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October 4, 2018 11:00 pm  #1


Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Since May 18th, this Friday Flashback feature has been appearing here on SOWNY. And I appreciate all those who’ve told me how much they enjoyed them. But this one is, for better or worse, our last blast from the past for now. After 6 months, I’ve simply run out of material to post here. All of it was based on items from own personal collection. And I've finally used them up!
 
So we’ll end with a list of items that didn’t really match any specific theme – like news, kid show hosts, music charts or any other ridiculous grouping I could think of to find an excuse to share my collection with fellow Yellow Boarders.
 
If I come across anything else worthwhile, I’ll be sure to post it here. (Would that be a future flashback?)
 
What Is That, Exactly?
 
I found this on the back of an old WQAM Miami chart from November 1970. I’m just not sure what it is. It boasts that you can “park your music in your living room.” But just what is that device they’re showing? I’m assuming it’s an 8-track player, but it doesn’t look any one I’ve ever seen. 
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1934/44196818995_0f2f6921fe_b.jpg

 
The USFL Wasn’t Very Useful
 
Attempts to find some real competition for the NFL didn’t work out too well. But those behind the United States Football League convinced ABC to televise the games in 1983. And CHCH jumped on the bandwagon. That bandwagon fell apart around 1987 and it was game over for the USFL.
 
One last footnote. Do you remember the owner of the New Jersey Generals USFL team? He’s since gone on to other endeavours. His name was Donald Trump. 

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1964/43293875410_324ac5aeca_b.jpg

 
 See It Here, Hear It There
 
Remember the days before TV had decent stereo sound? That led to simulcasts between usually co-owned radio and TV stations, like this one between City TV and CHUM-FM in 1983.
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1960/44387370834_098ed44094_b.jpg
 
Black & White, In Colour
 
Unlike that last innovation, this was more of a ridiculous gimmick than anything else. Still, thousands of people apparently bought one, because they were advertised for years in everything from teen magazines to comic books.
 
So what was this revolutionary new gizmo? It was an “add on screen” that was supposed to turn a black and white TV into a colour set, for just a few bucks. I’m not entirely sure what you got for your money, but I suspect, it simply tinted the screen in various places and if someone happened to wander into the camera frame in the wrong place, then – to paraphrase Kermit The Frog – It WAS easy being green. 

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1970/45108080191_8c021094b1_b.jpg

 
Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Radio
 
It was the great radio comedian Fred Allen who once said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of television.” That could have gone for radio, too, as CKSL in London decided to rip-off CFTR’s classic “Ripoff Prize” in a slightly different way in the 70s.
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1919/45058907332_7c56f0c96b_b.jpg

 
Would Gordon Sinclair Have Recorded This Today?
 
Back in 1973, CFRB newsman Gordon Sinclair became the most unlikely Top 40 radio hitmaker in history, when his editorial on “The Americans” got played in the U.S., eventually remade by CKLW’s Byron McGregor and became a huge hit across the border.
 
But you have to wonder – if Sinclair were here today and looking at the current White House, would he still have said these now famous words?
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1920/31234499818_88394382b2_b.jpg



 
The Family “Van”
 
I should really have used this one in the kids TV host story, but I simply forgot I had it. If there’s a more beloved Canadian children’s TV show, I’ve yet to find it. Billy Van played almost all the roles in the CHCH-produced “Hilarious House of Frightenstein” and now there’s a museum in the late actor’s honour in Hamilton. He did a lot of different things in his years in the biz, but he’s probably best remembered for this show.
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1963/43293933650_ced164d2a5_b.jpg
 
Three Was One Of A Kind
 
In the days before cable, not everyone in Toronto could get CKVR out of Barrie. But the station pioneered a lot of programming and ideas for such a small town locally owned TV station. We’ve already seen how they may have been the very first All Night TV station back in 1958.

Here are two more examples of how a small player made its presence felt in the biggest market in Canada.
 
1969
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1956/45058694622_29a289c00f_b.jpg

 
1972
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1938/45058699762_f3dd7bdd9b_b.jpg
 
I Love Lucy Returns
 
How big was Lucille Ball’s signature sitcom in the 50s? Big enough to trumpet its return in 1956. It was Desilu’s brilliant idea to film the episodes instead of doing them live that’s credited with creating the rerun and keeping these classic shows around all these decades later.
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1976/30170230247_707946647a_b.jpg

 
 Ringo’s Yellow Submarine
 
I don’t have even the slightest memory of this syndicated radio show, which was brought to Canada in 1983 by Telemedia. But it involved a Beatle, so it was clearly popular enough to air across the country. Oddly, though the company owned CJCL in Toronto at the time, the station that aired it here was CKFM.
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1902/45058857872_ddebd2a5b0_b.jpg

 
Where You Can Buy Your “Letterman” Jacket
 
I’m not even sure the CBS Store still exists, but you could buy all kinds of EYE candy there. So who better to put on the cover of its 1996 catalog than their biggest star of all at the time?
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1925/31234447768_625535628f_b.jpg

 
Dancing Through WGR’s Morning Line-up
 
It wasn’t the most exciting line-up in the world. But WGR-TV in Buffalo had just signed on in 1954 and had to fill their morning with something. Here’s a look at a vintage line-up that looks quaint now but was probably well received back then.
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1921/45107898051_cb59d76748_b.jpg
 
It wasn’t exactly American Bandstand, but you could see it from here. When the ABC show became a hit, many stations tried to mimic its success on a local level. In Buffalo, that left a news guy named Pat Fagan as a poor man’s Dick Clark, hosting the WGR Dance Party in 1959.  
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1978/45058782912_45ca07a0fa_b.jpg

 
Become A DJ – And So Much More!
 
And finally, remember those ridiculous ads for the National Institute of Broadcasting that asked people to call a local phone number, leave a “voice test” audition and then see if they were qualified for a career on air? (Of course, it didn’t matter if you had a speech impediment or a squeaky voice, as long as you could pay, you passed!)
 
Well, here’s a place that seemed to go one better. Not only did they promise to make you a real bona fide disc jockey, but you may just have ended up as both an actor and singer as well! “It’s Easy,” reads the ad, “It’s Quick! Diploma Guaranteed!”
 
As long as the cheque clears.
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1912/43294094650_7b84eba9e6_b.jpg

 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Well, that’s it for the Friday Flashbacks for now. My gratitude to all who commented positively and read these posts. And thanks for the memories!

 

October 5, 2018 7:12 am  #2


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Always fascinated by items like the first one :

https://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Pansonic.png

https://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Pan-2.png

Last edited by Fitz (October 5, 2018 7:25 am)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

October 5, 2018 10:43 am  #3


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

RadioActive wrote:

 
Remember the days before TV had decent stereo sound? That led to simulcasts between usually co-owned radio and TV stations, like this one between City TV and CHUM-FM in 1983.
 
http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1960/44387370834_098ed44094_b.jpg
 

And didn't Mark Dailey used to give instructions along the lines of:

"Put the speakers on the left and right hand side of your TV and tune to 104 CHUM FM for Toronto's Ultimate Sound!"

(Or something like that?)


PJ


 


Lost of radio stations play CLASSIC HITS...we just happen to do it BEST!  http://www.classichitsonline.com
 

October 5, 2018 10:55 am  #4


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

I've silently enjoyed all of these special weekly 'Flashback' submissions R.A.  They were a terrific addition to the whole.  Thanks for all of them and, also, for other actions taken.  All the best as Moderator.  Hopefully the site will begin to pick up more steam as time goes by and as word gets out.

 

October 5, 2018 11:13 am  #5


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Re local versions of American Bandstand: Didn't Dave Mickey host Club 11 Dance Party on CHCH in the early 60's? Re I Love Lucy ad: Curious which TV Guide edition that ad is from. I don't recognize those channel numbers.            Hey RA: I have really looked forward to your Friday Flashback feature for the last 6 months. But eventually, all good things must come to an end. It was fun while it lasted.

 

October 5, 2018 12:53 pm  #6


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

I wrote all 24 hours of Ringo's Yellow Submarine for ABC/Watermark in Los Angeles and worked with Ringo on the project.  I was also Executive Producer for Telemedia at that time (1983).  CKFM was the first station in Toronto to request the show and that's how they got it. It didn't really fit CJCL's format at the time anyway.



 

Last edited by Doug Thompson (October 5, 2018 1:06 pm)

 

October 5, 2018 1:46 pm  #7


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Hey!!!

Jim Carrey and I were graduates of National Institute of Broadcasting!

Yes they gladly took my money too...

It helped me get my first gig at DC-103 in Orangeville as an operator and went on from there...

Thanks for the flashbacks!

Michael at PopCanRadio.ca

ps... Doug we are still overdue to catch up to talk about Fitness Files and other fun shows you worked on!

 

October 5, 2018 2:29 pm  #8


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Thanks for all the flashback fun! I've enjoyed reading them!

 

October 5, 2018 4:24 pm  #9


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

RadioActive showed the Panasonic 8 track in his first item, Fitz followed up with a Panny ad that mentioned the radio packs you could add, if desired.
When I was working in Windsor, I bought a year-old 1969 Olds Cutlass Four-Four-Two that came with an AM radio
in the dash and an 8-track player under the dash. One of the first things I added was a stereo FM pack. Can't
remember the brand but it looked very similar to this:

https://swling.com/blog/2017/06/mystery-solved-remember-the-8-track-fm-radio-converter/

Don't think I ever listened to another tape, not even our Supremes Greatest Hits. ;-)

 

October 5, 2018 5:49 pm  #10


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Trump owned the New Jersey Generals of the USFL and his quarterback was ????

DOUG FLUTIE

 

October 5, 2018 10:01 pm  #11


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Trump overpaid for the franchise. What he really wanted was a NFL team. He was more than willing to throw his fellow owners and the league under the bus to make that happen.
(At one point, Trump sent a letter to the other USFL teams telling them they should all chip in to help pay Flutie's salary. Like Mexico in more recent years, they passed.)

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/insensitive-denigrating-trumps-disastrous-years-as-football-team-owner-detailed-new-book-1140447

Last edited by mike marshall (October 5, 2018 10:03 pm)

 

October 6, 2018 7:33 am  #12


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Re the City TV/CHUM FM simulcasts. I believe I recorded some of those and there is one which remains a mystery as to the source. Not sure if it was CIty/CHUM or Much Music. The only thing I marked on the audio tape is Neil Young Retrospective 1984.

Some of the material on the tape such as a concert segment is available elsewhere. Also interview segments by Dan Clear ( someone who worked with NY at the time).  What seems to be unique to the tape is over-all narration by someone who sounds like Reiner Schwarz. Also has a brief acceptance speech to the Junos by NY. Was wondering if anyone who worked for CITY/CHUM/MM has any info about this, I did not record any commercials and MM launched in 1984 but I only made an audio tape.


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

October 6, 2018 8:13 am  #13


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Some folks on another forum helped me solve part of the mystery of the NY doc, it is indeed Reiner S. narrating. My tape is quite a bit longer than what is on YT but the source is still a mystery.




 

Last edited by Fitz (October 6, 2018 8:14 am)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

October 6, 2018 6:57 pm  #14


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

More info from another forum ( Steve Hoffman Forum) about my mystery NY recording from another person that has some of the same content. Due to my work I had a complimentary pay TV Descrambler or digital box from 1985 to 2003 but not in 1984 when I made the recording so it was perhaps shown on a free preview.

A question for you all as I don't recall with those analog scrambled signals, was it just the video that was scrambled. What about the audio ? Rather than a free preview I perhaps made a recording of the audio only via my stereo TV decoder:

"My "Forever Young" tape was probably sourced from a pay per view special. The full tape is 90 minutes with credits for "Concert Productions International" produced by Hal Ashby. The opening and closing have a "First Choice" logo. The logo matches the one found here..



 

Last edited by Fitz (October 7, 2018 9:40 am)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

October 6, 2018 8:19 pm  #15


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

mace wrote:

Re I Love Lucy ad: Curious which TV Guide edition that ad is from. I don't recognize those channel numbers.

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1976/30170230247_707946647a_b.jpg


Believe it or not, it's from the Southern Ontario issue of TV Guide from Sept. 29, 1956. The channels in question are WBEN-TV channel 4 from Buffalo, what was then known as WCNY from Watertown, N.Y. and WHEN-TV in Syracuse, N.Y. (now called WTVH and broadcasting on virtual channel 5.)

And then there's my favourite throwback to the early days of TV - WHEC and WVET, a so-called "shared time" station from Rochester that was on Channel 10. That strange arrangement lasted from 1953-1961, when the owners of WVET sold their share to Gannett, and WHEC became the sole survivor. It remains on the air today, but is now an NBC affiliate.  

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1903/30207399957_216d8765f0_b.jpg


Gotta love those phone numbers. Very few have seven digits (the Watertown one is simply "410!") and those were the days when the first two numbers were often translated into words, like "Walnut" for a phone number starting with "92." My home number when I was a kid started with 781 - and we used to say "Russell 1." I wonder who decided what those words were? 

Also notice that, except for the CBC, there wasn't a single Toronto station that existed at the time. 

     Thread Starter
 

October 6, 2018 8:32 pm  #16


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Lee Marshall wrote:

I've silently enjoyed all of these special weekly 'Flashback' submissions R.A.  They were a terrific addition to the whole.  Thanks for all of them and, also, for other actions taken.  All the best as Moderator.  Hopefully the site will begin to pick up more steam as time goes by and as word gets out.

mace wrote:

Hey RA: I have really looked forward to your Friday Flashback feature for the last 6 months. But eventually, all good things must come to an end. It was fun while it lasted.

fybush wrote:

Thanks for all the flashback fun! I've enjoyed reading them!

PopCanRadio.ca wrote:

Thanks for the flashbacks!
Michael at PopCanRadio.ca

Thanks for all the kind words about what was essentially a fun few months of getting very nostalgic. I enjoyed doing them, too! Wish I had more stuff, but I'm out (for now!)

     Thread Starter
 

October 6, 2018 8:35 pm  #17


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

Doug Thompson wrote:

I wrote all 24 hours of Ringo's Yellow Submarine for ABC/Watermark in Los Angeles and worked with Ringo on the project.  I was also Executive Producer for Telemedia at that time (1983).  CKFM was the first station in Toronto to request the show and that's how they got it. It didn't really fit CJCL's format at the time anyway. 

Wow, that's amazing to hear that. What, exactly, was the show about? It obviously featured Yellow Submarine, but that surely wasn't enough to fill 24 hours worth of radio. 

And one more question, if I may. You produced a ton of terrific radio specials over the years, including, if memory serves, CHUM's History of Rock and Roll. What happened to all those recordings? Do they still exist? Can we ever hear any of them again? They were way too good to just end with master tapes being stored in a figurative drawer somewhere.

     Thread Starter
 

October 6, 2018 11:34 pm  #18


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

"Ringo's Yellow Submarine" was a 24 hour summer /fall series created by ABC Radio.  Tom Rounds at  ABC/Watermark in LA hired me to write it in the late fall of 1982.  Ringo was paid big bucks to host.  He was to be the DJ playing Beatles records and telling stories from the Beatles years.  The programs were aired 2 hours a week for 12 weeks throughout the summer and fall of 1983.  There was a 25th hour that was live from KABC/KLOS studios in LA with Gary Owens as host with Ringo taking calls.  Ringo actually asked for me to be on the live show as well in case anyone asked questions he didn't know the answer to. That was in November of '83.  The series ran on over 300 radio stations in the U.S. and Canada and was re-run a year later.

As for the other programs, I did indeed produce the 28 hour CHUM History of Rock in 1969 and co-produced (with Warren Cosford) the 12 hour "Story of The Beatles" also at CHUM.  I have copies of both of those.  At Telemedia, I wrote and produced a half dozen 6 hour specials for nearly 10 years.  I have the masters of those. As for the CHUM specials, I'll put them on the official CHUM website chumtribute.com which Dale Patterson and I administrate. 

Last edited by Doug Thompson (October 6, 2018 11:35 pm)

 

October 7, 2018 8:57 pm  #19


Re: Final Friday Flashback: Odds, Ends & Endings

RadioActive wrote:

Gotta love those phone numbers. Very few have seven digits (the Watertown one is simply "410!") and those were the days when the first two numbers were often translated into words, like "Walnut" for a phone number starting with "92." My home number when I was a kid started with 781 - and we used to say "Russell 1." I wonder who decided what those words were? 

Also notice that, except for the CBC, there wasn't a single Toronto station that existed at the time. 

Note that for what was then channel 5 in Rochester, the phone number was BUtler 8400. BUT="288"

Six decades later, if you pick up a phone in Rochester and call 288-8400, you'll still get the WROC-TV switchboard. 

Things move slowly here