Welcome to a little bit of nostalgia for those of us who were involved with or who listened to a Toronto radio station called CKEY and, in my case, the glory years when we took on CHUM and, later, CFRB trying to be top dog in the hectic market that was Toronto radio.
Through this website I hope to hear from some of the former staff, be it announcers, operators, the news folk and the office gang who helped make the operation at Av/Dav and, later, Number One Yonge, one of Canada's best radio stations ever to hit the airwaves (I can't believe I said 'airwaves').
Please use the menu on the left of the screen to visit the various comments, memories, sounds and pictures that are continuously being updated as I hear from more and more people almost daily.
This will be a labour of love for me and, with your indulgence, I'll sprinkle some of my own memories throughout the website.
The site itself will get fancier as I add more pages and if you want to contact me just click on 'EMAIL US' on the left menu.
Don't forget to click on the 'BOOKMARK US' feature on the menu so that you can easily check up on the site often.
Fabruary 21, 2013
It has been a long, long time since I have updated the website. 2012 was not my best year, healthwise, and a lot of projects had to be put on the back burner. While things will never be 100% again, I am now feeling much better and looking forward to a much better 2013.
I think the highlight of the new year has been getting back in touch with Duff Roman whom I haven't seen in person since 1964. That will, hopefully, be rectified in the very near future and I am really looking forward to it.
I have mentioned Duff throughout the website and, if you were anywhere in the GTA (known as TO and the burbs) back in the 60's and 70's you had to have heard Duff, either on CKEY, CKFH or C-HUM. Duff was everywhere and was a pioneer in the Canadian music industry as well as being one of the best on-air personalities of the time.
Many a girl and guy would spend a few moonlit hours at their favourite necking place (we didn't use the term 'make out') with a placard nailed to a nearby tree or fence post declaring it as a "Duff Roman Approved Parking Area".
Like many a Toronto radio personality, Duff (Dave Mostoway) came to the Big Smoke from western Canada where he got his start on a local radio station (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) but my favourite story he would tell was when he visited his aunt while on CHAT-TV and Radio in Medicine Hat. His aunt didn't understand how television worked and was convinced her nephew was actually in the box in her living room. While telling this to Duff he questioned her why she thought her was really in the tv set? She told hikm that one day he was reading the news and she snuck up to the set and suddenly flashed her hand across the screen. When Duff blinked.. she was convinced he really was in there! I can't remember which was funnier: the story itself or Duff trying to hold back the tears and laughter when trying to tell it.
No matter. It will be great to see the Duffer and I'll tell you how it went.
Received several emails over the past while that I am finally getting to:
Glad to see you're back in action.
I regularly checked the 'EY website but alas there was nothing new for some time but hoped it would stay alive. Glad to see it does.
One afternoon in 1959 when I was a neophyte at CFOS in Owen Sound I happened to be on Mutual Street where the CKEY trailer was broadcasting. I had a CFOS sign on my car. Several 'EY guys were in the trailer and they beckoned me to join them. I spent a pleasant hour or so talking with Keith Sandy and Martin Silburt.
A couple of years ago I think I sent you a message updating the whereabouts of Lee Vogel who I understand is still in South Carolina. In '63 when I was at CKCR (CHYM) Lee and I were at an O'Keefe Brewery radio hospitality reception and struck up a friendship. Lee and his wife became Godparents for one of my daughters. Lost track of him for many years but tracked him to Charleston where he remembered those years.
As a radio guy from the late 50's into the late 70's I visit your website to see who is still around from those years. Working with me when I was at CHIN in the 70's were Joe Crysdale, Bruno Gerrusi, Pete Nordheimer, Gil Christie, Ted Curl and others who earned their stripes in Toronto radio.
Sadly with the advent of the computer, its not the same as in the "good ol' days".
Regards, stay well.
Gary Megaffin "
Thanks for the email, Gary, and I'm sorry that I didn't post your original email (thought I had.. getting old sucks!). Marty was stil at 'EY when I arrived in 1961 but retured soon after. There are some great stories about he and Kieth and, if any of them are sent to me, I'll pass them on.
I'm a post-graduate radio student at Humber. I've been putting together a seminar about the evolution of the radio DJ in Canada, delving into various archives and I'm very grateful that sites like yours exist! Information about early Canadian radio is surprisingly difficult to come across. You've been a great help for a newcomer to Toronto in learning how the industry evolved.
I've been trying to contact some of Toronto's early DJs for interviews. David Marsden is easy to find. I was wondering if you might have contact information for Duff Roman. I would greatly appreciate any help or advice.
Thanks for your all you do,
Thanks for the comments Kevin. I hope the email address I sent got you in touch with Duff.
For your information.
I have a green CKEY 59 Hit Line chart, listing the top 40 hits for the week of
July 3, 1964.
I've had it since it was new and It's still almost like new.
On the front it says I can get 2 T shirts for "only $3".
I don't suppose that offer still stands. hmmmm?
I don't want to sell it but if you want pictures for your web site you're
welcome to see it.
It reads the #1 song of the week is Memphis by Johnny Rivers.
It's funny how most of that old music is still alive and kicking and today's
hits die tomorrow.
I hope to hear from you?
Thanks Harry. Just email it to us and we'll share nit with the website visitors.
"Attached is a photo from 1947 with what appears to be a CKEY sponsored promotion
at the old Danforth Odeon Theatre.
Do you have any more info?
(click on the picture for a larger image)
Many thanks Greg. Can anyone help? Just email me. For more great pictures of Toronto Then and Now, Greg sent us Click Here
I was wondering what happened to Gerry Meyers. He had a late night show on CKEY which was I believe from 12 pm to 6 am. I was playing bass in a rock and roll band Tommy Danton and the Echoes and Gerry interviewed us when one of our records was released. Gerry did some sock hops around town and he would sometimes feature the band as live entertainment.
When we finished our gig at the bar at 1 am ( the Zanzibar Tavern) sometimes we'd pick up coffee and Danish at Fran's on College street and take them to the radio station for Gerry, which I believe was on University Ave and we'd sit in with Gerry for an hour or so. He'd let us pick records, make dedications and get requests on air. We had a lot of fun talking and kibitzing in the early morning hours. I heard that he went to England but we lost touch with him. Do you know where he is?
John Dowson (PS I was known as Johnny James in those days)"
My apologise, John, for taking so long to post this. I, too, listened to Gerry Meyers. Any of our visitors have any news for us? Just click on "EMAIL US" and I'll pass it along.
"Would you know of any-one that would have an interest on this old CKEY record promo I have from 1950? or any info? I sent along the pics.
(click on the pictures for a larger image)
This arrived way back in November. I'll pass along your comments to Robert.
One of the nicest guys, and closest friend, during many years at CKEY was Jim Paulson. I got an email way back in September from Todd, Jim's son, admonishing me (I hope he was kidding) for not posting certain memorablia. Here's the email:
"Hello Mr. Rice,
Todd Paulson...Jim Paulson's son. Came across your CKEY pages by chance and noticed that you haven't any of the "Have A Nice Day" stuff from the early '70's in your promotions section. For shame! ;-)
I've attached an image of 2 buttons and a sticker for you, should you like to add it to your pages as an example of early promotion.
Hoping all is well Captain,
(click on the picture for a larger image)
Actually, Todd, I have a whole garage full of stuff that was entrusted to me by (the late) Harvey Clark. One day, when I get time to breathe, I will start going through the boxes nof treasures and flood the website with them. Harvey was the master of promotion and a lot of CKEY's success through the sixties and seventies is due to his efforts. I miss both Harv.. and your Dad. They were, truly, two of the Good Guys.
It's always great to hear from fellow broadcasters and former staffers. You can't think of Toronto radio without thinking of John Donabie. This email from John brought back some memories mof my youth growing up in Richmond Hill:
"Hello Bob. John Donabie here. I love your web pages; as CKEY was a very important part of my youth. Bob I'll get to the point. There's very little to be found about CKEY; before their Rock 'n' Roll era. My question is. What year (if you remember) did Stu Kenney become morning man at 'EY? I seem to remember a very little boy (me) hearing "wake up Ontario" coming from our Westinghouse table radio. That would have been around 1951-53. Somewhere in there.
Dale Patterson only begins 'EY in '58; on his pages; but cites an article in the Toronto Star; from November 6th of 1957, saying that Stu was going into his 14th year as morning man that year. He sent me that info in an email.
Any help you can give me on this question would be helpful. Thanks again for the site Bob and I'm a long time fan.
Thanks for your time Bob."
First of all, John, I'm sorry it took so long to share this email from you (I answered you personally at the timer). As to being a fan, the feeling is more than mutual. Now, I was just a widdle kid growing up in Richmond Hill (population 4,800 at the time) and I, too, was listening to Stu Kenney but not on a Westinghouse.. it was an Arvin (bakelite cabinet). I am going to ask some of the older timers to help us with this. Perhaps Miriam Austin or Jean Orvis are checking the site and can be of aid. When I arrived at CKEY, Stu had already moved on and I last heard him on a station in, I believe, Kitchener. Still sounded great!
'Captain' Bob Rice
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