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SOWNY » Radio’s Morning & Evening “Pattern Change” Has Certainly Changed » October 24, 2019 10:17 pm

berlin rych
Replies: 18

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One of first things taught when I first began running a board (taught by Darryl Dahmer no less, in his Kitchener CKKW life) was taking the hourly readings. Our AM-er at 1320 and later 1090 had a strange looking pattern and thus something like 8 towers had to be read. Using the same telephone dial someone else mentioned we had to cycle through a dozen numbers and write them down...in theory, every hour near the top of the hour. Most often they were done once a shift by more 'experienced' ops. And twice a day the pattern change...what a rigmarole. No single button to push. (We were warned it could blow up the transmitter!) Shut off the signal...dial 3 or 4 numbers to change to night or day pattern....then turn the signal back on. Then do readings again and compare with previous one to indicate which towers were on or off or at lower power.
All these daily sheets we were told, were sent to Ottawa where some department read thru them to verify that we were following regulations. Several years later, during a building cleanout, boxes and boxes of these readings sheets were discovered at the back of a storage room. Ottawa, indeed. I recall several occasions  when going in to op a Sunday morning show, the pattern was still on daytime and had been all night. The previous evening's op (weekend=part-timer / newbie, of course] had not done it properly. We never lost our license that I know of.

SOWNY » Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM » October 25, 2018 10:44 pm

berlin rych
Replies: 22

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Congrats Roger.
When Kitchener's CFCA 105.3 (now known as Virgin 105.3) signed on in the summer of '67, two of the weekend fill-ins were a pair of neophytes from Waterloo. I was doing a campus-oriented show on Saturday afternoon 2 until 6, then, following news and a Hawaiian music 30-minute interlude, an "uptown country music" show titled Countrypolitan came on. It was hosted by high schooler Roger Ashby.
Sadly Electrohome, which owned CFCA at the time, did no aircheck morgue-ing.
Roger's piles of show LPs included Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, Webb Pierce, Jimmy Dean and the like --- no sign of Hank Williams or Ernest Tubb or Wanda Jackson. Roger's radio pals of the mid-60s included his carpentry-wizard dad Norm plus teenage guys such as Jim "Ace" Wright who was a CHUM board op for a number of years; Bill Bricker who stayed in Waterloo and perhaps listened to more radio than anyone; Rick Murray, who, as Rick Hunter, was on Toronto radio (CFTR?) for a number of years and unless I am mistaken is still spinning Oldies in Michigan or Florida. Ace and Rick also worked at CFCA (and sister station CKKW).
Of the two weekend student announcers, one went to the big town (via Hamilton), where I doubt he ever introduced Eddy or Jim or Webb again. My afternoon gig lasted six weeks and was humanely axed and I went into the production studio for the next four decades.
Roger attended our CFCA CKKW CKCO reunion last April, more than 50 years after leaving Kitchener, and I think I can speak for most of those attending that we felt a little bit of pride in what this kid from Hazel Street had done with himself and kept Toronto and Ontario entertained for such a long time.
I wish Rick Hunter would post some of the great stories he could tell about the formative years of Roger.
In the meantime, we still remember you Roger....best of luck in what looks like will be a busy retirement.
-rych mills

 

SOWNY » Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn. » January 26, 2018 9:03 pm

berlin rych
Replies: 18

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regarding the two early FMs in K-W.
Although the CKCR FM station took the air a bit before CFCA FM #1, it was simply a repeater for the CKCR AM and remained so for many years...... (CKCR became CHYM in the early 60s).....
CFCA FM #1 went on air with no AM sidekick and although only broadcasting a few hours a day, did all original programming at 106.1 beginning April 26 1949. The studios were in what was called the Medical Arts Building and the 3,000 watt transmitter was on a large hill west of Kitchener near Baden...among staff names were Fred Russell, John Becker, Gordon Jackson, Bob Munn, Norma Armitage and announcers Alan Watts, Hal Wardell, Len Starmer and Ken Summerville.....on the first broadcast, CBC heavyweights John Fisher and Lorne Green were guest presenters........
Programming was heavy on local music talent of course. But it was a chicken and egg thing: CFCA had been started by Electrohome and the Pollock family in order to help sell FM-capable radio receivers which Electrohome was manufacturing. With very few FM broadcasters in the late 1940s, there was little market for their sets. So when CFCA FM#1 goes on you have few people able to hear it. In an attempt to help sell the station's programming it was arranged to install receivers in some of city's trolley buses. Riders would hear the programming, hopefully enjoy it and line up to buy FM receivers.....after a bit over 2 years it was evident that FM was a stillborn baby in those days and they pulled the plug. The call letters were reflective of Carl A. Pollock's first two initials, his father had started Electrohome but Carl was now in charge. 
​Of course those are very famous calls in radio history. In Toronto an extremely early AM station (run by Toronto Star) used them. On CFCA AM in 1923 Norm Albert did the first-ever hockey play-by-play, a few days before some fellow named Hewitt started becoming famous. That CFCA ended around 1933.
​So even though it wasn't always in Kitchener that set of c

SOWNY » Bell Wants Power Hike For Kitchener FM Due To ‘Super’ Buffalo Stn. » January 24, 2018 10:52 pm

berlin rych
Replies: 18

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Mike, it's good someone from those 1959-64 years survives! You are few and far between. But I assure you that we haven't forgotten the history of those days. We used 864 as the central tag to avoid a cumbersome title. As I am sure you recall, the Dunker Building's address was 251 King E. and the frequency was 1320. We might also have mentioned the earlier Kitchener CFCA-FM from the late 40s located at 47 King West.
​We hope to see you at the reunion, Mike...there may be 2 or 3 people from that first rendition of CKKW on hand. Be sure to alert any of the folks you are still in touch with.
​Background:
What Mike brought up is an informal get together on Saturday April 28 for any-and-all people who worked for CKCO, CKKW, CFCA at any address, at any time......and of course current employees working for whatever modern-day names have been assigned to those traditional calls.
There is more info at    http://evite.me/4p9w8VGRpn     We request that people register at this site so we have an idea of numbers coming......and since there is a limit to what the venue can legally hold we have to request pre-registry.
​Those planning to come to the event are listed at the site and we hope to see lots of familiar faces ... and (as with Mike's face for 95% of those people attending) un-familiar faces.
​Thanks for bringing the reunion up Mike. Please spread the word.
​-rych
 

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