Rock Radio Scrapbook

The CHUM Archives, Part 1 (The 1950s and '60s)

 

(Photo courtesy Lawrence Chui)

In October, 2003, legendary CHUM deejay Bob Laine retired after 45 years with CHUM Ltd. But he didn't have to go far for his next project. Laine - with the help of long-time producer Doug Thompson - soon began the lengthy but fascinating task of sifting through CHUM's enormous archives, dating back to the station's beginning as a Top 40 station in 1957. It has been a labour of love, and very fruitful.

What Laine and Thompson have found is a treasure trove of airchecks, jingles, photos and other material from CHUM's Top 40 era. They have been very generous in donating these new finds here in The CHUM Archives on Rock Radio Scrapbook, Canada's Aircheck Archive.

So sit back and enjoy - The CHUM Archives, Part 1, the '50s and '60s...

And after you're finished here, please visit...

The CHUM Archives Part 2: the 1970s and beyond...


 

Subject: ORIGINAL CHUM JOCKS MONTAGE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: 1957
Time: 6:37

They got the rock rolling at CHUM.

Launching what became Canada's leading Top 40 station, Phil Ladd, Harvey Dobbs, Josh King, Phil Stone, Pete Nordheimer and Hank Noble were the jocks on CHUM's first day of rock programming on May 27, 1957.

CHUM owner Allan Waters thought Top 40 radio sounded like "rocks smashing together" the first time he heard it at WQAM Miami in the winter of 1956-57. Despite that he decided the new format was perfect to shake up his station's ratings, which had been anaemic since the station's founding in 1945. So despite reaction ranging from scepticism to outright hostility, Waters made the move. CHUM went on to become one of the most successful stations in Canadian radio history.

But what of the original CHUM jocks? These pioneers came from various places and backgrounds but all have one thing in common: they laid the groundwork for one of Canada's most successful radio stations. Here are their stories:

Phil Ladd (6-9 a.m.): CHUM's first morning man, Ladd came to the station from KDUB Lubbock, Tex. He had the honour of playing the first record in CHUM's Top 40 format on May 27, 1957. He didn't last long - Ladd did his last CHUM show in October 1957, the first of the original CHUM jocks to leave the air, and was succeeded by Al Boliska. Ladd continued as CHUM program director until May 1958 when he was replaced by Allan Slaight. In 1960, Ladd was hired to do programming for WONE Pleasantville, N.J. A long-time resident of Scranton, Pa., Ladd died in his late '60s, according his friend, former CHUM jock Duke Roberts.

Harvey Dobbs (10 a.m.-12 noon): Dobbs started in radio in 1929 at CFCF Montreal and later moved to CFRB. He was in his eighth year at CHUM when the station switched to a Top 40 format. His original shift was 10 a.m. to noon, by September it would be expanded to 9 a.m.-noon. He left the airwaves in February 1959 to go into CHUM sales, and was replaced in the late-morning shift by John Spragge. Dobbs died September 7, 1984 at the age of 72.

Josh King (12 noon-1 p.m.): The man born William Joslyn Kingerley arrived at CHUM in 1951, hosting a show called "CHUM Valley" (he also appeared on "The Johnny Lombardi Show"). King left the station in 1953 but was back two years later to host "Country Caravan" which continued on CHUM even after the switch to Top 40. CHUM cancelled Country Caravan in January 1958 with Al Boliska adding the noon-time slot to his morning duties. (Note: A search of U.S. death records shows that a William J. Kingerley died in California on July 18, 2006 at the age of 77.)

Phil Stone (2-5 p.m.): The Glasgow-born Stone was hired by CHUM to do public relations work in the late '40s but wound up on the air when the regular sportscaster failed to appear. Stone, whose background included magazines, newspapers and sportscasting on CBC radio and television, wound up being a rock 'n' roll deejay when CHUM made the switch to Top 40. He didn't like the music but stayed on the air until May 1959 when he was replaced in the afternoon drive slot by Mike Darow. Stone became CHUM's vice-president in charge of promotions and charitable work. He left CHUM to teach at Humber College and in 1972 founded the radio program at Humber. Stone died May 1, 2008 at the age of 94, less than a year after making his final radio appearance at the CHUM 50th anniversary reunion.

Pete Nordheimer (5-7 p.m., 10:30-12 midnight): Nordheimer was at CJCS Stratford, Ont., prior to CHUM. He did a split shift on CHUM's original lineup, not unusual for radio in those days, with shows in afternoon drive and late night. Nordheimer was the only original CHUM jock still on the station's lineup into the 1960s. He was doing 1-4 p.m. when he was replaced by Bob McAdorey in August 1961. After CHUM, Nordheimer did audio work for the United Church and worked in programming for CHIN Toronto. Now in his 90s, he is the only one of the original CHUM jocks still living.

Hank Noble (12 midnight-6 a.m.): A country-music recording artist under the name Billy Guitar, Noble and his group would perform live on CHUM on Friday nights. Nobles/Guitar had a #22 CHUM Chart in 1957 with "Here Comes The Night." Noble, who also jocked on CFCN Calgary, CKRC and CKY Winnipeg and WCOS Columbia, S.C., did his last CHUM all-night show in January 1958. He was replaced by Jay Jackson, who was himself succeeded by Bob Laine later that year. Noble was in his late '50s when he died in 1988.

Other shows: Several holdovers from the pre-rock era remained on the CHUM schedule when the station went Top 40 on May 27, 1957. "Hit Parade" was on at 9 a.m., followed by "Who Am I?" at 9:15 and "Chapel Chimes" at 9:45. The Johnny Lombardi Show (Italian) was on from 1-2 p.m. CHUM had a three-hour block of foreign programming from 7-10 p.m. Then Walter Kanitz was on with the "Continental Carousel" (described as "songs and stories with a European flavour") from 10:00 to 10:30 p.m. All these shows were gone from the CHUM lineup by mid-January 1958.

Enjoy the Original CHUM Jocks montage (followed by a brief 1999 interview clip with CHUM founder Allan Waters) here.

(The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson)


Subject: AL BOLISKA PROMO MONTAGE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: Various
Time:
 6:42

(Logo courtesy Bill Dulmage)

He was, arguably, Toronto's first Top 40 radio star.

Blazing a trail that many others would follow, Al Boliska ruled morning radio on CHUM starting in 1957 and CKEY beginning in 1963.

Boliska was a success practically from the first moment he took over from Pete Ladd on CHUM's morning show in November, 1957. His zany humour (who can forget "The World's Worst Jokes") and off-beat approach earned him a loyal following that helped boost CHUM's profile during its early days as a Top 40 station. Such was his popularity that Boliska actually did two daily shows on CHUM - the 6-9 a.m. breakfast show and the noon-1 p.m. lunchtime shift.

This 1957 graphic predates Boliska's arrival by a few months. (The CHUM Archives)

It was a major coup for rival CKEY late in 1963 when they lured Boliska away from CHUM for their morning show (see this Toronto Telegram article from October 29, 1963 from the CHUM Archives. Boliska's tenure at CKEY was short - he left in 1965 when 'EY switched to a MOR format. He later moved on to CHIN-AM after that station signed on in 1966 and also had a stint at CFCF Montreal.

Boliska died on his 40th birthday, taken way too soon.

Enjoy a montage of Al Boliska promos on CHUM here.

(The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson and Bob Laine)

Produced by Doug Thompson



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Subject: JOHN SPRAGGE PROMO MONTAGE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: Various
Time: 10:52

(Graphic courtesy Bill Dulmage)

(L-r: Bob Laine, John Spragge, Bob McAdorey, Dave Johnson, Mike Darow, Larry Solway, Gary Ferrier, Al Boliska)

(Description by Doug Thompson)

Remember The Housewives Hit Parade? As politically incorrect as this feature might be on radio today, that was the daily focus of John Spragge’s mid-morning program on CHUM back in the 1960’s. John often referred to his legion of female listeners as ‘my gals’. This wasn’t an act on Spragge’s part, he was genuine in his affection for his listeners. CHUM held movie premieres and all sorts of other promotions for John’s ‘gals’.

Another regular feature on John’s show was his sometimes inspirational, sometimes whimsical, sometimes thought provoking Something To Think About. It became a very successful part of CHUM programming. Of course, someone had to parody it eventually. That day came one day when Bob McAdorey was filling in for John. He started the regular theme music for the feature, then simply said, "Gina Lollobrigida." There was a long pause until Mac said “Something To Think About.”

(l-r: Al Boliska, John Spragge, Mike Darow, Salvation Army representative, Dave Johnson. 1961/The CHUM Archives)
*Through the glass to the left of Boliska' s head is operator-producer George Nicholson, a.k.a. Just Plain George)

Near the end of his years at CHUM, John Spragge was made Public Service Director. After he left 1331 Yonge Street, John became a successful Program Director and General Manager, both in Toronto and in Kitchener. He also worked tirelessly for many years for the Radio Sales Bureau (now known as the Radio Marketing Bureau).

Enjoy this nostalgic look back at CHUM in a simpler era. John Spragge. The housewives friend.

Enjoy a montage of John Spragge promos here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)

Produced by Doug Thompson


Subject: MIKE DAROW PROMO MONTAGE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: Various
Time: 10:50

(Courtesy: Bill Dulmage)

(Description by Doug Thompson)

As a disc jockey, Mike Darow stood head and shoulders above most of the others. Of course that was easy since Mike was 6' 4". In fact, Mike was the tallest disc jockey on CHUM until Tom Rivers came along.

Mike arrived at CHUM in March of 1959 from western Canada. He replaced original disc jockey Phil Stone, who moved into CHUM management. For the first few years, Darow was on from 4 to 7 p.m. Then, when Bob McAdorey arrived at CHUM in 1961, Mike moved to the 1-to-4 shift.

Mike's two most famous expressions were "smile drivers" (meaning motorists) and "from the two mikes and two turntables" (meaning himself plus the microphone and CHUM's two turntables back when we still played vinyl records. Remember them?)

Mike Darow wasn't only a disc jockey on CHUM, but a darn good singer. In fact, he made it to the CHUM Chart twice - once on his own with The Battle of Queenston Heights, a parody of Johnny Horton's Battle of New Orleans. In 1964, he charted again as one-quarter of the CHUMmingbirds with The Brotherhood of Man.

Mike left CHUM in the fall of 1965 for New York and an ABC-TV game show called Dream House (ed-the original show hosted by Darow aired from April, 1968 to January, 1970 - it was revived briefly in the 1980s with Bob Eubanks as host).

Sadly, Mike passed away in 1996, but is still remembered in this ten minute and fifty second audio montage of his promos on CHUM.

Hear it here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)

Produced by Doug Thompson


Subject: BOB McADOREY PROMO MONTAGE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: Various
Time: 10:52

(Description and photo courtesy Doug Thompson)

Bob McAdorey first hit the CHUM airwaves in the late spring of 1961 after an exhaustive search by CHUM management for a new announcer to replace departing DJ Pete Nordheimer. Bob came to us from CJOY in Guelph, where he was well loved. He also kept busy participating in local politics.

If wit was money, then Mac was a multi-millionaire. His way with words and irreverent humour endeared him to CHUM's listeners for almost 10 years. At various times, his on-air nicknames included "McAdorey the Magnificentand "the body beautiful."

Mac also doubled as CHUM's music director for many of his years there. After he left CHUM in 1968, Bob worked at country station CFGM and Top 40 CFTR and then, in the mid-1970s, began an illustrious career at the Global Television Network.

Bob McAdorey passed away February 5, 2005 at the age of 69.

We have a montage of promos Mac did when he was having fun on CHUM.

Hear the McAdorey montage here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)

Produced by Doug Thompson


Subject: THE CHUM JINGLE MONTAGE (1957-2004)
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: Various

Time: 13:31

When CHUM introduced its Top 40 format in 1957, it was not at the familiar 1331 Yonge St. address, but much further south at 250 Adelaide St. W. The station was originally at the Hermant Building at 21 Dundas Square when it went on the air October 28, 1945. In 1947, CHUM moved to the Fulpart Building at 225 Mutual St. It later settled at 250 Adelaide St. W. On April 24, 1959, CHUM took residence what was then known as the Ginn Building at 1331 Yonge where it stayed for a half century. In 2009, the CHUM studios were transferred to 250 Richmond St. W., not far from the original Adelaide St. address.

They have been called "the songs between the songs." And for many, they were as much a part of the Top 40 listening experience as the music and the deejays. We're talking about ... the jingles.

Some of Top 40 radio's most memorable jingles were heard on CHUM Toronto. Whether they were from CRC, Futuresonic, PAMS, TM, Johnny Mann or Otis Conner, they all held a place in our hearts and memories.

The CHUM Jingle Montage begins with CHUM's early days as a Top 40 station in 1957, continues through the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and right up to 2004. This is one of the most incredible audio experiences I have ever enjoyed. I hope you will enjoy it as well.

Enjoy the CHUM Jingle Montage here.

(The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson and Bob Laine)

Produced by Doug Thompson


Ever wonder what CHUM's schedule was like before it went Top 40? Check out this schedule from February, 1956!

(The CHUM Archives)


Subject: CHUM PROMO MONTAGE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: 1958 to 1962
Time: 10:50

CHUM "billboarded its talent - literally (Photo montage courtesy Bill Dulmage)

(Description by Doug Thompson)

Some were serious. Many were zany. But they all had a great sense of fun. That's what CHUM promos have been since the "Nifty 1050" became a Top 40 station in May of 1957.

In this montage from the early years of the station, you'll hear a CHUM promo announcing the search for a replacement for deejay Pete Nordheimer, who was leaving the station (Bob McAdorey was eventually hired); a silly deejay promo with Hollywood actress Joan Crawford; a Radio Race promo (a very popular CHUM contest in the 1960's) and the Magnificent Seven Singers contest promo featuring all of the seven deejays of the day ... ahem ... how can we put this delicately ... singing?

In case you are wondering, the singing deejays are (in order): Dave Johnson, Pete Nordheimer, John Spragge, Mike Darow, Bob Laine, Al Boliska and J.J. Richards (fill-in host and full-time CHUM newsman.)

Enjoy the CHUMemories. Oh, by the way, this CHUM promo montage rounds off at 10 minutes and 50 seconds. 10 - 50. Get it? Nifty.

Hear the CHUM promo montage here.

(The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson and Bob Laine)

Produced by Doug Thompson


Talent: DAVE JOHNSON
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: May 2, 1959
Time: 26:25 (unscoped)
           12:12 (scoped)

(Courtesy: Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

One of the most cheerful and upbeat personalities you'll ever hear on the air, Dave Johnson was a friend to Toronto radio listeners for more than two decades.

Johnson joined CHUM in January 1958, taking over the 7 p.m.-midnight shift at the fledgling Top 40 station. Earlier in his career, he had been an operator at CKEY Toronto, followed by a stint as an on-air personality at CKOY Ottawa. At CHUM, Johnson joined a staff that included Al Boliska (6-9 a.m. and noon-1 p.m.), Harvey Dobbs (9 a.m.-noon), Pete Nordheimer (1-4 p.m.), Phil Stone (4-7 p.m.) and Jay Jackson (midnight-6 a.m.)

One of the highlights of Johnson's early years at CHUM was a program segment called the Hi-Fi Club. This led to a popular teen dance party called the Hi-Fi Club Dance, a few blocks up from CHUM. Johnson personally hosted the dance introducing live acts and playing '45s. Union problems eventually led to the end of the event but it remains an integral part of CHUM's early history.

(Dave Johnson with Donna Loren - courtesy Bob Laine and Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

By the time he left the station in late October 1965, Johnson was the only deejay remaining on CHUM from that 1958 lineup. In between, he had hosted the demanding and high-profile night-time shift continuously for nearly eight years - almost a CHUM record* - even sharing the mike with the legendary Dick Clark (on tape) for a while in 1963.

After his CHUM days, Johnson moved to country-formatted CFGM Richmond Hill as afternoon drive host and music director (turns out he was a big fan of country music, as well as being an opera buff and gourmet chef!) He was still holding down his familiar afternoon drive slot at CFGM when he died suddenly of a heart attack October 20, 1980.

Hear Dave Johnson with the Hi-Fi Club on CHUM here. (unscoped)

Hear Dave Johnson with the Hi-Fi Club on CHUM here. (scoped)

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)

*Russ McCloud was a night-time jock at CHUM for nine years - August 1984 to August 1993, when he moved to afternoons. That would make him the holder of the record for the longest uninterrupted stint on nights at CHUM. Thanks to Russ for confirming the time he spent on nights. All told, McCloud was at CHUM for 16 1-2 years (he also worked mornings for a time before returning to afternoon drive.)




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Subject: THE MAPLE LEAFS FOREVER RADIO CARTOONS
Station: CHUM Toronto
Dates: 1959, 1960 and 1962
Times: 
Various

CHUM carried Leaf hockey during the 1964-65 season

Remember when the Toronto Maple Leafs won Stanley Cups?

It's been so long, the memories of that time have almost completely faded. After all, they haven't won a Cup since 1967. But these radio gems that appeared on CHUM back in the '50s and '60s should bring that era flowing back.

The Maple Leafs Forever Radio Cartoons were the brainchild of Allen Farrell, CHUM's Promotion Director and creative guru. They were modeled after the "cut-in" records made popular in the 1950s by Buchanan and Goodman of The Flying Saucer, Parts 1 & 2 fame.

The Radio Cartoons featured a mock hockey game punctuated by short record clips. They first appeared in 1959 (with Allen Farrell appearing solo as Foster Know-it). He was joined by Garry Ferrier in 1960 and in subsequent versions. The role of Bill Hewitt (Faster Foster) is played by Farrell while Ferrier plays Foster Hewitt (Faster Foster's father). They are true gems of Top 40 radio comedy and creativity and you can hear the results below:

The Maple Leafs Forever Radio Cartoon, 1959 (with Allen Farrell) (3:24)

The Maple Leafs Forever Radio Cartoon, 1960 (with Farrell and Garry Ferrier) (3:42)

The Maple Leafs Forever Radio Cartoon, 1962 (with Farrell and Ferrier) (3:37)

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


Talent: AL BOLISKA with "THE WORLD'S WORST JOKES"
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: 1960
Times: Various

Al Boliska was the centre of attention at CHUM - and in this picture. (Courtesy: Bill Dulmage)

"Do you realize if it weren't for Edison we'd be watching TV by candlelight?" - Al Boliska

He was so funny it hurt - Al Boliska either made your sides split, or you'd groan with agony.

The king of the corny joke, Boliska starred as CHUM's morning man for six years before heading the wake-up show at rival CKEY.

Boliska worked off-air at CBC news in his hometown of Montreal before taking on hosting duties at CKLC in Kingston, Ont., in 1953. It was there he began to develop his zany style. According to Allen Farrell's book The CHUM Story, he often surprised his CKLC listeners by doing his show from the Kingston pen or the local community centre. In 1956, Boliska took over the morning show at CKSL London, Ont. Then it was on to Toronto as Boliska and his long-time operator George Nicholson were hired for CHUM's morning show in the fall of 1957.

Front and back cover of "The World's Worst Jokes" pocketbook edition. (Courtesy: Doug Thompson)

At CHUM, Boliska became a morning legend, with features like The World's Worst Jokes, and a cast of characters like Just Plain George (Nicholson), Officer Tie Clip (CHUM janitor and handyman Al Deveraux) and Lou the Butcher (yes, a local meat-store operator). Boliska was Toronto's first Top 40 morning funnyman, and he paved the way for the many that would follow.

Front and back cover of "More of the World's Worst Jokes" pocketbook edition. (Courtesy: Doug Thompson)

Long-time CHUM producer Doug Thompson talks about the World's Worst Jokes...

"The World's Worst Jokes was the daily corny joke comedy bit that Boliska did at CHUM at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 AM, with George Nicholson ("Just Plain George"), his op, who he'd worked with at CKLC Kingston prior to coming to CHUM. I have several original WWJ segments from CHUM airchecks that Charlie (Ritenburg) and I re-built. What CHUM did in the early days (58-60) was repeat The World's Worst Jokes in the Dave Johnson Show at night. Dave usually talked over the end music, so you could never get a clean copy.

I also happen to have in my personal archives, the original albums that Boliska used for both his theme song "What D'Ye Mean You Lost Your Dog" (listen to it here) and the WWJ. They're two separate albums by Albert White and the Gaslite Orchestra out of San Francisco. So, Charlie and I married the ending music from my album to the WWJ airchecks and viola...clean versions. Of course it took a lot of work to get them to match up, the airchecks were in really bad shape. I used them on the air as part of the 1050 CHUM Hall of Fame segments."

Front cover of "The World's Worst Jokes" pocketbook edition, Volume 3. (Courtesy: Doug Thompson)

Boliska enjoyed a memorable run at CHUM before CKEY hired him away for mornings in late 1963. But he quickly regretted leaving CHUM, as this Toronto Telegram article from February 11, 1964 from the CHUM Archives shows. After his CKEY stay ended, he moved to Johnny Lombardi's CHIN in mornings for the launch of that station in 1966. Boliska left CHIN in next year for the kmorning show at Montreal's CFCF in 1967. His producer, the late George Nicholson, later produced John Gilbert's talk show at CHUM.

Boliska kept busy outside of radio. His novelty-song The Ballad of The Dying Cowboy (listen to it here) reached #18 on the CHUM Chart in 1960. He also did a weekly travelling TV show on Toronto's CBLT-TV called On the Scene, and wrote a column for the Toronto Telegram.

Boliska died of a heart attack in Toronto on April 7, 1972 on the eve of his 40th birthday.

    

(Courtesy Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

The "World's Worst Jokes" was made into record album in 1966. There was also a "World's Worst Jokes" book - the first edition by McClelland and Stewart was published in 1966 and the Simon and Shuster pocketbook edition (pictured above) came out in 1968 (a followup, "More of the World's Worst Jokes", was also published by Simon and Shuster). Boliska also did three other books "It Is Written: A Collection of Graffiti from the washrooms, fences, alleys, walls, billboards and subways of North America" (1968), "The Mahareeshi Says" (A 1969 Pocket Books publication)", and "Wipe-Outs" (a 1969 book of insults, put-downs and caustic quips from Pocket Book).

Enjoy some Al Boliska humour below:

Segment One (with sidekick Just Plain George) can be heard here. (0:46)

Segment Two (with sidekick Peter Dickens) can be heard here. (1:04)

Al Boliska at the CNE, 1959. (The CHUM Archives)

Al Boliska with unknown CHUM female staffer in 1961 outside the CHUM building in 1961 for the Austin 850 Dream Weekend in London promotion. (The CHUM Archives)

Al Boliska on the CFCF chart from May 19, 1967. (Courtesy: Doug Thompson)

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


Allen Farrell sent this memo to the CHUM jocks on November 28, 1963.

Larger view here.


Talent: MIKE DAROW
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: April 12, 1961
Time: 32:35 (unscoped)

CHUM was more than a Top 40 station - it was also a highly-polished full service operation.

Good evidence of this is found on this aircheck of Mike Darow's afternoon drive shift on April 12, 1961. The top tunes of April 1961 are heard of course but the big news of the day isn't forgotten: Yuri Gagarin has become the first man in space as you'll hear on a CHUM "News Extra" with Ron Knight, a.k.a. Art Cuthbert. Pierre Berton is heard with one of the many daily commentaries he was doing for CHUM at the time. The subject is the common cold, still a topical topic.

There's traffic "CHUM Terrific in Traffic in Toronto", weather (with Weather Consultants of Canada), horse racing results "It's Pony Time!" and commercials for Pepsi, Hellman's, Campbell's Soup, Neilson Chocolate, Made Rite Potato Chips and long-departed brands Woolworths and Mann and Martel. Darow gives away a copy of the Marcels' Blue Moon to a lucky listener, and there's a salute to Danforth Tech high school and and "Win It This Minute" is returning to CHUM. Wow!

Enjoy Mike Darow on CHUM from April 12, 1961 here.

(The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson)


Talent: JANE MORGAN
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: June 14, 1961
Time: 32:02

The stars came out at CHUM in 1961 when the station had several well-known personalities host music shows in place of the regular DJs.

Mitzi Gaynor, Jose Jiminez, Bill Dana, Pat Boone, Jim Backus, Conway Twitty, Tennessee Ernie Ford and others all took turns at the CHUM mike in this rather interesting programming move. Pierre Berton even did a three-hour music show and - at his insistence - played classical music!

Jane Morgan, best known for her 1950s hits Fascination and The Day the Rains Came, also took a turn at the CHUM mike and we have it for you!

Enjoy Jane Morgan as she fills in for John Spragge in the 9-10 a.m. hour on CHUM here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


Talent: MITZI GAYNOR
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: June 14, 1961
Time: 29:25

(Courtesy: Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

Mitzi Gaynor, perhaps best remembered for her appearance in 1958's "South Pacific", fills in for Mike Darow in the 5-6 p.m. hour here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


Talent: THE VOICE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: May 25-26, 1962
Time: 32:08

There was a time when the arrival of a new deejay at a Top 40 radio station was big news - really big news. But few stations made as big a splash about it as CHUM did when "The Voice" arrived.

It was May, 1962 and CHUM had just hired a new all-night deejay, but he wasn't on the air yet. Nowadays the all-night show is not something most stations spend a lot of effort - if any - promoting, but back then every day part was considered important. So when CHUM hired its new all-night jock in '62, his arrival was treated like that of royalty.

Friday, May 25, 1962 (technically 12:00 a.m. Saturday, May 26) was the night the new deejay was scheduled to start. For weeks before, CHUM promoted it as the greatest thing since sliced bread (which back then was still delivered by a bread man, but we digress). On the fateful night at midnight, the entire CHUM deejay staff - even morning man Al Boliska who had a show to do at 6 a.m. - turned out to welcome the new hire.

What happened next? And just who was "The Voice"? Listen here.


MORE ON ... "THE VOICE"

CHUM did an intense job of promoting "The Voice". Some of the on-air promos (we have 13 in all) that ran in the days prior to his arrival can he heard here. (5:58)

CHUM also ran a promo on the same day the identity of "The Voice" was revealed. You can hear that here. (0:52)

The famous Music 'Till Dawn opener can be heard here. (0:25)

Just for the record, "The Voice" - who in actuality was Bob Laine - had left CHUM in March, 1962 for a very brief stint as CFGM's morning man. When he returned to the all-night show in May, 1962, he stayed at CHUM - on-air or in management - for 41 1-2 more years!
 

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


Subject: THE LEAFS WIN THE CUP!
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: April 18, 1963
Time: 1:57

(Graphic courtesy Doug Thompson)

The Leafs win the Cup! The Leafs win the Cup! The Leafs win the Cup!

It's difficult to imagine a bigger Toronto sports story than if the Maple Leafs ever won the Stanley Cup again. After all, Lord Stanley's mug has eluded them since 1967 and the memory of their glory years grows dimmer every year. Yes, they've had some decent teams since - they made the semifinals in 1979 and 1993 - but any plans for another Stanley Cup parade remain decidedly on hold.

In the 1960s, however, the Leafs won the Cup so often it was almost routine. Toronto won four NHL championships in the '60s - three in a row from 1962 to 1964 and another in 1967. Then the drought began.

On this clip from April 18, 1963, CHUM sports director Brian Hall excitedly relates the news of the latest Leaf Stanley Cup victory.

Hear it here.


We asked Doug Thompson about Brian Hall, and here's what he told us...

"Bryan was at CHUM for 3 years. He'd been hired by Allan Slaight who knew his sports work from Edmonton when Slaight was at CHED and Bryan was at CJCA.

Bryan told me Slaight and he worked out his contract on a cocktail napkin at a bar. Bryan was in town covering the Eskimos (he wasn't the play-by-play announcer yet) and Slaight met with him at the airport and wrote his deal out on the napkin.

Bryan Hall left CHUM and went back to Edmonton (from whence he came). He was at CJCA, before and after he returned to Edmonton. Then when CJCA went dark in 1993, Bryan moved over to CHED as sports director.

He was also the play-by-play voice of the Edmonton Eskimos for 40 years, a job he has retired from.

Jon Pearkins wrote to us in 2010..

"Hall is also Sports Director for the other 3 Corus stations in Edmonton: CHQT (iNews880), CKNG-FM (JOE-FM) and CISN-FM. He started his career at CKUA Edmonton in 1953, joining CJCA in 1955. Biggest irony: Bryan was born in Toronto in 1934."
 

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


Talent: DICK CLARK with JOHN SPRAGGE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: May 27, 1963
Time: 
26:43

(l-r: Dave Johnson, Dick Clark, Alan Slaight, unknown/The CHUM Archives)

It was the spring of 1963 and the heat was on.

Dave Mickie's new night-time show on rival CKEY was gaining in popularity and CHUM needed to do something big.

So they brought in the biggest name of them all.

On May 27, 1963, CHUM began carrying The Dick Clark Radio Show. The American Bandstand host had been making the program available to radio stations since the beginning of the year via Mars Broadcasting of Stamford, Conn. The first CHUM show was broadcast live from The Terrace,  a now-demolished curling club and roller skating rink in downtown Toronto. Subsequent editions had Clark on tape and regular host Dave Johnson live.

Production whiz Claude Deschamps - who had the job of making the entire 7-9 p.m. show sound live - encouraged Clark's production company to send personalized bits, time checks covering every possible time, and more "interaction" with Johnson. Clark's people were so impressed with Deschamps' work that they offered him a job (he ultimately stayed at CHUM).

Mickie, who started in the 7-11 p.m. shift at CKEY in April 1963, left the station in September. Clark's CHUM show continued until the end of the year. The Dick Clark Radio Show was only picked up by few dozen stations - including CJCA Edmonton - and appears to have ended sometime in 1964.

A few hours before Clark's first CHUM show, he appeared on the station with late morning jock John Spragge. The American Bandstand host bantered with Spragge and took a few calls from listeners (it's interesting to hear women give their names as Mrs. (insert husband's name) - a practice that thankfully ended long ago). A few hours later, Clark went to The Terrace to do his first CHUM show, which you can hear in our 1963 section.

Enjoy Dick Clark and John Spragge on CHUM here.

(Larger view here)

(L-r: Dick's in the middle by the long white balloon, Bob McAdorey is to Dick's right and Dave Johnson to Bob's right. That's CHUM board operator/producer George Nicholson "Just Plain George" sitting at the desk doing the live engineering./The CHUM Archives)

(The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson)


Talent: JOHN SPRAGGE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: June 17, 1963
Time: 48.59 (unscoped)
          
16:20 (scoped)

(Courtesy Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

He only had one on-air gig, but it was one of the best. For 10 years - 1958 to 1968 - John Spragge was the midday announcer at Toronto's CHUM, his calm, friendly voice entertaining millions of southern Ontarians and western New Yorkers during CHUM's first decade as a Top 40 station.

Spragge started at CHUM in the late '50s in news while taking Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Eventually he dropped out to work full-time in the news department, a decision he would never regret. In 1958, he took over from Harvey Dobbs in the 9 a.m.-noon shift, beginning a decade-long run in middays at CHUM. During that time, listeners heard the Housewives Hit Parade (women voting for their favourite tunes each week) and also got the details of Spragge's next movie preview. These events, hosted by Spragge himself, were held at a local theatre and gave listeners a chance to meet John, and vice-versa. Such was the personal nature of radio at the time.

(Courtesy Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

In December, 1963, with the arrival of morning man Jay Nelson, Spragge's hours changed to 10 a.m.-1 p.m. In the spring of 1968, he moved briefly to noon-4 p.m., then noon-3 p.m. by the summer. But by August, with CHUM's switch to the Drake format, the man known as "The Hawk" was gone.

Spragge would never do a jock shift again. After CHUM, he spent a few years with the Radio Sales Bureau and Standard Broadcast Sales. He was program director at CFRB Toronto from 1972 to 1985, and also programmed Talk 640 in Toronto in the '90s. Spragge additionally worked in Kitchener, Ont., at CFCA, CKKW and CKCO-TV, and was also a public speaker and consultant.

Deeply involved in charities, Spragge walked in the first March of Dimes, built homes for Habitat for Humanity, and helped restore summer camps for children with special needs, along with many other charitable projects. In 2008, he became only the second person to twice win the Rotary Club's highest honour, a Paul Harris Fellowship.

Spragge died December 16, 2008 in Toronto after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 71.

Enjoy Spragge (unscoped) on CHUM here. (48:59)

Enjoy Spragge (scoped) on CHUM here. (16:20)  * introduction by Bob Laine

NOTE: Spragge counts down the CHUM Chart of June 24, 1963 on this aircheck (see below).

(CHUM Chart courtesy Ron Hall)

Original full-length aircheck restored by Doug Thompson and Charlie Ritenburg

Custom scope for Rock Radio Scrapbook by Doug Thompson

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)




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Subject: DAVE JOHNSON PROMO for HELLO TORONTO
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: 1964
Times: 00:41

(Courtesy: Doug Thompson)

They were at opposite ends of the clock, but here Jay Nelson and Dave Johnson come together.

In 1964, Nelson did the 6-10 a.m. shift on CHUM, while Johnson was on from 7-10 p.m. On this promo, Johnson urges listeners to tune into Nelson's"Hello Toronto" morning drive comedy segments.

Hear Dave Johnson's promo for "Hello Toronto" here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)

Hear some "Hello Toronto" segments from 1967 here.


Talent: LARRY SOLWAY
Station: 
CHUM Toronto
Date: 
January 29, 1964
Time:
 25:46

Larry Solway, 1969
(Courtesy Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

Amidst the rock, CHUM had talk.

In the 1960s and early '70s, Canada's leading Top 40 station was home to the ground-breaking and sometimes controversial talk show Speak Your Mind, hosted by the outspoken man with the booming voice, Larry Solway. The Toronto-born Solway arrived at CHUM in the mid-'50s, before it was a Top 40 station, and in addition to his talk show duties served as Creative Director of CHUM and briefly as its Program Director during his decade-and-a-half with the station. He and promotions head Gary Ferrier did an on-air shtick called "Larry and Gary" for a time. Solway was also a vice-president and was responsible for bringing in Murray the K to CHUM-FM and Jack Armstrong on the AM side in 1968.

Larry Solway publicity shot, 1960
(Courtesy Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

Speak Your Mind debuted on CHUM in 1960 with host Dr. Marcus Long, a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto. Trent Frayne and June Callwood, a married couple at the time, later co-hosted together or did the show individually. Solway took over the reins permanently in 1964. Speak Your Mind  originally aired from 10:30-10:55 p.m., then became a two-hour show beginning at 10:00 p.m. in 1964. It moved to late mornings in 1968, first from 10:00 a.m. to noon then 9-11 a.m.

The show was renamed The Larry Solway Show for the 1970-71 season but Solway left CHUM in November of that year after airing a controversial series of shows about sex. John Gilbert replaced him as host and continued with The John Gilbert Show until 1977. Solway later did talk shows at CHIC Brampton, Ont., (1976-79), CKAR Oshawa, Ont. (circa 1983), CFGM Richmond Hill, Ont., (1986-1989), CFLY Kingston, Ont., (circa 1989), CFRB Toronto (1991-92) and CHOG Toronto (1996-97).

Larry Solway (r) Pierre Berton (l) at the CHUM mic in 1961
(Courtesy Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

Solway wore many hats. He wrote two books - The Day I Invented Sex (after his departure from CHUM) and Don't Be Blindsided by Retirement (with former investment counsellor Andrew Bertram) about adjusting to retirement. Solway was a panellist on the CBC-TV shows Flashback (1966-68) and This is The Law (1971-75). He appeared in the films Meatballs and The Brood among others and was an accomplished stage actor, producer and director. Solway was a columnist for the Sunday Star in Toronto in the late '70s, and was an active blogger in his '80s. Solway also dabbled in politics, running unsuccessfully for the New Democratic Party in the 1999 Ontario provincial election.

An avid sailor and piano player, Solway died of complications from bladder cancer on January 9, 2012. He was 83. In his final blog post, he wrote, "I hope to survive. If not. It’s been good.”

Hear Larry Solway with Speak Your Mind on CHUM from January 29, 1964 here.

(CHUM Chart, December 11, 1967/Courtesy Ron Hall)

(The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson)


Upon learning of Solway's death, Doug Thompson wrote about his former CHUM colleague on the SOWNY Radio-TV Forum. You can read it in its entirety below.

"My first shift at CHUM on February 1st, 1965 was 6PM to midnight, which meant working the last hour with Bob McAdorey, all 3 hours with Dave Johnson, then 2 hours with Larry Solway on "Speak Your Mind". There was no phone screener. I was it. For my first day, Larry only yelled at me once on the talkback. "Don't put callers like that through again" was exactly what he said because it's forever etched in my brain. I was 18 and terrified of Larry...at least that first night.. I don't exactly remember what kind of caller he was referring to however. 

In Chuck Blore's "History of Radio" montage that he produced for the 1968 Bill Gavin convention, Chuck used a brief clip of Solway berating a caller. That was the kind of thing Larry did extremely well. I remember one time, he took one listener apart, ranting and yelling...up one side and down the other. After he hung up on the caller and while he was still talking about it on air, he turned to me and winked. 

He was one hell of an actor. 

I worked with Larry on "Speak Your Mind" for the 18 months I was a board op, then we shifted into a different relationship once I moved into production. Larry was CHUM's Creative Director and I recorded more Steinbergs and Bad Boy commercials with Larry than I care to think about. Garry Ferrier was always fun to work with because he joked around with you in the studio. Larry would too, if Garry was recording with him or Bob Laine or any of the CHUM jocks, but on his own, he was all business. 

After he was fired for that series of daytime programs on sex, which today wouldn't even make a nun blush, I went to a book signing for "The Day I Invented Sex", the book Larry wrote about that time. He inscribed an absolutely wonderful note to me inside the fly leaf that I'll always cherish. 

In 1969, Larry wrote the original CHUM History Of Rock. All 28 hours of it. It was a lot of Larry's opinions about rock'n'roll (he wasn't a fan) with some facts thrown in. If I remember correctly, we had about a week to produce it (that sounds like old times eh Warren?). The always lovely Chuck Riley flew up from Indianapolis the weekend before to record the narration. We had very few interviews, but I managed to insert a couple of Elvis and Beatles interviews in anyway. 

When Bob Laine and I started working on the CHUM Archives in October 2003, I found those 28 original History of Rock master tapes intact. 

They still had my hand written cue sheets inside the boxes. 

The best advice Larry ever gave me was in 1967 when CHUM stock was about to go on the market. Staff could buy them for $10.50 a share. The week before the stock launched, he told me, "borrow as much money as you can and buy, buy, buy". 

The CHUM stock opened at $18.00. 

Larry was right...once again. 

"Turn your radio down" tonight in honour of one of Canada's greatest broadcasters. Larry Solway."

 


Talent: JOHN SPRAGGE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: April 7, 1964
Time: 5:50

One of the hallmarks of CHUM's early years was the stability of its on-air staff. Bob Laine served for 10 years on the all-night show (1958-1968), while during the same period there were only two morning men (Al Boliska and Jay Nelson). Dave Johnson and Brian Skinner covered that 10-year period in the highly coveted evening slot while middays were the preserve of John Spragge.

Spragge replaced Harvey Dobbs in the 9 p.m.-noon slot in 1958 and entertained on middays until he left with the changeover to the Drake format in 1968. As you will quickly tell on this aircheck, CHUM's weekday daytime programming in those days was unabashedly aimed at "housewives," as homemakers were called then. The music featured much lighter fare than one might expect from a Top 40 station. The real Top 40 music came after school, at night, in the mornings and on weekends, when the kids would be listening.

Hear John Spragge here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


Talent: BOB LAINE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: September 3, 1964
Time: 30:54 (unscoped)
15:16 (scoped)

"Good morning world, this is Bob-O. Good morning Bob-O, this is world."

For nearly a decade, those words greeted CHUM listeners six nights a week at the stroke of midnight. It was the opener of the Bob Laine show, one of the most memorable all-night programs in rock radio history. For six hours, listeners were treated to the top songs from CHUM Chart and the best hits of yesteryear, with one of friendliest-sounding deejays in the business.

Laine talks about his CHUM years...

"I began my career in May of 1958 as the all-night jock and retired 45 and a-half years later as a radio vice-president. I did everything one can do in radio ... on-air ... station manager ... general manager ... black hat (with white trim) ... duopoly putter-together (Windsor) ... pay equity ... employment equity ... radio station designer. I had the best time for all those years. I was taught and trained by the greats - Allan Waters, Fred Sherratt and Al Slaight. I was given opportunities one can only dream about by Jim Waters and I was on the air with the greats of '60s radio ... Boliska, Johnson, Spragge, McAdorey, Darrow, Nelson, Weaver, Roman and the pioneers the CHUM 1950s, guys like Pete Nordheimer, Phil Stone. Harvey Dobbs. When you read Al Farrell's book "The CHUM Story" know that the good times we related are true ... if not incomplete!!! There are some stories that will just have to go untold! I hope you enjoy the great music I played on this aircheck."

Laine arrived at CHUM following a stint at CHNS in Simcoe, Ont. At CHUM, he joined a station that just the year before switched to a full-time Top 40 format. At the time, there were many who thought rock 'n' roll was just a fad, and devoting a station to the "devil's music" was sheer folly. History would prove them wrong.

Laine spent 10 years on the all-night show, playing the hits of the day and - at 3 o'clock in the morning - oldies on the Golden Galaxy. Back then the oldies weren't very old and the idea of playing them was quite new. But before long, there would be countless stations playing oldies and numerous shows specializing in oldies. Laine was one of the pioneers of the concept.

Laine moved to middays in August, 1968. He did his final regular CHUM show on Christmas Eve 1969, returning for some weekend appearances in 1970. Later, he was program director at CHUM-FM, part of his three-decade career in CHUM management. But for many who remember CHUM in the '50s and '60s, he'll always be the voice in the night.

Hear Bob Laine from September 3, 1964 (unscoped) here. (30:54)

Hear Bob Laine from September 3, 1964 (scoped) here. (15:16)

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)




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Talent: DAVE JOHNSON
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: September 11, 1964
Time: 
20:38

(Courtesy Bob Laine and Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

The Canadian Flag Debate was raging. Shindig and Bewitched premiered on ABC. The Warren Commission Report on the JFK assassination was released. Harpo Marx died. Keenu Reeves was born.

It was September, 1964 and in Toronto, in the midst of Beatlemania, you could learn the Fox Trot at Arthur Murray's. A five-bedroom bungalow in the Danforth-Warden area could be had for $12,900. You could buy shoes at Agnew-Surpass, food at Bassins, find bargains at Sayvette The Discount Department Store, purchase building supplies at Beaver Lumber, fill up at Supertest.

Men's all-weather coats could be purchased for at Simpson's for $24.95. Red Arrow Distributors was selling an AM car radio for $29.95 with a FM tuner for $59.95 ("limited quantity"). At the theatres, in a movie newspaper ads described as Sintillating, Marlon Brando, David Niven and Shirley Jones were starring in Bedtime Story.

(Courtesy Bob Laine and Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

The Beatles were in town, briefly, having arrived at Toronto's Malton Airport early in the morning of September 7. They played two shows at Maple Leaf Gardens, with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. and an evening show at 8:30 p.m. The next day they played the Montreal Forum. On the CHUM Chart, House of the Rising Sun by the Animals and Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison each spent two weeks at Number One in September, 1964.

The Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League entered training camp in September, 1964, basking in the glow of their third straight Stanley Cup. Their baseball counterparts, the Toronto Maple Leafs of the minor International League, were finishing a middle-of-the-pack season. The Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League were in the middle of a 4-10 campaign that would place them last in the Eastern Division.


ROCK RADIO SCRAPBOOK asked DOUG THOMPSON about DAVE JOHNSON, and this is what he said...

"Back in the late 1950’s and early ‘60’s, when I was a teenager growing up in Oakville, Ontario, I first became addicted to C-H-U-M 1050 Toronto. I enjoyed listening to all the jocks – Al Boliska, John Spragge, Mike Darow, Pete Nordheimer (later Bob McAdorey) as well as Bob Laine, but at the time, Dave Johnson was my all time fav CHUM DJ. I listened to him every night while I was doing my homework (and even when I wasn’t).

Dave had a real feel for the music, although I found out a few years later when I started working with him, that he really didn’t care for rock’n’roll. Dave liked opera and country music (and not necessarily in that order).

Flash forward to Monday February 1st, 1965 – my first day as a CHUM board op. I sat in the CHUM AM control room to watch and learn the board for most of the day, then flew solo from 6 o’clock until midnight. I worked the last hour of Bob McAdorey’s show, then all 3 hours with Dave. He couldn’t have been nicer to me. The commercials, station jingles and promos were all on cart, but we still played 45’s from the turntables positioned on the left side of the console. Dave wore his suit and tie for the entire shift. He and I worked together 5 nights a week until October ’65 when he left for country station CFGM in Richmond Hill. He remained there until his death on October 20, 1980.

Most people didn’t know this, but Dave was extremely shy in public, which is why he always felt uncomfortable sitting in that fishbowl of the CHUM Satellite Station at the CNE or Sportsman Show.

This aircheck is from September 11, 1964, that’s 4½ months before I got to CHUM, and on this night, Davo is sounding great….just like he always did."
 

Morning man Wally Crouter was in his 18th year at CFRB, while Jay Nelson and Al Boliska were in their first years in mornings at CHUM and CKEY respectively. Phil MacKellar woke listeners up at CKFH and Gerry Herbert did mornings at CHFI-AM. You could hear classical music on CHUM-FM, beautiful music on CHFI-FM and English-language programming at CJBC until October 1, when it went all-French.

In September, 1964, evening jock Dave Johnson was nearing the end of a very successful run at CHUM. He started there in January, 1958, and left in the fall of 1965.

Enjoy Dave Johnson on CHUM here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)

(Dave Johnson with Annette Funacello - courtesy Bob Laine and Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

(Dave Johnson with Donna Loren, 1965/The CHUM Archives)


Talent: BOB LAINE
Station: 
CHUM Toronto
Date: 
November 25, 1964
Time:
 52:47 (unscoped)
          
16:44 (scoped)

When Doug Thompson started at CHUM in 1965, he not only achieved a lifelong career dream but also made a friend for life.

Doug tells Rock Radio Scrapbook the story of himself, CHUM, and Bob Laine...

"When I was growing up in Oakville, during the late 1950’s and early 60’s, my parents gave me their Stromberg-Carlson radio. It was a huge piece of furniture, standing about 4 feet high. My father, brother and I struggled to carry it up the stairs to my bedroom where we positioned it right beside my bed.

This was a real treat to listen to. I had a small transistor radio, but the sound coming out of the Stromberg-Carlson speakers was vastly superior – it was just so warm. I used to have the radio on (CHUM naturally) while I did my homework, listening to Dave Johnson and the HiFi Club. Bedtime was usually around 11, so I had to turn the radio off then. I was allowed to listen longer on Friday and Saturday nights and that’s when Bob Laine, CHUM’s all night master, entered my life. For some reason, the song I most associate with Bob is Jorgen Ingmann’s "Apache" which he played a lot as his opening song around 1961 when it was a hit.


Every year, I’d go to the CNE with my parents and brother and while they went off and did their thing, I went to the Princess Gates and stood around and watched the CHUM guys at the Satellite Station. I did the same thing at the annual Sportsman Show. I still have all the CHUM promo pieces they handed out back then - the CHUM jocks and newsman in the black bowler hats in Bermuda shorts, and later, a brochure with them wearing boater hats. I also got most the CHUM guys autographs.

We moved to Edmonton in late 1961, but by then, I’d already been bitten by the CHUM bug and vowed that I would work there ‘some day’. That ‘someday’ took 4 years, but I walked through the doors at 1331 Yonge Street as a full time employee on February 1st, 1965. My shift was 6 p.m. to midnight, so after sitting and watching mid day op Peter Crampton all day, I took the controls at 6 p.m. Chief operator and Production Manager Fred Snyder (who was also Moose Latreck on-air) left me by myself and said he'd be back just before 10 p.m. to show me how to get into delay for Speak Your Mind with Larry Solway. He did (just barely.) Around 11 p.m., Bob Laine walked into the control room, introduced himself (as if I didn't know who he was) then went off into the newsroom to prepare for his show.

We became friends that night and over the course of my operating period (about 18 months before I was promoted into the Production Department) we became lifelong friends, so much so that we're still working together today on the CHUM Archives and as board members of the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation (as of November 2010.) I treasure our friendship, but occasionally my mind wanders back to 1960-61, when Bob Laine was just a "disembodied voice in the night", but one of the friendliest voices I had ever heard."

Enjoy Bob Laine on CHUM (unscoped) here.

Enjoy Bob Laine on CHUM (scoped) here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)




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Talent: BOB LAINE
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: January 2, 1965
Time: 26:09

Bob Laine is CHUM's best-remembered all-night man. But a few other folks, some well-known and some not-so well-known, also did the midnight-to-dawn shift over the years.

When CHUM debuted as a Top 40 station on May 27, 1957, the midnight-to-6 a.m. shift was held by Hank Noble, but not for long. About eight months later - in January of 1958 - Noble was replaced by Jay Jackson. Jackson didn't last much longer than Noble, leaving in mid-year to make way for Laine. Except for a departure of a few months in 1962 while he did mornings at CFGM, Laine owned the all-night slot for a decade. He finally moved to middays in August of 1968. Laine's replacement: "The Prez" Brian Skinner, who had been the station's zany evening personality from 1965 to 1968.

In August, 1969, Skinner was gone only to be replaced by a future morning man - Roger Ashby. By March, 1972. Ashby was in middays and replaced by another future morning man - Mark Edwards a.k.a. Bob Magee.

A succession of all-night hosts continued throughout the '70s, with jocks like Pat St. John, Mike Cooper, Steve Elliot, Chuck Morgan and Dan Foreman working the graveyard shift. In the '80s, personalities like Steve Bolton, Gregg Lee, Jack Dennis, Melanie Deveau, Jeremy Smith and Kori Skinner (the son of Brian!) entertained on the all-night show.

CHUM all-night hosts in the '90s included Kori Skinner, Andy K., Roger Kelly, Jack Dennis and Doug Kirkwood. By 2000, Bruce Marshall was voicetracking the overnight show. CHUM switched to a sports-talk format as The Team in May, 2001, and ran syndicated talk overnight. When CHUM returned to music in August, 2002, the all-night shift was unfilled, they just played music - no jock, though Roger Ashby's son Regan Ashby sometimes filled in.

Enjoy Bob Laine on CHUM here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


Talent: DUFF ROMAN
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: January 7, 1966
Time: (Part One) - 26:11 
           (Part Two) - 25:04

(Photo courtesy Doug Thompson/The CHUM Archives)

Forget the history books. The Roman Empire didn't end in the fifth century. It was alive and well in Toronto radio beginning in the late 1950s and its leader was Duff Roman. But his story begins on the Canadian prairies.

It was the fall of 1955 - Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock was all the rage - and Dave Mostoway started his radio career at CHAT Medicine Hat, Alta. He didn't stay there long - in the fall of 1956 he moved to CKRC Winnipeg, where he stayed until the autumn of 1957. Then it was on to a year-long gig at CHAT-TV (he was the first announcer when the station signed on). From the fall of 1958 to the spring of 1959, Roman jocked at CKSW in his hometown of Swift Current, Sask.

In the spring of 1959, Mostoway went to CHED Edmonton, then began his long Toronto radio career in the fall of that year when he arrived at CKEY. But station owner Jack Kent Cooke didn't like Dave Mostoway as an on-air name, so he and Mostoway pasted together a new name from Duff (his childhood nickname) and Roman (his youngest brother's first name). That would become his legal name. He moved to CHUM in 1965 as weekend/swing host, moving to weekday afternoons from the fall of 1967 to the summer of 1968. Roman returned to Winnipeg at CFRW from the summer of 1968 to the fall of 1969, then came back to Toronto at CKFH where he served as morning host and program director until the summer of 1973. That proved to be his last on-air gig.


Aircheck highlights (Part 1)

- Bob McAdorey with Club 888 ad (0:49)
- Ontario Housing Corp. ad "cash for houses" (1:28)
- McAdorey with ad for colour (!) wedding portraits (3:39)
- Commercial for "Battle of the Bulge" in Cinerama (4:42)
- Larry Solway for Ontario Carpet Industries (6:13)
- Roman references his operator Doug Thompson "pistachio nuts" (6:53)
- Rothman's cigarette ad (7:45)
- Roman live read with promo for new CHUM contest "Cash Caravan" (10:49)
- Addiction Research Foundation spot (12:03)
- McAdorey promos Cash Caravan (14:15)
- CHUM Bugs can "Win It This Minute" (14:53)
- Cousin Don's bar-restaurant ad (16:32)
- Cameo cigarette ad "Refreshingly different" (18:10)
- Roman with CHUM "News Preview" (19:47)
- McAdorey again for Club 888 "for big boys and girls" (21:01)
- Pine-Sol ad (23:11)
- Toronto Milk Producers live read with Roman "ask your milkman" (24:36)

 

In August, 1974, Roman returned to 1331 Yonge as program director at CHUM-FM where he served until March, 1977. He entered CHUM Radio senior corporate management in the fall of 1978. He was appointed CHUM-FM's operations manager in the fall of 1984, becoming station manager in the course of repositioning CHUM-FM as Adult Rock (the forerunner of today's Hot AC format) and hiring Roger, Rick and Marilyn who as of 2009 are Toronto's longest-running top-rated morning team.

In the fall of 1988, Roman was appointed Vice-President CHUM Limited, the first new VP at the corporate level in over 20 years. In December, 2007, Roman was named acting head of the CHUM Radio Division, CTV Ltd, and later returning to his duties as CHUM Radio VP.

Roman's numerous awards have included being chosen Major Market Radio Executive of the Year at the Annual Industry Conference sponsored by the Record in 1986, and Ontario Association of Broadcasters Broadcaster of the Year in 1996. He was inducted to the CAB Hall of Fame in 2001. A strong supporter of Canadian music, Roman owned his own record label - Roman Records - where he recorded and managed The Paupers and David Clayton Thomas in his early years. He was honoured for his music work in 2006 when became one of the few broadcasters named to the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame.

Hear Duff Roman for Brian Skinner on CHUM from January 7, 1966, Part One, here.

Hear Duff Roman for Brian Skinner on CHUM from January 7, 1966, Part Two, here.


Aircheck highlights (Part 2)

- Ad for movie Seven Women "in Panavision and Metrocolor" (0:53)
- Battle of the New Sounds (2:10)
- Noblesse ad "Strike it Rich" (2:33)
- Piper Studios "Complete black and white coverage of your wedding for as low as $25" (4:58)
- Hit-Pickers Hot Line (5:50)
- CHUM's Canadian Talent Spotlight (8:42)
- Gogue Inn ad "For the in-crowd" (10:02)
- Club Clothes Shop followed by weather (11:33)
- Battle of the New Sounds winner (13:08)
- Brian Skinner on the phone from New York (15:37)
- Club 888 ad "1.75 for guys, $1.25 for gals" (18:48)
- CHUM News Preview "2 cent hike in butter price!" (20:02)
- Cash Caravan Promo (20:48)
- Ad for Cameo cigarettes (21:23)
- Gogue Inn ad (23:33)

 

(The Duff Roman Collection)


Talent: DICK HAYES
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: June 7, 1967
Time: 7:38

He worked at several stations, under a number of different names. But southern Ontario radio fans will remember him as Dick Hayes, and the two years he spent at CHUM.

Hayes arrived at CHUM in the fall of 1965 - his first appearance on the CHUM Chart was on December 6 of that year (pictured above.) Prior to that, he had been Dick Haase (same pronunciation, different spelling) at WWTC Minneapolis-St. Paul. At CHUM, he took over the 1-4 shift from Mike Darow, who would go to host the ABC game show Dream House. Hayes spent two years at CHUM - all of it in afternoons - before leaving for KOL Seattle in late 1967 where he was known as Jeff Boeing (the promo KOL used was "KOL has acquired Boeing!")

In 1968, he moved to WXYZ Detroit as Jack Hayes. By late '68 or early 1969, he was Jack Hayes on New York's WNBC but left in March, 1970. We don't know what happened his on-air career right after that, but he shows up again in the '80s and '90s as Richard D. at WHND Monroe, Mich. He was PD/air personality there until 1994. The man born Richard Haase joined Greater Media Detroit as a Senior Information Systems Analyst in 1980. He stayed there for 30 years, finally retiring in 2010.

Enjoy Dick Hayes - and Gene Scott with a news update - on CHUM here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


Talent: DONNY BURNS
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: January 1, 1968
Time: 6:10



Who would have imagined the changes ahead for CHUM in 1968?

The year started with Jay Nelson in morning drive, John Spragge midmornings, Duff Roman early afternoons, Bob McAdorey afternoon drive, Brian Skinner early evenings, Larry Solway in late evening talk and Bob Laine all-night.

By year's end, the only deejay still on the same shift was Nelson. Spragge, Roman and McAdorey were gone, Skinner was on his way out and Solway and Laine had moved to daytime.

New personalities, including Jackson Armstrong and J. Michael Wilson, graced the CHUM airwaves as the station moved from a personality to a music focus.

Fittingly, CHUM started the New Year with a new personality - Donny Burns.

To hear Donny Burns, click here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


Talent: DUFF ROMAN
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: February 17, 1968
Time: 49:47 (unscoped)

One of CHUM's highest profile departures in 1968 was Duff Roman.

The former CKEY jock started at CHUM in 1965 in weekends/swing. He moved to 1-4 p.m. in the fall of 1967 (replacing Dick Hayes), then early in 1968 moved to a short-lived 1-3 p.m. shift.

Roman and fellow CHUM legends John Spragge and Bob McAdorey exited the premises as part of a major reshuffling in the summer of 1968. But it was only a temporary departure for Roman - he would return to 1331 Yonge in 1974 to begin a long career in CHUM management.

Enjoy Duff Roman on CHUM from February 17, 1968 here.

(The Duff Roman Collection)




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Talent: JAY NELSON
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: September 27, 1968
Time: 9:07

Everything changed at CHUM in the summer of 1968.

Not only did the station move to a more streamlined Drake-style approach, the entire lineup was revamped with a new voice emerging and some old friends exiting the airwaves.

Added to the lineup was J. Michael Wilson in the new 3-7 p.m. shift. He replaced long-time afternoon driver Bob McAdorey, who had been doing 3-6 p.m. Bob Laine went from the all-night show to 11 a.m.-3 p.m., succeeding John Spragge who ended a 10-year run in middays. Jack Armstrong, who had been doing 6-9 p.m., moved to 7 -11 p.m. Brian Skinner's shift changed from 9 p.m.-midnight to 11 p.m.-5 a.m.

Least affected by all of the moves was morning man Jay Nelson, whose shift simply moved to a hour earlier. He was now doing 5-9 a.m. followed by Larry Solway's Speak Your Mind talk show.

Enjoy Jay Nelson on CHUM shortly after these changes here.

(The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson)


Talent: BOB LAINE & J. MICHAEL WILSON
Station: CHUM Toronto
Date: February 26, 1969
Time: 33:47

(CHUM Chart scan courtesy Ron Hall)

Disc jockey, manager, archivist.

You can also add traffic reporter to Bob Laine's list of talents.

On this fabulous scoped aircheck of six hours of CHUM programming, Laine does his regular show then appears as a traffic reporter on J. Michael Wilson's program.

Laine is smooth and personable as always on his regular CHUM show, but an added treat is hearing him do the traffic. He's professional yet at times out-and-out hilarious in the fill-in role, a perfect foil to Wilson (and Rodney the Rodent).

Enjoy Bob Laine and J. Michael Wilson on CHUM here.

(The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson)


Talent: GARY DUKE
Station: 
CHUM Toronto
Date: August 4, 1969
Time: 
19:39

Nineteen-sixty-nine. For 1050 CHUM, it was a very good year.

Roger Ashby, Dick Smyth and Gary Duke all started at CHUM that year and Chuck McCoy took over the coveted 7-11 p.m. shift.

For Ashby - who started at CHUM September 2, 1969 - it was the beginning of a four-decade stay at 1331 Yonge. His CHUM career has included the legendary "Sunday Morning Oldies Show" on both CHUM and CHUM-FM, and the successful Roger, Rick and Marilyn - later Roger, Darren and Marilyn - morning show on CHUM-FM.

Smyth did news and commentary for nearly 18 years at CHUM after starting there July 7, 1969. He moved to CFTR in 1987 where he helped launch 680 News in 1993.

Duke left CHUM for CKLW in 1970, returned to CHUM in 1972 as Duke Roberts before leaving for Toronto rival CFTR in 1973. He was later involved in radio ownership and voice work.

McCoy began the 7-11 p.m. shift at CHUM in February, 1969. He departed CHUM in 1973 then began a long and successful career in radio management. The man known as "The Chucker" was named to the CMW Hall of Fame in 2009.

On the downside, Jack Armstrong left CHUM in February after a memorable eight-month stay, one of about two dozen radio homes for "Supermouth". Brian "The Prez" Skinner departed in the summer of 1969 after six years at CHUM, three of them (1965-68) in the important evening shift. Bob Laine did his last regular CHUM on-air shift in December but did a few fill-ins in 1970. He started at CHUM in 1958 and was the station's last on-air link to the 1950s.

Hear Gary Duke on the CHUM all-night show from August 4, 1969 here.

(The CHUM Archives/Bob Laine and Doug Thompson)


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