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March 23, 2016 10:43 am  #1


Saving Historic Radio Before It’s Too Late

I only wish Canada would do something like this. Until then, we have sites like Dale Patterson's Rock Radio Scrapbook,

Saving Historic Radio Before It’s Too Late

I've long wondered why stations so cavalierly discard their own history. One of my first jobs was at the old CKEY in Toronto. I remember going hunting for anything from the place's past. There was nothing. Nada. Zilch. No tape, nothing preserved in the building that I was ever able to find and I was there for three years.

It's hard to imagine all the stuff that's been lost over the years but my favourite story about this surrounds one of the most famous calls in sports history: Russ Hodges' classic "The Giants Win The Pennant!" victory, after Bobby Thomson hit that famous home run back in 1951.

The reason it exists at all is because a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, who happened to have one of those newfangled home reel-to-reel tape machines, was so convinced his team was going to win that he taped the Giants' home announcer to hear him cry in his beer when the club lost. He was then going to use it to torture his best friend, a Giants fan, for the rest of the year.

It didn't work out that way. And it turns out that was the only known recording of the so-called "shot heard round the world." The radio nets and stations back then didn't save anything. But it survives today because of a crazed fan who simply wanted to rub it in to a pal who would never let him live it down.



[Edit] I've heard this story about the Dodger fan wanting to irritate his Giant-loving friend from several sources over the years and it was apparently spread by Hodges himself. However no less a source than the New York Times insists it's not true and that the guy had simply asked his mother to tape the last half inning, since he had to go to work. This seems to be a more plausible tale, but it's nowhere near as good as the legend!

NYT, Oct. 2001: A Call Is Born, And Saved By a Mom

Last edited by RadioActive (March 23, 2016 12:23 pm)

 

March 24, 2016 10:12 am  #2


Re: Saving Historic Radio Before It’s Too Late

Back in the day, I never thought to make airchecks (I guess I took it for granted that radio would always be that great). So it amazes me what has been found and what continues to surface. Bravo to those who recorded radio back then and saved it.

The Holy Grail of airchecks for me would be an aircheck of Al Boliska's morning show, which aired on CHUM from 1957 to 1963. Who knows maybe someone out there has one in a private collection.


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

March 24, 2016 10:31 am  #3


Re: Saving Historic Radio Before It’s Too Late

I used to work at a major Toronto rock station. I could have had hours and hours and hours of board feed perfect airchecks. Yet I never even thought to do it. I guess I was too busy producing radio to actually record it for posterity. But I wish I had a time machine and could go back there and roll tape!

Last edited by RadioActive (March 24, 2016 10:34 am)

     Thread Starter
 

March 24, 2016 2:08 pm  #4


Re: Saving Historic Radio Before It’s Too Late

Dale Patterson wrote:

The Holy Grail of airchecks for me would be an aircheck of Al Boliska's morning show, which aired on CHUM from 1957 to 1963. Who knows maybe someone out there has one in a private collection.

Dale, the University of Massachusetts has some Al Boliska airchecks according to a web page of theirs. I have no idea if it meets your requirements, or if the page is still active, but it's a start - http://people.umass.edu/ahmintz/aircheck-list-3.htm

Look for...
Al Boliska CHUM 5/15/58 45 u cd4165 edited rebroadcast
Al Boliska CHUM 9/58 11 s f244

 

March 24, 2016 4:56 pm  #5


Re: Saving Historic Radio Before It’s Too Late

I found the archive of CKLW 20/20 Newscasts and clips that covered each day beginning jan. 1 1964 and done so that you could recreate each day if you wanted to.  Amazing!  Dick Smyth started it when he was at CKLW and Byron MacGregor continued it until the newsroom and the operation fell apart after Bassett sold CK in 1980 or so.
It was buried under garbage piled up in the station basement together with audition tapes sent to Paul Drew, The RKO "History of Rock" etc...
The tapes were in terrible shape saved only by neglect.
When I contacted the National Archives of Canada they sent a archivist from Ottawa THE NEXT DAY!
The Archives paid to have the entire collection preserved and were astounded that it had been kept by a private broadcaster.