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October 12, 2020 10:51 am  #1


The Radio Dial In 1937

In another post on this site, I mentioned a booklet for CFRB's 25th anniversary in 1937. One of the real gems in there for DXers is a glimpse at what the dial looked like back in that long ago year. Some of the stations ceased to exist decades ago. Others changed call letters, power and frequencies. 

There’s a lot to see, including what was on Short Wave back in the late 30s. If you were a DXer then, there would be a lot less to find, of course, but also a lot less noise on the AM band, presumably making those distant stations easier to pull in and ID. It’s explained that the list is of stations that can “be heard within a 150 mile radius of Toronto.”   

It starts with Canadian broadcasters.

https://i.ibb.co/rZ7vb9x/CFRBStation-Log.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/d0tFchV/CFRBStation-Log2.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/xsNYXcT/CFRBStation-Log3.jpg

 
Notice CFRB at 690. Or CKTB at 1200. Also, there’s a CFPL, but it’s in New Brunswick. There IS a London station – CFNB at 550, and with those letters you’d expect it might have been in the province where CFPL resided. It’s long gone.
 
Toronto has CKCL at 580. And CKLW wasn’t The Big 8 back then – it was far weaker and farther down the dial at 1030.


Next, to the U.S. and a very different and far less crowded radio dial. Check out WBEN at 1000 AM, WEBR sitting at 1310 and one day powerhouse WKBW a 5,000 watt outlet at 1480.

https://i.ibb.co/jkn6grx/CFRBUSStation-List.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Sx8nmbP/CFRBUSStation-List1.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/7tVfBYw/CFRBUSStation-List2.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/VHDHcC1/CFRBUSStation-List3.jpg


And finally, perhaps the most unusual of all, what was on Short Wave back then - and it turns out, there was quite a bit if you had the radio to receive it. I'm curious about the Canadian entries. CFRB has had CFRX on the air almost since its inception. And I'm assuming CFCX was an offshoot of CFCF in Montreal. But what was CJRO in Winnipeg all about? Or CJRX from the same city? And how about CRCX from Toronto? According to Wikipedia, it was at times an independent and at others a short wave station for the CBC.    

https://i.ibb.co/YdwDBX6/CFRBShort-Wave-Stations.jpg

You can see the site this was taken from here. 

 

October 12, 2020 11:00 am  #2


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

There's a mistake on the first page. CFRC and CHAB have their cities reversed.

Edit: in fact that whole section is off. CFRN is Calgary, and CHAB is Moosejaw.

Looks like the mistake started when they inserted CHAB in out of alphabetical sequence.

Last edited by RadioAaron (October 12, 2020 11:06 am)


 
 

October 12, 2020 11:04 am  #3


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

RadioAaron wrote:

There's a mistake on the first page. CFRC and CHAB have their cities reversed.

I think it's too late to correct it now! Although it's possible they were the correct cities back then and the call signs went elsewhere over the years. (Just like CFPL is now in London.) So it's hard to compare what was back then and what we know today.  

By the way, I've published this before a long time ago, but since it's kind of relevant, here's what the Toronto and area radio dial looked like back in 1958, just a year after CHUM went full time rock and roll.

https://i.ibb.co/wChGx23/Toronto-Radio-Dial-In-March-1958-Toronto-Star.jpg

     Thread Starter
 

October 12, 2020 11:08 am  #4


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

RadioActive wrote:

RadioAaron wrote:

There's a mistake on the first page. CFRC and CHAB have their cities reversed.

I think it's too late to correct it now! Although it's possible they were the correct cities back then and the call signs went elsewhere over the years. (Just like CFPL is now in London.) So it's hard to compare what was back then and what we know today.  

No, they definitely got things out of order. CFRC has never been used anywhere else.  

=13pxhttps://www.broadcasting-history.ca/listing_and_histories/radio/cfrc-am


 


 
 

October 12, 2020 11:40 am  #5


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

Then I suppose the blame belongs to a "Mr. Charles Bradford" who was credited with putting together the list back in 1937. As noted, it's way too late to correct anything now. I'm guessing all of the people involved in putting this thing together are no longer with us. It's still an interesting overall look at the way things were on radio long before any of us were around. 

     Thread Starter
 

October 12, 2020 3:52 pm  #6


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

This all predates the 1941 NARBA frequency shifts, which is why you see things like KNX on 1050, KSL on 1130 and WKBW on 1480 on that list.     The present-day KNX (on 1070) made an appearance at 7 a.m. this morning over CHOK-Sarnia.

 

October 12, 2020 4:08 pm  #7


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

I'm not sure where you're based, but that is an amazing "get." I've only received KNX once in Toronto, and it happened sometime in the 80s. I also heard KCBS in San Francisco at 740, back in the days when CBL used to sign off at night. And I had to wait until three in the morning or so to verify it.

The only other California station that's ever come in here for me was KFI on 640, long before what was then CFGM moved to that frequency. 

With all the noise present on AM these days, especially in this city, I doubt anything that far away will ever come in here again. But your post at least gives me some hope!

     Thread Starter
 

October 12, 2020 7:56 pm  #8


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

RadioActive wrote:

RadioAaron wrote:

There's a mistake on the first page. CFRC and CHAB have their cities reversed.

I think it's too late to correct it now! Although it's possible they were the correct cities back then and the call signs went elsewhere over the years. (Just like CFPL is now in London.) So it's hard to compare what was back then and what we know today.  

By the way, I've published this before a long time ago, but since it's kind of relevant, here's what the Toronto and area radio dial looked like back in 1958, just a year after CHUM went full time rock and roll.

https://i.ibb.co/wChGx23/Toronto-Radio-Dial-In-March-1958-Toronto-Star.jpg

Interesting that WJR-FM - now WDDV- in Detroit is listed,


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

October 12, 2020 10:58 pm  #9


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

RadioActive wrote:

I'm not sure where you're based, but that is an amazing "get." I've only received KNX once in Toronto, and it happened sometime in the 80s. I also heard KCBS in San Francisco at 740, back in the days when CBL used to sign off at night. And I had to wait until three in the morning or so to verify it.

The only other California station that's ever come in here for me was KFI on 640, long before what was then CFGM moved to that frequency. 

With all the noise present on AM these days, especially in this city, I doubt anything that far away will ever come in here again. But your post at least gives me some hope!

Besides KFI, the only other California station I ever received was KNBR San Francisco when I was living in Hamilton in 1977. CFTR had some technical issues and were off the air.It was a challenging ID because it was under WPTF Raleigh.

 

October 13, 2020 6:43 am  #10


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

Dale Patterson wrote:

RadioActive wrote:

RadioAaron wrote:

There's a mistake on the first page. CFRC and CHAB have their cities reversed.

I think it's too late to correct it now! Although it's possible they were the correct cities back then and the call signs went elsewhere over the years. (Just like CFPL is now in London.) So it's hard to compare what was back then and what we know today.  

By the way, I've published this before a long time ago, but since it's kind of relevant, here's what the Toronto and area radio dial looked like back in 1958, just a year after CHUM went full time rock and roll.

https://i.ibb.co/wChGx23/Toronto-Radio-Dial-In-March-1958-Toronto-Star.jpg

Interesting that WJR-FM - now WDDV- in Detroit is listed,

It's also interesting that WJR-AM is noted in what should be local listings. Did it come in better here in those days, with less interference? You CAN get it in the daytime here, but only very faintly and with lots of static, so I suppose there were areas where 760 was more listenable.

But then again, this was the Toronto Star, so perhaps they distributed the paper outside of T.O. to places where both the AM and the FM could be heard.

     Thread Starter
 

October 13, 2020 8:13 am  #11


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

I remember in the early 1960's, the Star included Detroit, Rochester, Syracuse and Watertown stations in their tv listings.

 

October 13, 2020 9:10 pm  #12


Re: The Radio Dial In 1937

RadioActive wrote:

I'm not sure where you're based, but that is an amazing "get." I've only received KNX once in Toronto, and it happened sometime in the 80s. I also heard KCBS in San Francisco at 740, back in the days when CBL used to sign off at night. And I had to wait until three in the morning or so to verify it.

The only other California station that's ever come in here for me was KFI on 640, long before what was then CFGM moved to that frequency. 

With all the noise present on AM these days, especially in this city, I doubt anything that far away will ever come in here again. But your post at least gives me some hope!

I'm also in Toronto.  No sign of KNX this morning when I checked at sunrise.  Instead WFLI in Lookout Mountain-Chattanooga was battling CHOK-Sarnia.