Bob Bowman


00:00:04 Speaker 1 

I’ll just sort of admit this. 

00:00:06 Speaker 1 

Are you getting a? 

00:00:06 Speaker 1 

Decent level there 1231231231231. 

00:00:09 Speaker 2 

Well, let’s just check it to make sure now these mics are rather good. 

00:00:15 Speaker 2 

I like to hang them on me, then I don’t have. 

00:00:17 Speaker 2 

To worry about them, you know. 

00:00:19 Speaker 2 

When did you get into broadcasting? 

00:00:24 Speaker 1 

Actively in 1934 I it’s quite a story. Could I tell you sort of my version of it from the beginning? 

00:00:31 Speaker 2 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:00:32 Speaker 1 

This may interest you the first time I ever heard radio was in 1920 and Grant McNeill, who worked for the. 

00:00:42 Speaker 1 

Civil service and all. 

00:00:43 Speaker 1 

And I had to build himself a crystal set. 

00:00:46 Speaker 1 

And we had an experimental radio station in Ottawa in those days, run by the Department of Railways and Canals with Canada CP Edwards as the head of it, and they used to broadcast on Saturday nights on an experimental basis. 

00:01:00 Speaker 1 

It was radio station OA. Those were its call letters in Ottawa and I went to grant Mcneill’s home. 

00:01:07 Speaker 1 

One night in front of my father and heard radio on the head, you know, Crystal sat with headphones and I was fascinated, so I went. 

00:01:16 Speaker 1 

Home and built myself a crystal set using a Quaker oats box of cylindrical thing and. 

00:01:23 Speaker 2 

Round I could almost have predicted, you would say, with the Quaker Wood box it. 

00:01:27 Speaker 2 

It seems to me that have been the the standard piece of. 

00:01:31 Speaker 1 

Is that so? 

00:01:32 Speaker 1 

Well, I’m a damn bad Carpenter. 

00:01:34 Speaker 1 

But I got this. 

00:01:36 Speaker 1 

Getting together in my crystal sat and began listening and we were out in Rockcliffe outside Ottawa, and I got marvelous reception. 

00:01:46 Speaker 1 

I not only could pick up station OA and then Jr. 

00:01:50 Speaker 1 

Booth Junior building station for himself, just as a hobby. 

00:01:53 Speaker 1 

The but Gee, I was picking up Boston and Schenectady and the case in New York. 

00:02:01 Speaker 2 

Were you able to? 

00:02:02 Speaker 2 

Get Montreal. 

00:02:03 Speaker 1 

Not really, I don’t. 

00:02:04 Speaker 1 

I think I perhaps did, and occasionally Toronto, but the big American stations came in quite well late at night and I was supposed to be doing my homework. 

00:02:13 Speaker 1 

I was. 

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You know, or even supposed to be asleep in bed. 

00:02:16 Speaker 1 

I had my Christmas outgoing. 

00:02:18 Speaker 1 

Well, my father was editor of the Ottawa Citizen C able and Charles Abraham and had the newspaper man’s disdain for broadcasting and paid no attention to. 

00:02:28 Speaker 1 

It at all. 

00:02:29 Speaker 1 

But he caught me listening a few times. 

00:02:32 Speaker 1 

Then I’d say, listen. 

00:02:33 Speaker 1 

Now listen to this. 

00:02:34 Speaker 1 

And by gosh, one night he heard Chicago on my crystal set, and now he began to take an interest. 

00:02:40 Speaker 1 

And then he saw the what Canadian radio stations there were, especially in the big cities like Montreal and Toronto. 

00:02:49 Speaker 1 

Being affiliated with American stations and he appreciated the danger then and there. 

00:02:58 Speaker 1 

All our movie picture theaters were owned by Canadian players and he could see the day coming when all our radio stations and especially in the big centers would be owned by American interests. 

00:03:10 Speaker 1 

And he started writing editorials in the Ottawa Citizen there. 

00:03:13 Speaker 1 

There are those who would who would say and who have said. 

00:03:17 Speaker 2 

That the opposition, or at least they should, see the opposition. 

00:03:20 Speaker 2 

But the stance of Canadian newspapers views of the a national broadcasting system was really a selfish thing designed. 

00:03:28 Speaker 2 

To protect their advertising revenue. 

00:03:30 Speaker 1 

Oh, absolutely. 

00:03:31 Speaker 1 

And not only against the national broadcasting system, but against broadcasting generally. 

00:03:37 Speaker 1 

I can’t hear you. 

00:03:38 Speaker 1 

You you’re making a study of this. 

00:03:40 Speaker 1 

When did Canadian radio stations begin to broadcast you? 

00:03:44 Speaker 1 

When were they able to do you know about them? 

00:03:48 Speaker 1 

Shutting off CP service from radio stations. 

00:03:50 Speaker 1 

For many many. 

00:03:51 Speaker 2 

Years that was in the early 30s. 

00:03:53 Speaker 2 

Yes, well, they they had no service at all. 

00:03:56 Speaker 2 

But then there, the fight really was roughly between 1930 and 36. 

00:04:00 Speaker 1 

Yes, the newspaper still monopolized. 

00:04:03 Speaker 1 

And I can remember there was a privately owned out that that used to broadcast news from somewhere on Morse code out of out of Philadelphia. 

00:04:12 Speaker 1 

News. Trans radio. That’s right. 

00:04:15 Speaker 2 

Out of New York, I believe with its head office. 

00:04:16 Speaker 1 

And a very. 

00:04:17 Speaker 1 

Few private stations had a receiving station and. 

00:04:19 Speaker 1 

That’s how they got there. 

00:04:21 Speaker 2 

And BUP as well. 

00:04:24 Speaker 2 

I think during that period. 

00:04:24 Speaker 1 

Is that so? And it just anyway, that was the fight. But anyway, my father’s editorials in the citizen LED Mackenzie King to appoint the Royal Commission, the aired Commission, of which he was a member, with Doctor Freegard. 

00:04:38 Speaker 1 

And they recommended a national broadcasting in Canada so that all stems from that string of wire from my, you know, in front of our home, in the in, in the rock with and I think it’s, I know the home still there and I’m wondering if the trees are still there and anyway and then the government. 


You know. 

00:04:57 Speaker 1 

Changed hands and the RBI. 

00:05:02 Speaker 1 

Agreed with the principle of national broadcasting encounter, but he didn’t follow the Royal commissions recommendations as far as the actual setup of the and he created the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission with three three directors, Charles Roth, Steele and Mahar. 

00:05:21 Speaker 1 

Well, at that time I graduated from. 

00:05:23 Speaker 1 

You know 32 you you must have been with the second university graduate that went into broadcasting. Well, you know, I graduated from a, you know, with first class honors in accountancy in 1932. 

00:05:35 Speaker 1 

And I’m supposed to go out and be an accountant, but in 1932 there was nothing to count, and I was damn lucky I got this job on the citizen. 

00:05:43 Speaker 1 

As a reporter, $15 a week. 

00:05:46 Speaker 1 

And my beach or part of my beat was the old Canadian Radio Commission and I used to drop in and see Hector Charles with practice every day. 

00:05:56 Speaker 1 

And I could see that things weren’t working out properly under three, ma’am. 

00:06:00 Speaker 1 

They needed a essentially, you know, somebody with knowledge too, of broadcasting still have knowledge of a technical knowledge of broadcast, but not Charles River. 

00:06:10 Speaker 1 

Nice man. 

00:06:10 Speaker 1 

Beautiful man. 

00:06:11 Speaker 1 

But they didn’t have the knowledge to run this. 

00:06:15 Speaker 1 

New Corporation if you want to. 

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Call it that and. 

00:06:18 Speaker 1 

Then the the government realized that, too, and they brought Gladstone Murray over from Britain and an advisory capacity, and and Murray recommended that they go back to the original recommendations of the Royal Commission. Well, in any case, I got over to Britain in 1930. 

00:06:37 Speaker 1 

And dropped into BBC and asked them why we weren’t getting British programs in Canada. 

00:06:43 Speaker 1 

We were getting American programs in Canada and I used to say to Charlesworth, I say why don’t we get to finish programs and he’d say we we don’t get any cooperation. 

00:06:52 Speaker 1 

We can’t get any cooperation from BBC. 

00:06:55 Speaker 1 

So I dropped in and told them this. 

00:06:57 Speaker 1 

Maria, they said it’s the other way around. 

00:06:59 Speaker 1 

They said we’d love to have our programs broadcast. 

00:07:01 Speaker 1 

Can we can’t get any cooperation from CRBC. 

00:07:05 Speaker 1 

So they were just starting their Empire News service in those days, broadcasting news to the various parts of the British Commonwealth on shortwave. 

00:07:15 Speaker 1 

And here I was, a young newspaper man from the empire. 

00:07:19 Speaker 1 

And they said, look, come on in and work with us for six months and then go back to count and write your. 

00:07:26 Speaker 1 

Well, I of course. 

00:07:27 Speaker 1 

I was delighted, just delighted and thrilled to be in broadcasting. 

00:07:32 Speaker 1 

But I wasn’t on the air, I wrote. 

00:07:34 Speaker 1 

Newscasts for the announcers. 

00:07:36 Speaker 1 

You know, and I didn’t stay six months. 

00:07:39 Speaker 1 

I stayed three years. 

00:07:41 Speaker 1 

And the reason for that was that ice hockey was becoming popular in Britain in those days. 

00:07:47 Speaker 1 

And the British commentators couldn’t handle it, and they gave me the opportunity. 

00:07:52 Speaker 1 

And it’s in the story. 

00:07:53 Speaker 1 

I won’t bother going you to hear a very funny story, really. 

00:07:56 Speaker 1 

And and so I got item news. 

00:07:59 Speaker 1 

It actually broadcasting on the air in sports. 

00:08:02 Speaker 2 

Well, dude dude, window it. I want to hear this story. We’re broadcasting hockey in England in the 1930s. 

00:08:08 Speaker 1 

Well, I tell you, General Cox, who was that, what they call director of outside broadcast, what we call Director of special events. 

00:08:16 Speaker 1 

Asked me into his office one day and he said Bowman, you’re today. 

00:08:20 Speaker 1 

Didn’t you understand? 

00:08:21 Speaker 1 

Ice hockey? 

00:08:22 Speaker 1 

And I said yes. 

00:08:23 Speaker 1 

And he said and and how. 

00:08:25 Speaker 1 

And I said, well, I played it and written it, which was true. 

00:08:28 Speaker 1 

And he said it. 

00:08:29 Speaker 1 

Did you ever broadcast it? 

00:08:30 Speaker 1 

I saw his hundreds of times back in Canada. 

00:08:33 Speaker 1 

I’d I’d never been on the air. 

00:08:35 Speaker 1 

You know, but so he said. 

00:08:36 Speaker 1 

Well, that’s great, he explained. 

00:08:38 Speaker 1 

Why is their commentators couldn’t handle it? 

00:08:41 Speaker 1 

He wanted to do some broadcasting. 

00:08:43 Speaker 1 

So he sent me not a studio 3C with John Snagg, who is a very famous BBC broadcast. 

00:08:50 Speaker 1 

And they set me up in the studio and asked me to show them how I would broadcast a hockey game and and Cox had Cox had, you know, a close circuit up to his office. 

00:09:04 Speaker 1 

So I got going. 

00:09:05 Speaker 1 

And imagined myself in the auditorium in Ottawa, and I brought on the Montreal Maroons and the Ottawa. 

00:09:10 Speaker 1 

Vendors who were in the NHL in those days. 

00:09:13 Speaker 1 

Got the game going well, I don’t know. 

00:09:15 Speaker 1 

How long I I can’t. 

00:09:16 Speaker 1 

They kept me at it, but I signaled to John, snag out the control room, and can I stop now? 

00:09:22 Speaker 1 

I didn’t stop, but I I made a signal which he could understand. 

00:09:26 Speaker 1 

I saw him go to the telephone and he came back and then he gave me this signal. 

00:09:30 Speaker 1 

Which means keep going. 

00:09:32 Speaker 1 

I don’t know how long they kept me, but I heard months later. 

00:09:36 Speaker 1 

What happened? 

00:09:37 Speaker 1 

When snag phone, ****. 

00:09:40 Speaker 1 

****, he said. 

00:09:41 Speaker 1 

I said alright. 

00:09:41 Speaker 1 

Can bowl and stop now. 

00:09:43 Speaker 1 

And Cox said no. 

00:09:44 Speaker 1 

Let him go on. 

00:09:45 Speaker 1 

I want to. 

00:09:45 Speaker 1 

See how this game ends? 

00:09:49 Speaker 1 

He may have known I was lying. 

00:09:51 Speaker 1 

He was putting the boots to me. 

00:09:52 Speaker 1 

Boy did I. 

00:09:52 Speaker 1 

Well, but I got the job and one thing led to another and. 

00:09:57 Speaker 1 

They had me broadcast it all over the place. 

00:09:59 Speaker 1 

All kinds of things and I was the first so-called American to broadcast regularly in Britain and it was very successful. I was making a lot of money. 

00:10:10 Speaker 1 

On the side. 

00:10:13 Speaker 2 

How much would a lot of money? 

00:10:15 Speaker 1 

Be at the well, I tell you, I was offered. I was offered 100 pounds. 

00:10:19 Speaker 1 

Week to do a morning program for Radio Luxembourg from 6:00 to 9:00 every morning they I do the news, play records, and if they’d been a a big sports event tonight before, they wanted me to recreate it. 

00:10:32 Speaker 1 

And you know and. 

00:10:33 Speaker 1 

And that sort of thing. 

00:10:35 Speaker 1 

And that the Erwin. 

00:10:36 Speaker 1 

Ways the advertising agency offered me that. 

00:10:39 Speaker 1 

But just at that time, Gladstone Murray was invited to become the government changed hands in Canada. 

00:10:47 Speaker 1 

The old CRBC was scrapped and the new Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was created and Godstone Murray was invited to go back and be the first general manager, and Murray and I had been spending that whole three years when I was in London discussing what we would do if that happened and we felt it would happen. 

00:11:12 Speaker 1 

You’re like, OK, going back to my father’s editorials and the citizen and the that led to the creation of the Royal Commission, Alan Plant and Graham Spry in in Ottawa took an interest in those inventories in the. 

00:11:29 Speaker 1 

Idea and they supported my father’s editorials by creating the Canadian Radio League. I think it was called and got it organized across Canada, which was very useful and helped to add support to the view of some of the private broadcasters. Is that there wasn’t any Canadian Radio league outside of spry. 

00:11:49 Speaker 2 

And plot and that really the newspaper editorials sort of followed their instigation, that is they. 

00:11:56 Speaker 2 

There’s an implication there, I suppose, of a malign influence. 

00:12:00 Speaker 1 

As well as the other way around, it was spy and plot who supported my father’s editorials. And there’s there’s no inference that I know and surely was because knowing my father as well as I did, there was just no. 

00:12:15 Speaker 1 

Thought of anything like that. 

00:12:16 Speaker 1 

They felt convinced that unless they took action, broadcasting in Canada would be lost. 

00:12:23 Speaker 1 

The way moving pictures, I’m sure they were right to. 

00:12:28 Speaker 1 

But in any case, so I certainly wouldn’t want to play down the park. 

00:12:33 Speaker 1 

Graham Spy and Alan Park played. 

00:12:35 Speaker 1 

It was very important and others to help them. 

00:12:41 Speaker 1 

Anyway, getting back to the business of Glastonbury, coming to camp and then I follow them as quickly as I could, he went over about, I guess it was July 36th and I followed in December, just before Christmas and became. 

00:12:59 Speaker 1 

Well, the first thing they they did was give me some broadcast to do and we used to do big Christmas Day, a big Christmas Day show. 

00:13:08 Speaker 1 

And I arrived just in time to take part in that Christmas Day show, and they sent me up to calendar Ontario to do an interview with Doctor Dafoe. 

00:13:19 Speaker 1 

And the Prince boy that was Christmas 1936. The Loneliest Christmas I ever spent in my life in the Empire Hotel in North Bay. 

00:13:29 Speaker 1 

And spent practically all the Christmas Day at Doctor Dafoe’s home out in the sort of brand or sun porch. 

00:13:37 Speaker 1 

While he had a big Christmas dinner inside, I think he may have sent my engineer and and me a a sandwich sometime or other. 

00:13:49 Speaker 1 

Anyway, Dafo and I did the interview and that was my first broadcast for CBC at Christmas Day, broadcast and then early in 37, I went out on a series which I had suggested called night Shift. They were places where people worked at night. 

00:14:07 Speaker 1 

And we started out at Grace Bay. 

00:14:11 Speaker 1 

The Caledonia come and broadcast from there. 

00:14:15 Speaker 1 

And then I remember trying to use my McGill French. 

00:14:19 Speaker 1 

It was half our program, way down below and I did most of the English, but every now and again broke into French. 

00:14:27 Speaker 1 

The next day I got telegrams from both Murray and Frigos. 

00:14:31 Speaker 1 

I don’t do that again, and they sent me, Jerry, Arthur, Gerard, Arthur, to to help me from. 

00:14:38 Speaker 1 

That time on. 

00:14:39 Speaker 1 

The tours, they couldn’t stand my friends. 

00:14:41 Speaker 2 

Well, we’re we’re the programs. 

00:14:43 Speaker 2 

Early programs originated in Montreal as I recollect. 

00:14:47 Speaker 2 

That they were there was bilingual broadcasting that was announced in English and in French, which. 

00:14:53 Speaker 2 

In Montreal. 

00:14:53 Speaker 2 

Yeah, well, if it if it originated over Montreal, then they did the bilingual bit. 

00:14:53 Speaker 1 


00:14:58 Speaker 1 

And you know, I don’t remember that like. 

00:15:01 Speaker 2 

And which caused a lot of reaction in Toronto. 

00:15:03 Speaker 2 

In one way we might expect in points. 

00:15:06 Speaker 1 

West, yes. I don’t know. 

00:15:07 Speaker 1 

For instance, where, where, where Jacques Debain got started, Jacques might have come out of private broadcasting and and Jerry Arthur for that matter. 

00:15:15 Speaker 2 

Well, there’s no place else few people to come except newspapers, because it wasn’t anything else but. 

00:15:19 Speaker 2 

They were little little stations all over the. 

00:15:21 Speaker 1 

Place they could speak beautiful English and beautiful French and ohh. 

00:15:25 Speaker 1 

It’s not like a cloud. 

00:15:27 Speaker 1 

When I was with them. 

00:15:28 Speaker 1 

But anyway, we did that night shift all the way across the country for many weeks and then it was very successful too. 

00:15:36 Speaker 2 

But these live we were. 

00:15:36 Speaker 1 


00:15:37 Speaker 2 

They were you recording them? 

00:15:38 Speaker 1 

No live right from the spot and with the usual technical problems and but it was great fun and went over well not long ago. 

00:15:48 Speaker 1 

I had a young CBC producer who was only 10 years old at that time, phoned me and and said that he. 

00:15:54 Speaker 1 

Remembered the the. 

00:15:56 Speaker 1 

Theme which was ride of the Valkyrie. 

00:15:59 Speaker 1 

I’d written a dramatic announcement to go with it, to open the programs. 

00:16:03 Speaker 1 

But in any case, after I finished that series in the spring of 37, then Ernie Bushnell made me his assistant and one of my jobs was to try to arrange. 

00:16:20 Speaker 1 

Reciprocal programs of the United States. 

00:16:24 Speaker 1 

We were getting lots of things from them, like the New York Philharmonic. 

00:16:28 Speaker 1 

And, you know, first class programs of that type. 

00:16:32 Speaker 1 

But we wanted them to take something from us. 

00:16:35 Speaker 1 

And I used to go down to New York and see what we could get from them. 

00:16:38 Speaker 1 

And I’d also push Percy Faith and his orchestra and Alan Young from out here in Vancouver. 

00:16:45 Speaker 1 

And I was never able, while mutual carried a little bit of Percy Faith, I was never able to get them to. 

00:16:50 Speaker 2 

Take a challenge and to think of Percy Faith as being a creation in Canada and you know. 

00:16:55 Speaker 2 

Those of us who I collect him is coming. 

00:16:55 Speaker 1 


00:16:57 Speaker 1 

From the States and Alan Young, you see went down later and became a great star in the states. 

00:17:02 Speaker 1 

But you know, it was pretty hard to convince them that we had anything good in in Canada that anybody pay any attention to it. 

00:17:09 Speaker 1 

And all I had that wonderful time working for Ernie as assistant instead of a traffic. 

00:17:15 Speaker 1 

Don’t you give them the programs, but I think what my interest of twice a year we’d have all the regional directors would come to Ottawa and we’d have a meeting to plan the programs ahead. 

00:17:27 Speaker 1 

Now when I began in 36 and certainly into part of 37, we only broadcast at night. 

00:17:34 Speaker 1 

CBC and then I can’t remember exactly when it was we. 

00:17:39 Speaker 1 

We moved it a daytime beginning at noon Eastern Standard Time. 

00:17:43 Speaker 1 

So we had to get new programs to fill from noon to 6 at night, which wasn’t easy. 

00:17:48 Speaker 1 

But anyway we’d have these. 

00:17:51 Speaker 1 

Program meetings twice a year, Radford from BC, horse stolen from The Perrys. 

00:17:59 Speaker 1 

George Taggart from Ontario. 

00:18:01 Speaker 1 

Arthur DuPont from from back. 

00:18:04 Speaker 1 

Frank Willis from the Hard Times and Bush and on myself. 

00:18:08 Speaker 1 

And we spend the day discussing what? 

00:18:12 Speaker 1 

Programs we could create and where we put them. 

00:18:15 Speaker 1 

What about 5:00? 

00:18:16 Speaker 1 

The drinks would appear, and we’d have a merry evening. 

00:18:20 Speaker 1 

My gosh. 

00:18:21 Speaker 1 

And the drinking would go on from 5 till 10 or. 

00:18:24 Speaker 1 

Later, and it was during that period, if everything we did during the daytime was scrapped and that you’d hear the boys, you’d say it. 

00:18:34 Speaker 1 

We’re really saying to Ranbir, well now look, if you do so and so I’ll do so and so and so the next morning, the whole thing we’ve done that the day before had all been scrapped and all. 

00:18:43 Speaker 1 

These programs that we. 

00:18:44 Speaker 1 

Things in these, shall I say, drunken moments, would actually. 

00:18:48 Speaker 1 

Go on the air. 

00:18:49 Speaker 1 

Autos fun and you know, this didn’t happen just once, but it happened every time. 

00:18:54 Speaker 2 

Well, you you were busy inventing the whole thing, right? 

00:18:56 Speaker 1 


00:18:57 Speaker 1 

And after a few drinks, people really get down. 

00:18:58 Speaker 1 

To investing it. 

00:18:59 Speaker 2 

And and the phrase that keeps coming up in in these talks and having. 

00:19:03 Speaker 2 

It was, it was fun. 

00:19:04 Speaker 1 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:19:05 Speaker 2 

It was fun. 

00:19:05 Speaker 1 

So it it really was. 

00:19:07 Speaker 2 

No, nobody worried. 

00:19:08 Speaker 2 

If you know, about 9:00 to 5:00 or five days a week, or how much they were getting paid, they were just. 

00:19:14 Speaker 1 

Is he building something? 

00:19:15 Speaker 1 

But we were scraping. 

00:19:16 Speaker 1 

The bottom of the barrel. 

00:19:17 Speaker 1 

We were looking for ideas of any kind. 

00:19:18 Speaker 2 

Don’t listen out that. 

00:19:20 Speaker 1 

You know, I can remember very well George Taggart saying. I think we were trying to figure out something from 12:15 to 1:00 or else 1:15 to two. Can’t remember. 

00:19:31 Speaker 1 

And George Taggart saying. 

00:19:33 Speaker 1 

Well, look, we’ve got a group on our station in Toronto. 

00:19:36 Speaker 1 

It’s just a local broadcast. 

00:19:38 Speaker 1 

But he says they’re pretty good, he said. 

00:19:40 Speaker 1 

I think they could go on the network and they were called the Happy Gang. 

00:19:44 Speaker 1 

And that’s how we got. 

00:19:46 Speaker 1 

They got started just, you know. 

00:19:49 Speaker 1 

And so anyway. 

00:19:52 Speaker 1 

That’s the way it went. 

00:19:53 Speaker 1 

And then having moved into daytime broadcasting, Ernie Bushnell, really. 

00:19:58 Speaker 1 

But it was cheaper to broadcast actuality stuff than to put on studio programs. 

00:20:05 Speaker 1 

So much against my will. 

00:20:07 Speaker 1 

Because I love working with the the job I had. 

00:20:10 Speaker 1 

He made me director of special events and my job was to grow and get actually daytime programs. 

00:20:16 Speaker 1 

So I bought all the rights to the. 

00:20:18 Speaker 1 

BIG4 Football Games $400.00, a broadcast and and and CFRB had had the rights up to let them know where they mad and you know. 

00:20:27 Speaker 2 

I say for being too much of the. 

00:20:29 Speaker 2 

CBC and I. 

00:20:30 Speaker 1 

So we were cutting them down and you know, and imagine paying rights for football. 

00:20:35 Speaker 1 

Yeah, I got the regular games for 400 and I got the Grey Cup games for 600 as I remember, and I fired Harry Foster, who was the regular football commentator for CFBC and tried out all kinds of people like Foster Hewitt. Foster used to like to broadcast lying down on the roof on an air mattress. 

00:20:57 Speaker 1 

And looking over the edge of the roof, botanas and broadcasting on his. 

00:21:00 Speaker 1 

Stomach all the time. 

00:21:02 Speaker 1 

But we finally developed a very good teams with Roy, a fellow called Roy Dillworth, being our football commentator. 

00:21:12 Speaker 1 

And then I got the rights to the Canadian Open golf with all kinds of features like that across Canada, as many as I could. 

00:21:20 Speaker 2 

Well, that was again, I think reflected 2 things. 

00:21:24 Speaker 2 

One, the the need for programming of any sort and this was this kind of thing was going on. 

00:21:29 Speaker 2 

And secondly, the fact that the. 

00:21:31 Speaker 2 

Canadian Press that his newspapers in Canada had been rather reluctant. 

00:21:36 Speaker 2 

To put it mildly, to let radio have news bonds and now had the arrangement been made by that time between Murray and the and CP for those two free news bulletins today. 

00:21:49 Speaker 1 

Oh, I think so. 

00:21:50 Speaker 1 

He was very news conscious and an expert on news himself, you know. 

00:21:55 Speaker 1 

And it wasn’t very long. 

00:21:57 Speaker 1 

We lost one of the first things he did for us was begin to create good a good news service, and Dan MacArthur came in as to organize their story. 

00:22:08 Speaker 2 

Never had a chance. 

00:22:08 Speaker 1 

To talk gone. 

00:22:10 Speaker 1 

And of course, he was a first class man and CBC News. 

00:22:14 Speaker 1 

Well, you know how important it became. 

00:22:17 Speaker 1 

And so anyway, we got out of these actualities and one thing that I like to remember is the creation. 

00:22:26 Speaker 1 

And I think I was responsible. 

00:22:28 Speaker 1 

The first one of documentary programs using mobile units and going out and recording and then bringing the material back to the studios and combining. 

00:22:37 Speaker 1 

The sound with music and you know. 

00:22:40 Speaker 1 

That sort of. 

00:22:40 Speaker 2 

Thing, well, when you talk about mobile equipment, you’re not talking about it into these terms. 

00:22:45 Speaker 2 

What kind of equipment was it it it, you know, it was not small and really portable. 

00:22:49 Speaker 1 

Well, well, I have a picture of and and and you would be able to get this I think, or not. 

00:22:55 Speaker 1 

Well, if you were going to do a book, you’d like it and and if you can’t go keep me in mind of CDC mobile. 

00:23:01 Speaker 1 

That number one, it was a a dodge car pulling a trailer full of equipment and we had two turntables. 

00:23:09 Speaker 1 

That’s better. 

00:23:10 Speaker 1 

Packed sets, very heavy, packed set. 

00:23:13 Speaker 1 

But so we could go out and do all kinds of things in the field with. 

00:23:17 Speaker 2 

This moment or you’re recording? 

00:23:19 Speaker 2 

You were really recording on the big 16 inch transcription. 

00:23:22 Speaker 1 

Disc. That’s right, yes. 

00:23:24 Speaker 2 

And they were not really designed to be out in the field. 

00:23:26 Speaker 1 

You know, and we have to be absolutely leveled, you know, with the trailer and well, we get dust. 

00:23:32 Speaker 1 

I remember one time doing the Calgary Stampede and a dust storm blew up and we got our records just absolutely from the dust. 

00:23:39 Speaker 1 

You know, that sort of thing. 

00:23:40 Speaker 1 

What happened? 

00:23:42 Speaker 1 

We did bomb. 

00:23:43 Speaker 1 

The big documentary about Banff National Park and jazz. 

00:23:48 Speaker 1 

Or Graham Mckennis, who became quite a writer, came along with me to do the scripts. 

00:23:57 Speaker 1 

Those are some of the broadcasts that I took the most satisfaction. 

00:24:03 Speaker 1 

And then, of course came, oh, and I must tell you, we did. 

00:24:08 Speaker 1 

I ran some fishing broadcasts catching fish on the air and. 

00:24:14 Speaker 2 

That sounded like good radio. 

00:24:17 Speaker 1 

We did the first one we did was a trout fishing broadcast from a private club across the Ottawa River back of Buckingham. 

00:24:26 Speaker 1 

Come back. 

00:24:27 Speaker 1 

And we had to get the signal by short wave out of there, but we actually caught a trout on the air and I put it in the frying pan and fried it. And did that in in the program. And NBC carried it. And, you know, I had 1000 letters from that. 

00:24:47 Speaker 1 

And one of them was the most. 

00:24:50 Speaker 1 

I think the best letter I’ve ever had in broadcasting from a man in a. 

00:24:54 Speaker 1 

Hospital in new. 

00:24:55 Speaker 1 

York and he said that the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with him. 

00:24:59 Speaker 1 

He was just there for observation, but he’d heard the broadcast. 

00:25:02 Speaker 1 

The sound of the reel, the the fish frying and the pad. 

00:25:06 Speaker 1 

He felt fine. 

00:25:07 Speaker 1 

Where could he go? 

00:25:10 Speaker 1 

She was very great and we did bass fishing from French river and a salmon fishing broadcast from the mirror machine in the New Brunswick and that. 

00:25:21 Speaker 1 

Then the royal visit the spring of 39 now that. 

00:25:26 Speaker 3 

Was the biggest. 

00:25:28 Speaker 2 

Broadcasting operation of its kind anywhere in that day. 

00:25:35 Speaker 2 

And I I was amused. 

00:25:36 Speaker 2 

Of course, NBC is celebrating their 50th network anniversary and what they don’t say and probably what they don’t know or don’t want to say is that the CNR had the 1st. 

00:25:48 Speaker 2 

Those, those that were back in 1927, I suppose that’s right. They need sure they would mean that. The American networks apparently true. 

00:25:55 Speaker 1 

Did you ever hear the story about that old CNN network doing its first football game? 

00:26:00 Speaker 1 

Is that in your eyes? 

00:26:00 Speaker 2 

No, I haven’t heard that yet. 

00:26:02 Speaker 1 

Well, that that work was very funny because, you know the linesman, the CNN National Telegraph Service, Landsman, would trying up the pole every now and again and up there and clipping onto him. 

00:26:15 Speaker 1 

To get on to the broadcast line. 

00:26:16 Speaker 1 

Don’t know what it. 

00:26:17 Speaker 3 

Was say what? The? 

00:26:18 Speaker 1 

Hell is going on here and it would come over the air, but they wanted to broadcast a football game. 

00:26:26 Speaker 1 

And in those days, Queens was the great had the great football team. 

00:26:31 Speaker 1 

And Bud Thomas used to play outside, waiting for Queens, graduated ahead of his teammates one year ahead and see and thought, oh, this is great. 

00:26:41 Speaker 1 

Now here’s a a university graduate educated of course and and a real football player. 

00:26:47 Speaker 1 

He should be able to do a broadcast. 

00:26:49 Speaker 1 

So like they got him to. 

00:26:51 Speaker 1 

Doing getting between Queens and somebody I forget who. 

00:26:55 Speaker 1 

Well, mine was going along great. 

00:26:57 Speaker 1 

Somewhere around the third quarter, so his old teammate, Red Michael, he catches the ball on the 10 yard line and button says Mckelvey’s got the ball on the 10 yard line. 

00:27:09 Speaker 3 

He steps side steps 2 tackles. He’s at the 15. He’s at the 20. He’s at the 25. Look at that. *** ** * *****. Go. 

00:27:21 Speaker 2 

And people know you were talking beginning to talk about. 

00:27:24 Speaker 2 

The royal tour. 

00:27:26 Speaker 1 

Well, that was the biggest broadcasting operation of its kind up to that time because we had to do, we had to cover role as if that extended about 6000 miles back and forth and five time Zones, 2 languages. 

00:27:44 Speaker 1 

You know, it was a very big operation and went off just amazingly. 

00:27:48 Speaker 1 

Well, I got the credit for the program silent because I was in charge of the program end of it, but really it was an engineering operation, fantastic operation. 

00:28:01 Speaker 1 

And, you know, I’ve worked with engineers in Britain. 

00:28:04 Speaker 1 

I’ve worked with engineers in the United States, both NBC and Columbia. 

00:28:08 Speaker 1 

And I don’t think there are any engineers who can compare with our own CDC engineers. 

00:28:14 Speaker 1 

They’re fantastic. 

00:28:16 Speaker 2 

So you would have to use with that a combination of CPU lines CN line. 

00:28:23 Speaker 2 

Barbed wire fencing in private stations and your own station. 

00:28:27 Speaker 1 

You’re right, and it was that far more offensive than did the trick. 

00:28:31 Speaker 1 

Many, many a time. 

00:28:33 Speaker 1 

I can’t tell you how many times, especially during night shift and other broadcast. 

00:28:37 Speaker 1 

I’d I’d say to my engineer, Roy, who moon or Art Holmes? 

00:28:41 Speaker 1 

Give them my idea and they’d say it can’t be done. 

00:28:44 Speaker 1 

You just can’t do that. 

00:28:46 Speaker 1 

And the next morning, they’d come along and we’d say, well, now look, I’ve been thinking that over, you know, a, my gosh, they’ve devised away. 

00:28:54 Speaker 1 

It was fantastic how much that happened, and anyway, they’re all doesn’t really. 

00:29:00 Speaker 1 

It was a marvelous operation on the part of the CDC. 

00:29:05 Speaker 1 

Oh, yes. 

00:29:05 Speaker 1 

And I wanted to tell you too. 

00:29:07 Speaker 1 

When I was director of special events one night, the phone rang. 

00:29:11 Speaker 1 

What was it? 

00:29:12 Speaker 1 

Early in the morning, 3:00 o’clock in the. 



00:29:14 Speaker 1 

And the tribes in Toronto, Anna was Abe Schechter, director of special events of NBC, and he said. 

00:29:22 Speaker 1 

Bob, what are you doing about the quints having their tonsils on doing anything about their clients having their tonsils out? 

00:29:31 Speaker 1 

Oh, we love those little children down here. 

00:29:34 Speaker 1 

Can you get us a fee? 

00:29:36 Speaker 1 

So I said. 

00:29:36 Speaker 1 

Well, I’ll do. 

00:29:37 Speaker 1 

My best so the next morning I in the morning came. 

00:29:40 Speaker 1 

I I phoned her out and I found that the Toronto star had sent her reporter up there to cover it, got and sank there. 

00:29:48 Speaker 1 

So I phoned Gordon and asked him whether he would do a broadcast for us and. 

00:29:53 Speaker 1 

Explain to him how to handle doctor Dayfall not to let him use the script and so forth, and that was Gordon’s first broadcast network. And that so he he remembers that not so long ago anyway, after the royal visit then. 

00:30:12 Speaker 1 

Right to the war. 

00:30:14 Speaker 1 

And I remember in that connection too. 

00:30:19 Speaker 1 

Quite early on, I went down to Halifax to do a program about the coastal drums and whatnot. 

00:30:26 Speaker 1 

I went down there and I made recordings and the of the coastal gun was the sound of them. 

00:30:32 Speaker 1 

They command was. 

00:30:33 Speaker 2 

When was this the first use of the mobile unit? I mean these, I mean, you’re talking about this, say roughly from 36 on. 

00:30:42 Speaker 2 

I know there were a lot of location broadcasts by early broadcast, even some use of short wave, but I don’t remember anybody telling me that they actually went out and recorded on these monstrous old machines. 

00:30:52 Speaker 1 

That’s right. Well, that would be 1930, I would say 38. It could have been 37, but the CDC design, this mobile unit. 

00:31:01 Speaker 1 

Number one for me that contained the recording equipment and we could actually go out and we had all kinds of equipment right there as I say. 

Part 2


00:00:02 Speaker 1 

Way you pack sets so we could cover golf tournaments and things like that, and we took that mobile unit out to Bamp and Jasper. 

00:00:12 Speaker 1 

We covered in the summer of 39 I went. 

00:00:16 Speaker 2 

All through the. 

00:00:16 Speaker 1 

Maritimes, doing a program called summer over the Maritimes, which I was going to broadcast in the winter. 

00:00:23 Speaker 1 

It’s a sort of a tourist thing, you know. 

00:00:31 Speaker 1 

It’s assuming anyway. Oh yes, little mobile units. So you I think would be 37, might be 30 sevens, but certainly 38 that we started with the creation of the special Events Department of the CBC. 

00:00:49 Speaker 1 

Well, I was going back to business about going down to Halifax and I think doing the coastal guns and I came back to Ottawa with my recordings. 

00:00:58 Speaker 1 

And produced the program for the Ottawa Studios for some reason or other, Bob Anderson was producing for me and we needed another voice. 

00:01:07 Speaker 1 

I wrote the script for it. 

00:01:09 Speaker 1 

We needed another voice, and Bob Anderson said, well, look, we’ve got a young lad on the station here. 

00:01:15 Speaker 1 

He’s as green as grass, but he’s going to be good someday and he said. 

00:01:19 Speaker 1 

And he could do that. 

00:01:20 Speaker 1 

And that was Lauren Green. 

00:01:22 Speaker 1 

And that was Laurence first broadcast and then network. 

00:01:25 Speaker 1 

So I have the sort of the, the stakes, if you like, of putting Gordon Sinclair and Lauren Green giving them their first first budget, then I think, you know, the story about. 

00:01:38 Speaker 1 

The mysterious phone call and. 

00:01:40 Speaker 3 

I think it’d be useful to be. 

00:01:41 Speaker 1 

Late that again early December, I think it was in, I was in Toronto in my apartment. 

00:01:47 Speaker 1 

And Ernie Bushnell asking how fast I could get to Halifax. 

00:01:51 Speaker 1 

Well, I knew my train schedules in those days, and I told him and he said, well, get going. 

00:01:56 Speaker 1 

And when you get to Halifax, see General Constantine and say Constantinopel to them and you’ll be told while you’re there. 

00:02:07 Speaker 1 

So I said I have. 

00:02:07 Speaker 1 

Money and he says. 

00:02:08 Speaker 1 

Alright, I’ll see to get some money. 

00:02:10 Speaker 1 

So I got down to the railway station and there he was. 

00:02:14 Speaker 1 

Gave me some money and so away I went and got to Halifax. 

00:02:20 Speaker 1 

And the moment I arrived I could see what was up. 

00:02:22 Speaker 1 

I didn’t have to ask General Johnson time. 

00:02:24 Speaker 1 

There was five big ocean liners at the on the wharves and the big battleship out in the street, you know. 

00:02:32 Speaker 1 

But I went to Constantine and said Constantinople and he explained that the first Canadian division was sailing for somewhere. 

00:02:39 Speaker 1 

He didn’t tell me. 

00:02:41 Speaker 1 

And they wanted me to make records along the shore, along the wars of our troops, going on board. 

00:02:48 Speaker 1 

And then after they had arrived at their destination, I’d be back in Canada with these recordings, I’d be able to broadcast how they left. 

00:02:56 Speaker 1 

So I did what I was told. 

00:02:58 Speaker 1 

And then I heard that. 

00:03:00 Speaker 1 

CP, you were sending a man with the and he said, well, if CP can send a man, so can actually about getting coffee. 

00:03:09 Speaker 1 

So I got on a secret line to Gladstone Murray in Ottawa and explained the situation and a little while later I got a message that I had to see the captain of the Aquitaine in. 

00:03:22 Speaker 1 

So I go on board the Aquitania and I I met by the staff captain, top of the gangway and taken into the sea cabin of the captain of the actually Captain Gibbons. 

00:03:34 Speaker 1 

A little old man with a face like a bulldog, and that the staff captain explained why I was there. 

00:03:42 Speaker 1 

Read a broadcasting man. 

00:03:45 Speaker 1 

There’s a war on and they proposed to send a broadcasting man on my ship by Daddy. 

00:03:51 Speaker 1 

I say the answer is no. 

00:03:53 Speaker 1 

Get off this ship at once and they kicked me off. 

00:03:58 Speaker 1 

That big ship had trembled the way he. 

00:04:01 Speaker 1 

So I got back and I got on the blower again to Ottawa and as and to Marie and said, would you see Admiral Nellies or somebody and tell this wild man and I’m not going to broadcast this. 

00:04:14 Speaker 1 

Next day I get a message. 

00:04:16 Speaker 1 

And to see the captain of the Aquitania again, same routine. 

00:04:19 Speaker 1 

It was cabin Sudan, young man. 

00:04:22 Speaker 1 

Sit down, smoke down. 

00:04:23 Speaker 1 

The eyes have smoke. 

00:04:25 Speaker 1 

I’ve had a message from your Admiral saying. 

00:04:27 Speaker 1 

It’s all right for you to go on board our ship. 

00:04:30 Speaker 1 

And I suppose if he says it’s all right, it’s that young man. 

00:04:36 Speaker 1 

Let me tell you. 

00:04:37 Speaker 1 

And if I should see you in any part of this ship, you’re not supposed to be there. 

00:04:45 Speaker 1 

But his eyes were twinkling him. 

00:04:47 Speaker 1 

He said. 

00:04:49 Speaker 1 

I bought this ship over here in 4 1/2 days and I could take you where you’re going in 4 1/2 days, but we have to sail in a convoy convoys. Those all skippers. They hated convoys. 

00:05:01 Speaker 1 

The CBC rushed art homes down and with our usual heavy equipment and oh, it was an epic voyage, which I won’t go into here. 

00:05:12 Speaker 1 

But we got to Britain and with some recordings we’ve made on the way across with General McNaughton and the dedication of the first dev flag, all those sort of things. 

00:05:24 Speaker 1 

And went up to BBC to broadcast our first program. 

00:05:29 Speaker 1 

And to our horror, we had recorded a 33 and a third and BBC did all its work at 78 and they had no equipment to broadcast our records. 

00:05:42 Speaker 1 

We were sick, just sick at heart. It looked as though all we’ve done and and wasted, and then somebody remembered that up in the sound effects room they had a variable speed turned table and they could get it down to 33. So we managed to we took our records up. 

00:06:01 Speaker 1 

There and dubbed them. 

00:06:03 Speaker 1 

From the variable speed turntable and sound effects room to the to 78 and managed to get our program on here and that was the beginning of the overseas unit. 

00:06:15 Speaker 1 

And I just had a suitcase and enough clothes in it for five days as I thought. 

00:06:19 Speaker 1 

In Halifax, you know, and there I was in Britain and. 

00:06:22 Speaker 1 

There for the war it look. 

00:06:26 Speaker 1 

Our homes went back to Canada. 

00:06:28 Speaker 1 

We we investigated the whole situation and our homes went back to Canada to design A mobile unit that would do the work we needed. 

00:06:37 Speaker 1 

And so he was away for several months while they produced this mobile unit and to help us cover the troops. 

00:06:45 Speaker 1 

And I remember. 

00:06:47 Speaker 1 

One of our first broadcasts from there. 

00:06:49 Speaker 1 

This was done by transatlantic beam telephone was British Columbia House opened a canteen for our soldiers and where they could get hot dogs and pork and beans and apple pie. 

00:07:04 Speaker 3 

Hey, good afternoon. 

00:07:04 Speaker 1 

And you know the food that they were. 

00:07:07 Speaker 1 

And anyway I was asked to broadcast the opening and we booked. 

00:07:13 Speaker 1 

We booked the TransCanada Transatlantic circuit for half an hour. 

00:07:16 Speaker 1 

Well, the the the formal part of the opening of this British Columbia canteen took about 10 minutes and there I was left with 20. 

00:07:25 Speaker 1 

Minutes to fill. 

00:07:27 Speaker 1 

I was desperate and I jumped across the counter with my microphone and the troops were coming by getting their hot dogs and whatnot. 

00:07:34 Speaker 1 

And as every man went by, I asked him to identify himself and send the message home. 

00:07:41 Speaker 1 

My God, the reaction from that was just fantastic. 

00:07:44 Speaker 1 

I’ll never forget one cable I had from some lady in Canada. 

00:07:49 Speaker 1 

I heard my son’s voice tonight because God bless you. Just bring tears in your eyes, you know? And that was the beginning of the broadcast that continued. 

00:08:00 Speaker 1 

For several years, the troops coming on the air and saying send me cigarettes and that is the most popular thing we can do. 

00:08:11 Speaker 1 

Well, the rest of the story, I suppose, is another story and I stayed over there. 

00:08:16 Speaker 1 

We got some marvellous material. 

00:08:18 Speaker 1 

The bombing of London. 

00:08:20 Speaker 1 

I went over and covered the the uprade and you know. 

00:08:26 Speaker 3 

Well, you were bombed out of several place. 

00:08:28 Speaker 1 

Yes, we were. 

00:08:29 Speaker 1 

And and my chief engineer at homes, he used to spend his nights out. 

00:08:37 Speaker 1 

Getting the sound of bombs he he parked the van at our big recording ban in Hyde Park and. 

00:08:45 Speaker 1 

And record the sound of the bombs and the gunfire, and I’d see art the next morning. 

00:08:50 Speaker 1 

And I’d say, Gee, it was a terrible night last night, you know? 

00:08:53 Speaker 1 

And he said, yeah, yeah. 

00:08:54 Speaker 1 

But wait till you hear the bomb I got. 

00:08:57 Speaker 1 

One night I said to. 

00:08:57 Speaker 1 

And so. 

00:08:59 Speaker 1 

One night to. 

00:09:00 Speaker 1 

Him, I said. 

00:09:00 Speaker 1 

Look, art, don’t spend your evenings and corny bombs like I said, will you stay at home some night and and and take it easy? 

00:09:08 Speaker 1 

So he promised to do this and you? 

00:09:10 Speaker 1 

Know what happened? 

00:09:11 Speaker 1 

I hit his apartment and he spent the rest of my digging. 

00:09:16 Speaker 2 

Drop out of the. 

00:09:16 Speaker 1 

It’s fortunately he wasn’t hurt, but you can imagine what he said to me with anything. 

00:09:21 Speaker 3 

Safer to go out in the blitz than it. 

00:09:23 Speaker 1 

Was and Aaron and I. 

00:09:25 Speaker 2 

Were down in the situation around Dover. 

00:09:29 Speaker 2 

For several days, the dog sites of the Big Channel guns from the other side of calories and lobbying their shelves over. 

00:09:39 Speaker 1 

And we came back to London on this board with a terrible mess. 

00:09:42 Speaker 1 

You know, I remember driving through the east stand and there were. 

00:09:46 Speaker 1 

Parachutes on either side of this, a Flyers dropping down. 

00:09:50 Speaker 1 

We came right through that gunfire. 

00:09:53 Speaker 1 

And we’ve been away for about a week and very anxious to get our mail. 

00:09:58 Speaker 1 

So we packed outside broadcast. 

00:10:00 Speaker 1 

We have kind of snuck getting rich closed and then we got past the guards not to my office, got our mail go again and mark drove them home, which is about 3 blocks up the street. 

00:10:12 Speaker 1 

And I mostly got into my apartment. 

00:10:29 Speaker 1 

And you know, there’s a story about that. 

00:10:33 Speaker 1 

BBC had a control. 

00:10:35 Speaker 1 

Office down in the basement. 

00:10:37 Speaker 1 

But they had roof spotters and the roof spotter yelled through the communication system down below to the central station, saying fellow called Peter Backs was on duty. 

00:10:51 Speaker 1 

Peter, there’s a parachute mine coming down. 

00:10:53 Speaker 1 

I can practically catch it. 

00:10:55 Speaker 1 

Then there’s this terrible explosion of Peter Back, says Butterfingers. 

00:11:06 Speaker 1 

One thing we used to do with our recording man, apart from from covering the troops, was. 

00:11:13 Speaker 1 

Leslie Howard, the great actor, used to do a weekly broadcast for NBC. 

00:11:19 Speaker 1 

And the BBC asked us if we would mind covering it, doing that work for them, because our van was so good. 

00:11:27 Speaker 1 

So every Sunday art and I would go to Leslie Howard’s home and record this 15 minutes with him and. 

00:11:37 Speaker 1 

Oh, it’s most enjoyable time that we had one time. 

00:11:41 Speaker 1 

I asked Leslie, I said. 

00:11:42 Speaker 1 

Look, we, we, we. 

00:11:43 Speaker 1 

We we don’t mind doing this for NBC, but would you do something for CBC? 

00:11:47 Speaker 1 

And he subscribed to. 

00:11:48 Speaker 1 

So one day after we finished the NBC thing, Leslie gathered all his family together in the living room. 

00:11:56 Speaker 1 

And they worked out a broadcast, sort of Leslie Howard at home I had. 

00:12:02 Speaker 1 

And just as Leslie was rehearsing everybody and telling them what to do, I whispered down the mic to art outside. 

00:12:09 Speaker 1 

I said record the rehearsal so Leslie gets finished rehearsing everybody. 

00:12:14 Speaker 1 

He’s alright. 

00:12:15 Speaker 1 

I think we’re ready now. 

00:12:17 Speaker 1 

I said it’s all right, Mr. 

00:12:18 Speaker 1 

We’ve got it. 

00:12:19 Speaker 1 

And we played the recording. 

00:12:21 Speaker 1 

Active with him rehearsing. 

00:12:22 Speaker 1 

Then, of course, it was perfect. 

00:12:24 Speaker 1 

And I remember. 

00:12:25 Speaker 1 

And he laughed. 

00:12:26 Speaker 1 

He was very concerned about when, not long afterwards he was lost flying back from London. 

00:12:34 Speaker 1 

Another couple of stories you might I don’t know whether you want this wartime stuff, but remember 1 terribly blitzy night being down in the basement of Broadcasting House, sitting on the floor with my back against a concrete wall. 

00:12:49 Speaker 1 

And who was there beside me? 

00:12:51 Speaker 1 

But JB priestly. 

00:12:53 Speaker 1 

And Priestly had just come back from a tour of the United States. 

00:12:57 Speaker 1 

He was also waiting to go on the air and I remember Priestly saying to me. 

00:13:02 Speaker 1 

They got sentimental song. 

00:13:05 Speaker 1 

They’re singing over there. 

00:13:06 Speaker 1 

That’s called. 

00:13:07 Speaker 1 

There’ll be Bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover. 

00:13:20 Speaker 1 

Well, the app finished me. 

00:13:23 Speaker 1 

That was the end. 

00:13:23 Speaker 1 

Nothing I wanted to be the end, but they hauled me back to Canada. 

00:13:27 Speaker 1 

And by that time I changed the, you know, general managers and Doctor JS Thompson came in and he and I were just daggers drawn, daggers drawn over what he wouldn’t give me any work to do. He was terribly jealous of me. And I was in demand. 

00:13:48 Speaker 1 

Of, you know, speak to Canadian clubs, all kinds of things and. 

00:13:53 Speaker 1 

I’d write to him for permission, he’d say. 

00:13:55 Speaker 1 

Do you solicit these invitations? 

00:13:58 Speaker 1 

And not only that, but he wouldn’t let me do any broadcasting. 

00:14:00 Speaker 1 

He just cut me right off the air and at that time the cellphone was offered me a job as that Washington correspondent and so really reluctantly and very reluctantly, even though it was twice. 

00:14:12 Speaker 1 

Salary I was getting from CDC. 

00:14:14 Speaker 1 

I finally checked in the hand and I’m very sorry. 

00:14:18 Speaker 1 

Then you went back to the newspaper, went back, went down to washing. 

00:14:21 Speaker 1 

And stayed there for three years. Then I came back to count and got into private broadcasting, which I was in for 16 years. I managed the station here in Vancouver. That was a CKMO. It’s now C fund. 

00:14:37 Speaker 1 

Then down to St. John, NB, CFBC and then out here to I built C KLG for the Gibson Brothers that it was supposed to be a North Shore station and then back to CFBC again. That’s for my second turn down there and unfortunately for me the broadcasting. 

00:14:57 Speaker 1 

Station was sold. 

00:14:59 Speaker 1 

And the new owners didn’t want me when I was out in 62, but that was the dark period of my life. I’m afraid the 16 years old years in private broadcasting, looking back. 

00:15:12 Speaker 1 

But I did accomplish 2 things. 

00:15:15 Speaker 1 

Three things. 

00:15:18 Speaker 1 

One was the first radio editorials Finney MacDonald have you interviewed Finley? 

00:15:23 Speaker 1 

Yet no. Well, he. 

00:15:24 Speaker 1 

Finley is one of The Pioneers of the Maritimes. You know, and built CJCH and Halifax. 

00:15:31 Speaker 1 

And I managed CJH for a little while and Finley was one of the announcers and was Finley who. 

00:15:39 Speaker 1 

Got me to go on the air every night and do a thing called. 

00:15:42 Speaker 1 

You’ve heard the news. 

00:15:44 Speaker 1 

Now let’s get by in the news with Bob Bowman and I start at those radio editorials. 

00:15:48 Speaker 1 

They were the first ones and then when I came up to Vancouver to CK MO, where I did the same thing here and they were the first radio editorials on the. 

00:15:59 Speaker 1 

And then when I was with CFBC in Saint John, I began this telephone technique that has now developed into the Open mind programs. 

00:16:09 Speaker 1 

Those were the first open line programs that I did out in Saint John and then I carried it out when I built. CKLGI also carried the idea. 

00:16:19 Speaker 1 

Out here. 

00:16:20 Speaker 1 

And have an evening program called. 

00:16:22 Speaker 1 

What’s the answer? 

00:16:24 Speaker 1 

Where I’d have an expert and people could phone in and ask questions. 

00:16:28 Speaker 3 

And you know, that was the beginning of those open line type programs, the radio, of course I do pretty well. 

00:16:34 Speaker 3 

We define itself well with the advent of television becomes something different. 

00:16:37 Speaker 2 


00:16:39 Speaker 3 

So for 20. 

00:16:41 Speaker 3 

By 26 years now, we’ve had, aside from the CBC, we’ve had essentially a jukebox. 

00:16:47 Speaker 3 

On the year, you know we have FM is developing the new FM regulations are here. 

00:16:54 Speaker 3 

We’ve got cable, we’ve got all sorts of satellite possibilities. 

00:16:58 Speaker 3 

What’s going to happen to radio in the? 

00:17:00 Speaker 3 

Next 25 years. 

00:17:02 Speaker 1 

Well, I would like to see a much better caliber of music and. 

00:17:08 Speaker 1 

On FM, I think it’s just disgusting the way FM stations are being allowed to operate as though they were. 

00:17:15 Speaker 1 

Am stations playing rock’n’roll and that? 

00:17:17 Speaker 1 

Kind of thing. 

00:17:18 Speaker 1 

If we we’ve got lots of that type of music on AM. 

00:17:21 Speaker 1 

For heavens sake, let’s do something better on on FM. 

00:17:25 Speaker 1 

If you’re not going to do it, then don’t operate. 

00:17:28 Speaker 3 

Sorry other other than music though. 

00:17:31 Speaker 3 

Do you think the time has come around again? 

00:17:34 Speaker 3 

If you like for us to go back to? 

00:17:39 Speaker 3 

OK, let’s put it this way, is there wouldn’t be an audience for variety programming for dramas for actual programs as opposed to, you know, the. 

00:17:48 Speaker 3 

Format as they call it. 

00:17:50 Speaker 1 

Well, I know. 

00:17:51 Speaker 1 

People who say they would prefer to listen to drama on radio than to see it on television, but I rather doubt that myself. 

00:18:00 Speaker 1 

I I know I’m. 

00:18:02 Speaker 1 

I’m a radio listener, by the way. 

00:18:03 Speaker 1 

Very seldom turn on television. 

00:18:05 Speaker 1 

But I don’t. 

00:18:08 Speaker 1 

I don’t see. 

00:18:10 Speaker 1 

I think the this radio will stay with good music and. 

00:18:16 Speaker 1 

All kinds of music, I mean, say you’re rock on an end or let’s say popular on a M and let’s do something different on FM and news and and good talks. 

00:18:30 Speaker 1 

And, you know, you might call it news and that’s. 

00:18:32 Speaker 3 

I think that’s you see that. 

00:18:35 Speaker 1 

Make sure. 

00:18:36 Speaker 3 

And it has occurred to me that in Laurich Sanders centres, Vancouver. 

00:18:40 Speaker 3 

You’ve got people trapped sort of two hours, morning and night, and I would think the majority of radios in this country are really in cars. 

00:18:47 Speaker 3 

Yes, that there might be room in there. 

00:18:50 Speaker 3 

Not for, you know, an hour. 

00:18:51 Speaker 3 

No, you haven’t. 

00:18:52 Speaker 3 

You know that attention span I think is gone, but maybe 15 minutes of a variety program or 15 minutes. 

00:18:58 Speaker 3 

And Andy did very nicely in 15. 

00:19:01 Speaker 3 

You know you don’t need an hour and. 

00:19:03 Speaker 3 

I’m just wondering if it isn’t if. 

00:19:05 Speaker 1 

There’s no question about it. 

00:19:06 Speaker 1 

He was always room for experimenting, isn’t there? 

00:19:08 Speaker 1 

And you can bring back a lot of things that may go over very well. 

00:19:12 Speaker 1 

It’s just hard to predict what will happen. 

00:19:14 Speaker 1 

I wouldn’t like to predict the Gee, let’s try, sure. 

00:19:16 Speaker 3 

You know just. 

00:19:17 Speaker 3 

Talking to someone in Calgary a while ago and we came to the conclusion after we’ve gotten through the wouldn’t be fun if we could find a multimillionaire who could get us in that media station and we’d hire staff with no money under 40 years old. 

00:19:31 Speaker 1 

Yeah, we good. 

00:19:32 Speaker 1 

All right, I think you’d do well. 

00:19:34 Speaker 1 

To and not try to make money. 

00:19:37 Speaker 1 

But if you just break even, that’d be great. 

00:19:40 Speaker 3 

Well, what you know, you mentioned earlier that it was fun being in broadcasting, and it appears to have been true. 

00:19:46 Speaker 3 

But it’s been regimented out of what you think and there’s nearly as much fun in it. 

00:19:50 Speaker 3 

Today I would. 

00:19:51 Speaker 1 

Doubt that there is as much fun today. 

00:19:54 Speaker 1 

Unfortunately, part of the owned broadcasting is so commercialized and they’re at the Beck and call. 

00:20:01 Speaker 1 

They’re slaves to the ratings. 

00:20:03 Speaker 1 

That’s a terrible thing, you know, that being a slave to ratings? 

00:20:06 Speaker 1 

I think ratings are the worst. 

00:20:09 Speaker 1 

Develop them. 

00:20:12 Speaker 1 

Hindrance to the broadcasting and I know of you don’t dare experiment because you’ve got to keep up in the radio which is on the private and the other thing I’ve run into that, you know terrible. I did an open mind program for a little while and see HSJ and Saint John. 

00:20:31 Speaker 1 

And I’d be getting messages from the manager of the station at that time. 

00:20:36 Speaker 1 

Changed the subject to sex, to abortions to. 

00:20:41 Speaker 1 

I mean, I wasn’t allowed to talk about anything intelligent or I had to. 

00:20:46 Speaker 1 

To get the conversation going along just sex abortion. 

00:20:51 Speaker 1 

You know, that sort of thing to bring in the ratings, of course. 

00:20:55 Speaker 1 

That led to a hell of a. 

00:20:56 Speaker 1 

Fight and I got. 

00:20:57 Speaker 1 

Out of there. 

00:20:58 Speaker 1 

But that’s the sort of thing that happens, which is. 

00:21:03 Speaker 3 

Now you can go, of course, and that you can go the other extreme. 

00:21:07 Speaker 3 

The CBC has done it from time to time where you get some esoteric professor talking about the love life and the of an amoeba which may be very intelligent and very educational. 

00:21:16 Speaker 3 

But God, it’s awful video. 

00:21:18 Speaker 1 

Oh, it would be so easy. 

00:21:19 Speaker 1 

I could just cry sometimes just for an opportunity to go in and and and fix some of the CBC programs. 

00:21:26 Speaker 1 

It’s so easy, there’s to do to change some of these things, you know, and and and and and make them acceptable and and popular for listeners, but. 

00:21:35 Speaker 2 


00:21:35 Speaker 3 

Like we we we we do is relatively. 

00:21:38 Speaker 3 

Inexpensive to do and I’d like this like you. 

00:21:41 Speaker 3 

I’d like to see the CBC spend maybe a little more attention, pay a little more attention. 

00:21:46 Speaker 3 

2 adults and they’ve done, although it’s still good with them. 

00:21:48 Speaker 1 

Although they do a wonderful job, and of course you can always improve anything. 

00:21:54 Speaker 1 

And I just like to get my teeth into it. 

00:21:56 Speaker 1 

Sometimes it’s all. 

00:21:58 Speaker 3 

That’s imagine. 

00:22:00 Speaker 2 

Headed by. 

00:22:00 Speaker 3 

What are you doing? 

00:22:02 Speaker 3 

I’m teaching. 

00:22:06 Speaker 1 

Curry Community College school dropouts, bringing them back to get their grade twelves and I do. 

00:22:13 Speaker 1 

A thing called Canadian viewpoints, which is a combination of social studies and English, and they get credit for socials well and then the English 12 or something. I’ve been doing that since 67 and fascinating work. I love it and it’s. 

00:22:33 Speaker 1 

All right, shortly after I joined the CDC, I was in Montreal on some business statewide hotel. 

00:22:40 Speaker 1 

And I had a phone call from a lady whom I have known for a number of years, a factory going to Sunday school together, and she asked me if I could come and see her and fine. 

00:22:54 Speaker 1 

So she came. 

00:22:55 Speaker 1 

To my room. 

00:22:56 Speaker 1 

And she told me she had some information for me that I. 

00:23:00 Speaker 1 

Should know, and perhaps I’d like to pass it along, but there was a conspiracy, a conspiracy on the part of the privately owned radio stations to destroy Gladstone. 

00:23:11 Speaker 1 

And he had a weakness of drink. 

00:23:15 Speaker 1 

He if he started drinking, it was just too bad. 

00:23:18 Speaker 1 

And fortunately he kept off it most of the time. 

00:23:21 Speaker 1 

But the private stations or some of the operators knew of this weakness, and she told me, she said there is a conspiracy, a deliberate conspiracy. 

00:23:30 Speaker 1 

To see that he gets drunk in public places. 

00:23:34 Speaker 1 

And so I went back and warned Murray about this, but unfortunately he didn’t always heed the warning. 

00:23:42 Speaker 1 

And I think that was perhaps eventually. 

00:23:45 Speaker 1 

They got them but. 

00:23:47 Speaker 1 

Even in those days, private radio was. 

00:23:52 Speaker 1 

Still hoping to destroy the public field and broadcasting system. 

00:23:56 Speaker 3 

The other private broadcasters worried that as Alan Plunk decided he didn’t like Gladstone, where he was more or less in favor of the war and carrying a lot of British, so therefore there was plants and that he should have passed. 

00:24:14 Speaker 3 

But then he undercut. 

00:24:16 Speaker 1 

Did he? I did. 

00:24:16 Speaker 3 

Well, this is this. 

00:24:17 Speaker 3 

This is a story that usually helps from the other side. 

00:24:20 Speaker 1 

Yes, I can imagine where you got it too. 

00:24:22 Speaker 1 

Jimmy Allard, I suppose, would know that back. 

00:24:27 Speaker 1 

Yes, well there, what’s that thing? 

00:24:30 Speaker 1 

But mind. 

00:24:30 Speaker 1 

You when I. 

00:24:31 Speaker 1 

Got into privately owned radio after 1947. We’ve eventually joined the Canadian CB and I remember getting up in a meeting one time and saying. 

00:24:45 Speaker 1 

Them, you know, you’re still trying to destroy the CBC. 

00:24:49 Speaker 1 

How would you like to? 

00:24:50 Speaker 1 

I suppose you do. 

00:24:51 Speaker 1 

Suppose you do. 

00:24:52 Speaker 1 

Is how would you like to take on the job they’re doing and doing all the public service that they have to do every day? 

00:24:59 Speaker 1 

I said. 

00:25:00 Speaker 1 

You just think it over. 

00:25:02 Speaker 1 

I said the CBC helps you. 

00:25:04 Speaker 1 

It doesn’t hurt you at taking on jobs that you would hate to have to do. 

00:25:09 Speaker 1 

And you know, I think that that killed the criticism of the CBC in the cab at that time. 

00:25:14 Speaker 1 

I never heard it again to the same extent and I think. 

00:25:17 Speaker 1 

It was true.