Wally Crouter (1923-2016)
Pioneer - Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Crouter, Wally (1923- )
Wally Crouter's first job in radio was with CHEX in Peterborough. His second (last) job was with CFRB in Toronto. It lasted 50 years.
It was 1946. Wally had returned home to Peterborough following service with the Canadian Army overseas. A chance meeting with CHEX announcer Rod Dewar led to an audition at CHEX and his immediate hiring. A few months later, on November 1, 1946, he made the hop to CFRB. He would retire 50 years later.
Wally's broadcasting career stands as unique - only one station prior to hitting the top - the longevity of his half-century with CFRB in the most competitive market in Canada -- his undisputed command of market listenership -- all combined with his popularity on-and-off the air with people from all walks of life, near and far.
"The Crout" (as he was referred to by his intimates) rubbed shoulders, played golf, entertained and interviewed celebrities at home and from abroad - famous people from the world of sports, entertainment, royalty and politics. He played golf with Palmer, Hope, Crosby and Como.
He survived wounds received in WW II, three plane crashes, a motorcycle smash-up and physical attack in Grenada.
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau presented Wally with a Canadian flag which had been flown over Parliament Hill. Among his other awards are those received from the Aga Khan and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Critics attribute his everlasting success to his relaxed charm, wit, knowledge, personality and his concern for the safety, health and happiness of his listeners.
In 1996, after Wally had retired from CFRB on November 1st,the consummate "Morning Man", was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
On March 28th 2016, Wally Crouter died in his sleep at Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto.
Written by J. Lyman Potts - December, 1996