I still remember the first Led Zep album, we all were just blown away...it was a defining moment for progressive radio in my mind. I love George Hamberger, but on the all night show he was a little overworked and during long cuts had an enormous alarm clock strapped on with a head band set for the length of the song so he could get in a short snooze.

Well Woodstock, more free form, "progresso" starts at WPHD (what's that?) and I am asked to take a hike in 1970. Back to news and producing kind of mini docs for WUFO, the R and B station and their two other stations in Miami and Pittsburgh. Don Blakley GM, hires me to do news at WBFO and I work with inner city kids on Jefferson Ave to hone potential radio jobs. Great people, great job.

Paul Palo at WBUF, 1978 (Courtesy: Paul Palo)

1974 - Back at WYSL for weekend stint, Kevin O'Connell PD. Also during that time (mid 70s) Cal Brady and I formed a TV production company and we began making commercials and short films on 16mm. We both learned by trial and error and got pretty good, bought cameras and editing equipment and had a few good clients. I remember we would shoot things and run down to the TV stations to get our film processed. In many ways Cal was my film school and he had more experience shooting film earlier.

1977 - Cal Brady PD at WBUF. I am morning jock until 1979 with a parrot "Big Al". My wife Linda is film critic and later becomes casting director for Francis Ford Coppola. She teaches every summer at a special Buffalo comes to Hollywood for actors and directors. Cal Brady later goes on to head up production at Channel 29 on Grand Island and production director at KHJ in LA for several years.

I also meet my life teacher Bill Pezimenti at BUF and produce and he writes the most outstanding humorous irreverent commercials ever heard in Buffalo.  I kind soft spoken man who I proud to say I am with friends today. I owe him my first gig at TV in LA to his style of writing and creative mind and freedom to be anything.

1979 - Asked to leave. Perhaps the result of my efforts to organize union with help of Jim Fagen (NABET) Hall of Fame.

1982 -  KABC-TV Los Angeles- producer/writer for local promos for news on 14 radio stations. Worked with Ernie Anderson who I meet in Ohio years earlier. Cranky as ever. He says "Who wrote these Jokes".

1983 - KABC ABC Net Local and Network promo producer.

1989 - Formed another production company in LA where we made documentaries, commercials and educational projects and a real estate TV show from a little space at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. We also worked in New Media and made several CD Roms on the space program and Solar System. 

Awards: 

Emmy Nomination for "Aids The Global Explosion" Alex Paen Producer, Paul Palo Director

3 telly awards, 1 Parents choice Award for Educational CD "Voyage Through The Solar System"

Footnotes...

- I forgot the parrot "Big Al" was being taken care of by the late Bob Allen and he was the main guy who turned WBUF progressive and deserves all due credit for that. I liked Bob and his unforgettable Franklin's Furnace show.
 
- 1978 WBFO Dave LaRussa starts a weekly show "Anything that's Rock and  Roll" He worked in the music business and was manager of a group called "Big Sand" (which many years later spawned Calexico) in Arizona where he is still active in writing, music and human rights issues.
 
- Tom Hallick of "The Young and Restless" and countless staring roles on Cold Case and many TV shows was at one-time host of an experiment on WYSL into talk radio during the Larry Vance era. It was called "Talk of Buffalo" and was supposed to be confrontational and political in nature. Not sure how long the program lasted, but also remember Larry Vance doing the show as well

Well here I am Los Angeles, working with my wife casting, acting and some voiceover work. Everything I learned is the result of all the great folks in Buffalo who helped me and gave me a chance. Buffalo is always my home."
 

Enjoy Chris Clark on WYSL here.

Enjoy Chris Clark on WYSL here.
 

(The Paul Palo Collection)


Talent: JACK MINDY
Station: WYSL Buffalo, N.Y.
Date: February, 1968
Time:
10:46

Jack Mindy worked coast-to-coast during a career that spanned more than half a century.

While he's best known for his work in western New York, Mindy has jocked on the west coast at KCBS-FM San Francisco and KNEW Oakland, in the midwest at KXOK St. Louis, in Michigan at WJR Detroit and WTRX Flint and near the east coast in Connecticut at WTIC Hartford.

Mindy's first paid gig was at WGVA Geneva, N.Y., in 1962. He made his first Buffalo appearance in 1967 at WYSL, and would later jock in the Queen City at WBEN (1978-87) and at WWKB for a short time in 1987. Mindy's resume also includes WHEN and WFBL Syracuse, N.Y., WIXZ Pittsburgh and WHAM Rochester, N.Y. He finished his career in 2015 at WGMC Greece, N.Y., ending his longest-ever stay at one station, 13 years.

Jack talks about his time at WYSL on his web site, jackmindy.com.

"Khan Hamon hired me for afternoons in my old hometown. Mom & Dad always listened, at least on days when WYSL's signal could make it to Cheektowaga. That's Jack "Sean Grabowski - Seanski" Kelly on the Spanky
 & Our Gang spot. WYSL wasn't my first announcing gig in Buffalo.. Long before WYSL, I was Thursday evening booth announcer at WNED-TV from their studios in the penthouse of the Lafayette Hotel ("Stay tuned next for Japanese Ricepaper Painting.")

Enjoy Jack Mindy on WYSL here.

Enjoy Jack Mindy on WYSL here.
 

(The Jack Mindy Collection)


Subject: SINGING NEWSCAST
Station: WYSL Buffalo, N.Y.
Date: 1968
Time: 
4:55

(Courtesy: Paul Palo)

Ever heard someone "sing" the news?

Well, now you will.

This rare aircheck showcases the talents of Brad Messer, whose 47-year radio career included time at WYSL.
 

Hear it here.

Hear it here.
 

(The Paul Palo Collection)


Talent: BIG G. WALTERS
Station: 
CKFH Toronto
Date: 
March 8, 1968
Time: 
39:23
(unscoped)

We're always looking for new aircheck treasures, and now and then we find a gem.

Few airchecks of CKFH's 1967-1975 Top 40 era have survived, and none of legendary 'FH jock Big G. Walters appeared to exist. But thanks to The Geets Romo Collection, courtesy of Doug Thompson, we finally have an aircheck of Walters, who was at CKFH the first couple of years it was Top 40. This board-quality, unscoped aircheck provides a rare glimpse into what 'FH sounded like in those early years.

Some of the highlights: a full newscast by Fred Peabody (dig that dramatic news sounder!), and commercials for CFTO's World Beat News with Ken Cavanaugh, the Toronto Telegram, the Supremes for Coca-Cola and Climax, a brand-new "boutique for men." Groovy! There's also a CKFH #2 Radio Twin Pick and an 'FH Triple Play. Plus there's the long-forgotten Bill Cosby Radio Show, which debuted in January 1968 and was syndicated to over 200 radio stations.

Plenty of musical surprises here - when was the last time you heard Back On The Street Again by The Sunshine Company? That bluesy instrumental he plays at the end is certainly unusual for a Top 40 station - anyone know the title? UPDATE: Javed Jafri of lettheuniverseanswer.com has identified it as Sidewinder by Lee Morgan. Thanks Javed!

As for Big G., let's just say he wasn't your typical Top 40 jock. Definitely one of a kind. Enjoy!
 

Hear Big G. Walters (UNSCOPED) on CKFH here.

Hear Big G. Walters (UNSCOPED) on CKFH here.
 

(The Geets Romo Collection, courtesy Doug Thompson)
 




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Talent: JOHANN BRUNO SHAYNE
Station: CKLG Vancouver
Date: April 11, 1968
Time: 4:28

"Shayne is a Vancouver original. An artist." - Michael Klassen

A man of many names, Johann Bruno Shayne is a B.C. radio legend.

You may have heard him as Raouel Casablanca or Chuck Stake or Raindog. Maybe he's been Reverend Rock when you tuned in, or Teen Jock Dino Hawkes or Aaron Smelling or Saskatchewan Smith. Colonel Nocturnal is another air name is he's used, and also Rick Vandrazzo and Emperor Rasgula. Shayne has used quite a few non de plumes, and you can read Michael Klassen's excellent article for the complete list and more background on this legendary performer.

Shayne got his start in 1964 with a record show at CFJC and a dance program at CFJC-TV in Kamloops, B.C. From there it was on to Vancouver's CKLG-FM from 1966 to 1968, before moving to the all-night show at CKLG-AM from 1968 to 1969.

Shayne went to CKVN in 1969 (remember Candlelight and Swine?) and was still there when the all-news station brought back the CFUN calls and the music in 1973. He returned to CKLG-FM from 1973 to 1976. The pioneering video TV show Nite Dreems followed from 1979 to 1981, then Shayne hosted Neon Nights on CBC Radio Vancouver from 1981 to 1982.

Shayne returned to TV in 1982, hosting Nite Visions on Superchannel to 1985. He then went back to radio, doing morning drive on CHRX Vancouver from 1989 to 1991. That was followed by a stint at CKST Langley, B.C., from 1991 to 1993. This one-of-a-kind personality resurfaced at UBC's CITR-FM in 2005 as co-host of a show called Son of Nite Dreems.
 

Enjoy Johann Bruno Shayne on CKLG here.

Enjoy Johann Bruno Shayne on CKLG here.
 

(Courtesy Ted Wendland, radiowest.ca)

Donated to radiowest.ca by Larry "Firedog"


Talent: DARYL B
Station: CKLG Vancoover
Date: April, 1968
Time: 4:40

The Drake format didn't necessarily kill personality - it just forced jocks to say what they had to say in a lot less time. Daryl B, heard here afternoon drive at CKLG, was one of the best at coming across as a personality jock even within the tight confines of Drake. On this aircheck, he manages to sound laid-back, yet format-tight. As always when Daryl B was on, it was more about him than the station he was on, but isn't that what makes a great jock?
 

Enjoy Daryl B on CKLG here.

Enjoy Daryl B on CKLG here.
 

(Courtesy Ted Wendland, radiowest.ca)

Be sure to visit radiowest.ca, a superb radio site hosted by Ted Wendland. Airchecks, jingles, photos, logos, history and forums - radiowest.ca has it all.Rock Radio Scrapbook says thanks Ted for sharing this aircheck. Also thanks to vancouverbroadcasters.com for background information.


Talent: BIG G. WALTERS
Station: CKFH Toronto
Date: May 14, 1968
Time: 22:56 (unscoped)

(Courtesy Javed Jafre)

CKFH was not your typical cookie-cutter radio station.

When it switched to a rock format on January 2, 1967, CKFH made an effort to be different. They would play British releases, soul tunes, album cuts and other tracks that no one else - especially CHUM - would go near. While other stations were running news, CKFH played three in a row (the `FH Triple Play!). They had a late-night progressive rock show called The Whole Bag (later The Open Lid) that would be more in place on an FM station. They billed themselves as ''number-two radio'' (because all the other radio stations are number-one.) Same-old, same-old it wasn't.

On a station full of interesting personalities, Big G. Walters stood out. In the early `60s, he had been on Toronto Top 40 outlet CKEY and he would resurface yet another CHUM rival, CFTR, in the `70s. With his laid-back ''hipster'' style, Walters was the antithesis of your typical fast-talking Top 40 jock. Big G. - he got his nickname from one-time sponsor General Foods - worked at 14 markets during a 40-year career including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Cleveland, Duluth, Minn., Akron, Ohio, Honolulu, London, England and his final stop, Thunder Bay, Ont. He was hosting a country oldies show at CJLB Thunder Bay when he died in December, 1999 at the age of 62.
 

Enjoy Big G. Walters (unscoped) on CKFH from May 14, 1968 here.

Enjoy Big G. Walters (unscoped) on CKFH from May 14, 1968 here.
 

(The Geets Romo Collection, courtesy Doug Thompson)




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Talent: TERRY DAVID MULLIGAN
Station: CKLG Vancouver
Date: May 16, 1968
Time: 12:08

We only have one question about Terry David Mulligan - where does he find the time?

Few Canadian entertainment figures can boast such a long and varied resume as this native of New Westminster, B.C. Originally a Mountie, TDM moved into radio in 1964 at CKRD Red Deer, Alta., and never looked back.

Mulligan's long radio resume includes stops at CFAC Calgary, CJME Regina and CFUN-CKVN, CKLG AM and FM and CFOX Vancouver. He was also at CHUM-FM Toronto, hosted the CBC Radio show Great Canadian Gold Rush and the nationally syndicated show, Discumentary. He has also had an extensive run with his weekly show Mulligan Stew on Edmonton public radio station CKUA. He has also hosted a syndicated wine-tasting show called The Tasting Room.

Mulligan's TV work has included hosting the CBC's first network video show, Good Rockin' Tonight, host of children's television show ZigZag on BCTV, host of MuchWest on MuchMusic, host and segment producer of MT-Movie Television and Senior Segment Producer and interviewer for Star! Canada's Entertainment Weekly and Star Daily! He has co-hosted the wine show Hollywood and Vines with Jason Priestley on Star!

An actor with a lengthy list of film and television credits, Mulligan has been named both Canadian Announcer of the Year and VJ of the Year.
 

Enjoy Terry David Mulligan on CKLG here.

Enjoy Terry David Mulligan on CKLG here.
 

(Scrapbook archives)


Talent: ROBERT W. MORGAN
Station: KHJ Los Angeles
Date: May 27, 1968
Time: 24:25


(KHJ Chart from May 22, 1968/Courtesy Tom Howard)

"Zap ... you're Morganized!"

Millions of Los Angelenos woke up to those words during Robert W. Morgan's time at KHJ in the '60s and early '70s. It was the cornerstone of a long and successful career that made Morgan one of radio's biggest stars. He was named Billboard Air Personality of the Year, got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is a member of the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Radio Hall of Fame. His narration of the 48-Hour History of Rock and Roll in 1969 is considered a classic.

Born July 23, 1937 in Galion, Ohio, Morgan got his start at WWST at Wooster College. Originally he thought about becoming a lawyer, but the radio bug bit him early and he worked at California stations like KACY Oxnard, KMBY Monterey, KMAK Fresno and KROY Sacramento under the air name Bob Morgan. He started using Robert W. Morgan at KEWB Oakland in 1964.

Morgan was one of the original Boss Jocks when 93/KHJ began its Top 40 Drake format in April, 1965. His morning show commanded sensational ratings, and his "Morganization" of listeners on the air became the stuff of legend. His sharp wit and smooth delivery would provide southern Californians with more than a few "Good Morgans" over the years.

After five-and-a-half years at KHJ, Morgan left the Los Angeles station in October 1970. He then moved to WIND Chicago but returned to KHJ in January 1972. Morgan then left KHJ for the second and last time in June 1973. After a six-month non-compete hiatus, Morgan moved to the FM dial in December 1973 for a stint at L.A.'s K-100. In October 1975, he achieved a long-standing dream when he started at full-service KMPC in Los Angeles. Originally Morgan worked weekends and swing, but in August 1979 he succeeded KMPC veteran Dick Whittinghill in the morning spot.

Morgan left KMPC in 1982 for three years at Magic 106 (KMGG), returning to KMPC for seven more years beginning in 1985. In August 1992, Morgan moved into mornings at oldies-formatted K-EARTH (KRTH), playing many of the songs his listeners had first enjoyed so many years ago at KHJ. In May 1997, Morgan announced he was taking time off to fight lung cancer. He died - at the age of 60 - on May 22, 1998.

Morgan, who hosted numerous television shows and was a top voiceover talent, was also an avid bass fisherman, chess player, collector of Americana and a fan of the vocal group the Four Freshmen. But we remember him as one of the greatest jocks in the history of Top 40 radio.
 

Enjoy Robert W. Morgan on KHJ here.

Enjoy Robert W. Morgan on KHJ here.
 

(The Don Shuttleworth Collection)


Talent: JACKSON ARMSTRONG
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: June 16, 1968
Time: 15:21

Anticipation was in the air in June, 1968 when CHUM announced that a new voice would be coming to the station. Just who would it be?

The answer - as revealed shortly after 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 16 - was Jackson Armstrong. And if pure excitement was what you wanted, he didn't disappoint. Nobody screamed louder or longer than "Supermouth." When he arrived at CHUM in June 1968, Armstrong had already started to build his legend at such stations as WMEX Boston, WKYC Cleveland and WAYS Charlotte, N.C. (as John Larsh). That reputation only grew during his eight-month stay in Toronto.

CHUM was on the brink of switching to the Drake format at the time of this aircheck. On it you can hear some of the classic latter-day PAMS jingles, and of course the very hyper Armstrong delivering a masterful performance. We remember hearing Armstrong live on his first CHUM show, and much later obtained an aircheck of it. Now you can enjoy it via the magic of the Internet.
 

Hear Jack Armstrong's first CHUM show here.

Hear Jack Armstrong's first CHUM show here.
 

(Scrapbook archives)


Talent: BOB McADOREY
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: June 19, 1968
Time: 17:15



Radio listeners and television fans in southern Ontario are used to Bob McAdorey's voice - they heard it for four decades. Mac started at CHUM in 1961 in the 1-4 p.m. shift, replacing the last of CHUM's original jocks, Pete Nordheimer. In 1964, McAdorey took over the 4-7 shift as he swapped shifts with Mike Darow. For the next four years, CHUM listeners enjoyed McAdorey's personable style and features such as Hit Pickers Hot Line.

In 1968, McAdorey left CHUM to do middays at country-music formatted CFGM. After a stop at easy listening CHFI-AM (later CFTR) in the early '70s, McAdorey went back to CFGM as morning man before moving to TV. In 2000, McAdorey retired after many years as the popular host of Global TV's entertainment beat. He died February 5, 2005 at the age of 69.


To enjoy Bob McAdorey, click here.

To enjoy Bob McAdorey, click here.
 

(The Ron Brokenshire Collection)

For more classic CHUM airchecks, visit The CHUM Archives


Talent: BRIAN SKINNER
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: June 19, 1968
Time: 7:18

Brian Skinner was near the end of his days at CHUM in June, 1968. Skinner, CHUM's evening deejay since 1965, was relegated to the all-night show by the fall of  '68 and was gone by 1969. This rare aircheck captures CHUM near the end of the pre-Drake format.
 

To enjoy Brian Skinner, click here.

To enjoy Brian Skinner, click here.
 

(The Ron Brokenshire Collection)


Talent: JACK ARMSTRONG
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: June 22, 1968
Time: 11:27

(Logos courtesy Bill Dulmage)

Late-spring, early summer 1968. Exciting times for Canada ... and CHUM!

Trudeaumania was everywhere. Elected to replace the retiring Lester B. Pearson as Liberal leader in April, former justice minister Pierre Trudeau won a majority government June 25 as prime minister and a symbol of generational change.

Baseball came to Canada for the first time with the awarding of a major league franchise to Montreal on May 27. The team became known as the Expos after the memorable Expo 67 the year before.

Wide-eyed visitors were gazing down from the top of the new Toronto-Dominion Centre. At 222.8 metres, it was the tallest building in Canada when it opened May 14.

Canada had its first heart transplant on May 31, the 18th in the world. The recipient was Albert Murphy of Chomedy, Que., a 59-year-old retired butcher. He died 41 hours later.

Medicare, providing free medical care to all for most procedures, became law in Canada on July 1.

On the radio front, fast-talking deejay Jack Armstrong arrived in Canada for his first show on CHUM June 16, and a followup program June 22. The shows went so well that he was given a full-time shift at CHUM - the only Canadian station this Top 40 legend ever worked at.

This aircheck features Taylor Parnaby with a live report from the Canadian Open golf tournament, and lots of great CHUM jingles, imaging and commercial segments from the time. As for Jack himself, he's on FIRE!
 

Hear Jack Armstrong's second CHUM show here.

Hear Jack Armstrong's second CHUM show here.
 

(Scrapbook archives)


Talent: BILL ROBERTS
Station: 
CKGM Montreal
Date: July, 1968
Time: 
4:57

(Photo courtesy Marc Denis)

To those used to the Top 40 sound of Montreal's CKGM, this aircheck may surprise you. It's Bill Roberts doing middays at CKGM in July, 1968. Roberts does a combination talk and music show and judging from the one song we hear, there's a middle-of-the-road slant musically in this daypart. Of course, CKGM didn't go full-time Top 40 until January 1, 1970.

Prior to CKGM, Roberts was CJAD's morning man in the 1950s and '60s and also program director. After his CKGM stint, he returned to the announcer's chair at CJAD in the '70s and later did a talk show at CKO Montreal. He also taught broadcasting at the Intra-Radio School in Montreal.

Roberts' father, Leslie, did commentary on CJAD in the '40s (he was advertised as "Canada's most controversial writer".) Bill Roberts' son, also named Leslie, is a well-known anchor at Global Television in Toronto.

Bill Roberts died of cancer in 2002 in Alexandria, Ont. He was 74.
 

Hear Bill Roberts on CKGM here.

Hear Bill Roberts on CKGM here.
 

(The Marc Denis Collection)


Talent: PETER MURRAY
Station: 
CHUM Toronto
Date: 
July 9, 1968
Time:
 11:01

 

Peter Murray (1971) / Peter Murray (2012)

Imagine the thrill of it.

In July, 1968, Murray was a "Sock It To Me Summer Jock" on Canada's leading Top 40 radio station, CHUM. Only 18 at the time - and with no previous professional broadcast experience - the Sir Sanford Fleming high school student appeared live on the air - with absolutely no on-air training aside from a brief "audition" in a booth. Many of his friends and family were listening in addition to CHUM's usual huge audience.

How did he do? Great, as you'll hear in this aircheck from Murray's appearance on the Brian Skinner Show between 10:00 and 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9, 1968. Despite being "petrified," Murray sounds confident and gets through it in admirable fashion. It was the epitome of grace under pressure.

Rock Radio Scrapbook asked Murray about his appearance that night.

Q. Did you have a say in the music?

A: Not at all. Skinner was on the com and told me when I should talk.

Q: Were you given practice time in a production studio before doing your segment?

Nothing at all. Arrive about 8:30 and in at 9, hi to Skinner and then in the booth. I am certain he op'd but I was too overwhelmed to know. 9:30 'thanks kid' and out the door. Exceptional experience. Never set foot inside CHUM in my life again - regrettably.

Q: Were you chosen based on an audition tape or was it random?

A: We went in on a Saturday about noon in a room not too far past the entrance as I recall. A boardroom. Maybe 15 to 20 of us although I think there may have been 'shifts' of applicants. We went - one by one - to a booth and did an audition. There must have been some copy (hazy on these details) and we had to ad lib. (CHUM Creative Director Larry) Solway told me I had a future and that stuck with me. (I did on-air work from '71 to 1980 and left radio).

Q: What was the reaction of your family and friends?

A: Everyone was tuned in for sure. Six family members, Brother and 2 sisters. Plus friends. Certainly the MacCormack family that thought to record it and save it all these years!

Q: Can you give us a brief career summary?

A: In 1970 I took a job at CHFI as a board op handling voice tracks of Don Parrish on Classics till Dawn. Great learning experience. Russ Holden was the Ops Manager at the time. My first on-air gig was in Smithers BC at CFBV/CFLD. That year was late 1971. Then after 3 months I was the all night guy for a year in Prince George on CJCI. On to CKSL in London for a noon to 3 shift for a year before spending the last years of radio (til 1981) at CHSC/CHRE in St. Catharines. Since 1981 I have owned and run Omni Media Productions in St. Catharines. It is a video production company employing 7 people.

Murray had this one final tidbit for us...

"When we were first corralled into that CHUM meeting room for the auditions, there were at least 6 or 7 others that morning. Larry Solway was very upset that someone (not me) had changed the radio to either CKEY or CKFH. He was not happy about that and remarked “It is like taking a box lunch to a restaurant."
 

Enjoy "Sock It To Me Summer Jock" Peter Murray (with a little bit of Brian Skinner) on CHUM here.

Enjoy "Sock It To Me Summer Jock" Peter Murray (with a little bit of Brian Skinner) on CHUM here.
 

(The Iain MacCormack Collection via Peter Murray)


After featuring Peter Murray's aircheck, we got an e-mail from yet another "Sock It To Me Summer Jock."

Tom Tass shared his story with Rock Radio Scrapbook...

"I was a 17-year-old student from Mimico High School when I did the audition. I was one of the other four teenaged announcers who made it through Larry Solway’s audition and, it was just as Peter described in his Q & A. In fact somewhere in my archives I have the actual copy of a mythical commercial for a chocolate bar which we were asked to read along with a time check and a weather update.

I remember the evening that I did the 10 to 10:30 “shift” just as Peter recollected. There was one difference. I did meet with Jack Armstrong who was hanging around the station and of course Brian Skinner who was the jock at the time. And just like Peter writes when it was 10:30 out the building and have a nice evening! In fact after the show it was over to Little Caesar’s pizza place on Avenue Road with friends who actually came down to 1331 Yonge to watch through the window….and see nothing. (I also never stepped foot in the building ever again.)

A friend of mine taped the show on a reel to reel which regrettably was lost during one of my many moves over the years. If anyone can tell me where such a tape exists I would be very happy to chase it down.

After the CHUM experience I thought I would “get into radio” but discovered that I first had to finish high school! I did keep in touch with people like Tom Fulton and Greg Stewart at CKNX who both encouraged me and I did get a shot at CKFH in the spring of 1969. The offer fell through for reasons that were never clear to me but I was just 18. In 1970 I took a trip to Europe to see if I could follow in fellow Canadian’s footsteps – one David “Kid” Jensen and his success at Radio Luxembourg. Oddly I was interviewed by Radio Free Europe in Munich which was looking for young people who spoke Eastern European languages. RFE was interested but by 1971 I was working full time and going to night school and I drifted away from radio as a career. To make a long story short I ended up working for the federal government. I ended my professional career overseas as a mid-level Canadian diplomat in 1997 and then went on to work for international organizations in based in Geneva and Vienna until I left in Europe in 2008 to return to Canada. Since then I am semi-retired and working part time for BORDERPOL (a border security agency) - A business far removed from radio broadcasting!"
 


Talent: BOBBY STEELE
Station: CHLO St. Thomas, Ont.
Date: July 14, 1968
Time: 1:11:01 (unscoped)

Bobby Steele was just a teenager when he started in radio at CHLO in 1968. Three years and one frequency change later (from 680 to 1570 in 1970) he left for CKOC Hamilton in 1971. Steele also jocked at London stations CKSL and CFPL later in the decade. He also worked ar CFRA Ottawa before leaving radio in the early 1980s to go into teaching.
 

Hear Bobby Steele on CHLO here.

Hear Bobby Steele on CHLO here.
 

(The Charlie Ritenburg Collection)




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Talent: JACKSON ARMSTRONG
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: July 16, 1968
Time: 14:00

Jack Armstrong (centre), Larry Solway (right) (The CHUM Archives)

Sometimes the story behind the aircheck almost as interesting as the aircheck himself. In 1968, Toronto-area resident Ron Brokenshire was planning to head back to his native England, having been in Canada since 1967 for what he called a "working vacation." Brokenshire decided to tape some CHUM programming as a reminder of Canada. He did that, then met the woman who became his wife and wound up staying in Canada.

In March, 2000, this tape and others came to light as a result of a chance conversation I had with Ron at our local curling club. Thanks to Ron - and his desire to tape a reminder of Canada - we can now hear what CHUM sounded like in July, 1968.
 

Hear Jackson Armstrong here.

Hear Jackson Armstrong here.
 

(The Ron Brokenshire Collection)


Subject: TAYLER PARNABY (newscast)
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: July 16, 1968
Time: 13:22

"Hockey in this town in a rich man's game..."

Some things never change.

In this 1968 newscast, Tayler Parnaby comments on the latest price increase by the Toronto Maple Leafs. He figures that to take your wife to a Leaf game, it'll cost $14.90 - and that includes five cents for a pack of matches if you forgot your lighter! It's a rich man's game, says Parnaby. Well, hockey is still a rich man's (and woman's) game these days, only now you can move the decimal over one digit to the right.

Parnaby's comment is one of several delights on this CHUM newscast from July 16, 1968. There's a report  from the late Bob Carr, and Arthur Lewis checks in from Parliament Hill. CHUM talk show host Larry Solway and former Toronto mayor Phil Givens are heard with the opinion segment Give and Take. There's a taped commercial with John Spragge, are live (and taped) spots with Bob McAdorey, Jim Calloway with the sports and the race results with Daryl Wells. There's even a little bit of Jack Armstrong on this fabulous audio time capsule from 1968.
 

Enjoy this newscast here.

Enjoy this newscast here.
 


Tayler Parnaby, the newscaster featured on this aircheck, has had a long and brilliant career. He started in radio in 1955 at CFOR Orillia, Ont., and more than a half-century later was still on the air at CFRB Toronto. In between, he has been Ottawa bureau chief and news director at Newsradio Limited, and president of all-news CKO Incorporated.
 

(The Ron Brokenshire Collection)


Talent: BOBBY STEELE
Station: CHLO St. Thomas, Ont.
Date: 1968 (composite)
Time: 40:45

Bobby Steele didn't wait long to go into radio, starting his career as a teenager in 1968 at CHLO London, Ont. After three years at CHLO, Steele moved to CKOC Hamilton. He also jocked at CKSL and CFPL London along with CFRA Ottawa before leaving the business in the early '80s for a teaching career.

This is a composite of several airchecks of Steele from the summer and fall of 1968.
 

Enjoy Bobby Steele on CHLO from 1968 here.

Enjoy Bobby Steele on CHLO from 1968 here.
 

(The Charlie Ritenburg Collection)


Talent: MARK RICHARDS
Station: CKLW Windsor, Ont.
Date: July 24, 1968
Time: 12:35

He's perhaps best known for his nearly decade-long run as popular morning man at Toronto's CFTR. But Jim Brady was also one of the early voices at the Big 8, appearing as Mark Richards in 1968 and 1969.

Brady, whose long career includes stints in Los Angeles, Dallas, Louisville and his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, does a masterful Top 40 performance in this rare aircheck from his pre-'TR days.
 

Enjoy Mark Richards - a.k.a. Jim Brady - here.

Enjoy Mark Richards - a.k.a. Jim Brady - here.
 

(The Tom Howard Collection)

For more great 'CK airchecks, visit The CKLW Years


Talent: STEVE CLARK
Station: WOR-FM New York
Date: August 9, 1968
Time: 46:53 (unscoped)

Steve Clark's resume is a "who's where" of Top 40 radio.

In addition to New York biggies WOR-FM and WMCA, Clark also jocked at hit music standouts like KHJ Los Angeles, WQAM Miami, WCFL Chicago, WQXI Atlanta, KYA San Francisco and KSTP Minneapolis.

He has also entertained in New York at all-oldies WCBS-FM, in Los Angeles at KEZY, KUTE, KMPC, KTWV and KCBS-FM and in New Orleans at WRNO.

Clark, who also jocked in Cincinnati, New Haven and Albany, left full-time radio in the mid-'80s to become a stockbroker but continued to do radio part-time. He moved to Transtar in the late '80s and later to the Westwood One Radio Network. As of 2013, he was president of Redrock Enterprises in Beverly Hills, Calif.
 

Enjoy Steve Clark on WOR-FM here.

Enjoy Steve Clark on WOR-FM here.
 

(Scrapbook archives)




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Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (License 22-F)
 


Talent: TOM "CAT" LODGE
Station: 
CHLO London, Ont.
Date: 
August 11, 1968
Time: 
6:12

Tom Lodge made radio waves on both sides of the ocean, and for a time was literally on the waves.

The English-born Lodge got his start in radio at CFYK Yellowknife in the late 1950s. He became manager for the CBC station CBXH Fort Smith, N.W.T., in 1960, but later returned to England as a CBC correspondent. Lodge then went to being on the airwaves to being on the both the airwaves and the sea waves in 1964 when he joined the new offshore pirate radio station Radio Caroline. He became program director in 1965 and scrapped the rigid format, allowing the deejays to be spontaneous in both their presentation and choice of music. It was free-form radio at its best, and the listeners loved it.

By 1966, Radio Caroline had an audience of 23 million, but its success proved to be its undoing. In 1967, offshore stations were banned under the Maritime Broadcasting Offences Act. Radio Caroline (named after the daughter of U.S. President John F. Kennedy) went off the air and Lodge briefly worked for the BBC's newly created Radio One. In 1968, he moved back to Canada for a stint at CHLO London, Ont. Two years later, he founded a training program for recording engineers and record producers at Fanshawe College.

Lodge moved to California in the mid-1970s and where he began practicing Zen Buddhism. His Zen Master changed Lodge's name to “Umi” in 1998 and he became a Zen Master. Lodge began guiding people in Zen at his ashram near Santa Cruz, Calif.

Lodge, a published author who also worked as a cowboy, used car salesman, gold miner and winter fisherman and once played in a skiffle band, died March 25, 2012. He had been suffering from cancer. The son of writer Oliver W.F. Lodge and grandson of physicist Oliver Lodge, a pioneer in wireless telegraphy, was 75.
 

Enjoy Tom "Cat" Lodge on CHLO here.

Enjoy Tom "Cat" Lodge on CHLO here.
 

(The Don Shuttleworth Collection)


Talent: DAVE BOXER
Station: 
CFCF Montreal
Date: 
August 27, 1968
Time:
 5:22

(Description by Marc Denis)

From 1963 to 1966, Dave Boxer is the undisputed champion of Montreal's English-language evening radio landscape on Cuff Cuff (CFCF 600). Armed with his trusty "fanortonizer", a trombone-like whistle used to announce his contest winners, and surfing high on the wave of the British musical invasion, Dave Boxer is "the cool daddy-o on the radd-io" that thousands of teens tune into weeknights, 6-11 p.m. ... with transistor radios tucked strategically under the pillow, anticipating the latest Beatles, Dave Clark 5 or JB and the Playboys hit.

By the time of this aircheck in August of 1968, Boxer is in his final days on Cuff Cuff as rival 1470 CFOX is now the teen buzz for English language Top 40 music in Montreal. Dave would soon be joining, for a short period of time, the equally-troubled 980 CKGM, a station he appeared on in the early '60s prior to his heyday on CFCF and an address two years away from its major renaissance as a hit music monster.

Boxer would return to CKGM for a time in the late '60s. He then worked in radio sales for Standard Broadcasting in Montreal, returning to the airwaves on 95.9 CJFM's Solid Gold Sunday Show in the late-'70s to mid-'80s before finally moving on to other business ventures in Vancouver. He's still out on the west coast, now semi or fully-retired.

You will hear in the final two minutes of this brief but magical aircheck the nightly signature Boxer show-closer over Boots Randolph's The Shadow of Your Smile and the big Elevensville send-off "into the land of the giant marshmallows to sleep deliciously ... dee-lli-ciously..."
 

Enjoy Dave Boxer on CFCF here.

Enjoy Dave Boxer on CFCF here.
 

(The Dan Kowal Collection)

(Dave Boxer CFCF August 1968 aircheck reproduced and posted here through permission by marcdenis.com (Marc Denis's CKGM Super 70s Tribute Page). This aircheck cannot be duplicated or distributed without prior written permission and consent by the proprietor(s).)


Talent: COUSIN BRUCIE
Station: WABC New York
Date: September 9, 1968
Time: 
53:26 (unscoped)

"Movin' and a-groovin'
Havin' a ball
With Cousin Brucie
Go, go. Go, go. Go, go."

For years, Bruce Morrow began his night-time WABC show with that tune. Recorded by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Morrow's "Go Go" theme song is one of the most famous deejay themes in history. But that's only part of the story of the man known to millions as Cousin Brucie.

Born Bruce Meyerowitz October 13, 1937, Morrow got his professional start as a 19-year-old in the summer of 1957 at ZBM Bermuda. After a year there, he returned to his native New York for his first big-time jocking gig, at the legendary WINS. In 1960, he was off to WINZ Miami, only to return to New York in 1961 for the night-time shift at WABC.

Morrow really established his legend at WABC, whose powerful signal could be heard up and down the eastern United States and Canada. It was a special time where AM radio with personality jocks ruled, and Brucie was one of the best with a friendly on-air persona that allowed him to easily connect with the listeners. His show regularly captured 25 per cent of the New York listening audience, and an amazing figure considering the size and diversity of the market.

After 13 years at WABC, Brucie jumped to rival WNBC in 1974 for what turned out to be a three-year stint. Disenchanted with on-air work, he went into radio station ownership in the late '70s, finally returning to the airwaves in 1982 at WCBS-FM. Initially, he only filled in every third week on Jack Spector's Saturday Night Sock Hop. But by 1986 he was on every Saturday night and Wednesday night too. He also hosted the nationally-syndicated Cruisin' America from 1987 to 1992 (the show continued locally in New York on WCBS-FM as Cruisin' With the Cuz until 1993).

Brucie left WCBS-FM in 2005 when the station became JACK-FM, and soon after signed on at Sirius Satellite Radio. Named to the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988, he was also inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame (radio division) in 2008.
 

Rock Radio Scrapbook presents Cousin Brucie here.

Rock Radio Scrapbook presents Cousin Brucie here.
 

(Scrapbook archives)




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Talent: CHUCK McCOY
Station: CKFH Toronto
Date: September, 1968
Time: 6:11


CKFH was a breeding ground for many great radio talents who would go on to success elsewhere. Morning man Don Daynard went on to become a legend at CKFM and CHFI. Tom Fulton's CKFH career preceded a 20-year run at CJRT-FM. Keith Hampshire went from CKFH to a career as a recording artist and later became one of Canada's top commercial voice talents.

Another example was Chuck McCoy. After his stay at CKFH, McCoy went to the high-profile evening shift at CHUM and now is in radio management with Rogers Communications. "The Chucker" was one of the early stars of CHUM's Drake format.
 

Chuck McCoy can be heard here.

Chuck McCoy can be heard here.
 

(The Gary Pfeiffer Collection)

For more fabulous CKFH airchecks, visit The Tom Fulton Collection


Talent: ROY GELDART
Station: CFNB Fredericton
Date: September, 1968
Time: 2:50

Roy Geldart appeared on CKBW Bridgewater, N.S., and CFNB Frederiction among other stations in the 1960s before moving to CBC Saint John. N.B.
 

Hear Roy Geldart on CFNB here.

 Hear Roy Geldart on CFNB here.


(The Roy Geldart Collection)


Talent: PAUL SKI
Station: CHLO St. Thomas, Ont.
Date: October 7, 1968
Time: 13:48

This classic aircheck begins with a complete and unedited newscast by Bill Williams (real name Bill Vigars) followed by the Paul Ski show. Fans of CHLO from that period will remember Ski and some of the other personalities from that period, including morning man Dan O'Connor, Jerry Stephens and Tom Lodge. Ski and Lodge at the same station, how fitting!
 

Enjoy Paul Ski here.

Enjoy Paul Ski here.
 

(The Charlie Ritenburg Collection)


Talent: ROBERT W. MORGAN
Station: KHJ Los Angeles
Date: October 18, 1968
Time: 1:01:51 (unscoped)
              30:15 (scoped)

It was always a good Morgan when Robert W. was on the air.
 

Enjoy Robert W. Morgan on KHJ (UNSCOPED) here.

Enjoy Robert W. Morgan on KHJ (UNSCOPED) here.

 

Enjoy Robert W. Morgan on KHJ (SCOPED) here.

Enjoy Robert W. Morgan on KHJ (SCOPED) here.
 

(Scrapbook archives)




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Talent: BWANA JOHNNY
Station: KGB San Diego
Date: November 9, 1968
Time: 43:55 (unscoped)
           18:06 (scoped)

Like many a jock in an era where jobs were plentiful, Bwana Johnny worked all over the U.S. from east coast to west coast and points in between. His major stops included KJR Seatlle, KYA San Francisco, KGB San Diego, WUBE Cincinnati, WFUN Miami, WWDJ Hackensack, N.J., and KISN Portland, where he was billed as Crazy Dick Simms.

Bwana Johnny - whose birth name was Richard Johnson - died in 2005 at the age of 56.

Enjoy Bwana Johnny on KGB (UNSCOPED) here.

Enjoy Bwana Johnny on KGB (UNSCOPED) here.
 

Enjoy Bwana Johnny on KGB (SCOPED) here.

Enjoy Bwana Johnny on KGB (SCOPED) here.
 

(The Bill Dulmage Collection)


Talent: GARY HANSLER
Station: CKPT Peterborough, Ont.
Date: 
December 28, 1968
Time:
27:14 (unscoped)

It's the best of 1968, Peterborough style.

Gary Hansler spins the Top 10 of '68 on CKPT, which went on the air nine years earlier as a rival to the well-established CHEX-AM. The long-time CHUM group station was Top 40, adult contemporary and oldies at various times before switching to sports as The Team 1420 in 2001. CKPT went to standards in 2002 and five years later moved to the FM band as Energy 99.3 with a hot adult contemporary format branded as "Today's Best Music" (CKPT-FM moved to 99.7 in 2008).

Lots of interesting stuff on this aircheck, including some local ads, a full newscast and some CKPT jingles that don't really sound like they belong on a rock station.
 

Enjoy Gary Hansler on CKPT here.

Enjoy Gary Hansler on CKPT here.
 

(The Bill Dulmage Collection)




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Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (License 22-F)
 


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