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May 2, 2017 9:32 am  #1


Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

I came across this terrific article from a local Cleveland website that purports to list the 100 greatest radio personalities who ever worked in that city. The names would be a mystery to most here, with a few notable exceptions like Alan Freed, Don Imus, Norm N. Nite, Jackson Armstrong, Herb Score and more. (Cleveland was an incredible radio market and Ohio in general had some unbelievable talent.)
 
It made me wonder who would be on a list like that from the Toronto/GTA market. I don’t think most would have the patience for 100 names here, but it wouldn’t be all that hard to come up with those who belong on our own Top 10 or 20.
 
Here are a few that come to mind for me:
 
1) Wally Crouter would clearly have to be #1, simply for longevity if nothing else. The guy was on the country’s top heritage radio station, CFRB, for what seemed liked forever and had amazing numbers few will ever see again.
 
2) Jay Nelson: Not as long serving as Wally, but the only one who came close to competing with him down the dial at CHUM. There has rarely been a rock jock in this town who drew more attention or bigger ratings.
 
The rest would be far more subjective, with names like Roger Ashby, David Marsden/Dave Mickie, Bob McAdorey, Al Boliska, Tom Fulton, Keith Rich, Mark Dailey, Jim Brady, Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth, Don Daynard, John Rode, Don Berns,  Earl Mann, Foster Hewitt, John Donabie, Jackson Armstrong (who also made the Cleveland list) Terry Steele, Pete Griffin. Dick Smyth and Bob Holiday. 

And yes, I know that's way over 20. I would also have to include honourable mentions for some off-air types as well, including production wizards like Doug Thompson, Zeke Zdebiak (CHUM) and John "Fuzzy" Howard (CFTR/CHFI), who added an enormous amount to the stations they worked at, while getting little credit for it from listeners.  
 
And that, I’m sure, is only a partial list. Who would be on yours?  

100 memorable DJs and radio personalities from Cleveland's past

 

May 2, 2017 11:54 am  #2


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Gary "Spaceman" Bell would be near the top of my list.

 

May 2, 2017 12:14 pm  #3


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

1.    Eva D.
2.    Carol Mott
3.    Marianne Mcleod

 

May 2, 2017 12:17 pm  #4


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

RadioActive wrote:

I came across this terrific article from a local Cleveland website that purports to list the 100 greatest radio personalities who ever worked in that city. The names would be a mystery to most here, with a few notable exceptions like Alan Freed, Don Imus, Norm N. Nite, Jackson Armstrong, Herb Score and more. (Cleveland was an incredible radio market and Ohio in general had some unbelievable talent.)
 
It made me wonder who would be on a list like that from the Toronto/GTA market. I don’t think most would have the patience for 100 names here, but it wouldn’t be all that hard to come up with those who belong on our own Top 10 or 20.
 
Here are a few that come to mind for me:
 
1) Wally Crouter would clearly have to be #1, simply for longevity if nothing else. The guy was on the country’s top heritage radio station, CFRB, for what seemed liked forever and had amazing numbers few will ever see again.
 
2) Jay Nelson: Not as long serving as Wally, but the only one who came close to competing with him down the dial at CHUM. There has rarely been a rock jock in this town who drew more attention or bigger ratings.
 
The rest would be far more subjective, with names like Roger Ashby, David Marsden/Dave Mickie, Bob McAdorey, Al Boliska, Tom Fulton, Keith Rich, Mark Dailey, Jim Brady, Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth, Don Daynard, John Rode, Don Berns,  Earl Mann, Foster Hewitt, John Donabie, Jackson Armstrong (who also made the Cleveland list) Terry Steele, Pete Griffin. Dick Smyth and Bob Holiday. 

And yes, I know that's way over 20. I would also have to include honourable mentions for some off-air types as well, including production wizards like Doug Thompson, Zeke Zdebiak (CHUM) and John "Fuzzy" Howard (CFTR/CHFI), who added an enormous amount to the stations they worked at, while getting little credit for it from listeners.  
 
And that, I’m sure, is only a partial list. Who would be on yours?  

100 memorable DJs and radio personalities from Cleveland's past

Nice list. One name I would certainly add is that of Allan Waters.

How did The Real Bob James not make the Cleveland list?
 


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

May 2, 2017 5:16 pm  #5


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

-Larry Silver
-Scott Carpenter
​-Live Earl Jive and the lovely and talented Beverly Hills
​And of course an old friend Ivar Hamilton
 

 

May 2, 2017 5:58 pm  #6


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Dale Patterson wrote:

How did The Real Bob James not make the Cleveland list?

An excellent question Dale and I wondered the same thing. Bob is/was probably one of the best DJs I've ever heard and his work at night on WGAR was legendary. He was hilarious and high energy, and I find it incomprehensible that he wasn't included. 

You have a great sample of him on your site which can be heard here. Man, he was great. Bob did the last year of WNBC (which he jokingly called The Radio Titanic on air) and inspired a lot of other talented people.

One of them was a guy named Dan O'Shannon, who credits listening to Bob with inspiring his interest in comedy and broadcasting. He's now a famous producer in Hollywood with a host of credits from shows you'd know instantly, the most famous of which was as exec. producer of the classic sitcom "Frasier." 

     Thread Starter
 

May 2, 2017 8:08 pm  #7


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

I would add David Pritchard and Reiner Schwarz. Also Andy Frost as the DJ and Leaf Voice..


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

May 2, 2017 8:17 pm  #8


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Larry Wilson
David Marsden
Mike Stafford
Pete 'n' Geets
John Oakley
 

 

May 2, 2017 9:36 pm  #9


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

i)   Lee Marshall
ii)  Ingrid Schumacher
iii) Mike Cooper
iv) Tom Rivers

Last edited by Glen Warren (May 2, 2017 9:37 pm)

 

May 2, 2017 10:23 pm  #10


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

I appreciate the thought (and the mention) Radioactive.  I worked with both Zeke at CHUM and 'Fuzzy' Howard at CFTR/CHFI.  Both of those gentlemen were true production wizards.

I agree with Dale Patterson about Allan Waters.  Two other behind-the-scenes legends who need to be on any list are Allan Slaight and J. Robert Wood.  Both were programming geniuses (and I don't use that term lightly) and Mr. Slaight was also a brilliant businessman.  

Duff Roman needs to be near the top as well.  He was not only on the air at both CKEY and CHUM, but was in CHUM management for several decades, he was the first President of Factor, and has been inducted into no less than 3 broadcast Halls of Fame.  Besides his radio career, Duff was a pioneering Canadian record producer when there weren't more than a handful of them in Canada.  He produced Levon & The Hawks, Little Caesar & The Consuls and David Clayton-Thomas (and had several charted hits with DCT before David became the lead singer for Blood, Sweat & Tears in the U.S.

 

May 3, 2017 5:41 am  #11


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

A few additional names would be...

Jesse and Gene

Tarzan Dan (in his hay day)

Ralph Benmurgui

Jon Donabie

Heather Bambrick

Peter Gzowski

Stuart Maclean

Pete and Geets

Scruff Connors

The Iceman (Bob Segarini)

Carl Banas

and Lee Eckley


(pardon the typos it is early and I need coffee)

Thanks for posting this!

 


The world would be so good if it weren't for some people...
 

May 3, 2017 6:44 am  #12


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

I can add quite a few CFRB names to what has already been posted: Jack Dennett, Gord Sinclair, Bob Hesketh, Bill Stephenson, Betty Kennedy, Eddie Luther, Bill McVean, Bill Deegan, Ray Sonin, to name a few.

And from CHUM-FM and CFNY, David Pritchard and Geets Romo (David Haydu).


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

May 3, 2017 10:31 am  #13


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Mike Stafford is #1 for me.

 

May 3, 2017 2:00 pm  #14


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Doug Thompson wrote:

I appreciate the thought (and the mention) Radioactive.  I worked with both Zeke at CHUM and 'Fuzzy' Howard at CFTR/CHFI.  Both of those gentlemen were true production wizards.

I agree with Dale Patterson about Allan Waters.  Two other behind-the-scenes legends who need to be on any list are Allan Slaight and J. Robert Wood.  Both were programming geniuses (and I don't use that term lightly) and Mr. Slaight was also a brilliant businessman.  

Duff Roman needs to be near the top as well.  He was not only on the air at both CKEY and CHUM, but was in CHUM management for several decades, he was the first President of Factor, and has been inducted into no less than 3 broadcast Halls of Fame.  Besides his radio career, Duff was a pioneering Canadian record producer when there weren't more than a handful of them in Canada.  He produced Levon & The Hawks, Little Caesar & The Consuls and David Clayton-Thomas (and had several charted hits with DCT before David became the lead singer for Blood, Sweat & Tears in the U.S.

Also from CHUM: Dave Johnson, John Spragge, Chuck McCoy, Terry Steele, Gary Duke/Duke Roberts and Larry Solway.

Has anyone ever thought about organizing a Toronto Radio/TV Hall of Fame? Many cities have them, including our neighbours to the south, Buffalo:

http://www.buffalobroadcasters.com/hall-of-fame/
 


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

May 3, 2017 5:59 pm  #15


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Alan Cross  (still does a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff)
Stu "Good Rockin' Tonight" Jefferies.

(Ironically, both from Winterpeg.)

Davester.

 

May 3, 2017 6:52 pm  #16


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

I agree about Duff Roman, Alan Cross, John Spragge, as well as J Robert Wood, Waters, and even Slaight in the top 20.  One could also posit JD Roberts, considering he is now the White House correspondent, albeit for Fox News.... But that's just Toronna.

The CAB used to induct people into a hall of fame, but of course the CAB has been an also ran for many years now.  Yes, someone needs to find the interest and the funding for an Ontario Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  The OAB one only goes back six years and seems pretty weak.

  I have several votes for Ontario in general, including Russ Ramsay or Paul Fockler from Sault Ste. Marie (60s) Rick Malo from Sudbury (80s), Ross Kentner from Owen Sound (60s-current), Pete McGarvey from Orillia (70-2000s), Ken Trew from Barrie, etc.

 

May 3, 2017 7:09 pm  #17


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

splunge wrote:

I agree about Duff Roman, Alan Cross, John Spragge, as well as J Robert Wood, Waters, and even Slaight in the top 20.  One could also posit JD Roberts, considering he is now the White House correspondent, albeit for Fox News.... But that's just Toronna.

The CAB used to induct people into a hall of fame, but of course the CAB has been an also ran for many years now.  Yes, someone needs to find the interest and the funding for an Ontario Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  The OAB one only goes back six years and seems pretty weak.

  I have several votes for Ontario in general, including Russ Ramsay or Paul Fockler from Sault Ste. Marie (60s) Rick Malo from Sudbury (80s), Ross Kentner from Owen Sound (60s-current), Pete McGarvey from Orillia (70-2000s), Ken Trew from Barrie, etc.

If you're going to expand outside Toronto, then there's long-time CKOC program director Nevin Grant and that station's engineer for its first half-century of existence beginning in 1922, Les Horton.


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

May 3, 2017 7:54 pm  #18


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

My favourites list will not include ANY 'management types' as most folks listening would really have next to NO CLUE who many of these people are or were...although I do agree that Alan Waters was a VERY special guy in terms of Toronto radio in particular and radio in general.

My favourite on-air people down through the years?

1.  John Donabie
2.  Jackson Armstrong
3.  Terry Steele
4.  Dick Smythe
5.  Tom Rivers
6.  John Rode
7.  Maureen Holloway
8.  Bob McCown
9.  John Derringer
10.  David Marsden

ALL of them great.

 

May 3, 2017 8:07 pm  #19


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

No one's mentioned Brian Henderson yet, so I will. Twenty-seven years at CHUM (1977-2004).


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

May 3, 2017 8:17 pm  #20


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Dale, I'm only speaking from my experience, growing up and working north of hwy 7, which is pretty much defined as Northern Ontario!  I have heard of both names of which you speak.  the others which I have named, I have worked with personally or known through relations.

I guess ultimately, the question is, whether guys like Bob MacAdory and John Spragge etc. have made more of a difference to the local market that Rick Malo or Russ Ramsay?  Every market is different, and the impact each has made deserves to be recognized.

Who wants to start the honourary website???

 

May 3, 2017 8:30 pm  #21


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Did Rick Malo used to work up in North Bay...like...40 some-odd years ago?  Same guy?  How could there be 2?

 

May 3, 2017 8:45 pm  #22


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

don't know prior to 1988.  Malo was the front man for the morning show on CHNO AM Sudbury. Loved the song "So Alive" by Love & Rockets. That's where I worked with him. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otjKJ1EUYQg

 

May 4, 2017 12:06 am  #23


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

1.  Saul
2.  Tom
3.  Jack

 

May 4, 2017 6:03 am  #24


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

I would love to add...Humble and Fred, Brian Master, Rick Ringer, and Earl Warren..I loved those old Ontario Chrysler Commercials with Casey Togtema and Earl Warren... "How do you do it Casey"? Earl would ask... "VOLUME! Earl, VOLUME", Casey would reply!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPNhmlzb3wE


Cheers!


 


The world would be so good if it weren't for some people...
 

May 4, 2017 8:47 am  #25


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

well I see this list keeps keeps bigger and I will mention two names that I don't think I have seen yet. The "Prez" Brian Skinner from 1050 CHUM and CHUM FM's Tim Thomas.

http://cdn.smehost.net/jimihendrixcom-uslegacyprod/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2-24-68.jpg


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

May 4, 2017 9:00 am  #26


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Was a big fan of Larry Wilson on CHUM FM not only as a show host but for his work in News and hosting In Toronto.

 

May 4, 2017 9:05 am  #27


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

No love for Ted Woloshyn?  He's been on Toronto radio for more or less 40 years!

 

May 4, 2017 9:46 am  #28


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Fitz wrote:

well I see this list keeps keeps bigger and I will mention two names that I don't think I have seen yet. The "Prez" Brian Skinner from 1050 CHUM and CHUM FM's Tim Thomas.

http://cdn.smehost.net/jimihendrixcom-uslegacyprod/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2-24-68.jpg

I thought Skinner had been mentioned so I'll second that emotion.

http://rockradioscrapbook.ca/chum-skinner-dec65.mp3


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

May 4, 2017 8:03 pm  #29


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Sorry, one more to add that I think deserves to be on the list.
Martin Streek.... you're gone but not forgotten.

Davester.
 

 

May 5, 2017 7:15 am  #30


Re: Who's On Your List Of The Top 20 Greatest Toronto Radio People?

Casey Toctema's ads may well have been good and successful, but after he died a number of his employees were prosecuted for a fraud he was involved in.