Carl Banas


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This is an interview with Carl Bannis, our personality at CJZ FM in Toronto, conducted by Phil Stone in June 1988, Carl Bannus began his broadcasting career. 

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1948 that was at CJOY Guelph, a new station then, and he was the morning man in 1953. 

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He moved to CKEY Toronto as the on air evening personality. He left in 1959 to freely. 

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Television Carl joined CFM Toronto in 1965 as their evening on their personality and came to see JZ where he is now in 1987, again as a non air evening personality. Back in 1948, Carl you were a morning man, there was no disc jockeys and they didn’t. 

00:00:49 Speaker 1 

Come that, did they? 

00:00:51 Speaker 2 

You know, you put me on the spot. 

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Phil, I can’t recall. 

00:00:53 Speaker 1 

I thought we were called music announcers. 

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Back then. 

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Keith Sandy was a disc jockey. 

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He was at CK EY, where I eventually landed back home in Toronto. 

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I imagine it was a music announcer. 

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Do you remember picking your music in those days? 

00:01:07 Speaker 2 

Uh, it was a lot of fun. 

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Did you just select your own music? They used to give us that choice. As a matter of fact, it was a prerequisite in order to be a broadcaster first at CJOY. 

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As you mentioned, we started in 1948 and I was fortunate enough to be under the tutelage of two greats in the radio business, Wally Slatter. 

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And Fred Metcalf, who continued on in the radio business and are still very active in. 

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And as a result of them giving me as much freedom as a young kid. 

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And that’s exactly what I was as much freedom as a young kid could get in that day and age, I amplified my horizons, experimented left and right and doing a morning show. 

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I had an opportunity of using a facility I’d had since I was a child, and that was. 

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A knack of picking up voices. 

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Have you? 

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So you’d hear them all on the morning show was called wax wit and weather, and we rose at 5. 

00:01:59 Speaker 2 

I rose at 5:00 to get there for six and we were on the air until nine. 

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And those days of morning show constituted the six to nine period in the morning. 

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Did your program the music on the balance opening with their instrumental and a male vocal and a female? 

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Did you do all? 

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Those things block programming? 

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Basically, we did filled, right. 

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Like a sandwich. 

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A sandwich. 

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But it was a rather interesting concoction of bread on either side, with all the little goodies in between. 

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And as you mentioned, block programming being as it is and was. 

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You’d start generally with a boffo or an exuberant opening. 

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Continue on with a male vocalist and a female vocalist, then possibly a vocal group and back to the close of that quarter of an hour with an instrumental. 

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And you did your own commercials in those days? 

00:02:46 Speaker 1 

Oh, yes. 

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And voices and voices. 

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Did you get away with that? 

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The the town wonder about you. 

00:02:52 Speaker 1 

Well, it sponsors wonder about. 

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You, well, while he Slater was the station manager. 

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And as I said, he was most generous in those days. 

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The people at Wally was involved. 

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Were some of the biggest names in the business, his mother and father were in the broadcasting business from way back. 

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When Edna’s letter and Jack. 

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‘s letter Jack’s latter. 

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He had radio reps on 4 Albert St. 

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in Toronto, now part of the sea. 

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No, now part of the Eaton Center. 

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And Edna was part of Lauren Greens Academy of Radio Arts. 

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He was the one who instituted the CBC’s programming from way back in. 

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The early 30s, right? 

00:03:26 Speaker 1 

So while they came from a very, very deep background in. 

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Broadcasting Wally Slatter was responsible for one of our first 15 minute radio dramas out of Toronto. 

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It was called Buck Rogers. 

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He played the young. 

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What was it, nephew to Buck Rogers? 

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What did you do? 

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What was your shift? 

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You worked from 6 to 9. 

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Did you have to do? 

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Other things too. 

00:03:48 Speaker 2 

I work from 6 to 9 in C jail wine. 

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Guelph had an hour off for breakfast and also to pull some more music which constituted getting the next segment set up for 70 gates really 70 eights and 40 fives and used a turntable. 

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Turntables, yes. 

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So a a short while ago I was using turntables and now it’s compact disc, just about 70 to 75% of the. 

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That’s why I mentioned it and the idea was not to wow your record, wasn’t it? 

00:04:16 Speaker 2 

That’s right. 

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There was a unique system called queuing. 

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I imagine you’ve discussed it with various other of your guests, but. 

00:04:22 Speaker 2 

In order to make certain that you got the first note on a record, there was a what they called queuing amplifier out of the console or a board. 

00:04:32 Speaker 2 

If you like and this never went on the air because it was a separate amplifier and with swing queuing you’d put the needle on the record, you’d flip a switch so that you were on queue and then you’d swing the record back and forth with. 

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In my case, I used the middle finger, the forefinger the left hand, because generally the turntables were on the left hand side in the places I worked at. 

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So you swing it back and forth until you got the note, and then you knew it took about an eighth of a revolution for that turntable to pick up when you hit the start. 

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Button, so you’d swing it back an eighth of a turn and you’d know that when you went on the air and pressed the button, spoke usually giving one word before the music started hit the button. 

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Voila, it was on. 

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The air that was production weren’t you producing when you? 

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It was a lot of fun. 

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Think about it. 

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In effect, we were in the full sense of the word because with the exception of the commercials. 

00:05:20 Speaker 2 

Which in those days were on transcriptions which could be any place from 7:00 to 11:50 to the big babies. The transcriptions that. 

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Contain radio programs, both parts one and Part 2. 

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That was before television. 

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Carl, what was radio like in a town, like? 

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Well, how were you regarded by the community? 

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They certainly know you. 

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Do they? 

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They had a name for me. 

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Walley’s latter created it. 

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He CB your morning. 

00:05:47 Speaker 2 

MC Carl, banish your morning MC and when the program was called www.theflyingw’s for some reason there was a a musical selection out at that time called the Flying W’s. I think it was Will Bradley. 

00:05:59 Speaker 2 

And while they decided that we would call the program the three W’s of the Flying W’s, wax, wit and weather, I don’t know about the wit. 

00:06:08 Speaker 2 

But we did have the wax, which was a pseudonym for records going at 7845, and we also had the 33 and the. 

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3rd I might add, were you involved in? 

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The town and personal appearances. 

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You become part of the town, a fixture, and it’s rather interesting you bring that up because that brings back some very pleasant memories. 

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Being a broadcaster in Guelph, you meet the people you know who they are. 

00:06:33 Speaker 2 

You support the wealth biltmores their Junior Hockey League and at the same time, when you worked with the likes of Gordie Tapp, Gordy was there on the opposite end of the dial, not on the opposite end of the dial. 

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The clock dial, in this case being a kid away from home. 

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Toronto was my home. 

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I’d spend most of my time at the radio station, even after hours. 

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Come back and Gordie would have me doing a variety of skits that he had created throughout the day. 

00:06:57 Speaker 2 

Sometimes we sat down and worked together on them, along with the various other people, and he’d have productions every night on his program. 

00:07:04 Speaker 2 

What’s on tap? 

00:07:05 Speaker 2 

I still remember one in which Kimosabe white man speak with pickle. 

00:07:10 Speaker 2 

He had me doing Tonto. 

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I owe silver and and the full works. 

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Only it was a comedy version of the same. 

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Tell me. 

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We’ll come back to those days. 

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But if you took what you were doing in Guelph and did it on the air today, what kind of reception do? 

00:07:25 Speaker 2 

You think you’d get, I think would be fantastic. 

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Do you think people would would enjoy? 

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No one wants to try it. 

00:07:28 Speaker 2 

No one wants to try it, Phil. 

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They want to play. 

00:07:32 Speaker 2 

I think it’s music, mainly along with a voice that is synonymous with the radio station and the type of music that’s being played. 

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I certainly would like an opportunity to do it again here. 

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In the past, I’ve been very fortunate in producing writing creating Christmas packages. 

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Every Christmas for well when I was at CK FM, we did it for 23 years. 

00:07:56 Speaker 2 

During that time, I had an opportunity to do something that I created in Guelph and that was doing Dickens A Christmas Carol. 

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All the voices, all the characters doing it once a year, and the cute part of this was live. 

00:08:09 Speaker 2 

With the advent of stereo, when I joined CDFM back in 1965, they afforded me the pleasure of being able to put it on 2 tracks. 

00:08:17 Speaker 2 

It wasn’t quite as sophisticated as it is today. The 16243264 tracks you find on 2 inch tape and what have you, so consequently was a lot of overdubbing. In the case of. 

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Dickens A Christmas Carol in which I portrayed all the characters. 

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We also released it on record and it’s still around even today. I’ve been told and it’s rather gratifying to hear that it’s a collector’s item. 

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Well, that kind of radio, Carl, that that was a different kind of. 

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Radio was more fun. 

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It was a different kind of fun because I still have fun doing what I’m doing. 

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I can’t say it was more fun, but it was a different form of fun where you never knew from one moment to the next what was going to happen. 

00:08:57 Speaker 2 

We’re more organized, for example, in those days we would type out our music sheet. 

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If you had enough time, you would select your music and then you’d format it on a sheet of paper with a typewriter. 

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These days, thanks to the advent of computers and what have you, the computer does most of that work for you, so you can work around using the knowledge you’ve acquired about the various artists and the music per say. 

00:09:21 Speaker 2 

You can work around that in your back intros or your introductions to the musical selections. 

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Did you write? 

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Did you do some writing? 

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Yes, I did quite. 

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A bit. 

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What did you do? 

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Uh comedy generally for the station, for the station. And when I went freelance in 59, I did quite a bit with advertising agent, but in the beginning they used your your writing, did they writing? 

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Used was the beautiful part of it. 

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It was experimental. 

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I was one of the very fortunates. 

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I think there was. 

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100 and 43140 fifty people applied for that position from the beginning. They hired me on the strength they already had their announced staff and you know the situation. 

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They had representatives of the radio arts created by Lorne Greene and his Academy of Radio Arts, so consequently, when I was hired. 

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I was hired with the promise that from day one I would be on the air. 

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As more or less a part-time announcer. 

00:10:20 Speaker 2 

So he started out as an operator and true to his word, while he Slatter had me on. 

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The air. 

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The first night I can, I can tell you what time it was. 

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It was 10:00. O’clock to 10:30 was called for dancing room only. This is 1948 and the date was. 

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June the 14th, 1948, you remember. 

00:10:38 Speaker 1 

You remembered the commercial you did the first commercial. 

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Was that too much to ask? 

00:10:42 Speaker 2 

That’s a little too much to ask, but I do remember the first thing I did on the. 

00:10:46 Speaker 1 

Year and there was that program when you moved over to CKY, you were coming to the. 

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Big city. 

00:10:51 Speaker 2 

The Big Apple I had always wanted to return to Toronto as walling you, and he was most generous. 

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Although I know he was as sad as I was to leave C JOI, which was my breeding ground and my education for almost six years. 

00:11:04 Speaker 2 

Don Ensley, then the program director for CKY, was looking for a replacement for Ted Murphy, who happened to be a broadcaster working in the evenings on CKY, and he would have been there. 

00:11:15 Speaker 2 

I’m sure for years to follow had it not been for the fact it was illness in the family, two of his youngsters had an asthmatic problem and he had to move to Arizona in order to. 

00:11:25 Speaker 2 

Hopefully cure that situation. 

00:11:27 Speaker 2 

Don scoured all of Southern Ontario looking for a voice, and I was on the Air 1 morning when I received a telephone call from a Mr. 

00:11:34 Speaker 2 

Don Einsley. 

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He didn’t know. 

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Me, but I certainly knew of Don Insley and at that time my my goal was to get back to Toronto, my hometown. 

00:11:43 Speaker 2 

And not only that worked for CKEY at that time, it was number one in Toronto, first with the news in Ontario and things of that nature to Kenny Kenny, he said. And he said he gone, Lauren Green doing the news. 

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12:30 for Hines. 

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In the evening. 

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There it is, my friend. 

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Well, you know. 

00:12:01 Speaker 1 

Not a big name. 

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Sir Tom Harvey Club, 580 Joe Crysdale dear people, many of them sadly have left us. 



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Jack Hancock, who owned the station, purchased it in 1944. 

00:12:18 Speaker 2 

It was called CK CL. In those days it was at 580 AM radio and in a short period of time basing, I believe some of his formats on what was coming out of New York. 

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WMGM. That’s right. Martin block. Good evening, everybody. This is Martin block. And that’s where the expression. 

00:12:37 Speaker 2 

Block programming came from, although a lot of people say no, it means it comes in blocks four blocks to an hour. 

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Martin Block was the creator. 

00:12:46 Speaker 2 

The story has that the Jack can’t cook, hired Keith Sandy and had Keith listen to all those transcriptions of Martin Block, the Velvet soothing, mellifluous sounding Martin Block, doing his commercials for Procter and Gamble, and doing they make believe ballroom out of New York on the other side, over on the. 

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West Coast. 

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It was a fellow by the name of. 

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It’ll come to me in just a moment. 

00:13:12 Speaker 2 

There were two people doing the make believe ballroom Martin on one side, the other fellow out of California, Los Angeles. 

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And that for the benefit of those who don’t know, the show, that was big bands 15 minute segments, that’s right. 

00:13:23 Speaker 1 

Benny Goodman. Dorsey Miller keep. 

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On talking, it sounds great. 

00:13:27 Speaker 1 

But am I right? 

00:13:28 Speaker 2 

Is that you’re right on, Phil. 

00:13:30 Speaker 1 

And they were 15 minute segments in which Keith, for example, would come in and they’ll be transcribed voices of Dorsey and of Goodman. 

00:13:37 Speaker 1 

So on that’s. 

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Right whenever they appeared in town. 

00:13:40 Speaker 2 

Very interesting. 

00:13:40 Speaker 2 

Whenever they appeared in town. 

00:13:42 Speaker 2 

They would appear on Keith Sandy’s make believe ballroom. That’s how I got to meet a lot of them because I played second man on that show quite often, along with another rather familiar name, Harvey Kirk. 

00:13:53 Speaker 2 

Harvey and I took turns at the ballroom, as did Tom Harvey, and for a time fell by the name of Jerry Herbert. So consequently we met them all the Tony Bennett’s. 

00:14:03 Speaker 2 

I believe yes. Jimmy Dorsey was in once and in between. Well, you can keep on going. Al Martino’s all the big names of. 

00:14:11 Speaker 1 

The 50s and they’d recorded an intro that would go within the show. 

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That’s right. 

00:14:14 Speaker 2 

It was recorded on acetate. 

00:14:16 Speaker 2 

This was just when real the real tape was really making a dent in the market and the first big one was supposed to be a portable machine of yours. 

00:14:24 Speaker 2 

Call it was a monster. It must have weighed 8085 pounds and five packs, right? And they said this is portable. 

00:14:31 Speaker 2 

If that’s portable, I’d. 

00:14:34 Speaker 1 

Learn how to carry in our business. 

00:14:35 Speaker 2 

We’d record these pieces and put them away and they’d be put to acetate and TBC, the Toronto Broadcasting Company led by Bill McAlpine, the chief engineer. 

00:14:44 Speaker 2 

There, who acquired the rights when Jack Hancock decided to leave Canada and make a niche for himself down in Los Angeles and the United. 

00:14:52 Speaker 2 

And it was interesting because these things would be kept on file and depending on who happened to be featured on that 15 minute, they call them band stands. 

00:15:01 Speaker 1 

That’s right. 

00:15:02 Speaker 2 

Keith would come in and I introduced them on a regular basis and it would be good evening, ladies and gentlemen. 

00:15:07 Speaker 2 

And now it’s time for your make believe ballroom man Keith Sandy with eight band stands of music. 

00:15:13 Speaker 2 

Set do da da da da da da. And now here he is your make believe ballroom man Keith Sandy Keith would be on the other side of a 44 which was the most popular microphone made by RCA. 

00:15:24 Speaker 2 

Matter of fact, even on The Tonight Show and the David Letterman show, they still use one version of that, either the 44 microphone or the 77 or a smaller version of the 44, which is the 74 duraluminum. 

00:15:38 Speaker 2 

Piece of metal inside between two magnetic poles and that’s where you got your vibration. 

00:15:44 Speaker 2 

Still under the best microphones. 

00:15:45 Speaker 1 

Today, good tip. 

00:15:47 Speaker 1 

What did you do? 

00:15:48 Speaker 1 

You did the young evening. 

00:15:49 Speaker 2 

Show I did the evening again. 

00:15:51 Speaker 2 

It was very fortunate. 

00:15:52 Speaker 1 

Is that the going home? 

00:15:53 Speaker 2 

Well, it was rolling home on the weekends, but there again, Don Ensley? 

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And I’ve been blessed with some beautiful people around me over the years. 

00:16:00 Speaker 2 

Don Ensley, possibly one of the best men in this business as a an administrator, as a broadcaster himself, as a program director par excellence. 

00:16:11 Speaker 2 

Don gave me a lot of opportunities. 

00:16:12 Speaker 2 

Again, I was in my early 20s by this time. 

00:16:15 Speaker 2 

The kid really and suddenly. 

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Offered to me on a platter. 

00:16:21 Speaker 2 

Really not only an opportunity to introduce Keith Sandy sometimes to introduce Lorne Greene as I did an occasion when Joel Aldred couldn’t make it back from the Chevy show at Dinah Shore because the plane had just arrived before 7. 

00:16:35 Speaker 2 

There was one interesting story when. 

00:16:37 Speaker 2 

5 minutes too and to get a long distance call. 

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Well, it was in those days. 

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Malton, Ontario, and it’s from Joel. 

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I’m at the airport. 

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I just arrived. 

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I can’t get down. 

00:16:47 Speaker 2 

Do you think you could possibly introduce Lorne Greene? 

00:16:51 Speaker 2 

Pause, Carl says. 

00:16:53 Speaker 2 

Do you think I could introduce Lorne Greene? 

00:16:57 Speaker 2 

I welcome the opportunity. 

00:16:59 Speaker 2 

So it’s 7:00 o’clock and I went. 

00:17:01 Speaker 2 

Loren was already sitting on the other side of the 44 and his at 7:00 O’clock Sunoco news time, with Lorne Greene brought to you by the Sun Oil Company of Canada. 

00:17:11 Speaker 2 

Sunoco, and now with the news. 

00:17:14 Speaker 2 

Lorne Greene. 

00:17:15 Speaker 2 

And then he would come with those dulcet tones. 

00:17:18 Speaker 2 

Good evening. 

00:17:20 Speaker 1 

That Joe Maldred we should explain. 

00:17:22 Speaker 1 

A Canadian who was doing the commercials on the Chevy show out of the United States with Dinah. 

00:17:28 Speaker 1 

Shore he would. 

00:17:30 Speaker 1 

He was a famed commercial. 

00:17:32 Speaker 2 

I would say that Joel was the number one freelance announcer at that time. 

00:17:36 Speaker 2 

He also went there and worked with Perry Como selling cigarettes. 

00:17:40 Speaker 1 

When you were doing the on evening show, you had to supply service things for the listener you work. 

00:17:46 Speaker 1 

About them, especially on the weekend, the traffic and the weather and. 

00:17:50 Speaker 2 

Again, as I mentioned, Don Endsley said at that time was sponsored by BA gasoline British American, which in reality really was the Gulf Oil Company. 

00:18:01 Speaker 2 

And Don sent me three or four weekends up to the northern part of Ontario and various other spots closer to home to establish a rapport of the people in the gasoline the service stations so that they know who I am and what I was doing down at CKEY, and also what the program needed. We would be getting. 

00:18:21 Speaker 2 

We were the most detailed roadshow on the earth that in those days, Phil. 

00:18:27 Speaker 2 

We got Rd. 

00:18:28 Speaker 2 

We had people behind the scenes. 

00:18:30 Speaker 2 

The program was about 12 people strong, which was pretty good for a private station. 

00:18:34 Speaker 2 

When the only other operation that would do anything like that was the CBC, we’d have girls calling all these locations around the country to get the road conditions, traffic reports, weather reports. 

00:18:47 Speaker 2 

We had our eye in the sky. 

00:18:49 Speaker 2 

Bobby Griffith flying a Cessna. 

00:18:52 Speaker 2 

I’ve forgotten the number, but I remembered the plane I was up. 

00:18:54 Speaker 1 

That once it’s a lot different than being a disc jockey, isn’t. 

00:18:57 Speaker 2 

It well, it was just Jay, but I started something and years later I heard from various people that I used to entertain them every night when they were coming back to Toronto on the rolling home program because I decided to be cute. 

00:19:11 Speaker 2 

Before here’s Johnny, I was saying. 

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Alright, let’s go. 

00:19:17 Speaker 2 

Let’s go. 

00:19:21 Speaker 2 

Calling home. 

00:19:22 Speaker 2 

We elongated that some nights just to see how long they could stretch it in the cars coming home and do. 

00:19:28 Speaker 2 

It with me. 

00:19:29 Speaker 2 

And 3540 seconds of stretching that out is quite a, but I was very pleased. 

00:19:34 Speaker 1 

With that, one was fantastic again, could that work today? 

00:19:35 Speaker 2 

The real. 

00:19:38 Speaker 2 

I don’t know a lot of people would say it was corny. 

00:19:40 Speaker 1 

The kind of audience there is out. 

00:19:41 Speaker 1 

There two points. 

00:19:42 Speaker 2 

Here we are in 1988 June 1st. Some people would say it was corny. 

00:19:48 Speaker 2 

I sometimes wonder whether the cycle is complete and we can start all over again. 

00:19:51 Speaker 2 

It would be a brand new audience out there. 

00:19:54 Speaker 2 

Look what happened to The Beatles back in the. 

00:19:57 Speaker 2 

50s into the 60s. 

00:19:58 Speaker 2 

They were the greatest thing going with the teenagers and then a brand new audience. 

00:20:02 Speaker 2 

Now the youngsters. 

00:20:03 Speaker 2 

1720 in their early 20s, over in England are buying 40 fives like Mad. I guess now they’re going to compact disc, picking up some strange voices called The Beatles. It’s brand new to them. Everything old is new. 

00:20:18 Speaker 1 

You went freelance and you did a lot of. 

00:20:20 Speaker 2 

Things in that area I left EY in September of 1959. 

00:20:26 Speaker 2 

As I said, Don Inslee gave me so much latitude for which I am eternally grateful. 

00:20:32 Speaker 2 

He allowed me to do a variety of things, the character. 

00:20:36 Speaker 2 

The voices. 

00:20:38 Speaker 2 

The innovations we started 1 1/2 hours on the rolling home show. That’s all he gave me that first year when I was finished, he said. 

00:20:45 Speaker 2 

Done at like 2 1/2 next year he gave Me 2 before the program was over the second year it ended up four. I said I need more time, he said. You’ve got. 

00:20:54 Speaker 2 

It was as simple as that, and it was always sponsored. 

00:20:58 Speaker 1 

So going back now to freelancing, you did commercials. 

00:21:01 Speaker 2 

I did commercials. 

00:21:03 Speaker 2 

I started with Acra. 

00:21:04 Speaker 2 

My first I could tell you. 

00:21:05 Speaker 2 

You were asking about my first commercial at CJOYI couldn’t tell you that, but the first job, the first actor job I did as part of the association was for tip top tailors, and I believe it was. 

00:21:16 Speaker 2 

In 1950. 

00:21:17 Speaker 1 

Four, of course, that’s the actors and announcers. 

00:21:19 Speaker 2 

That’s right, the association radio, television artists, artists. 

00:21:24 Speaker 2 

And I remember how eagerly I awaited getting enough. 

00:21:28 Speaker 2 

At that time, I believe it was six commercial jobs in one year to get a membership, or else you had to start all over again the next year. 

00:21:35 Speaker 2 

You know what I’m talking about. 

00:21:35 Speaker 1 

Yeah. Yes, I do. 

00:21:37 Speaker 1 

And you did. 

00:21:38 Speaker 2 

It so I did it. 

00:21:39 Speaker 2 

I got my six in one year and from there I was a member. 

00:21:43 Speaker 2 

And it’s been a great association, great representation for the broadcasters of Canada. 

00:21:47 Speaker 1 

Showing up those days for a commercial job. 

00:21:50 Speaker 1 

What was it like? 

00:21:53 Speaker 2 

I can’t say it was any more competitive than it is today. 

00:21:57 Speaker 2 

But I think the prerequisites for determining who was going to do what were more stringent. 

00:22:03 Speaker 1 

Back then, back then, how about the acting in in television? 

00:22:06 Speaker 2 

Acting and television came in a rather beautiful way for me. 

00:22:10 Speaker 2 

Really, it was a very fortunate. 

00:22:11 Speaker 2 

I I had done acting on stage in high school and things of that nature in operettas. 

00:22:18 Speaker 2 

In variety shows and what have you. 

00:22:22 Speaker 2 

George Robertson, great talent. 

00:22:25 Speaker 2 

Great broadcaster. 

00:22:26 Speaker 2 

Here’s something worth knowing for the Prudential Insurance Company of America. 

00:22:31 Speaker 2 

He had a series of programs, George, also a great broadcaster and a great writer, and he created a program called point of Impact. 

00:22:38 Speaker 2 

It was a one show he had been writing shows for the CBC coast to coast. 

00:22:43 Speaker 2 

Point of impact was the first one. 

00:22:46 Speaker 2 

Leo Orenstein was the director, producer and George Robertson suggested me as the cop. 

00:22:54 Speaker 2 

And I said, well, Gee, I’ve never done anything like this, he says. 

00:22:56 Speaker 2 

Try it. 

00:22:56 Speaker 2 

We think it’ll be a natural. 

00:22:58 Speaker 2 

I got it. 

00:22:59 Speaker 2 

I got the part. 

00:23:00 Speaker 2 

I did it, enjoyed it immensely. 

00:23:02 Speaker 2 

I went on to let’s see. 

00:23:06 Speaker 2 

Desperate journey, I believe a true story about a young lad who was killed and stuffed in the trunk of the car happened in Montreal. 

00:23:13 Speaker 2 

We did that again with Leo. 

00:23:15 Speaker 2 

And then the next thing is Ron Wayman, executive producer, Wojek came along. 

00:23:20 Speaker 2 

He says I’ve got a show here. 

00:23:21 Speaker 2 

It’s just a pilot. 

00:23:22 Speaker 2 

I like the way you play, underplay. 

00:23:26 Speaker 2 

The detective in that first show I saw you do. 

00:23:29 Speaker 2 

And I think you might be ideal for Sergeant Byron, James and the Wojack series. 

00:23:33 Speaker 2 

I didn’t even know what it was about, but I certainly was privileged and pleased to be a part of it. 

00:23:38 Speaker 2 

So we did the part. 

00:23:41 Speaker 2 

Nothing for a while, the pilot was aired from the beginning of Wojack for three years. 

00:23:47 Speaker 1 

When you started in television, was it a pretty primitive then would you say? 

00:23:51 Speaker 2 

She was exciting. 

00:23:53 Speaker 2 

It was. 

00:23:53 Speaker 2 

We was at a studio 7. 

00:23:55 Speaker 2 

We worked with WOJACK, we worked on location, Graham Woods turned writer, great cameraman, the first man to decide to hold a camera and walked backwards down the corridors. 

00:24:07 Speaker 2 

As opposed to having a Dolly and things of that nature and suddenly. 

00:24:12 Speaker 2 

All you know what broke was that they brought in one show. Let me think. Now I’m trying to remember New York NYDPPD Police Department. 

00:24:26 Speaker 2 

I can’t recall the name of the show, but they brought. 

00:24:28 Speaker 2 

Them in from New York. 

00:24:30 Speaker 2 

And they said we hear that you are doing an hour’s show, black and white at this time for X number of dollars. And we say it’s impossible to do. 

00:24:42 Speaker 2 

They came, watched, went back and they did their half hour show for a lot less money. 

00:24:47 Speaker 2 

Hand held cameras and it’s ironic because if you see wojack in color, they had already seen some of the colour shots we had done. 

00:24:54 Speaker 2 

There’s the beacon on the top of the police cruiser on the Don Valley Parkway, and it’s been raining a little bit near stands. 

00:25:00 Speaker 2 

John Vernon looking very serious, beautifully lit, naturally lit, but beautifully lit. 

00:25:06 Speaker 2 

That beacon was used on the one. 

00:25:08 Speaker 2 

That was done out of New York. 

00:25:11 Speaker 1 

So they learned from Canada. 

00:25:11 Speaker 2 

Central something rubbed. 

00:25:13 Speaker 1 

Off when you went back to CFM as a staff member, you were again on air in the evening as you are now. 

00:25:22 Speaker 1 

Is that a shift that? 

00:25:22 Speaker 2 

You particularly like it was ironic because my agent, Jerry Lodge, Jerry, in my estimation, the best in the business on a personal level and on a. 

00:25:31 Speaker 2 

Commercial level. 

00:25:35 Speaker 2 

His meticulous in looking after his people, Jerry lodged talent management, gave me a call, he says. I know you’ve been off the air for 5 1/2 years. 

00:25:44 Speaker 2 

I know you’re freelancing. 

00:25:45 Speaker 2 

I’ve been given an offer for you to join CK FM in the evenings. 

00:25:50 Speaker 2 

How do you feel about it? 

00:25:52 Speaker 2 

This is in the. 

00:25:53 Speaker 2 

He says, yeah, I know. 

00:25:55 Speaker 2 

And I said. 

00:25:57 Speaker 2 

Well, what about all my freelance? 

00:25:59 Speaker 2 

And he says, well, that would be taken into consideration too. 

00:26:01 Speaker 2 

You’d have freedom to do your freelance along with it. 

00:26:05 Speaker 2 

And as a result of our association with Bill Ballantine at CK FM, which was part of Standard Radio CFRB Limited. 

00:26:12 Speaker 2 

I was able to mind you. Sometimes I put in 1718 hours getting up when we were doing wojack and make up start at 6:30 in the morning. 

00:26:22 Speaker 2 

And squeezing in the freelance and then going to the air and still, and I must say, I should interject here. 

00:26:29 Speaker 2 

I always felt that my family life was even more important than my. 

00:26:35 Speaker 2 

Career in this case, and so wherever possible, still trying to maintain the family existence which as you know, is the most important part of anybody’s life. So it was difficult, but it was done. 

00:26:47 Speaker 1 

And then you came to see JZ, but a lot of the people who you worked with the CFM. 

00:26:52 Speaker 2 

Came here. 

00:26:52 Speaker 2 

True, Bill Anderson, preceding me, preceding Bill Russ Thompson. 

00:26:58 Speaker 2 

Don Cameron, Bill bright. 

00:27:01 Speaker 2 

From CFRB. 

00:27:02 Speaker 2 

Oh Gee, we can list all kinds. 

00:27:05 Speaker 1 

And here you are doing the on air evening. 

00:27:08 Speaker 1 

Well, I guess I’m thinking it’s at this point it’s 40 years ago that you did mournings and now? 

00:27:13 Speaker 2 

Is it 40 years ago? 

00:27:15 Speaker 1 

40 years back to. 

00:27:16 Speaker 1 

Please don’t don’t say that is it 40 years. 

00:27:19 Speaker 1 

It’s a long haul. 

00:27:19 Speaker 1 

It’s a, it’s a, it’s a business that lends itself though doesn’t it should have. 

00:27:22 Speaker 2 

It lends itself, I’ve often said, because students over the years, especially down at CFM and now here at CJZ, will call from the various radio schools. 

00:27:23 Speaker 1 

That station. 

00:27:32 Speaker 2 

We have. 

00:27:34 Speaker 2 

Ryerson, Humber, Seneca goes on and on a fanshop. 

00:27:38 Speaker 2 

And they want to know what to do, they say. 

00:27:41 Speaker 2 


00:27:42 Speaker 2 

I want to be in this business, but I’m not getting too much encouragement, my teacher says with your voice. 

00:27:48 Speaker 2 

You’ll never make it, I says. 

00:27:50 Speaker 2 

Do you really want to make it? 

00:27:51 Speaker 2 

Do you eat, sleep and drink radio? 

00:27:53 Speaker 2 

Do you really feel it in every moment your thoughts are always concentrating on doing something in radio. 

00:27:59 Speaker 2 

Yep, I says. 

00:28:00 Speaker 2 

Then you’ll make it in some facet of the business. 

00:28:03 Speaker 2 

You are bound to make it if you have that drive and that sincere desire to do it. 

00:28:09 Speaker 2 

So they go a little happier, I think, and many of them would come back and they’re broadcasting and they’re overjoyed. 

00:28:14 Speaker 2 

So it’s it’s gratifying from my my end of it and I know it’s gratifying from. 

00:28:18 Speaker 2 

There, as Phil. 

00:28:19 Speaker 2 

Thank you, Carl. 

00:28:20 Speaker 1 

Thank you very much for the. 

00:28:21 Speaker 2 

Interview pleasure and I I should say that over the years, it was my pleasure to be able to work alongside you on some of the Lake Ontario swims and the various other functions. 

00:28:30 Speaker 2 

I remember Cliff Lumsden down there at the Lake Shore. 

00:28:33 Speaker 2 

Doing one of the impossible feats going back and forth, I think he won it that year, didn’t he? 

00:28:38 Speaker 2 

And to be rubbing elbows with the likes of such people as yourself feel stone was a great privilege and an honor for me. 

00:28:45 Speaker 1 

Right, Kyle, this has been an interview with Carl Bennis of CJ ZFM in Toronto, conducted by Phil Stone in June 1988.