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May 22, 2020 4:33 pm  #1


50th Anniversary Of CanCon: How CKLW Flouted The Rules

This is from TVO of all places. It's a well known story but it's interesting to read this take on it.

‘Everything about it rocked’: How Windsor’s CKLW flouted the brand-new CanCon rules

 

May 22, 2020 7:20 pm  #2


Re: 50th Anniversary Of CanCon: How CKLW Flouted The Rules

I think CKLW "flouting cancon" is mostly an urban legend rather than a well known story.  And this article seems to confirm that.

There were many stories about CKLW speeding up or editing cancon songs on air to make the "inferior" Canadian music less prominent and go by quicker for the listener.  On another forum I sometimes frequent, one member seemed to imply he had some inside knowledge, claimed that any song lacquered in Canada qualified as cancon in the early 70's. He said that  CKLW would arrange for US bands to have their songs lacqured and pressed here to qualify as cancon.  Both of these fables were not true. Any aircheck I have heard of CKLW in the early 70's seemed to play any cancon songs at the same speed as all other songs.

So other than supposedly trying to have music promos for CKLW FM qualify as cancon, the article doesn't really say how LW flouted the cancon regs.  And if even they did try and count music promos for the FM as music, I don't imagine that would fly with the CRTC very long.

CKLW did however heavy up Canadian songs 11:00 to midnight, but this was common by a lot of stations and not exclusive to the Big 8.  This really didn't last that long either, although stations even today that play only gold will heavy up on cancon late at night before 12 midnight and maybe 6-6:30am.  This is  on stations like BOOM who don't play any current hit music.

I found it interesting the article seems to say that cancon sort of helped CKLW.  In early 1972, one year after the regs came into play, their ratings actually had increased 20%!  WKNR (Keener) gave up competing with LW the end of April 1972.  Also that year WDRQ FM started playing top 40 music with a format similar to CKLW but like Keener didn't need to play any cancon.

CKLW eventually lost the number one position in 1977   However it took WDRQ 5 years to unseat LW.  The top 40 FM's time at number one in Detroit was brief and by 1979 it had fallen out of the top 20 stations, when they attempted a disco music format.  CKLW remained popular into the 1980's and was in the top ten stations in Detroit, and still playing music, and 30% cancon.

CKLW's slow slide in the late 70's and early 80's was happening the same time as other AM giants like WLS, KHJ, WABC, WNBC, WKBW etc. So cancon had nothing to do with it.  It was because of FM, and FM rock stations that really killed music on AM radio.

Also CKLW really hadn't evolved very much and was sounding  dated during this time. If you compare CHUM, CFUN or CFTR in 1980-83 they sound a lot better in my opinion than CKLW who more or less was sounding similar to what they were doing in the mid 70's except with mellower safer music, and less energy.

Last edited by paterson1 (May 22, 2020 8:32 pm)

 

May 24, 2020 12:52 pm  #3


Re: 50th Anniversary Of CanCon: How CKLW Flouted The Rules

Bradburn's article refers to R. J. Buss as a former CKLW Program Director. He wasn't. He was a former General Manager of CKLW AM & FM.

 

May 24, 2020 1:43 pm  #4


Re: 50th Anniversary Of CanCon: How CKLW Flouted The Rules

Welcome back Mike! Your insights (and corrections!) here are always welcome. 

     Thread Starter
 

May 24, 2020 2:01 pm  #5


Re: 50th Anniversary Of CanCon: How CKLW Flouted The Rules

RadioActive wrote:

Welcome back Mike! Your insights (and corrections!) here are always welcome. 

 
Thanks, RA. I'll try to keep both to a bare minimum. ;-)