Bill Baker, Frank Deville, Gerry Quinney, & Cam Ritchie


00:00:02 Speaker 1 

Presentation is made on and it’s worked out very satisfactory. 

00:00:06 Speaker 1 

In fact, it has speeded up payment from the agencies to the station. 

00:00:11 Speaker 2 

That’s much to be desired. 

00:00:14 Speaker 1 

Yeah, it’s the agencies would have quite a bit of difficulty reconciling the various types of information they were received from the stations across the country and this being standardized, they can train their their employees to, you know, look at one one thing. 

00:00:30 Speaker 1 

For for everything. 

00:00:34 Speaker 2 

Somewhere. Period. Yeah. 

00:00:36 Speaker 3 

OK. Is there anything else? 

00:00:39 Speaker 1 

When CKLW radio personal on the air, they were affiliated with the Columbia Broadcasting System. 

00:00:47 Speaker 2 

How long did that go on? 

00:00:51 Speaker 1 

That didn’t last too long. 

00:00:53 Speaker 1 

I was short duration and following that then they became affiliated with the mutual. 

00:00:59 Speaker 1 

Broadcasting system and one of the programs you get there would. 

00:01:03 Speaker 2 

Be The Lone Ranger. 

00:01:06 Speaker 2 

One of the mutual networks, as I recollected their their big shows, was a Lone Ranger. 

00:01:10 Speaker 1 

Well, no, I don’t think so at that time The Lone Ranger was coming out of WXYZ. 

00:01:19 Speaker 1 

It was part of their their development and they weren’t part of the Mutual network. 

00:01:28 Speaker 1 

No, they were independent. 

00:01:30 Speaker 1 

And they weren’t part of the ABC network either. 

00:01:35 Speaker 1 

I think they were mainly owned by Kutski, who was the theater magnet at that time. 

00:01:44 Speaker 2 

That’s what would be the benefit of station in Windsor ON belonging to either CBS or CBS, CBS or it doesn’t sound like the Columbia Broadcasting System is this way or mutual. 

00:02:00 Speaker 1 

Well, of course I think hasn’t been proven over the years that the Columbia Broadcasting system and the station affiliated with them had usually a prime audience because of the quality of the programming that they produced. 

00:02:12 Speaker 2 

So it wasn’t, it was network programming, I presume the entertainment programming they were doing. 

00:02:13 Speaker 3 

And then. 

00:02:17 Speaker 1 

Yes, yes. 

00:02:19 Speaker 1 

If you recall that time the soap opera operas were the biggies. 

00:02:24 Speaker 1 

And of course, the Columbia Broadcasting System came out on top and the ratings. 

00:02:31 Speaker 2 

That means more money, which means more work for accountants to do. 

00:02:36 Speaker 1 

Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. 

00:02:39 Speaker 1 

That’s what you’re hired for. 

00:02:43 Speaker 2 

But that’s why it’s been one of the reasons it’s beneficial to belong to the top network. 

00:02:47 Speaker 2 

They say more, more advertising, more more reading. 

00:02:51 Speaker 1 

I think that you can say that today I think without a question that. 

00:02:55 Speaker 1 

The W XYZ not WXYZ WJBK being a member of the Columbia Broadcasting System Television network gives them a very good foothold on receiving good ratings in the area. 

00:03:12 Speaker 2 

Fairly recently we switched from CBS to NBC. 

00:03:17 Speaker 2 

The radio station at least. 

00:03:20 Speaker 1 

I can’t be sure. 

00:03:21 Speaker 1 

I’m not too familiar, but WWJ has been the NBC all along with their radio and television. 

00:03:30 Speaker 2 

And would have noticed the WGR knows the NBC and NBC News and particularly that they’re getting. 

00:03:37 Speaker 2 

Network news must ask somebody somebody why they did it. 

00:03:41 Speaker 2 

It struck me as rather an odd move when they heard about it. 

00:03:45 Speaker 2 

To the one to the other. All of NBC’s hasn’t been NBC and then too badly recently. And the. 

00:03:51 Speaker 1 

No, no, no. 

00:03:52 Speaker 1 

They, the three American networks have. 

00:03:56 Speaker 1 

And pretty good, I would say. 

00:05:06 Speaker 3 

12 of 1929. 

00:05:09 Speaker 2 

Were you were out of high school or how did? 

00:05:11 Speaker 2 

You become interested. 

00:05:11 Speaker 3 

No, I had previously been working in the North Country for the provincial government firefighting. 

00:05:19 Speaker 3 

I ran a radio station at Red Lake. 

00:05:23 Speaker 3 

And we had a network up there of five or six stations covering the fire area. 

00:05:30 Speaker 3 

This was in the district of Patricia. 

00:05:32 Speaker 2 

You know well, it’s pretty far. 

00:05:34 Speaker 3 

North. Yes, it was, yeah. 

00:05:37 Speaker 2 

And well, how did you get involved in radio? 

00:05:40 Speaker 2 

It was not something that a fairly normal occupation. 

00:05:41 Speaker 3 

Well, yes, that that started the way back when I was about 12 years old in elementary school. 

00:05:53 Speaker 3 

Some young fellow. 

00:05:57 Speaker 3 

Knew at the time gave me an old catalog, 1904 Electro importing company catalog. 

00:06:06 Speaker 3 

And that got me started. 

00:06:09 Speaker 3 

I don’t know why I suddenly became interested in it, but I did. 


That we. 

00:06:14 Speaker 3 

I stayed with it ever since. 

00:06:16 Speaker 2 

And when you when you say interested in it, when you’re building your own receiving. 

00:06:16 Speaker 3 

In one way or another. 

00:06:20 Speaker 3 

So at that time, the nothing but parts manufactured. 

00:06:29 Speaker 3 

Ready made sets were first thing of the future. 

00:06:34 Speaker 2 

So you’d you’d send away for parts and put together the ceilings. 

00:06:36 Speaker 3 

That’s it, yeah. 

00:06:38 Speaker 2 

Would they be a crystal set? 

00:06:38 Speaker 3 

Crystal said there was a crystal there. 

00:06:39 Speaker 2 

To be cold. 

00:06:41 Speaker 3 

There was a an electric store, Rogers Electric on Queen St. 

00:06:46 Speaker 3 

opposite the opposite Osgood Hall. 

00:06:50 Speaker 3 

I believe as far as I recall that that was the only place in Toronto where you could buy wireless parts as they call them. 

00:06:57 Speaker 3 

In other days, batteries. 

00:06:59 Speaker 3 

Tuning coils crystal earphones. 

00:07:03 Speaker 2 

So that’s so that that’s what what got you in, did you? 

00:07:06 Speaker 2 

Did you eventually get an experimental license or a license? 

00:07:10 Speaker 3 

At that time it wasn’t required, but later I think around 1922, where the federal government stepped in and at first the license. 

00:07:21 Speaker 3 

Was mandatory or was optional rather and. 

00:07:25 Speaker 3 

Yeah, I think there was a sort of class distinction between people who had a license and those who didn’t cost a dollar and no examination was required. 

00:07:38 Speaker 3 

You merely applied to the Department of of Marine and Fisheries at that time. 

00:07:44 Speaker 2 

Do you feel? 

00:07:46 Speaker 3 

Seeing the license was forthcoming. 

00:07:50 Speaker 2 

In your as you were going up and building these sets was a purpose. 

00:07:54 Speaker 2 

Do we see what you could receive? 

00:07:58 Speaker 3 

There was a government station, the Marconi station, rather at Center island Hamlins. 

00:08:05 Speaker 3 

Point. Mm-hmm. 

00:08:08 Speaker 3 

Aside from amateurs, that was the only station that could be heard in the Toronto. 

00:08:15 Speaker 2 

Area what was the purpose of that station? 

00:08:17 Speaker 2 

Was it mainly to communicate with the ships? 

00:08:20 Speaker 3 

On the great. 

00:08:21 Speaker 2 

Lakes so wouldn’t wouldn’t be very interested in listening and entertainment tourists. 

00:08:25 Speaker 3 

Well, not really. 

00:08:27 Speaker 3 

The the thing was in those days that you heard something at first I didn’t even know the Morse code. 

00:08:37 Speaker 3 

Well, of course I learned it quickly enough. 

00:08:39 Speaker 3 

At that age. 

00:08:39 Speaker 3 

I well, I I believe I was around 12. 

00:08:42 Speaker 3 

And those things came rather quickly. 

00:08:45 Speaker 3 

If you were interested. 

00:08:49 Speaker 2 

So you you got in was at CFRB in 1929? 

00:08:54 Speaker 3 

Well, the first broadcast station that I worked for was CFRB. 

00:09:00 Speaker 3 

And about 99% of my broadcasting experience is with that company or was with that company. 

00:09:10 Speaker 2 

And what we were we were a technician. 

00:09:12 Speaker 3 

Yes, a technician operator. 

00:09:14 Speaker 2 

They they tend to call them, they call them engineers and those needed because you knew more than anybody else. 

00:09:17 Speaker 3 

They called us we. 

00:09:19 Speaker 3 

Weren’t engineers, although some of the jobs that turned up, I suppose. 

00:09:26 Speaker 3 

Fall into that classification, but. 

00:09:30 Speaker 3 

Of course, remember that the early equipment was very primitive and subject to breakdown at least once a day, and sometimes we were called upon to exercise. 

00:09:49 Speaker 3 

Certain amount of ingenuity time was money, remember? 

00:09:56 Speaker 3 

You know, if we spent it took more than 10 minutes to repair the fault, we’d hear from it or hear about it from the studio because there were musicians standing by waiting to go on the air or being paid. 

00:10:09 Speaker 3 

And it was costing money. 

00:10:12 Speaker 2 

And their commercials too. 

00:10:13 Speaker 3 

Commercial well, commercials weren’t part of the business at first. 

00:10:21 Speaker 3 

I think the idea of establishing a radio station was to advertise your own products. 

00:10:33 Speaker 3 

Radio tubes. 

00:10:37 Speaker 3 

I forgotten the name of the radio firm, but they manufactured radio receivers and. 

00:10:45 Speaker 3 

It was a sensible idea to set up a radio station and advertise your own products. 

00:10:53 Speaker 3 

If I’m not mistaken, this you know Thompson or Lloyd Thompson started. 

00:10:58 Speaker 3 

That way, he. 

00:11:00 Speaker 3 

Had radio sets to sell and so he set up a radio station in the North Country on North Beach. 

00:11:05 Speaker 2 

Well, someone was telling me the other day that his original equipment was the old CF. 

00:11:11 Speaker 2 

Was the Csca station the Marconi station in Toronto when it shut down, but they actually bought the equipment and moved it, moved it? 

00:11:16 Speaker 3 

Yes, yes, should have been, yes. 

00:11:19 Speaker 2 

N yes, that’s how he actually got in. 

00:11:22 Speaker 3 

Yeah, let’s say that that was the idea to advertise your own products. 

00:11:30 Speaker 3 

To advertise other people’s products, which is the became the mainstay of the whole business. Of course later on was. 

00:11:39 Speaker 3 

Or I don’t recall exactly around 1931 I suppose. 

00:11:47 Speaker 2 

Well, you even then there was a a prohibition against mentioning prices. 

00:11:54 Speaker 2 

And that went on for some time with until either late 30s or sometime in the 40s. 

00:11:58 Speaker 3 

Yes, yes. 

00:11:59 Speaker 3 

And there wasn’t too much business at that time that we had entered the depression. 

00:12:05 Speaker 3 

I can recall when CFRB had only one. 

00:12:10 Speaker 3 

Plug as we called it a day, just one month for rap or fruit juice. 

00:12:18 Speaker 3 

I think it was. 

00:12:19 Speaker 3 

We used to make sure that got out without fail. 

00:12:22 Speaker 2 

That’s the only account you’ve got users to. 

00:12:24 Speaker 3 

Lovely accounts, yet? 

00:12:25 Speaker 3 

Course that didn’t last long. 

00:12:27 Speaker 3 

You know, I think. 

00:12:31 Speaker 3 

The new management came in on the. 

00:12:34 Speaker 2 

Over on the station when you began when you began working for them, then who owned the station when you started? 

00:12:42 Speaker 3 

Roger’s radio tubes. 

00:12:47 Speaker 2 

In Toronto, they use when you say new management, you mean new ownership or just just new. 

00:12:52 Speaker 3 

Yes, not new ownership, a new president. 

00:12:57 Speaker 3 

Harry Sedgwick took over at about that time and things moved very fast after he got in. 

00:12:59 Speaker 2 

Oh yes. 

00:13:06 Speaker 2 

So what? 

00:13:06 Speaker 2 

What kind of equipment and what power was the station when you? 

00:13:09 Speaker 3 

Were there well, the power at the time I joined the station was 5 kilowatts output. 

00:13:20 Speaker 3 

And very simple. 

00:13:26 Speaker 3 

In its circuitry, the the oscillator was directly modulated from a housing type modulator. 

00:13:37 Speaker 3 

In other words, it was a modulated oscillator, which is illegal nowadays, but it worked very well. 

00:13:45 Speaker 3 

In the reproduction quality was excellent, but the frequency shifted. 

00:13:52 Speaker 3 

It was partly AM and partly FM modulated. 

00:13:58 Speaker 3 

Of course, that had to be replaced a few years later by something that would hold its frequency during modulation. 

00:14:09 Speaker 3 

The audio equipment was. 

00:14:12 Speaker 3 

Mainly western electric. 

00:14:15 Speaker 3 

Some of it we made ourselves. 

00:14:16 Speaker 3 

When I say we made it ourselves, either we made it at the station, at the transmitter station or at Rogers Radio tubes. 

00:14:26 Speaker 2 

And I was trying to trying to remember you talking about the kid at that that time. 

00:14:33 Speaker 2 

I guess they weren’t that the band wasn’t that crowded, so it didn’t matter too much if you got off frequency. 

00:14:38 Speaker 3 

It didn’t matter too much as more and more stations appeared on the air, the government set a bandwidth of. 

00:14:50 Speaker 3 

10 kilocycles, as they called it, then it would be killer Hertz. 

00:14:55 Speaker 3 

And that was your bandwidth. 

00:14:59 Speaker 3 

And that also limited the frequencies that you could feed into the audio system. 

00:15:10 Speaker 3 

Very high frequencies would tend to get into the next man’s channel. 

00:15:15 Speaker 3 

And of course you couldn’t modulate frequency wise because there again you get into the other man’s. 

00:15:26 Speaker 2 

And interfere with him. 

00:15:28 Speaker 2 

You were saying earlier that if we had a breakdown, you very, very shortly heard from the studio. 

00:15:33 Speaker 2 

But did you? 

00:15:35 Speaker 2 

The worse. 

00:15:35 Speaker 2 

What were some of the famous breaking breakdowns that you remember? 

00:15:38 Speaker 3 

Well, one year, 19. 

00:15:43 Speaker 3 

Oh, it must have been 1937 or 38. One of the Big 300 foot towers fell over during a a windstorm. I actually saw it fall. 

00:15:56 Speaker 3 

I was looking through the window, watching my car to see that it was safe, and I glanced over on the hill. This hill, incidentally, was about to 1000 feet from the transmitter house. 

00:16:11 Speaker 3 

Down came this tower just as I watched it. 

00:16:14 Speaker 3 

It was raining very hard, you know, at the time. 

00:16:17 Speaker 3 

And it just seemed to buckle up in the air as it came down. 

00:16:24 Speaker 3 

It was quite a financial loss to the stage. 

00:16:26 Speaker 3 

You two, of course, but it didn’t really put us off the air for very long. 

00:16:32 Speaker 2 

Did you have alternative for alternate towers there? 

00:16:35 Speaker 3 

We had one tower, it was a 2 tower arrangement with a TV antenna in between as it was called. 

00:16:42 Speaker 3 

Well, when one tower. 

00:16:44 Speaker 3 

Came down. 

00:16:44 Speaker 3 

We rearrange the antenna system to utilize the one tower. 

00:16:50 Speaker 3 

It worked almost as well. 

00:16:52 Speaker 3 

We went off the. 

00:16:53 Speaker 3 

Air for very long. 

00:16:54 Speaker 2 

How long would that? 

00:16:55 Speaker 2 

Not very long be few. 

00:16:57 Speaker 3 

Just a few hours, a couple of experts came up from Toronto and supervised the job. 

00:17:03 Speaker 2 

They came up from Toronto, where was the transmitter? 

00:17:06 Speaker 3 

Then the transmitter is in a a war. 

00:17:09 Speaker 3 

Well, while they’re just South of two miles South of Aurora. 

00:17:13 Speaker 3 

The buildings are still there. 

00:17:16 Speaker 3 

I think they’re private homes now, but they’re. 

00:17:19 Speaker 3 

Still there I. 

00:17:21 Speaker 3 

At least there were a few years. 

00:17:22 Speaker 3 

Ago I drove up once out of curiosity. 

00:17:27 Speaker 2 

I suppose that would have been quite a wheeze outside of Toronto, and there was. 

00:17:30 Speaker 2 

You believe? 

00:17:30 Speaker 3 

All years 2020, about 20 miles. 

00:17:34 Speaker 2 

Almost in the heart of downtown. 

00:17:38 Speaker 3 

Well, now it’s it’s, it’s downtown. 

00:17:40 Speaker 3 

But you know, the roads weren’t plowed in those days. 

00:17:42 Speaker 3 

In the winter time. 

00:17:45 Speaker 3 

Sometimes even on young St. 

00:17:47 Speaker 3 

Snow would be a problem. 

00:17:49 Speaker 3 

I lived in Toronto, drove back and forth. 

00:17:54 Speaker 3 

So did Ed Bauers. 

00:17:55 Speaker 3 

He was the chief and the side Rd. 

00:18:02 Speaker 3 

Going from young St. 

00:18:03 Speaker 3 

up to the transmitter was about half a mile. 

00:18:08 Speaker 3 

To travel, and it was often plugged, so we’d leave our car as a young St. 

00:18:13 Speaker 3 

and walk. 

00:18:14 Speaker 1 

Up walk up. 

00:18:15 Speaker 2 

And we we were not able to get to work at all. 

00:18:17 Speaker 3 

No, we we got there by something or another actually there was always we worked to sort of shift basis. 

00:18:26 Speaker 3 

You know there was always someone at the transmitter. 

00:18:28 Speaker 3 

And he would stay until. 

00:18:32 Speaker 3 

His relief arrived. 

00:18:34 Speaker 2 

We used called himself earlier to an operator technician. 

00:18:39 Speaker 2 

We were on the errors that involved in operations. 

00:18:42 Speaker 3 

Not very often. 

00:18:43 Speaker 3 

When we acquired the shortwave equipment. 

00:18:47 Speaker 3 

We are required to make an announcement to every I think it was every 15 minutes, if I’m not mistaken. 

00:18:56 Speaker 3 

Sometimes we use the record, but when it wore out, which it did very quickly, we used the microphone, but it was only to give the station identification. 

00:19:08 Speaker 3 

The call letters on the location. 

00:19:13 Speaker 2 

You know the record time whether you’d like those or large transcriptions. 

00:19:17 Speaker 3 

Yes. Yeah, 1515 inch 15, yes. 

00:19:23 Speaker 3 

Would contain a. 

00:19:28 Speaker 3 

Half a program and then the advertising. 

00:19:33 Speaker 3 

And on the other side would contain the other. 

00:19:37 Speaker 2 

15 minute they did come in, I suppose, were the ones with programs would come in from the advertising agencies with the. 

00:19:46 Speaker 3 

Yes, I believe so. 

00:19:49 Speaker 3 

Things changed very rapidly in those days. 

00:19:51 Speaker 3 

You know, at first it was all. 

00:19:55 Speaker 3 

Live, as they call it now, and it was only later that the programs were put on records. 

00:20:06 Speaker 3 

Incidentally, was a live programming some horrible errors were. 

00:20:11 Speaker 2 

Made just just going to ask you because it’s one of the things that we don’t see now, of course everything is taped. 

00:20:19 Speaker 2 

You videotape you audiotape and you’re almost the only thing that’s live is the news and the sporting events. 

00:20:27 Speaker 3 

Yes, yes. 

00:20:29 Speaker 2 

What were some of the more interesting mistakes you that got made? 

00:20:34 Speaker 3 

Well, one of them was not mentionable. 

00:20:39 Speaker 2 

I think almost anything was mentioned, Walter. 

00:20:50 Speaker 3 

Errors of grammar. 

00:20:52 Speaker 3 

I suppose that a man wouldn’t errors that a man wouldn’t ordinarily make, and he’d like to. 

00:21:01 Speaker 3 

If he did, he’d like to recall. 

00:21:03 Speaker 3 

Now on transcription, he could do that. 

00:21:07 Speaker 2 

Well, one of the traditions in the broadcasting business is you always try and break somebody up on here was that that was that sort of thing going on when. 

00:21:16 Speaker 3 

You were at the business. 

00:21:21 Speaker 3 

You mean that interfere with his? 

00:21:24 Speaker 2 

Well, they would do almost anything they could to make him laugh or to to throw him in reading his copy. 

00:21:30 Speaker 3 

Oh yes, most of the announcers were very skillful and keeping a straight face the yet at times you you could tell by listening that he was trying hard not to laugh. 

00:21:50 Speaker 2 

How long were you with CFRB? 

00:21:55 Speaker 3 

I the first phase as I call it, was from 1929 to 1941. I joined the Air Force at that time. When I came back. 

00:22:11 Speaker 3 

I went back with CFRB. 

00:22:15 Speaker 3 

Soon after I rejoined they they moved to Clarkson, West of Toronto. 

00:22:22 Speaker 3 

They’re still there, I believe. 

00:22:24 Speaker 2 

That’s the transmitter, right? 

00:22:24 Speaker 3 

I’m Speaking of the transmitter plant. 

00:22:28 Speaker 3 

Also, the studios were moved from Bloor St. 

00:22:34 Speaker 3 

Young St. 

00:22:35 Speaker 3 

above Saint Clair. 

00:22:36 Speaker 3 

I don’t know where they are. 

00:22:38 Speaker 2 

Now Eglinton Ave. 

00:22:41 Speaker 2 

West, just just West of your. 

00:22:43 Speaker 2 

Institute there large building, yeah. 

00:22:43 Speaker 3 

I I see. 

00:22:47 Speaker 2 

But we had the equipment changed a good deal. 

00:22:49 Speaker 2 

With and we get back. 

00:22:49 Speaker 3 

Oh yes, yes. 

00:22:51 Speaker 3 

And the role of the. 

00:22:55 Speaker 3 

Operator technician, this is completely changed. 

00:22:58 Speaker 3 

In fact, I don’t think most of the stations have anyone watching or running the equipment at all. 

00:23:06 Speaker 3 

It’s started automatically by a tape and stopped. 

00:23:11 Speaker 3 

As far as maintenance and servicing concerned. 

00:23:19 Speaker 3 

People go out periodically and inspect the equipment. 

00:23:26 Speaker 3 

Make all necessary repairs and the way it goes again for another few months. 

00:23:30 Speaker 2 

But it did. 

00:23:31 Speaker 2 

It doesn’t breakdown quite regularly. 

00:23:32 Speaker 3 

No, at first it subject to or almost hourly breakdown had to be watched very closely. 

00:23:33 Speaker 2 

As you used to. 

00:23:42 Speaker 2 

What were the parts of the equipment that broke down with it? 

00:23:45 Speaker 2 

Was it that the tubes went? 

00:23:45 Speaker 3 

YouTube mainly yes. 

00:23:48 Speaker 3 

We used water cooled tubes and development was in its infancy. 

00:23:58 Speaker 3 

I think the main problem was the air used to leak in the seals, you know. 

00:24:02 Speaker 3 

And of course every once in a while the the current would arc over from the plate to the grid or cathode and trip the Breakers or blow the fuses and put the station off the air. 

00:24:20 Speaker 2 

That would be of a fairly easy manner to repair. 

00:24:23 Speaker 2 

That wouldn’t be just. 

00:24:28 Speaker 3 

Happened two or three times. 

00:24:29 Speaker 3 

We take the tube out that required about an hour would have to remove the tube. 

00:24:39 Speaker 3 

Much socket. 

00:24:42 Speaker 3 

Each water jacket rather and put a new one in with the new ceiling gasket. 

00:24:49 Speaker 3 

Quite often it would leak and it would have to be retightened and started up again. 

00:24:56 Speaker 3 

Possibly it too would have a certain amount of gas in the interior due to its lying idles for certain a length of time. 

00:25:07 Speaker 3 

We were busy. 

00:25:09 Speaker 3 

There’s no question about that. 

00:25:11 Speaker 3 

But as time went on, the manufacturers such as Western Electric and RCA got into the picture and. 

00:25:20 Speaker 3 

The engineering was improved. 

00:25:23 Speaker 3 

Eventually, equipment was. 

00:25:27 Speaker 3 

It would operate much the same as a modern TV or radio. 

00:25:30 Speaker 3 

It would go from months without breakdown. 

00:25:34 Speaker 2 

What sort of hours and what sort of days did you work? 

00:25:37 Speaker 2 

Was it, you know, 14 hour days? 

00:25:43 Speaker 3 

Generally, an arrangement of our own. 

00:25:46 Speaker 3 

There, there had to be a a minimum of two men at the transmitter at all times. 

00:25:55 Speaker 3 

We would work a shift system. 

00:25:57 Speaker 3 

Sometimes we’d work for. 

00:26:01 Speaker 3 

A couple of days. 

00:26:03 Speaker 3 

Shutting down the station at about 12:00 or 1:00 o’clock and starting up again at around 7:00 in the morning. 

00:26:12 Speaker 3 

Later on, after the war, these stations operated 24 hours a day. 

00:26:19 Speaker 3 

So a somewhat different system had to be arranged for. 

00:26:25 Speaker 3 

Watches or schedules. 

00:26:27 Speaker 2 

Whether this when you came back, did they still have the the two men required? 

00:26:31 Speaker 2 

We know that the. 

00:26:32 Speaker 2 

Train for a. 

00:26:32 Speaker 3 

While yes, I think later it was realized that it wasn’t necessary. 

00:26:41 Speaker 3 

Like equipment could operate unattended actually. 

00:26:45 Speaker 2 

But does it? 

00:26:46 Speaker 2 

I suppose this has to do too with the development of the transistors. 

00:26:48 Speaker 2 

Oh yes, to replace the way your. 

00:26:51 Speaker 3 

Water cooled. 

00:26:52 Speaker 3 

Yes, well, air cooled tubes replaced water coolant tubes after the war. 

00:27:01 Speaker 3 

A less subject to troubles, although of course if the air the air blowers quit, the tubes would shut off. 

00:27:13 Speaker 2 

You know we need well in the. 

00:27:17 Speaker 2 

You came back after the war. What was that 1194546? 

00:27:21 Speaker 3 

Us in 1945. 

00:27:23 Speaker 2 

And how long would you remain with or be there? 

00:27:27 Speaker 3 

In 1960. 

00:27:31 Speaker 3 

This was when all was given. 

00:27:33 Speaker 3 

The alternative of moving to Toronto wanted to stay or building. 

00:27:39 Speaker 2 

Why you had you been living here and slipping? 

00:27:41 Speaker 3 

All yes, I. 

00:27:42 Speaker 2 


00:27:42 Speaker 3 

Ever since the war, I lived here and. 

00:27:46 Speaker 3 

I I couldn’t see as it turned out, it was a very wise. 

00:27:50 Speaker 3 

Choice that I made. 

00:27:54 Speaker 3 

I went to see BBC and they didn’t seem to care where I lived as long as I was there on time. 

00:28:01 Speaker 3 

But I I didn’t stay with the CBC for very long either. 

00:28:05 Speaker 3 

By that time, I was beginning to think that I should. 

00:28:10 Speaker 3 

Try something else. 

00:28:12 Speaker 2 

What’s the weather long commute? 

00:28:15 Speaker 3 

Yes, it was. 

00:28:15 Speaker 3 

That was beginning to get on my nerves. 

00:28:19 Speaker 3 

You know, I thought that, oh, eventually sooner or later I would have an accident. 

00:28:25 Speaker 3 

I never did. 

00:28:26 Speaker 3 

I was very lucky, I guess. 

00:28:28 Speaker 2 

When they do move into television, when they do stay entirely with me. 

00:28:31 Speaker 3 

Your that again was a new thing. 

00:28:37 Speaker 3 

The company. 

00:28:40 Speaker 3 

Assumed, I suppose that they would have a television station sooner or later, so several of those were sent to Ryerson to learn the techniques. 

00:28:57 Speaker 3 

I took two courses down there. 

00:29:00 Speaker 3 

One and uh. 

00:29:05 Speaker 3 

Technical aspects of television equipment and the other one on television production program production I. 

00:29:12 Speaker 3 

Don’t know why. 

00:29:13 Speaker 3 

I got involved in that I wasn’t really interested, but anyway, as it turned out, the company didn’t get the license. 

00:29:15 Speaker 2 

Why not? 

00:29:24 Speaker 3 

I don’t know. 

00:29:25 Speaker 3 

I I guess it it was that the Bassett company eventually got the license, yeah. 

00:29:30 Speaker 2 

Yes, cfto CTV. 

00:29:34 Speaker 2 

So you would have been working in what in the old Havergal Girls School there when you were with the CVC? 

00:29:42 Speaker 3 

No, I was at the transmitter at Hornby again. 

00:29:42 Speaker 2 

Agree with you. 

00:29:50 Speaker 3 

It was operating with the original equipment that had been installed in the 30s. 

00:29:56 Speaker 3 

And it required constant supervision. 

00:30:01 Speaker 3 

But I understand now that they have up-to-date equipment that will operate. 

00:30:10 Speaker 3 

For long periods doing trouble. 

00:30:11 Speaker 2 

Without without attendance until back your when you started with CFRB, what would your what would the reach of the station be roughly around? 

00:30:23 Speaker 3 

About 150 miles. 

00:30:27 Speaker 3 

At first you know the IT was considered. 

00:30:32 Speaker 3 

Quite the thing to be heard in California or New York or way down South later when advertising took control, it was realized that a man in California wouldn’t buy your automobile. 

00:30:51 Speaker 3 

If you were an automobile dealer, So what was required by the advertisers was very strong signal that would override everything within. 

00:31:06 Speaker 3 

An area that they expected to do business. 

00:31:10 Speaker 3 

I don’t think the range has increased very much actually, but. 

00:31:14 Speaker 2 

And your range is dependent on the skip wave anyway. 

00:31:17 Speaker 3 

Yes, that was it. 

00:31:18 Speaker 2 

But that factor really is normal. 

00:31:18 Speaker 3 

The skip. 

00:31:19 Speaker 3 

Although antennas were designed to do away with that sky wave or skip. 

00:31:26 Speaker 3 

The the vertical radiator 5/8 wave wavelength long was designed to provide a very, very strong signal locally. 

00:31:40 Speaker 2 

Is you see, that’s where the advertising money was going to come from. 

00:31:43 Speaker 3 

Yes, yes, that was the controlling factor actually. 

00:31:48 Speaker 2 

I don’t suppose you’re terribly familiar with. 

00:31:50 Speaker 2 

As I recollect the development of CFRB and the CAB, one of the big arguments RB headers, and of all the private stations that kept him asking for an increase in power, and it kept getting either denied, or at least. 

00:32:03 Speaker 3 

Lost. Yes. Well. 

00:32:07 Speaker 3 

CFRB went from the original 5 kilowatts, eventually to 50 kilowatts. 

00:32:15 Speaker 3 

It went up by stages 10 kilowatts and 20 is 20 kilowatts is. 

00:32:27 Speaker 3 

What we thought we were getting from the transmitter based on what was going in, but it was around 20 kilowatts. Well then, ultimately in 1948 the company bought 2 RCA transmitters, one of 10 kilowatts. 

00:32:45 Speaker 3 

Output is a standby and one of 50 the main transmitter. 

00:32:52 Speaker 2 

So that’s what’s when they went to the. 

00:32:53 Speaker 2 

50s, yes. 

00:32:56 Speaker 2 

Uh, what sort of range would that give you again in your, let’s say in your advertising area, how would it affect the? 

00:33:02 Speaker 3 

Really not much more than 150 or 200 miles. I don’t think the company was much interested in ranges greater than that. 

00:33:12 Speaker 2 

But it did provide a stronger signal. 

00:33:14 Speaker 3 

We’re very strong signal, yes, yeah. 

00:33:17 Speaker 2 

I know I can’t even get RGB, but it’s so close to 980. 

00:33:20 Speaker 3 

Yes, yes, yes, yes. 

00:33:21 Speaker 2 

In London then it’s it’s 19. 

00:33:23 Speaker 3 

But their main lobes are east and West. 

00:33:25 Speaker 3 

There used to be anyway. 

00:33:27 Speaker 3 

Because there’s no point in sending a signal across the lake and population density decreases towards the north. 

00:33:38 Speaker 3 

That also is a factor very carefully studied the number of. 

00:33:44 Speaker 3 

Persons living within the area. 

00:33:49 Speaker 3 

The idea of a directional antenna. 

00:33:55 Speaker 3 

Is to. 

00:33:56 Speaker 3 

Put your signal where the people are. 

00:34:00 Speaker 2 

You know, when did directional antennas come in? 

00:34:04 Speaker 2 

I don’t imagine they were available early on. 

00:34:08 Speaker 3 

They’ve been developed over the years, have been known from quite. 

00:34:15 Speaker 3 

Early on in direction finding at sea. 


You gentlemen like a cup of coffee? 

00:34:22 Speaker 3 

Oh how this is. 

00:34:25 Speaker 2 

Teacup noise wall hood. 

00:34:27 Speaker 2 

Now you’re saying about directional direction finding equipment at sea. 

00:34:32 Speaker 3 

Yes, that’s where it started. I knew about that and in 1924 because. 

00:34:40 Speaker 3 

I worked on a government station for a short time in Newfoundland. 

00:34:47 Speaker 3 

Where the sole. 

00:34:50 Speaker 3 

Business was to give bearings to ships at sea. 

00:34:56 Speaker 2 

Because that’s really what radio were broadcasting as we know it was originally for it wasn’t. 

00:35:01 Speaker 2 

It was a navigational aid and safety. 

00:35:02 Speaker 3 

Oh, yes, yes, definitely yes, yes. 

00:35:06 Speaker 2 

We just move that over, we can see. 

00:35:10 Speaker 3 


00:35:19 Speaker 2 

Be interesting to see if the microphone picks up the chewing. 

00:35:22 Speaker 3 

I wonder. 

00:35:26 Speaker 3 

You can erase the part that. 

00:35:28 Speaker 2 

We’re working with. 

00:35:31 Speaker 2 

And I’m a little worried about the amount of tape I’m going to wind up having by the time I get through this system. 

00:35:36 Speaker 2 

What I’m going to do with him. 

00:35:42 Speaker 3 

Broadcasters first became interested in. 

00:35:47 Speaker 3 

Directional antennas when? 

00:35:50 Speaker 3 

The government. 

00:35:59 Speaker 3 

Yes, if if for instance, there was a station in Wingham and you wish to establish a station here. 

00:36:11 Speaker 3 

You might ordinarily interfere with Wingham if you were on an adjacent channel. 

00:36:19 Speaker 3 

Or again, suppose there was a station, let’s say in New York City, operating on a frequency which would be available in Canada. 

00:36:31 Speaker 3 

Now, there again you might interfere with this New York station or or to some extent at times. 

00:36:39 Speaker 3 

But if you established a station with a. 

00:36:44 Speaker 3 

A directional antenna system which put the signal elsewhere. Then in that New York Stations’s service area you could obtain a license. 

00:36:57 Speaker 3 

You had to prove that you were doing this. 

00:36:59 Speaker 3 

You you would have to devise an antenna system with a theoretical pattern. 

00:37:08 Speaker 3 

That would show to your signal was not interfering with this New York stations. 

00:37:14 Speaker 2 

Or with any other Canadian station. 

00:37:14 Speaker 3 

Yes, yes, yes. 

00:37:16 Speaker 3 

Yeah, because there are stations on the same channel. 

00:37:20 Speaker 3 

They have to be, but they’re normally separated by many miles of distance and they don’t. 

00:37:27 Speaker 3 

Interfere with each other. 

00:37:29 Speaker 3 

But the direction the Lantana helps in that this fact. 

00:37:35 Speaker 2 

Well, who are some of the people that you remember working with? 

00:37:39 Speaker 3 

Well, first man I met was Ed Bowers, and he was the chief of the transmitting plant and. 

00:37:44 Speaker 1 


00:37:51 Speaker 3 

And Harry, Harry Slaby, he and I joined CFR. 

00:37:56 Speaker 3 

Be at about the same time. 

00:37:58 Speaker 3 

So did Bill Baker. 

00:38:00 Speaker 3 

But Bill took up studio work rather than transmitter, and some of the announcers at that time, all their names escaped me. 

00:38:16 Speaker 3 

They’re very good. 

00:38:18 Speaker 3 

I’m very busy. 

00:38:21 Speaker 3 

Practically nothing was taped. 

00:38:25 Speaker 3 

Well, there was no tape yet at that time, I should say, recorded. 

00:38:27 Speaker 2 

You had the transcriptions you know. 

00:38:34 Speaker 3 

And the announcer would have to go where the news the program was originating. 

00:38:42 Speaker 3 

At first. 

00:38:45 Speaker 3 

Of course, everything took place in the studio and then remote equipment became available using the telephone lines. 

00:38:53 Speaker 3 

But I’m trying to recall the names of some of these announcers don’t seem to be able to, or Charles Schuler was one. 

00:39:01 Speaker 3 

He is a CFRB. 

00:39:03 Speaker 2 

Of course, I grew up in Windsor and for the oriented towards WJR and WWE, we just, I just sort of barely heard of the CBC and even even CKLW. 

00:39:06 Speaker 3 

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yeah. 

00:39:16 Speaker 2 

Not the in Windsor was not the popular state, it was the most popular station in Detroit. 

00:39:21 Speaker 3 

Yes, yes, it was strictly local in those days, wasn’t it? 

00:39:25 Speaker 3 

Although when the the broadcasting chains started to operate and involve all these stations, including Canadian stations, the CBS and NBC. 

00:39:39 Speaker 3 

Some of their. 

00:39:41 Speaker 3 

Chain announcers were. 

00:39:45 Speaker 3 

Very well known people. 

00:39:47 Speaker 2 

Would all be ever connected with the numeric American nicknames. 

00:39:51 Speaker 3 

Yes, the CBS the Columbia broadcasting system. 

00:39:56 Speaker 3 

I remember when we first became associated. 

00:40:01 Speaker 3 

With that change, the very first day, and I was rather made that the quickness of it’s they would switch from one program to another up until that time we. 

00:40:13 Speaker 3 

Would complete a program and then it would be several seconds before we’d start receiving the next one, but it was considerable. 

00:40:25 Speaker 2 

Would that, would that be due to changing? 

00:40:27 Speaker 3 

The yes, switching things about, you know, and this also plays in the studio, of course. 

00:40:28 Speaker 2 

On the turntables. 

00:40:33 Speaker 3 

But then it was considered that you could lose your audience during that silent period, the Americans were. 

00:40:42 Speaker 3 

Well aware of that. 

00:40:44 Speaker 3 

So they wouldn’t leave a split second between programs. 

00:40:48 Speaker 3 

They finished the last note on one and commenced the next one right away. 

00:40:55 Speaker 2 

It was at that. 

00:40:57 Speaker 2 

Did they have better equipment? 

00:40:58 Speaker 2 

Was this how they want to deal with it? 

00:40:59 Speaker 3 

Well, I think it was more or less the same. 

00:41:03 Speaker 3 

A lot of it was what we’d call homemade, although hours of made it the tube plant and some of it we made. 

00:41:14 Speaker 2 

Ourselves, there wasn’t mass produced or were readily available. 

00:41:16 Speaker 3 

Was that that it was unique in that respect? 

00:41:21 Speaker 3 

And rather crude. 

00:41:30 Speaker 2 

I’m just trying to go back in my own mind. 

00:41:34 Speaker 2 

Some of the things that happened or have happened or had happened quite be at the transmitter you would. 

00:41:41 Speaker 2 

The young and more into the again into the other end with the development of the trend of the tape recorders and the the tape and lamps. 

00:41:47 Speaker 3 

US well, all that came after the war. 

00:41:51 Speaker 3 

The wire recorder was developed during the war and then the tape recorder very soon afterwards. 

00:41:58 Speaker 2 

Did you eat dare police book broadcasting from the front. 

00:42:02 Speaker 3 

Yes, I did. 

00:42:03 Speaker 3 

That was rather good. 

00:42:04 Speaker 2 

That must have been an amazing experience to get that equipment loaded and then eventually make it mobile, because it certainly wasn’t portable equipment in the. 

00:42:10 Speaker 3 

Yes, yes. 

00:42:12 Speaker 2 

Difficulties too, with great difficulties. 

00:42:16 Speaker 2 

That was one of the things that got me started out in this project is that it seemed to me it just simply cried out not to be. 

00:42:19 Speaker 1 

Oh, yes, yes. 

00:42:23 Speaker 2 

A book. 

00:42:24 Speaker 2 

But to be conversations with these people along with, you know, if they could possibly have scared up any of the recordings or we duplicated any of. 

00:42:32 Speaker 3 

The recording our homes was involved in that. 

00:42:38 Speaker 3 

He was with the CBC at the time and afterwards when I went to the CBC for a job, I I had to see art and he was the man to see. 

00:42:51 Speaker 3 

That I didn’t know at the time that he had been involved in this wartime broadcasting, that after I read the book I I found out that he had. 

00:43:01 Speaker 2 

Oh, my God. 

00:43:01 Speaker 2 

They’re reading the book. 

00:43:02 Speaker 2 

That was almost accidental and all that. 

00:43:05 Speaker 2 

Borman and Holmes were supposed to do was to. 

00:43:08 Speaker 2 

Record something at the dockside is the truth left the you know, and then Bob and said, well, why shouldn’t we go over with them? 

00:43:10 Speaker 3 

Yes, yeah. 

00:43:11 Speaker 3 

Anything they thought was worth recording. 

00:43:17 Speaker 2 

It sounded a little bit like a boondoggle. 

00:43:21 Speaker 2 

Get overseas and see what the boss does. 

00:43:23 Speaker 2 

When I’m there. 

00:43:26 Speaker 3 

Although I guess they had their work cut out. 

00:43:32 Speaker 3 

Yes, yes, it’s very popular here too. 

00:43:35 Speaker 2 

Well, obviously it would be. 

00:43:37 Speaker 2 

Yes, you would be able to hear the voices of the the troops and actually do broadcast from London when this was going on and just. 

00:43:41 Speaker 3 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:43:43 Speaker 3 

You’d wonder how they did it too. 

00:43:45 Speaker 3 

I remember at the time. 

00:43:47 Speaker 3 

That you could hear. 

00:43:52 Speaker 3 

Some of the noises of battle or action and then an announcer would come in the the course nowadays. 

00:44:01 Speaker 2 

And my own information. 

00:44:02 Speaker 3 

He’d carry the equipment in his pocket. 

00:44:04 Speaker 3 

It would then, of course, it was very heavy, very large and cumbersome and had to be. 

00:44:10 Speaker 3 

Moved by truck. 

00:44:12 Speaker 2 

I guess the again, I was, I was reading through the book again the other night on the big truck they had I guess eventually had all sorts of. 

00:44:21 Speaker 2 

Scraped some scratches out of them and they were in fact took. 

00:44:25 Speaker 2 

Which was just just plain lucky because they got several buildings bombed out. 

00:44:29 Speaker 3 

Yes, a lot of near misses apparently. 

00:44:33 Speaker 3 

As I recall reading the book. 

00:44:36 Speaker 2 

It was a fascinating period. 

00:44:40 Speaker 2 

You were in the Air Force that we would have. 

00:44:42 Speaker 3 

Yes, I was. 

00:44:43 Speaker 3 

I I had nothing to do with broadcasting during that time. 

00:44:46 Speaker 3 

I was involved in radar. 

00:44:49 Speaker 2 

So that was a putting new and pretty exciting field. 

00:44:51 Speaker 3 

It was new. 

00:44:52 Speaker 3 

You was? 

00:44:52 Speaker 3 

Oh, yes, very new. 

00:44:55 Speaker 2 

As well with your in your with your technician or in your. 

00:45:00 Speaker 2 

Broadcasting background made almost a natural for you to be in in the same kind of equipment. 

00:45:04 Speaker 3 

Yes, well, you know, years previously I had taken a course. 

00:45:10 Speaker 3 

With the Marconi company, they operated a school in Toronto on UH radio direction finding and. 

00:45:21 Speaker 3 

I during the war I I read in a Toronto paper an ad from the Air Force recruiting office. 

00:45:32 Speaker 3 

They wanted men experienced in that line for radiolocation they called and there were several commissions. 

00:45:41 Speaker 3 

If you could pass an exam. 

00:45:43 Speaker 3 

So luckily I remembered almost everything taken on this course and. 

00:45:51 Speaker 3 

Whether I look good or whether they needed men badly or not, I don’t know. 

00:45:56 Speaker 3 

Anyway, I I did get a Commission out of it and later I found out it wasn’t called radio location at all. 

00:46:03 Speaker 3 

That was just yes. 

00:46:07 Speaker 2 

No, because it was. 

00:46:08 Speaker 3 

What is called it? 

00:46:09 Speaker 3 

RDF Radio direction finding? 

00:46:13 Speaker 2 

But certainly it was a secret sort of gimmick at the. 

00:46:14 Speaker 3 

Yes. Yes, it was, yeah. 

00:46:15 Speaker 2 

Start of the. 

00:46:20 Speaker 2 

Well, I think we can turn this monster off, make me relax and have a. 

Part 2


00:00:03 Speaker 1 

Small check. Make sure we get it. When did you get into into broadcasting? And we’re on our first year in broadcasting. Was about 1934. About a year after I had finished university. 

00:00:16 Speaker 1 

And started off with the Canadian National Carbing Company on Davenport Rd. 

00:00:22 Speaker 1 

which was the the original headquarters of the old CRBC in Toronto. 

00:00:29 Speaker 1 

And that was the. 

00:00:32 Speaker 1 

Place where we fed the Canadian network at that time, except for the French network and the problems of Quebec, of course. 

00:00:42 Speaker 1 

That was shortly after the about the time the aired report was being. 

00:00:48 Speaker 1 

Looked into and I think became effective around 1936 and then that was I think the the time it was the CRBC officially became. 

00:00:59 Speaker 1 

The agency before that time or prior to that time had been the old CNR network CNRT Toronto and CNR Wadable on that sort of thing. 

00:01:10 Speaker 1 

They had a vote, as I recall, about 6 or 8 stations. 

00:01:15 Speaker 1 

And as I recall, Gordon Olive was the chief engineer of the OCR, the old Canadian National Network, and when when it turned it was turned over to the CR to the CRBC, then it he became chief engineer of the CRBC. 

00:01:31 Speaker 1 

And all the facilities that they had had after that time became the property or the part of the of the new new chain and they were both owned and operated and affiliated as much as the CBC is today. 

00:01:42 Speaker 1 

That’s right. 

00:01:43 Speaker 1 

It’s much the same, except that it was operated under a Commission and not just today. 

00:01:50 Speaker 1 

What did you what was your job? 

00:01:52 Speaker 1 

You must have been one of the few university graduates around in the business. 

00:01:56 Speaker 1 

Of that. 

00:01:56 Speaker 1 

Well, at that time, I think I was the only university graduate in Toronto at that time, and I started off as an operator on the board. 

00:02:04 Speaker 1 

And spent a couple of years at that and then eventually became chief engineer in Toronto there until 1939 and they moved me to Montreal and the plant department and. 

00:02:17 Speaker 1 

From then until 1947, I was in the Plant Department engineering headquarters in Montreal, in charge of. 

00:02:25 Speaker 1 

Construction design of studio equipment and that’s what you see. 

00:02:28 Speaker 1 

With the. 

00:02:31 Speaker 1 

You know, what would your university degree in was an electrical engineering. 

00:02:35 Speaker 1 

Electrical engineering? 

00:02:36 Speaker 1 

Yes, because the usual pattern of that time was to go through high school and go down and get interested in the local station and. 

00:02:42 Speaker 1 

Just to start to work. 

00:02:43 Speaker 1 

Yes, that’s right. 

00:02:46 Speaker 1 

So what can you describe for me? 

00:02:49 Speaker 1 

Is some of the equipment that you were using when the diesel when you started? 

00:02:53 Speaker 1 

Well, if you. 

00:02:54 Speaker 1 

Go back to the old days of our operation on Davenport Rd. 

00:02:58 Speaker 1 

The the equipment then was monstrous. 

00:03:01 Speaker 1 

In other words, a very low gain amplifier would take up a probably a couple of cubic feet in space and and. 

00:03:10 Speaker 1 

It took a lot of power to drive it. 

00:03:11 Speaker 1 

It was the equipment was tended to be just a little bit cranky and and you didn’t have anything in the way of, say, recording facilities or tape facilities as you have today and everything had to be done live. 

00:03:26 Speaker 1 

The programming was done on a, say a 15 minute or an hour basis, and and the announcers made station breaks to where they they they announced the programs. 

00:03:37 Speaker 1 

Your talent was all live. 

00:03:38 Speaker 1 

There was nothing delayed or anything like that, such as we have today. 

00:03:43 Speaker 1 

So there’s a cumbersome type of operation, but very interesting. 

00:03:46 Speaker 1 

Type of work at the same time it was that you were of course operating with the with the vacuum tubes. 

00:03:52 Speaker 1 

Oh, yes. 

00:03:52 Speaker 1 

I’ll bring the vacuum tubes with a with a water cooler here. 

00:03:56 Speaker 1 

Not the small ones. 

00:03:57 Speaker 1 

The ones in the transmitters and some of the transmitters, of course, were forced cooled or water cooled, but certainly the ones in in the studios were small enough anticipation that didn’t require. 

00:04:08 Speaker 1 

That that they tend to go where you said they were cranky, they tend to. 

00:04:11 Speaker 1 

Go in the fridge. 

00:04:12 Speaker 1 

Occasionally you’d run into a problem like that, more so than you than you would today push the old transistor as it would most most of the equipment today is gradually getting transistorized, although there is still a lot of tube equipment around and the majority of the the people engineering people are. 

00:04:31 Speaker 1 

And maybe still more fully equated with tube equipment than they are in transistor equipment. 

00:04:36 Speaker 1 

A little bit the the change is coming gradually and practically all the new stuff that is on the mark today is transistorized. 

00:04:45 Speaker 1 

Even the big transmitters are transistorized up to the final stage, for example. 

00:04:50 Speaker 1 

And in in your position where you were you mainly an operator or mainly an engineer in the early days or mainly an operator or an engineer. 

00:04:58 Speaker 1 

In the early days, well in the early days, it starts you were, but you’re really an operator. 

00:05:03 Speaker 1 

You did network shows, you bought them, you bought in the American network into Canada and and did the cut the. 

00:05:09 Speaker 1 

And commercial cuttings and that sort of thing fed the network for each program period as it came up later on. 

00:05:19 Speaker 1 

As the time went by, then we got into more engineering and and more development work. 

00:05:26 Speaker 1 

In the early days it was always a problem as far as remote. 

00:05:30 Speaker 1 

Work was concerned, which we can do very easily as we’re doing today, for example, but the the the weight of equipment at that time was something to to be to be considered, so you’d be you’d be there when they’re probably when they began, if you like, the original remote broadcast, they did. 

00:05:47 Speaker 1 

They used to do it. 

00:05:48 Speaker 1 

Number as I recollect from my youth quite a number from say the local hotel or ballrooms? 

00:05:54 Speaker 1 

Oh, yes, yes. 

00:05:55 Speaker 1 

Now, for example, Rex Battle went to NBC at noon every day. 

00:06:00 Speaker 1 

That was a regular feature, and we used to have to cover that you had some of the early. 

00:06:09 Speaker 1 

Remotes are not quite remote, but emergency broadcast lake. The Moose River mine disaster, which took place I think in 1936 and I’m just guessing, is at the present time. 

00:06:21 Speaker 1 

Things like that, that that did develop, we used to do nearly days actualities from say, a flour mill or from westons or or some bakery or maybe a candy factory or something like that. 

00:06:39 Speaker 1 

Those were things. 

00:06:40 Speaker 1 

Were attempted early in the in the in the in the game. 

00:06:45 Speaker 1 

What would they be? 

00:06:45 Speaker 1 

You call them actualities in today’s terms? 

00:06:47 Speaker 1 

Of course, that’s a new, really news. 

00:06:50 Speaker 1 

And these could. 

00:06:50 Speaker 1 

Be a news clip. 

00:06:51 Speaker 1 

Yes, that’s right. 

00:06:52 Speaker 1 

Except the dollars would be a complete interview. 

00:06:54 Speaker 1 

It might take up, say, 45 minutes or an hour today they they tend more towards, say, the five minute. 

00:07:01 Speaker 1 

For the one minute clip something like that. So there would be actually a program from that program in itself, yes, rather than A5 breaking news story to be featured anyway. Yes. And of course this would be fed back to the studio that over telephone. 

00:07:15 Speaker 1 

That would be as fed back because you couldn’t do any taking at that time. 

00:07:19 Speaker 1 

You see, we fed back to the studio on telephone lines and broadcast locally or to the network, whichever was required. 

00:07:25 Speaker 1 

But going live must have been a little bit nerve racking from time to time. 

00:07:29 Speaker 1 

Did you have any serious accidents using the word in quotes? 

00:07:33 Speaker 1 

Well, it was a little bit more. 

00:07:35 Speaker 1 

Nerve racking and I think the operation is today for example, you take Sunday night when Amos and Andy and and some. 

00:07:43 Speaker 1 

Really, the American programs came from the states, through the the board in Toronto had to be fed to the Fed, to the network. 

00:07:52 Speaker 1 

It was necessary always to delete the American commercials and cut in Canadian commercials and all the the cue sheets that we had were not always completely. 

00:08:04 Speaker 1 

And if you got a song with say 5 or 6 verses you never were quite sure how many verses they were going to. 

00:08:10 Speaker 1 

To have and or sing or play, they might have five or six or seven and be almost your your on tender hooks as to whether or not the commercial announcer from the states was going to come in before you have a chance of cutting cutting. 

00:08:26 Speaker 1 

What would it say in the cushi? 

00:08:27 Speaker 1 

Just song. 

00:08:28 Speaker 1 

Good night, baby. 

00:08:29 Speaker 1 

Yes, right, yes. 

00:08:31 Speaker 1 

And they wouldn’t give any information out of no queue out or anything like that. 

00:08:35 Speaker 1 

When did you ever miss it? 

00:08:37 Speaker 1 

Oh, yes. 

00:08:38 Speaker 1 

We used to get in the habit of fading at the end of every verse very quickly and see if the announcer was coming in. 

00:08:44 Speaker 1 

And if he just found came in again, we’d fade it up very quickly. 

00:08:47 Speaker 1 

You got to do little things like that so it wouldn’t sound too amateurish where you live around here, yourself and in your capacity as an operator. 

00:08:56 Speaker 1 

Very, very seldom. 

00:08:57 Speaker 1 

Very seldom I kept away from that. 

00:09:00 Speaker 1 

There were enough other. 

00:09:00 Speaker 1 

Things to do. 

00:09:01 Speaker 1 

What kind of local programming was being done? 

00:09:04 Speaker 1 

Again, it would be done live when you started out with. 

00:09:08 Speaker 1 

Yes, it would be done live. 

00:09:10 Speaker 1 

You had orchestras like Percy Faith. 

00:09:14 Speaker 1 

You had feature programs, cooking schools programs. 

00:09:20 Speaker 1 

Jimmy Navarro was at the Nielsen Hour used to be on every day for 15 minutes. 

00:09:26 Speaker 1 

The happy game. 

00:09:27 Speaker 1 

For example, of course they went networking. 

00:09:30 Speaker 1 

You’d have a string quartet, you might have a vocalist and and a piano. 

00:09:35 Speaker 1 

Those were the type of of live programs and were necessary. 

00:09:40 Speaker 1 

With the with the artists or the talent where they paid at that time. 

00:09:44 Speaker 1 

Yes, they were all paid reunion rates at that time. 

00:09:47 Speaker 1 

Well, of course you’re you’re getting now, I guess into the middle 30s and later on, so that you’re you’re really into broadcasting because in the early days frequently talent would appear simply for the exposure. 

00:09:58 Speaker 1 

Oh yes, in the early, very early days or you’d have every so often you’d have these amateur shows. 

00:10:06 Speaker 1 

Where the talent wouldn’t be paid. What do we call any? Any gaps that were made on here is you do hear these records of famous bloopers, but I’m sure that from day-to-day mistakes were made on here or pranks were played. 

00:10:24 Speaker 1 

That happened quite often. 

00:10:25 Speaker 1 

Yes, I remember once going down to Prescott to do a opening of some historical location down there and it was to be fed back to the network we set up and did the. 

00:10:38 Speaker 1 

Program it only got as far as the local station and never got any fighting. 

00:10:43 Speaker 1 

Now that that is the sort of thing that that could happen in in those days because of line connections. 

00:10:49 Speaker 1 

So you just, you just didn’t know whether the bad connection or no connection. 

00:10:53 Speaker 1 

We don’t know. 

00:10:53 Speaker 1 

We never did find out. 

00:10:54 Speaker 1 

We never did. 

00:10:55 Speaker 1 

Find out and did the local audience appreciate? 

00:10:57 Speaker 1 

The proof I don’t know. 

00:11:01 Speaker 1 

What if, like you? 

00:11:02 Speaker 1 

Set out to do a remote like that. 

00:11:03 Speaker 1 

What kind of equipment would you take with you? 

00:11:05 Speaker 1 

Would you would probably and in those days would take two of everything just to be safe, especially if you’re going, say, 7080 miles from home base and the equipment would be a battery power. 

00:11:20 Speaker 1 

Supply and in one case the amplifier. In the other case, each weighing probably 40 or 45 pounds. 

00:11:26 Speaker 1 

And then you’d have your heavy microphones. 

00:11:27 Speaker 1 

We use the those days. 

00:11:29 Speaker 1 

We used the larger dynamics or we used a velocity microphone in the early early days. 

00:11:36 Speaker 1 

Of course, we used the old condenser microphone, which were microphones about 9 inches cubed and required, especially with batteries. 

00:11:46 Speaker 1 

And power supplies for them. 

00:11:47 Speaker 1 

And we’re very, very heavy things to operate after that. 

00:11:52 Speaker 1 

Of course we got into the the dynamic microphone, which was a much smaller device and and much easier to handle. 

00:11:58 Speaker 1 

And of course, now you’re into the small ones, the kind we’re. 

00:12:01 Speaker 1 

We all like things like that to do a quite a marvelous job, and even these are relatively large and comparison with some that are available. 

00:12:10 Speaker 1 

What do you think is the biggest change you’ve seen? 

00:12:12 Speaker 1 

Is it in equipment, the trend of the miniaturization, if you like, of the equipment, is it? 

00:12:18 Speaker 1 

Visualization of the equipment is one of the the big features. 

00:12:22 Speaker 1 

Over the years. 

00:12:22 Speaker 1 

I think reliability is another thing that has helped an awful lot and the the. 

00:12:29 Speaker 1 

The ability to delay or to do do a lot of editing and and that sort of thing is has helped the business an awful lot, but it has helped to do hard it. 

00:12:40 Speaker 1 

There’s there must have been a certain spontaneity in the in the old days was lacking now. 


Or even could be. 

00:12:44 Speaker 1 

No, I think you as you say it, it is a little bit. 

00:12:51 Speaker 1 

Cut and dried. 

00:12:52 Speaker 1 

In other words, it’s a format type of proposition today, whereas before that people were, I think more artistically inclined and their delivery was was a lot more spontaneous than it is today. 

00:13:07 Speaker 1 

There’s some stories that the performers of ECS to show up at stations in tuxedos is was that the case with the CRBC? 

00:13:14 Speaker 1 

It could be it could be on on a special show, yes. 

00:13:17 Speaker 1 

And and you find that city of Solace say in front of it with the concert band would be properly dressed for that type of of of a presentation, even though there was no audience. 

00:13:27 Speaker 1 

You know, I wonder if it helped their frame of mind. 

00:13:31 Speaker 1 

I think so. 

00:13:32 Speaker 1 

I think it did. 

00:13:33 Speaker 1 

And you find that says, say, a string quartet, they would be, they would be dressed very nicely, no little collars or anything like that. 

00:13:41 Speaker 1 

It would be a proper. 

00:13:44 Speaker 1 

Well, I think again we would intend to address much more formally, of course in those days or the blue jeans and the T-shirts and. 

00:13:52 Speaker 1 

Behind, of course, when you’re doing live programming, then you must produce your own sound effects, and again, they weren’t available on tape or disc. 

00:14:01 Speaker 1 

Were you involved at all on the sound effects side of? 

00:14:03 Speaker 1 

It not too much. 

00:14:05 Speaker 1 

There was a complete sound effects setup. 

00:14:09 Speaker 1 

Yeah, it usually consists of a of a a door on a board that you opened and closed and and something that made screeching sounds or that type of thing later on. 

00:14:21 Speaker 1 

You got into quite a a complicated console which would provide a variety of sound effects for you. 

00:14:30 Speaker 1 

Later on, of course, after that you you were able to use a complete sound effects library which is still available today of course. 

00:14:40 Speaker 1 

You’re doing what? 

00:14:40 Speaker 1 

Bringing in the network, programming the sound as though you’re bringing it, bringing in in live from the network. 

00:14:47 Speaker 1 

Did they not come in on transcriptions or? 

00:14:49 Speaker 1 

Was that a leader? 

00:14:50 Speaker 1 

Development was a later development. 

00:14:52 Speaker 1 

No, the most of the the say. 

00:14:55 Speaker 1 

For example, NBC was fed out of New York City. 

00:14:59 Speaker 1 

To Toronto through the the Mesh Control Board in Toronto and to the east and West networks of the CRB. 

00:15:06 Speaker 1 

You see, you have some problem with timing on that one, wouldn’t you or when Amos and Andy appear sometime in the middle of the afternoon and no, Amos, nanny would appear, say, at 7:00 o’clock at night and and of course, when it was out in Winnipeg, it would be 6:00 o’clock at night and that sort of thing. 

00:15:21 Speaker 1 

But it was broadcast at the time it was broadcast from from New York. 

00:15:25 Speaker 1 

As you say, you had no. 

00:15:26 Speaker 1 

No time delay, no time delay there at all. 

00:15:29 Speaker 1 

Because I was, I know a lot of people were rather surprised to find out the national news is live only in Ontario and Quebec and well, it’s live to the East Coast, of course. 

00:15:39 Speaker 1 

But an hour earlier and we have. 

00:15:42 Speaker 1 

That’s quite, quite you’re familiar with the NCC Open up in Toronto now. 

00:15:47 Speaker 1 

The satellite control system situation here. 

00:15:50 Speaker 1 

Is just a fantastic operation. 

00:15:54 Speaker 1 

Bringing the bringing the material in. 

00:15:57 Speaker 1 

Who are some of the people that you worked with that you turned on those days? 

00:16:02 Speaker 1 

Well, of course in Montreal, doctor Frigon, who was general manager of the CBC for a number of years, Alphonse we met, who was in the 1st place when I first got down there was chief engineer and then later on a general manager, Ernie Bushnell, in Toronto. 

00:16:23 Speaker 1 

Stan mix dead in Toronto. 

00:16:27 Speaker 1 

Of course, Lauren Green for years was the deep voice of the newscast. 

00:16:34 Speaker 1 

And always, yes. 

00:16:36 Speaker 1 

A number of them along that line. 

00:16:42 Speaker 1 

Jack Cannon, two or three others who died quite a number of years ago. 

00:16:47 Speaker 1 

Quite young. 

00:16:48 Speaker 1 

There were two or three who were lost in during the war in in England due to bombing and that sort of. 

00:16:58 Speaker 1 

And of course, at that same time too, there was the the building of the International service down in Sackville, which was was quite an operation which people didn’t hear an awful lot about. 

00:17:10 Speaker 1 

I don’t know. 

00:17:12 Speaker 1 

That’s right. 

00:17:12 Speaker 1 

And and which was pushed very, very severely. 

00:17:17 Speaker 1 

Very heavily during the war, in order to get it finished and and get into operation. 

00:17:22 Speaker 1 

And what kind of work you said you began to get into design work, project work when you were in Montreal? 

00:17:28 Speaker 1 

Well, in Montreal I was look, designing studio equipment, mass control equipment and and things like that. 

00:17:37 Speaker 1 

Other words, we would design and build construct a console, say a studio. 

00:17:42 Speaker 1 

Council for Toronto or or Montreal? 

00:17:44 Speaker 1 

We did a. 

00:17:46 Speaker 1 

The complete master control which was built for Ottawa in 191941. 

00:17:55 Speaker 1 

Remained in Ottawa until almost the end of the war, then was transferred to Toronto and was used in Toronto until about a year ago, when it was replaced by the supposed to use, been replaced, have seen the equivalent. 

00:18:06 Speaker 1 

Equipment of about 5 racks and it has been replaced. 

00:18:10 Speaker 1 

I I happened to go in there about two months ago and and so looking. 

00:18:14 Speaker 1 

At the course when you started, you couldn’t simply go in and buy equipment off the shelves. 

00:18:18 Speaker 1 

You put it all had to design it. 

00:18:19 Speaker 1 

Oh yes, all. 

00:18:20 Speaker 1 

You hadn’t designed practically everything to use. 

00:18:22 Speaker 1 

There was very little off the shelf equipment available at that time. 

00:18:26 Speaker 1 

During the war, we designed a complete line of amplifiers because we couldn’t buy them and they had to be. 

00:18:33 Speaker 1 

We didn’t have any high priority for materials or or parts, so that it it was a long process and and getting that work done. 

00:18:43 Speaker 1 

When did you leave the CBC? 

00:18:45 Speaker 1 

The CDC in 1947. 

00:18:49 Speaker 1 

Came came towards Dark, opened, built the station here, opened the station, and operated that until 1967, when. 

00:18:59 Speaker 1 

Why would you leave the CBC to take on the headaches of, well, the other question of doing that, or staying with the CBC forever? 

00:19:08 Speaker 1 

That was the. 

00:19:09 Speaker 1 

The decision had to be made one way or the other, and if you leave it too late, why you haven’t got the nerve to do it. 

00:19:16 Speaker 1 

Why Woodstock? 

00:19:17 Speaker 1 

Why would you pick Woodstock? 

00:19:18 Speaker 1 

That’s where I where I was born and raised. 

00:19:21 Speaker 1 

As a matter of fact, and it was open at that time. 

00:19:23 Speaker 1 

There’s no station here. 

00:19:25 Speaker 1 

And that was actually the reason that I I did pick it. 

00:19:28 Speaker 1 

I knew the market. 

00:19:30 Speaker 1 

And you feel it’s it’s a reasonable. 

00:19:32 Speaker 1 

It’s a viable market. 

00:19:33 Speaker 1 

Obviously it’s a good market it it develops slowly. 

00:19:36 Speaker 1 

But in the last 10-15 years it it’s it’s grown quite quite nicely. 

00:19:43 Speaker 1 

Are you still involved with the station or, you know, putting? 

00:19:46 Speaker 1 

Only in the capacity of consulting engineer for a group of stations and a part time basis. 

00:19:52 Speaker 1 

So who now owns? 

00:19:53 Speaker 1 

Or who owns? 

00:19:54 Speaker 1 

The Countryside Broadcasting is is the is the. 

00:19:59 Speaker 1 

Group that has this station and what other stations Woodstock, Stratford, Midland, Parry, Sound, Aradia and Huntsville are the six stations in the group, or it’s a pretty fair pretty fair squid through this area. 

00:20:16 Speaker 1 

North, what problems did you have in opening up the station? 

00:20:20 Speaker 1 

I don’t imagine things went smoothly right from day one. 

00:20:23 Speaker 1 

No, it was lack of money, lack of equipment. 

00:20:31 Speaker 1 

Few technical problems here and there. 

00:20:32 Speaker 1 

There are always a lot of little things, of course, when you move into a market that has never had radio before, you have first of all have to sell radio and that is a problem. 

00:20:42 Speaker 1 

Not as much as the listener is concerned, but as much as the as far as the sponsor is concerned, they they’ve dealt for years and years. 

00:20:48 Speaker 1 

Can do. 

00:20:51 Speaker 1 

With a local newspaper, and I think every station, every market. 

00:20:55 Speaker 1 

Where this radio station comes in has that as the the fundamental problem that they’re faced with. 

00:21:01 Speaker 1 

Well, I suppose, too, in Woodstock, they might well have dealt with the London station, which is reasonably. 

00:21:07 Speaker 1 

In those days, no, not on sponsorship basis because London so pretty well in London and and didn’t come very far out, it didn’t spread out too far and of course again, I suppose you’re in at the beginnings of almost of the automobile age, it wasn’t quite as much of a habit to drive Woodstock to London. 

00:21:29 Speaker 1 

Well, coming up #2 today, they weren’t. 

00:21:31 Speaker 1 

That still aren’t that good. 

00:21:34 Speaker 1 

You say that it was a problem of money. If we could go back to those days, 1947 and I got a got a frequency and got my license. 

00:21:43 Speaker 1 

How much roughly, would it cost me to start a station from scratch those days? 

00:21:47 Speaker 1 

If you depending on how you did it and how much you purchased, how much you you rented? 

00:21:54 Speaker 1 

Now you could probably do it for 20, five, $30,000. A small station today. That same thing would probably run you with the antenna rates. You have to have would probably run you 100,100 and 50,000. 

00:22:06 Speaker 1 

Is this is? 

00:22:07 Speaker 1 

Mostly equipment or mostly inflation, because it’s not that big. 

00:22:11 Speaker 1 

We use more equipment, much more equipment today than we did in those days. 

00:22:15 Speaker 1 

In other words, it’s not uncommon for a small station even to have, say, a half dozen cartridge tapes and say 3, three or four reel tapes and and turntables and things like that. 

00:22:27 Speaker 1 

And those days when we came in there, we we went into operation. 

00:22:30 Speaker 1 

We had one console, 2 turntables and that was it. 

00:22:33 Speaker 1 

Probably a few microphones and and the next. 

00:22:36 Speaker 1 

The studio you know, because in the evening in those days you didn’t have again. 

00:22:39 Speaker 1 

You didn’t have the tape. 

00:22:40 Speaker 1 

Everything was pretty well live except for. 

00:22:41 Speaker 1 

The record that. 

00:22:42 Speaker 1 

You’re able to play, you know, while you imagine you had your advertisements, your national ads. 

00:22:47 Speaker 1 

If you had any, you would come in and transcription. 

00:22:49 Speaker 1 

They come in on transcription, yes, or a live copy, which the announcer read today. 

00:22:54 Speaker 1 

They announced release. 

00:22:55 Speaker 1 

Very little live copy. 

00:22:56 Speaker 1 

Most of it is fed into a cassette or or a tape recorder and then broadcast later. 

00:23:03 Speaker 1 

Well, of course it’s a little. 

00:23:04 Speaker 1 

It’s a lot of mistakes to. 

00:23:06 Speaker 1 

It you know. 

00:23:07 Speaker 1 

What kind of a selling job did you have to do on the local advertiser? 

00:23:11 Speaker 1 

How did you? 

00:23:11 Speaker 1 

How would you go about convincing him that this is a good thing and that he should either quit advertising in the paper or at least to expand his advertising budget? 

00:23:20 Speaker 1 

It was a matter of trying to get him to expand his advertising budget. 

00:23:23 Speaker 1 

And that that was the the big problem, because it took some time before you could convince him that. 

00:23:34 Speaker 1 

You’re both the convincing advertiser. 

00:23:36 Speaker 1 

What sort of an approach did you use to them? 

00:23:38 Speaker 1 

They suppose to starting the station you were almost would be almost a one man operation. 

00:23:43 Speaker 1 

And we had a staff of about about 15 when we started. 

00:23:47 Speaker 1 

Yes, because everything was done live. 

00:23:49 Speaker 1 

You see, you had to have an operator. 

00:23:52 Speaker 1 

They had to have an announcer that those two duties weren’t combined in those days, so that there were six or seven people right there. 

00:24:02 Speaker 1 

You need a copywriter office staff. 

00:24:04 Speaker 1 

As far as sponsors were concerned, it was a matter of being very patient and getting a few sponsors showing that they were getting results and then convincing others of on that basis. 

00:24:17 Speaker 1 

What would you sell a spot for, say a one minute spot in a good? 

00:24:21 Speaker 1 

Time in those day or early on? 

00:24:24 Speaker 1 

One minute spot would go would sell for about $3. 

00:24:27 Speaker 1 

I presume the figures are much larger. 

00:24:29 Speaker 1 

To almost much larger. 

00:24:31 Speaker 1 

Today, but then it must be effective where you would just. 

00:24:34 Speaker 1 

It wouldn’t get it. 

00:24:36 Speaker 1 

When, when did you feel that you had? 

00:24:39 Speaker 1 

If you like, gotten over the hump brokenly. 

00:24:41 Speaker 1 

We got over. We got over the hump about 195152. It took a few years. That was partly due to conditions at that time. You were in a semi depressed period. There was no growth of any kind and. 

00:25:01 Speaker 1 

And then you had developed the your image as a as a media? 

00:25:04 Speaker 1 

And and once that was done, why everything started to to go together. 

00:25:11 Speaker 1 

OK, fine. 

00:25:12 Speaker 1 

So well, I certainly appreciate you taking the time with. 

00:26:22 Speaker 1 

Getting it. 

00:26:23 Speaker 1 

Where did you start opening the business? 

00:26:25 Speaker 2 

Well, actually it was in Chatham I. 

00:26:29 Speaker 2 

Began in Chatham on CFFO when I was about 15 years. 

00:26:34 Speaker 1 

Old what year was that? 

00:26:35 Speaker 2 

01936 Jack Beardall he had his hamsat converted into a big. 

00:26:43 Speaker 2 

Transmitter and in the old wooden pit hotel there. 

00:26:48 Speaker 2 

One funny thing I remember about that was they. 

00:26:50 Speaker 2 

They have. 

00:26:51 Speaker 2 

Of 78 records across run at 78 RPM and they just come out with a new thing to save the records and it was cactus quills that they used for needles, you know, and I. 

00:27:04 Speaker 2 

Thought that was. 

00:27:04 Speaker 2 

Pretty good because they had to change them after every time they played one song. 

00:27:08 Speaker 2 

They go ahead and change the needle, put the. 

00:27:11 Speaker 2 

Record on for the next song coming up. 

00:27:14 Speaker 1 

What did you get in? 

00:27:15 Speaker 1 

Was an entertainer, or were you first in as announcer? 

00:27:20 Speaker 2 

I was in as an entertainer, I guess, although I I did the show another fellow and I. 

00:27:27 Speaker 2 

Is to hitchhike over to. 

00:27:29 Speaker 2 

To Chatham from Sarnia, where I was born and we did this musical show, we both each played guitars. 

00:27:39 Speaker 2 

I sold the ads, wrote the coffee, did the announcing, and also sang a few numbers. 

00:27:47 Speaker 2 

And I remember once. 

00:27:50 Speaker 2 

We did this in the old William Pitt Hotel and the studio. 

00:27:55 Speaker 2 

For any entertainment was on another floor. 

00:27:59 Speaker 2 

So the announcer comes in and sets us all up and gets us on the air, and then he quietly goes out the door and we were over in one corner with a microphone, and he had just been talking at a desk with a microphone on at another corner of the room. 

00:28:19 Speaker 2 

So we did the whole shell there and. 

00:28:22 Speaker 2 

And the engineer upstairs couldn’t leave the control room. 

00:28:28 Speaker 2 

And the announcer had decided, well, this is the end of my shift. 

00:28:31 Speaker 2 

So he goes downstairs and gets his supper, I guess. 

00:28:36 Speaker 2 

And the engineer, as they say, couldn’t leave the control room and he couldn’t find. 

00:28:40 Speaker 2 

Out why we. 

00:28:41 Speaker 2 

Couldn’t get any volume out of the whole studio. 

00:28:45 Speaker 2 

And apparently the the announcer, as he had left the room, had left just the one mic on, and then the mic that we were working into was. 

00:28:57 Speaker 2 

Well, 15 feet away. 

00:28:59 Speaker 2 

So we did a whole show off of on a dead Mic 1 mic way over in the other corner. 

00:29:06 Speaker 1 

And help for doing all that waiting and announcing and the playing. 

00:29:10 Speaker 1 

How much were they giving you? 

00:29:13 Speaker 2 

He’s to sell the spots for $3 apiece because they they gave me the time because I would come down and put on 1/2 hour program for them while they would give me the time. 

00:29:25 Speaker 2 

So I sold the spots for $3 apiece and we probably had about maybe three or four spots on them. 

00:29:31 Speaker 2 

So the two of us got that amount of money. Yes. Yeah, every Saturday, Saturday night at 7:00 o’clock. See FCO 1936. 

00:29:36 Speaker 1 

So that once a week there’s. 

00:29:37 Speaker 1 

A day. 

00:29:42 Speaker 1 

Were you going to school at the time or was this? 

00:29:44 Speaker 2 

Ah, let’s see. 

00:29:47 Speaker 2 

Yes, I’d still be in school, or else I would. 

00:29:51 Speaker 2 

I’d just gotten out of school just about that time. 

00:29:54 Speaker 1 

How did you come up with the idea of going? 

00:29:56 Speaker 2 

On radio. 

00:29:57 Speaker 2 

Oh, I always played around with radio. 

00:29:59 Speaker 2 

I had a I had no funny receiver radio receiver. 

00:30:04 Speaker 2 

That I used to play records through, and of course they had these latest thing out. 

00:30:09 Speaker 2 

Little microphone connected to your radio become radio announcer, you know. 

00:30:13 Speaker 2 

And so I had one of these things, and I used to always announce over it, and we always lived in a apartments at those in those days. 

00:30:23 Speaker 2 

It used to be. 

00:30:24 Speaker 2 

Apartments in a house, you know, with another family or two. 

00:30:28 Speaker 2 

So the lady downstairs said I heard you on the radio. 

00:30:33 Speaker 2 

So apparently this old receiver was some super regenerative type of thing. 

00:30:40 Speaker 2 

That would almost broadcast at a different frequency. 

00:30:43 Speaker 2 

You know up the band somewhere where? 

00:30:45 Speaker 1 



You could pick it up. 

00:30:48 Speaker 2 

Very glad of my material. 

00:30:52 Speaker 2 

It was all perfectly legitimate so, but anyway, I used to play the records and play it. 

00:30:57 Speaker 2 

Being a radio announcer all the time, I was going to school so. 

00:31:02 Speaker 2 

It was just a natural. 

00:31:03 Speaker 2 

I used to save records and I used to like to talk on a microphone and I used to put on. 

00:31:09 Speaker 2 

My own broadcast. 

00:31:11 Speaker 2 

And so it all kind of fell into place that I should someday or other become a radio announcer. 

00:31:17 Speaker 1 

Well, it’s been rather difficult to sell spot ads in 1936. It wasn’t all that money around. 

00:31:23 Speaker 2 

Well, it wasn’t so bad because unfortunately that was the year. 

00:31:28 Speaker 2 

If you’ll remember of the Great Flood in London. 

00:31:31 Speaker 2 

1936 and so I was able to sell a dry cleaning plant up. Did upholstery, you know, so everybody was sending their their things, their chesterfields and what have you down to Sarnia to be dry cleaned? 

00:31:50 Speaker 1 

There’s a lot of that. 

00:31:50 Speaker 2 

It wasn’t too, wasn’t too bad. 

00:31:52 Speaker 2 

And then of course I was teaching tap dancing at the time with a a school in Sarnia and they said they would put on a spot too. 

00:32:03 Speaker 2 

So that was another one of my. 

00:32:04 Speaker 2 

Answers they gave me lessons that well, I forgot we didn’t make $12.00. We only made $9 and she never had to pay me because I always did her spots for my lessons. So that’s why we got started. 


What kind? What kind of? 

00:32:19 Speaker 1 

Music would a country and western or? 

00:32:21 Speaker 2 

Ohh no just. 

00:32:22 Speaker 2 

It was kind of like The Mills Brothers. 

00:32:24 Speaker 2 

We both sang, we both played guitar and. 

00:32:27 Speaker 2 

It was the two. 

00:32:28 Speaker 2 

The two of us. 

00:32:30 Speaker 1 

First few shows would be live too. 

00:32:31 Speaker 1 

There would be any deep delay. 

00:32:32 Speaker 2 

Ohh yes, everything was was live in those days. 

00:32:33 Speaker 1 

On them. 

00:32:38 Speaker 2 

Even the spots of course were all red rather than recorded and. 

00:32:44 Speaker 2 

Yeah, everything was alive. 

00:32:45 Speaker 2 

There was just the recordings were a very big thing. 

00:32:51 Speaker 2 

They only had two styles. 

00:32:53 Speaker 2 

They had giant 16 inch discs that they called transcriptions, and then they had. 

00:33:00 Speaker 2 

The 70 eights and that was the limit of of recordings. 

00:33:04 Speaker 1 

Using the cactus cooler. 

00:33:09 Speaker 1 

And was that the only? 

00:33:09 Speaker 1 

The only thing you did for the station was just the one program. 

00:33:12 Speaker 1 

Or did you do? 

00:33:13 Speaker 1 

Either spare announcing well. 

00:33:17 Speaker 2 

Because I had the guitar and because I was just interested in radio in those days, they used to have an old time broadcast or remote at some from some garage or something in the showroom. 

00:33:32 Speaker 2 

So I would. 

00:33:35 Speaker 2 

On purpose, wander in there and say, oh, you just happen to have my. 

00:33:39 Speaker 2 

Guitar with me, you know? 

00:33:43 Speaker 2 

The piano player we just happened to have his music with him. 

00:33:45 Speaker 2 

Well, here, here I’d have my guitar with me. 

00:33:48 Speaker 2 

So that was pretty obvious that I well, I couldn’t leave it at the studio, you know, I had to take it back home. 

00:33:55 Speaker 2 

So anyway, I used to get in on their broadcast too, all for free mine. 

00:33:59 Speaker 2 

Of course this was non union and those days. 

00:34:03 Speaker 1 

A little easier to get started. 

00:34:05 Speaker 1 

How long were you in in the Chatham? 

00:34:08 Speaker 2 

Well, this just went on for one fall till it got too cold to hitchhike. 

00:34:13 Speaker 2 

And and also I couldn’t sell that many spots. 

00:34:17 Speaker 2 

And once the station found out that the spots could be sold in the evening, where they put their own salesman on the jobs, they come out, it can be done. 

00:34:29 Speaker 2 

After that I went to WLS. I I got in with got an orchestra going and and we used to take the ferry boat across to Port Huron about 1938 and and I would write the program the script and and of course thing with the band. 

00:34:48 Speaker 2 

And and it was just old enough then to join the Union. 

00:34:53 Speaker 2 

So we used to get in. 

00:34:56 Speaker 2 

On this. 

00:34:57 Speaker 2 

Great new thing radio that just came to Sarnia, came to port urine in in this case. 

00:35:03 Speaker 2 

But it was a lot of fun and after that I got in the Army 1939, but 1944, I was back on WLS, this time from Kennewick Terrace in Sarnia. 

00:35:18 Speaker 2 

I I let them know that instead of sending over an announcer, I would do the remote for them free because I used to. 

00:35:26 Speaker 2 

Be playing in the Jack Kennedy Orchestra at Kenwood. 

00:35:30 Speaker 2 

Kenwick terrace. It was called. 

00:35:33 Speaker 2 

And so I let the fellows in port here know that that I was available and they wouldn’t have to send a fella on overtime that I’d do it for them. 

00:35:43 Speaker 2 

And so that it would be easy. 

00:35:45 Speaker 2 

For me to. 

00:35:45 Speaker 2 

Read I used to write the script myself. 

00:35:48 Speaker 2 

Had all the big bands, so that was. 

00:35:50 Speaker 2 

So Louis Armstrong and Blue Baron and Russ Morgan and von Monroe. 

00:35:59 Speaker 1 

Back in the days when the big bands were popular. 

00:36:01 Speaker 2 

Oh, yes. Yeah. Jean Cooper, who went to them. It’s really great. Right after that, I guess CHOK Sarnia opened. 

00:36:11 Speaker 2 

And it was about 1946 that I started in as a. 

00:36:16 Speaker 2 

As an assistant librarian used to. 

00:36:20 Speaker 2 

Pull all the records. 

00:36:22 Speaker 2 

For all the shows that had to be and those days were all a little 15 and it shows, you know, 30 minutes at the most piano play time and musical moods and. 

00:36:35 Speaker 2 

And they had some grand titles. 

00:36:38 Speaker 2 

And finally, they gave me my own show 1 evening. 

00:36:41 Speaker 2 

I don’t know what happened. 

00:36:42 Speaker 2 

I guess somebody didn’t show up or something or other. 

00:36:45 Speaker 2 

Anyway, I had a little half hour program and then it went on pretty good and I sure liked it didn’t pass them too much. 

00:36:54 Speaker 1 

I don’t know how much now, now that you’re an employee, what are they paying you? 

00:37:01 Speaker 2 

I told them that, you know, I just gotten out of the army and I already had my army pension. 

00:37:07 Speaker 2 

So I said, you know, if I can get about $15 a week, I could get along on that. So every two weeks, they used to give me my 30. 

00:37:16 Speaker 2 

Dollars and and an envelope in cash. 

00:37:19 Speaker 1 


00:37:21 Speaker 1 

I wonder if they were reported to the government. 

00:37:23 Speaker 1 

And you know, I don’t know. 

00:37:26 Speaker 1 

Then after you played there for a while, he. 

00:37:28 Speaker 1 

Came up to London. 

00:37:29 Speaker 2 

No, I I. 

00:37:30 Speaker 2 

Well, it was some time after that I at one time after these little 15 minute stints in the early evening. 

00:37:39 Speaker 2 

I used to. 

00:37:43 Speaker 2 

Well, no, I guess what it what it demanded to they they decided that they would run the whole program longer. 

00:37:51 Speaker 2 

So it was on from 11 till 2:00 AM and and I called the thing the slumber time express and we had the. 

00:38:02 Speaker 2 

My wife working on the switchboard downstairs and being a border town like Sarnia, is why we even had Direct Line to to port hearing, which brought in a lot of requests too and we used to have a great time. 

00:38:17 Speaker 2 

So I used to run the slumber time express and late at night and those days, you know, we’re supposed to sign off at 2:00 o’clock. 

00:38:25 Speaker 2 

But when? 

00:38:26 Speaker 2 

Oh, people like Columbia Records would want to promote their records. 

00:38:31 Speaker 2 

They’d send you a whole batch to the very latest thing, the very best band and everything. 

00:38:36 Speaker 2 

Sometimes you get a new shipment, then we stay on the air. It’ll maybe 2:45 or something that more. 

00:38:42 Speaker 2 

It wasn’t supposed to do that, but we just lost track of time. 

00:38:46 Speaker 1 

Have you ever get into trouble with the management? 

00:38:48 Speaker 2 

No, no, no. 

00:38:51 Speaker 2 

I figure no problem on that. 

00:38:52 Speaker 2 

They just said how come you stayed on the lake? 

00:38:55 Speaker 2 

You know, little little things like that. 

00:38:57 Speaker 2 

And mostly it was from the other. 

00:38:59 Speaker 2 

The fellow at the transmitter had to stay up. 

00:39:01 Speaker 2 

And keep the ring working. 

00:39:02 Speaker 1 

Grade 2 firstly were they were still using people out of the transmitter site. 

00:39:06 Speaker 1 

And they’re using. 

00:39:06 Speaker 2 

Oh yes, if I wanna live right there. 

00:39:10 Speaker 2 

And after that I they gave me the morning show, The Breakfast Club breakfast show fell up, left there or something went out West. 

00:39:19 Speaker 2 

And they said, can you handle the morning show too? 

00:39:21 Speaker 2 

So that meant that I was signing off the station and also signing on the station. 

00:39:27 Speaker 2 

And in the meantime, I was still working in the library, so I was still pulling records all night long. 

00:39:33 Speaker 2 

Ohh so we had a good time. 

00:39:35 Speaker 1 

Wouldn’t leave much time for sleeping or anything else. 

00:39:37 Speaker 2 

Well, all day long, what the heck? 

00:39:39 Speaker 2 

There’s nothing to do in the daytime. 

00:39:41 Speaker 2 

So it was when I was doing this morning show there. 

00:39:46 Speaker 2 

Of the program director was Bob Reinhardt. 

00:39:48 Speaker 2 

He moved here to London to CFPL. 

00:39:52 Speaker 2 

And he wrote back and finally got all his little buddies to come down and do their very same shows here in London. 

00:40:01 Speaker 1 

You’d have to change peace quite a bit when you were ending the slumber. 

00:40:04 Speaker 1 

Land express to during the morning breakfast show. 

00:40:07 Speaker 1 

The difference in tone? 

00:40:09 Speaker 2 

Well, no. 

00:40:10 Speaker 2 

And I guess that was the secret of it. 

00:40:12 Speaker 2 

Everybody said. 

00:40:13 Speaker 2 

How can you sound so happy so early in the morning? 

00:40:15 Speaker 2 

I get up with one eye open and pretty soon you got me feeling good, you know? 

00:40:19 Speaker 2 

And so maybe that’s how it went over so good. 

00:40:22 Speaker 2 

You have to stay up all night to do it. 



00:40:25 Speaker 2 

So I came here to London from that. That was about I guess 1948. I think at that time London was signing on at 7:00 o’clock in the morning. And when I came, they began signing on real Brave. 

00:40:39 Speaker 2 

At 6:00 o’clock. 

00:40:41 Speaker 2 

And I began the first of what they began to call block programming. 

00:40:50 Speaker 2 

Up until then, as I say, it used to be little 15 minute things and 30 minute programs and they used to have announcers. 

00:40:56 Speaker 2 

All over the place. 

00:40:57 Speaker 2 

Because they’d have to change the voice every time they change the. 

00:41:02 Speaker 2 

So I had a four. 

00:41:03 Speaker 2 

Hour program, which was unheard of in those days there. 

00:41:07 Speaker 2 

But if they had 30 minutes, that was a big show and. 

00:41:10 Speaker 2 

They got all kinds of. 

00:41:13 Speaker 2 

But anyway, that that he signed on at 6 and off at 9 or 10, I guess it was so anyway. 

00:41:22 Speaker 2 

That was the first of that it used to call the Yawn patrol in those days and all carry over from the time when Marie Brown actually was the originator of that name and he was an announcer for a few years previous to me. 

00:41:38 Speaker 2 

And then. 

00:41:40 Speaker 2 

And it came while they changed it over to just plain old Lloyd Wright show. 

00:41:45 Speaker 2 

And it was at that time that we started that Bunny bundle you. 

00:41:48 Speaker 2 

Know the March of Dimes was on in the States and we started one year to call it the. 

00:41:53 Speaker 2 

Penny parade and. 

00:41:56 Speaker 2 

I called the March of Dimes the first time, then the penny played and then after a while all of a sudden the Easter season was upon us. 

00:42:05 Speaker 2 

So we. 

00:42:06 Speaker 2 

Called it the Bunny bundle, and next year it. 

00:42:10 Speaker 2 

Was it came? 

00:42:11 Speaker 2 

Along so quickly that we called it Bunny bundle again and it kind of stuck. 

00:42:16 Speaker 2 

We used the same thing every year. 

00:42:17 Speaker 1 

You know, there used to be a neat tidy package around Easter time. 

00:42:20 Speaker 1 

Now it seems to start at Christmas and run through the 4th of. 

00:42:23 Speaker 2 

July yes, and the the amount they raise now is very much different. 

00:42:30 Speaker 2 

Started about 1949 and I guess now they have raised more than half $1,000,000. 

00:42:36 Speaker 1 

I want you to do this. 

00:42:36 Speaker 1 

The first year, you know. 

00:42:37 Speaker 2 

All first year it was such a tremendous amount. 

00:42:39 Speaker 2 

They sent a man down from Toronto to pick up the check from the Easter seal people. 

00:42:45 Speaker 2 

$6000 and that was pretty terrific up until then, we had been getting 100 and. 

00:42:50 Speaker 1 

50 in the 20s and 30s campaign seems to go on so long. 

00:42:58 Speaker 1 

Well, what were you doing other than your 4 hour your morning show? 

00:43:02 Speaker 1 

Where you playing as a as a band around? 

00:43:05 Speaker 2 

Ohh yes, began. 



00:43:07 Speaker 2 

First of all, of course we used to have an afternoon show later on. 

00:43:11 Speaker 2 

Oh, and that one was called Spinner Sanctum. 



00:43:15 Speaker 2 

I used to open it like inner sanctum with a squeaking. 

00:43:18 Speaker 2 

And and we had all kinds of funny little gimmicks. 

00:43:22 Speaker 2 

We used that other announcers weren’t weren’t taking the time to play around with. 

00:43:28 Speaker 2 

I used to kid the commercial. 

00:43:29 Speaker 2 

And and little things like that. 

00:43:31 Speaker 2 

And everybody thought that was. 

00:43:33 Speaker 2 

Pretty funny. 

00:43:34 Speaker 1 

So you used to kid the commercial. 

00:43:36 Speaker 1 

What sort of thing? 

00:43:37 Speaker 2 

Would you do alright? 

00:43:39 Speaker 2 

Play a song for Chester? 

00:43:40 Speaker 2 

Peg go sleeping on a stack of diamonds. 


Morning down there. 

00:43:44 Speaker 1 

Love you. 

00:43:45 Speaker 2 

Full of diamonds. 

00:43:46 Speaker 2 

I forget what I said anyway. 

00:43:48 Speaker 2 

Yeah, it. 

00:43:49 Speaker 2 

Was a little. 

00:43:49 Speaker 2 

While later that I got the band together about. 

00:43:51 Speaker 2 


00:43:53 Speaker 2 

We used to play on the air now. 

00:43:55 Speaker 2 

Westminster Hospital and garden parties all over the country. 

00:43:59 Speaker 2 

There’s hardly a. 

00:43:59 Speaker 2 

Little town or village or some place that I don’t go by and I. 

00:44:03 Speaker 2 

Say I played there. 

00:44:06 Speaker 2 

In downtown peace. 

00:44:08 Speaker 1 

Well, again, live entertainment was much more popular and much more. 

00:44:13 Speaker 1 

And I shouldn’t say more available, but you used to go to dances. 

00:44:16 Speaker 1 

These are social occasions and then we would everybody seems to stay home and watch the. 

00:44:20 Speaker 2 

That’s right. 

00:44:21 Speaker 2 

And it was before the time of the tube, you know? 

00:44:24 Speaker 2 

So if you wanted to. 

00:44:25 Speaker 2 

The entertainment you had to go to the place where it was. 

00:44:28 Speaker 2 

You didn’t just sit in your front room and watch the big star. 

00:44:32 Speaker 2 

So it was a good time we had our we had our own stars, you know, I had a team time program. 

00:44:39 Speaker 2 

Where we had the studio audience and it was just filled with kids. We had about 4:30 every day and they used to have all the big band leaders who would be coming to the gardens. They’d come up there and we’d be giving away their records and passes to their show and. 

00:44:57 Speaker 2 

Like I said, if there was such a thing as payola, it used to be that they would give me a free record or else they’d give me a case of airline dry ginger. 

00:45:07 Speaker 2 

Or something like that. 

00:45:09 Speaker 2 

Don’t even make that anymore, I guess, but certainly quite a bit different nowadays. 

00:45:15 Speaker 2 

So we got the band that we used to play on the air then and to make it even more interesting for everyone also, and to cover a. 

00:45:27 Speaker 2 

Lot more territory. 

00:45:28 Speaker 2 

Recordings were starting to come in. 

00:45:31 Speaker 2 

And we were doing tapes for the first time before then they used. 

00:45:36 Speaker 2 

To make make discs, which were kind of expensive and they didn’t want to do that, but they. 

00:45:43 Speaker 2 

Paper tape recordings were were coming in, so we used to record our shows. 

00:45:50 Speaker 2 

And and play them later. 

00:45:52 Speaker 2 

Here and in the meantime, we’d be driving to some place and listening to our program while we’re driving to the next job. 

00:46:02 Speaker 2 

So that was a lot of fun. And then when television came along, I guess it was about 1951 and I. 

00:46:07 Speaker 2 

Took all the. 

00:46:09 Speaker 2 

Birthday requests that I used to do on the radio and move them to a television version of that showing the kids pictures. 

00:46:18 Speaker 2 

On the television and had the band there first and that. 

00:46:24 Speaker 2 

That made it that we were the first orchestra in London, first local orchestra in London to take on nightclub engagement. 

00:46:33 Speaker 2 

They used to think that it was necessary to bring people from Detroit or Toronto or something before they’d show them as part of their live entertainment. 

00:46:45 Speaker 2 

At the downtown downtown nightclubs, so we were the first local band, yeah. 

00:46:50 Speaker 1 

Downtown downtown, Fort, Stanley. 

00:46:54 Speaker 2 

And no, back in the early days of television, they didn’t do a lot of recording either, and everything was was really. 

00:47:05 Speaker 2 

You would memorize because teleprompters hadn’t come into being in any great extent, and I remember. 

00:47:14 Speaker 2 

Doing a Wally Westgate type of TV commercial for the little super test gasoline company and they brought in some big gas pumps there and got me a uniform and all our rest of the thing. 

00:47:26 Speaker 2 

And here I was just like. 

00:47:30 Speaker 2 

Big performing Star doing a big commercials right here in London. 

00:47:36 Speaker 1 

Was that a national? 

00:47:37 Speaker 1 

Were you doing it for the national economy? 

00:47:39 Speaker 1 

Was it just for the program you were doing? 

00:47:41 Speaker 2 

Uh, no, they were just buying spots here. 

00:47:44 Speaker 2 

I don’t think they ever had national for super test. 

00:47:47 Speaker 2 

I don’t know if they did or not, but I I didn’t do it. 

00:47:49 Speaker 2 

I don’t think they used them that. 

00:47:50 Speaker 1 

You sure?