Dick Batey


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We’re talking with **** Beatty, who spent 27 years at CJ VI. 

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Eight years. 

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About 27 or 8 years. 

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When did when did you? 

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When did you start with the? 

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CJV I did 39. 

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Through to 67. 

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And what got you started in the business of radio? 

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Well, that was a wee bit different. 

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If you don’t mind a personal insertion. 

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I had the. 

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Good or bad fortune to be stuck in hospital for? 

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About two years. 

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And I felt healthy. 

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But I wasn’t really. 

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And I used to listen to radio an awful lot. 

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As my memory serves and it’s beginning to fail. 

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I logged something like 147 stations on a little portable in from a hospital bed. 

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And one I used to listen to can pretty regularly was cfscript, which was the local radio station and your predecessor. 

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So finally I got so I could get out of hospital and become reasonably mobile, but I wasn’t able to do any great amount of work. 

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But all I could do was yak. 

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Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. 

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So I went up and saw the manager. 

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Of CFC T. 

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His name was George Deville. 

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And with consummate gall, I announced to him that. 

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I feel, Mr. 

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Deville, that I can speak better than anybody on your air. 

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And I would like a job as an announcer. 

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After some. 

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He said you’re hired. 

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And I started to work as an announcer at CFC T. 

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No pay, mind you. 

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In return for this work. 

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I was given a ticket. 

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Which was good for two meals a day. 

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At a restaurant that used to be the restaurant, a restaurant is still there. 

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On Government Street next door next door, but one to the Irish linen shop. 

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And I I didn’t have two meals. 

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I had one meal a day there and that. 

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Was my weight. 

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That’s how they got started in radio. 

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What about the the physical setup of the radio station that you started with back in 1939? CFFT, what kind of equipment did you have to to work with? 

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Well, I think to give credit where it’s due, cfscript, when I joined it in 39. 

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Was in sad, sad shape, but it had been in much better shape. 

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Because you will know as well as I do that. 

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CFC T radio broadcasting in Victoria has a long history. 

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What is this about? 

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6065 years in 1988. Ah. 

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Well, in 39 it had been going for a long time. 

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In studios in different locations. 

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And at one stage in the game, largely due to the hard work and ability of two of Mr. Deville’s sons, Bernard and can’t remember the other son’s name. 

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It was an aggressive and reasonably successful radio station, but. 

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They both laughed. 

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And when I joined. 

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The only Deville left was old Mr. 

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George Deville and we used to call him Pappy. 

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And without meaning to be unkind, he really wasn’t very much with it in a business sense. 

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When I joined the operation and the operation was on. 

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The top floor of. 

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The central building. 

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And by radio standards, even of those days. 

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It was pretty shock and awful we had. 

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Several 178 RPM records. 

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Which were in piles, horizontal piles, no shirts. 

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Kim, no shirts, just in piles on the floor in the cupboard. 

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And I within the first two or three months, personally made record shelves to hold these things. 

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And from somewhere I begged, borrowed or stole some shirts. 

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To put them in. 

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And there was one control room which had two turntables. 

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Which would handle only 70 eights. It wouldn’t handle anything but 78. 

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And around behind the operator was a turntable equipped to handle 16 inch, 33 and a third discs. 

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But the motor on it was defective and it wouldn’t work and the only way you could play a 33 on the air and we used to get commercials in those days on 30 threes was put the thing on the this turntable and turn it around with your. 

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And hope you got the right speed. 

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We got some interesting commercial sounds in those days. 

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Well, that’s a pretty fair indication of the caliber of studios that were in those days. 

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What about the news services that you had back then? 

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With respect what use services? 

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We didn’t have any. 

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No teletype connection at all. 

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The only new service we had. 

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Was the in those days there were two newspapers. 

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The colonist in the morning and the times in the afternoon. 

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And they were our source of news. 

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And I can tell you. 

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Back in those days, I was a greenhorn announcer to start with. 

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You got pretty adept. 

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At reading news out of the paper and slightly altering the wordage. 

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So that you couldn’t be accused of direct plagiarism out of the paper. 

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And that’s how we got. 

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He was. 

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The programming was significantly different back then, although a lot of syndicated type of programming is coming back and but it was the heyday of radio back then, and maybe you can tell us a bit about the dramas. 

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That were that were on the air back then, either locally or syndicated. 

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Well, I think the perhaps one of the chief things to keep in mind is that in those days. 

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The only source of news or entertainment. 

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Source says let’s put it that way of news and or entertainment were. 

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In order. 

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Movie theaters. 

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The newspapers. 

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And the radio station. 

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And in those days in Victoria, it was the radio station, period. 

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There was only one, only us. 

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We felt it. 

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As the operators of the then. 

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Oh, it had in this first, oh, a year or two after I joined, it changed to CJ VI, a group of local businessmen bought out Mr. 

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Changed the corporate name to the Island Broadcasting Company and became CJ VI for Vancouver Island. 

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And we felt it incumbent upon us too. 

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As the only radio station to try and program with a. 

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Cross section of programs and materials of appeal to all sorts of people. 

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Sort of. 

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Indiana a loose way. 

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Could be described as a private station variation on CBC. 

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We had jazz type programs and we had news programs and we had commentary and we had drama, which we wrote ourselves. 

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We had some programs that we. 

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Well, for instance, 1/2 hour once a week, program that used to. 

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Throw the spotlight on a local business and we would interview the. 

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Personnel in the business and described what they did and how they did, who they sold to and and how long it had been there just to get across the proposition of what was in Vic. 

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It was a broadly based type of programming. There was none of this so-called format broadcasting of all. 

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Pop music and news are all western and news and that sort of stuff. 

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Like every radio person that I’ve ever met, we all have our stories about unique experiences, and you have a couple that you can share. 

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As well. 

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We’ll watch it. 

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Kim, that could go on for. 

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Half an hour? 

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Well, we’ll say a couple, ****. 

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Maybe the most unique experiences. 

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Or maybe I’ll just tell you one. 

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Because it was comparatively ugly. 

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At one stage in the game, during the war. 

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Her Royal Highness. 

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I think she was called Crown Princess Juliana. 

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Subsequently was uh. 

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Yes, Juliana of the Holland of the Netherlands. 

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Anyway, she spent most of the war years in Canada in Ottawa. 

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Away from Europe. 

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And she came out here with an entourage of. 

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Royal hangers on. 

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To officially launch. 

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A new frigate. 

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Which was built out at Yarrows. 

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And as I recall, was to be was to serve in the Royal Navy. 

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But to be crude, totally with. 

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Hollanders, who had it from the Dutch Navy who had escaped from the Nazi invasion in Holland, so she came out here. 

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And it was quite a do. 

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She had previously been down in Portland. 

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Where she officially launched another similar ship. 

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Then she came up here. 

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And the. 

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So it was decided to broadcast the whole thing. 

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And it was decided that it was of sufficient import that not only is the only local station CJV, I would be there, but by golly, the CBC condescended to send a two man crew across from Vancouver. 

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And it was. 

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Bill Herbert was one of the was the announcer and and the engineer. 

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And I was down there for our station and my engineer was Cy Beard. 

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And the. 

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The physical setup was interesting in that it was. 

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Sort of like a pie plate with one slice of pie out of it, and that pie plate was a platform and the slice enveloped the bow of of the ship. 

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And on this Pi shaped platform, we’re assembled. 

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You know sundry dignitaries, to say nothing of two broadcasters, Bill Herbert and myself, and two engineers. 

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And we were quite literally, no, not more than. 

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Six or seven feet away from the Princess doing our sofa voice. 

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Description of what was going on live onto the air. 

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You see none of this taping business. 

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And the launching device was interesting. 

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As you’re probably aware, when they launch a ship underneath the ship all the way down the length of the keel, there are a whole bunch of wedges just ready to be knocked out, and one man standing by every wedge with a hammer. 

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And all down the length of the keel underneath the ship, there’s a long electric cord with a whole bunch of lights on it. 

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And upon the launching platform. 

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There’s a button and when you press the button. 

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All these lights go on underneath the ship and all of these men take one whack and knock the wedge out. 

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And there’s nothing holding the shipment costs down. 

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But the bottle, the. 

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Champagne bottle was held on the. 

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Railing of this pie shaped platform by a spring loaded device like your hand. 

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And the spring loaded device was like your forearm and when the right button was pressed, this spring would go clunk and the and the. 

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It would fire. 

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Forward and the bottle would hit the. 

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Bottom of the ship right there on the platform. 

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So the proper dedications were made and things like that, and Princess Williamina. 

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She stepped up. 

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Press the button. 

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Meantime, the general manager of the ship, Mr. 

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He reached underneath the railing. 

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At his part, and just as she. 

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Pressed the button. 

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To release the bottle, he pressed his button, pull all the lights on. 

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When his button pressed, all the lights went on ship, moved off. 

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But somebody had forgotten to take the safety catch off the spring device that the bottle hit the bow. 

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So the ship moved off and the bottle staying there. 

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One embarrassed Princess. 

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Now what, pray to goodness, could a broadcaster say live in a situation you put yourself in the shoes that Bill Herbert and I were in? 

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End of story. 

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Thank ***, **** Beatty. 27 years with ccvi. 

Part 2

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This is an interview with Mr. Richard T Beatty, recorded at his home in Victoria on the evening of January 21st, 1982. 

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The interviewer is Dennis Duffy. 

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And those of us who got to know him well and. 

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What was that name? 

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Again, the bill. 

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It looks like douville DEAUVI double LE George de Ville. 


Oh, I see. 

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I see. 

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But it looked like douville, but he always called it devil. 

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No, he had. 

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At one time, a comparably good and efficient station in Vic. 

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It’s my understanding that the studios originally were in the Bank of Toronto Building. 

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Which would be before your time was on the corner of Johnson and government. It was a a very tall well by those standards, a very tall building, 89 Storey side. 

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I see. 

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And their studios were on top of it, and that building was subsequently knocked down and the present Bank of Toronto buildings on the same site. 

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But it’s not as tall as the old one was. 

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And Mr. 

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Deville around the station. 

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Well, Mr. 

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Develle had a station there. 

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And two sons. 

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And for what reason? 

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I’m darned if I know, but for some reason or another, he moved the operation from the top of the Bank of Toronto building to the top of. 

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The central building. 

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Which is on the corner of view and broad. 

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Still is there. 

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It’s where Cfax’s studios work. Before they got their new studios, they now have. 

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All right. 

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You with me? 

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I’m not down here. 

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That’s where Cfix is now. 

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That’s right. 

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But Cfax took over the old Ccvi studios. 

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When CJ I moved to the present location. 

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That’s right. 

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And CJV I moved to their present location about 12 years before I left them, which would be. 

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What, 675755? Somewhere around 55 they moved up to 4th St. into the Imperial Optical building. 

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But at any rate, happy to go have. 

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These studios up in the. 

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Bag of Toronto building and for some reason about which I know nothing. 

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The studios were moved to the top floor of the Central building. 

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And I gather at one stage in the game he had a good and and reasonably well run and. 

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And reasonably profitable radio station. 

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He had two sons. 

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One was called. 

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I forget what the other one was. 

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Come on. 

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But when I entered the picture in 39, the two sons. 

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Bernie and Cliff Cliff deville. 

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Had left. 

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I can’t remember which is which, but one went to CBC. 

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And one went down to California to get involved Hollywood and get involved in writing and broadcasting down there. 

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And Pappy Deville, who at this stage in the game was a man of oh darn vinyl. 

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I thought he was ancient. 

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But let’s say he was 70. 

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He was left running this station. 

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On the top floor of the central building, when I came into the picture and. 

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By any measurement you want to apply, it was a thoroughly run down, utterly haywire operation. 

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This was CFC. 

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CFFT yeah, otterly haywire. 

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Thoroughly rundown. This will be in 1939. 

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Probably because Fabbi Deville was more interested in or experimenting and mucking around with tubes and condensers and stuff and things in his. 

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He appeared, at least to me, to have very little business sense. 

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He was more interested in the technical side. 

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Oh, I think so, yeah. 

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Besides what she was an old man. 

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And he was in a position and in fact was he was in the Bishop position to be and was in fact taken for a ride. 

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But every last slicker that came along. 

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And so he was reduced to keeping his station on the air to. 

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So-called hiring of people who would work for practically nothing. 

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And I joined in 1939 because I’ve been in hospital for many months. At that stage in the game and listened to the station and thought they were a shock and awful. 

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Bunch of announcers. 

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And that I could do better than any of them. 

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And when I came out of hospital, I wasn’t in a position to work very hard, and I went and saw him and told him precisely this. 

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And he said, OK, you’ve got a job. 

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Well, I had a job working as an announcer for CFC T for which I was paid no money, but I was given one meal a day. 

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Free at a. 

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Restaurant down on. 

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Government Street, where brands is now. 

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This is the sort of thing he used to do. 

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Was that very common in those days? 

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I don’t honestly know, I think. 

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Perhaps more common than than was generally admitted. 

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A business is swapping. 

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Services or goods for services rendered. 

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Remember this was 39 and there was nothing going. 

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In the way. 

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It worked just before the war. 

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Well, would the would the restaurant provide the meals in exchange for advertising? 

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That’s right. 

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That’s what they did. 

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He gave me two or three ads for nothing. 

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Well, he didn’t charge him and then return. 

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They gave the. 

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Allowances like me, a free meal. 

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Did you have any experience at all this time? 

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No, not at all. 

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Dead green. 

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Did they make any attempt to train you, or do you sort of put you on the end? 

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And the operation was. 

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Unbelievably oh. 

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Haywire is the best way to describe it. 

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For instance, there was one controller, one microphone, or there was another studio. 

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There was one controller on one studio. 

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Correction One controller and two studios, a small talk studio and a bigger studio which could handle it. 

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Sure, it was quite a big studio. 

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Could handle a choir of. 

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40 people if you want it on top of the central building. 

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But there were two turntables which handled 70 eights. 

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Only 78. 

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And some of the commercials came on 30 threes big, 16 inch discs, 33. That’s right. 

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Some transcription. 

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What we didn’t have a. 

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A33 RPM table at work. 

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There was a table with a pickup arm, but the motor was broken. 

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We used to turn it by hand. 

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And that made for some interesting commercials. 

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You know, the pitch went up and. 

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Down it was very difficult to maintain the proper speed. 

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Or you got comparatively apt to turning the thing by with your finger at the right speed. 

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But at any rate, and all the records that were left in those days were all stacked and a little covered on their flats. 

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With no shirts and one of the first things I did shortly after. 

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I got there. 

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Because I happened to be fond of working with wooden tools, I volunteered to make some shelves for. 

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And I did. 

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As long as. 

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He would get some shirts for the records. 

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Well, there was some sort of conniving went along, went on to get the shirts, but he finally got the shirts and. 

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I made the shelves and ranked up the records. 

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On shelves on edge. 

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Prior to that, they’d all been lying on their flat with no shirts. 

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And then, of course, there was no kind of cataloging system or no way to. 

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Oh hell. 

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Find what you’re looking for. 

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You know, and we didn’t have any teletype service. 

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I used to read the news using the newspaper. 

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And I got really. 

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Pretty adept at to reading the newspaper and slightly changing some phrases so that it wouldn’t sound like it was read out. 

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Of the newspaper. 

00:09:09 Speaker 1 

Well, that’s the only source of news we had. 

00:09:11 Speaker 1 

We didn’t have a teletype. 

00:09:12 Speaker 1 

We worked at the company wasn’t. 

00:09:17 Speaker 1 

Solving enough to pay for it. 

00:09:19 Speaker 2 

So that all the music be slightly. 

00:09:20 Speaker 2 

Dated then by. 

00:09:21 Speaker 2 

The time we got on the air. 

00:09:22 Speaker 1 

Oh well, dated in the sense that newspaper news is dated. Yes, the calls would come up first thing in the morning, and I’d buy one on the way to work and read it for the 7:00 and 7:30 news. So if the colonist news was dated, our news was dated. Sure, to that extent. 

00:09:45 Speaker 2 

And this was the only station in Vic. 

00:09:47 Speaker 1 

Yes, it was for a good Oh well. 

00:09:50 Speaker 1 

You said Cfac started a CDA started in 51. 

00:09:55 Speaker 1 

Did it? 

00:09:56 Speaker 1 

I couldn’t remember the exact year, but it was about 10 years after I started the second station came along. 

00:10:05 Speaker 2 

Well, what was the public? 

00:10:07 Speaker 2 

How do people feel about cgda time you started? 

00:10:10 Speaker 2 

Was it a popular station or? 

00:10:11 Speaker 1 

Yeah, I know. 

00:10:13 Speaker 1 

We never asked them. 

00:10:15 Speaker 1 

We didn’t really have any reason to ask him. 

00:10:18 Speaker 1 

We didn’t have any competition. 

00:10:22 Speaker 1 

And I want to listen to radio. 

00:10:23 Speaker 1 

If you want to listen to local radio, you listen to CFCC. 

00:10:27 Speaker 1 

Although it became CJD. 

00:10:30 Speaker 1 

In 4041, somewhere around there. 

00:10:34 Speaker 1 

When Mr. 

00:10:36 Speaker 1 

Deville finally came up against it, he. 

00:10:42 Speaker 1 

Wrapping up Friday stringers on financing. 

00:10:47 Speaker 1 

And the facilities were bought by a. 

00:10:52 Speaker 1 

A limited company and what’s his name? 

00:10:55 Speaker 1 

Mattson, the owner of the calls. 

00:10:56 Speaker 1 

Tim mattson. 

00:10:58 Speaker 1 

He and some others. 

00:11:02 Speaker 1 

Including Taylor, Pearson and Carson, who were. 

00:11:10 Speaker 1 

A force in radio in Alberta. 

00:11:14 Speaker 1 

They formed a company, the Island Broadcasting Company, and bought out. 

00:11:18 Speaker 1 

Deville and change the name from CCGT to CJI. 

00:11:26 Speaker 1 

And brought in a new manager. 

00:11:29 Speaker 1 

Fella called Cecil Berry from Grand Prairie. 

00:11:35 Speaker 1 

Started a new regime, they. 

00:11:39 Speaker 1 

There was a. 

00:11:42 Speaker 1 

Pretty significant measure of. 

00:11:45 Speaker 1 

Improvement in the physical facilities. 

00:11:49 Speaker 1 

And an attempt, at least to. 

00:11:53 Speaker 1 

Put together a viable. 

00:11:58 Speaker 1 

By those day standards, modern broadcasting state. 

00:12:03 Speaker 2 

They brought in new equipment, things like that. 

00:12:11 Speaker 1 

In doing your research, you should go and talk to a fellow called Joe Summers. 

00:12:15 Speaker 2 

I’ve heard the name. 

00:12:17 Speaker 1 

Joe still lives. 

00:12:20 Speaker 1 

I believe. 

00:12:21 Speaker 1 

On Cedar Hill Rd. 

00:12:22 Speaker 1 

Crossroad crossroad. 

00:12:25 Speaker 1 

On the. 

00:12:27 Speaker 1 

Uvic Grounds, opposite that to. 

00:12:31 Speaker 1 

Stalag upplands. 

00:12:34 Speaker 2 

Oh yeah. 

00:12:36 Speaker 1 

Well, those used to be the transmitter grounds of CJ VI. 

00:12:40 Speaker 1 

We had our towers there. 

00:12:43 Speaker 1 

Second set of towers. 

00:12:46 Speaker 1 

First tower was out of Portage inland on tidal water and then it was moved to. 

00:12:53 Speaker 1 

The grassy Meadow that used to be the Turner farm. 

00:12:58 Speaker 1 

On Cedar Hill crossroad, opposite the that new brick 10 development opposite the golf course. 

00:13:08 Speaker 1 

And then, some years later, the transmitter was moved up to a strong, tight island. 

00:13:16 Speaker 1 

Where it still is. 

00:13:17 Speaker 2 


00:13:18 Speaker 1 

And Joe summers. 

00:13:23 Speaker 1 

With the new company, when the new company was formed, the Union Broadcasting Company. 

00:13:29 Speaker 1 

And the Alberta people bought into it. 

00:13:32 Speaker 1 

Joe Summers was even then. 

00:13:35 Speaker 1 

A well experienced and competent engineer. 

00:13:39 Speaker 1 

In Edmond. 

00:13:41 Speaker 1 

And he came out too. 

00:13:44 Speaker 1 

Look at the physical. 

00:13:48 Speaker 1 

And check it out. 

00:13:50 Speaker 1 

And he remained as chief engineer. 

00:13:52 Speaker 1 

Until he retired and went to work for you, Vic. 

00:13:56 Speaker 1 

So you should. 

00:13:58 Speaker 1 

When you asked me about whether they. 

00:14:02 Speaker 1 

Remember, I was never an engineer. 

00:14:05 Speaker 1 

I was an announcer in a program type and it for a brief while at sales. 



00:14:11 Speaker 1 

But I was never. 

00:14:12 Speaker 1 

I was an operator because everybody operated. 

00:14:15 Speaker 1 

But I never was an engineer and Joe Summers was there from the start. 

00:14:22 Speaker 1 

Of C jvi, which would be 41. 

00:14:27 Speaker 1 

But he even at that time he had been in broadcasting for, I don’t know for sure, but. 

00:14:35 Speaker 1 

I think four or five or six years before that. 

00:14:39 Speaker 1 

And he would know. 

00:14:41 Speaker 1 

What facilities were moved in? 

00:14:45 Speaker 1 

It strikes me that. 

00:14:50 Speaker 1 

I’m not sure whether because for a while he lived out at the transmitter, which was out of Portage inland. 

00:14:59 Speaker 1 

And he was a. 

00:15:00 Speaker 1 

In his own way, a famous and very successful experimenter. 

00:15:06 Speaker 1 

I guess he was one of the first in Victoria to experiment with hydroponics. 

00:15:12 Speaker 1 

Out there at the transmitter site. 

00:15:14 Speaker 2 

That’s growing plants with water. 

00:15:16 Speaker 1 

That’s right. 

00:15:19 Speaker 1 

And at another stage in the game. 

00:15:21 Speaker 1 

He took a. 

00:15:29 Speaker 1 

And adapted it so it would pick up television signals. 

00:15:34 Speaker 1 

And Joe, we went out to his place to. 

00:15:38 Speaker 1 

That’s our transmitter CJV’s transmitter at Portage Inlet. We went out there. 

00:15:43 Speaker 1 

And watched as he brought in the. 

00:15:47 Speaker 1 

Test patterns for. 

00:15:52 Speaker 1 

Channel 5. 

00:15:54 Speaker 1 

Seattle, which was the first television station in the this part of the world. 

00:16:00 Speaker 1 

And Joe, I think was the first fellow to. 

00:16:04 Speaker 1 

Devise a method of picking up their signals intelligence. 

00:16:06 Speaker 1 

An an adaptive oscilloscope. 

00:16:10 Speaker 1 

And we went because King TV ran. 

00:16:14 Speaker 1 

Test patterns on the air for. 

00:16:16 Speaker 1 

Well, I don’t know. 

00:16:18 Speaker 1 

Maybe some weeks. 

00:16:20 Speaker 1 

Ahead of actual broadcasting. 

00:16:23 Speaker 1 

And Joey used to chill them in and we used. 

00:16:25 Speaker 1 

To go out and look at him. 

00:16:27 Speaker 1 

So Joe Summers, you should contact. 

00:16:31 Speaker 1 

Early mechanics, because he’s had experience in Alberta. 

00:16:37 Speaker 1 

And in Victoria, to my knowledge. 

00:16:40 Speaker 1 

From about 1941. 

00:16:50 Speaker 1 

I’m not positive I have a feeling he. 

00:16:53 Speaker 1 

Left CJV I. 

00:16:57 Speaker 1 

Before I did. 

00:17:01 Speaker 1 

So let’s say the early 60s. 

00:17:05 Speaker 1 

And he was, and I think remains. 

00:17:10 Speaker 1 

A very competent broadcast engineer. 

00:17:14 Speaker 1 

Certainly he’s a thoroughly competent. 

00:17:17 Speaker 1 

Inventive technician. 

00:17:19 Speaker 1 

Let’s put it that way. 

00:17:20 Speaker 1 

And that’s been his function that you’ve earned. 

00:17:22 Speaker 2 

Hi Sir. 

00:17:25 Speaker 2 

Anyway, to get back to the changes that were happening? 

00:17:29 Speaker 2 

What changes took place in the programming when Taylor, Pearson and Carson and the Island Broadcasting took over? 

00:17:38 Speaker 2 

You said the station improved a lot. 

00:17:42 Speaker 1 

I didn’t say it improved a lot. 

00:17:44 Speaker 2 

Oh, sorry. That’s that’s. 

00:17:45 Speaker 1 

Maybe that’s the impression I gave you. 

00:17:51 Speaker 1 

I guess it did, and there’s now I can’t remember for sure. 

00:17:56 Speaker 1 

It’s Dennis, isn’t it? 

00:17:59 Speaker 1 

I can’t remember for sure, Dennis, but. 

00:18:02 Speaker 1 

I’m pretty sure one of the first improvements that was brought in was a newswire. 

00:18:09 Speaker 1 

Which was. 

00:18:11 Speaker 1 

Mind you, we were affiliated with it. 

00:18:13 Speaker 1 

The colonist was a part owner of Matson family and we got a newswire of our own. 



00:18:19 Speaker 1 

Which was a major improvement. 

00:18:20 Speaker 1 

We never had one. 

00:18:25 Speaker 1 

We got better equipment. 

00:18:28 Speaker 1 

We obviously got 33 and a third turntables that worked. 

00:18:32 Speaker 1 

And things like that. 

00:18:37 Speaker 1 

There wasn’t that much wrong. 

00:18:41 Speaker 1 

With the. 

00:18:43 Speaker 1 

Programming concept of CFFT. 

00:18:47 Speaker 1 

You must keep in mind in your mind that. 

00:18:50 Speaker 1 

Before I joined them, they had been. 

00:18:55 Speaker 1 

A successful and stable and viable broadcasting station, and they really only deteriorated because of the advancing age of the soul owner. 

00:18:59 Speaker 2 


00:19:06 Speaker 1 

Happy develop, but the broadcasting concept was. 

00:19:12 Speaker 1 

Not basically wrong. 

00:19:14 Speaker 1 

We used to do all sorts of. 

00:19:17 Speaker 1 

Live broadcasting that they don’t do nowadays. 

00:19:21 Speaker 1 

Even in the CFFT days. 

00:19:28 Speaker 2 

What were some of the live broadcasts that. 

00:19:30 Speaker 2 

Used to be done. 

00:19:32 Speaker 2 

What kind of things would you broadcast live? 

00:19:36 Speaker 1 

Well, for instance. 

00:19:38 Speaker 1 

We used to broadcast most of the major. 

00:19:42 Speaker 1 

Service club speeches from the Empress Hotel. 

00:19:46 Speaker 1 

In full and life. 

00:19:50 Speaker 1 

Visiting dignitaries visiting. 

00:19:54 Speaker 1 

Business leaders and what have you. 

00:19:56 Speaker 1 

We broadcast them live. 

00:19:58 Speaker 1 

From the Embassy hotel. 

00:20:04 Speaker 1 

For many years I used to do all the sports broadcasting. 

00:20:08 Speaker 1 

In Victoria, both CFC T and CJV I I guess were. 

00:20:16 Speaker 1 

20 years I did all the sports broadcasting. 

00:20:19 Speaker 1 

In Vic. 

00:20:22 Speaker 1 

And to give an illustration of the sort of. 

00:20:26 Speaker 1 

Comparatively haywire arrangements. 

00:20:30 Speaker 1 

But scope of broadcasting we did. 

00:20:35 Speaker 1 

I don’t know whether you’re aware of it, but historically Victoria and Vancouver have always been very good rugby towns. 

00:20:44 Speaker 1 

Well, we have had in the past. 

00:20:48 Speaker 1 

And still have very good rugby teams. 

00:20:53 Speaker 1 

And similarly, so has New Zealand and Australia and New Zealand team were always called the All Blacks. 

00:21:01 Speaker 1 

And every once in a while in New Zealand, All Blacks. 

00:21:03 Speaker 1 

Used to go to Britain. 

00:21:06 Speaker 1 

On rugby tours. 

00:21:08 Speaker 1 

And they would come through here. 

00:21:10 Speaker 1 

They’d come on the transpacific liners and through here and across the country and. 

00:21:14 Speaker 1 

Over to Britain. 

00:21:15 Speaker 1 

To play rugby. 

00:21:18 Speaker 1 

And one time. 

00:21:21 Speaker 1 

One of the local rugby wheels. 

00:21:24 Speaker 1 

Came to Pappy de Ville and said there are a lot of rugby devotees in this area and the New Zealand All Blacks are coming. 

00:21:33 Speaker 1 

And we think that a lot of people in Victoria and Vancouver would like to hear a broadcast of the game. 

00:21:39 Speaker 1 

They’re going to play the. 

00:21:46 Speaker 1 

At McDonald Park. 

00:21:48 Speaker 1 

Could you do a broadcast of it for us? 

00:21:51 Speaker 1 

And Mr. 

00:21:53 Speaker 1 

Deville says, oh, certainly we do broadcast it. 

00:21:56 Speaker 1 

Have you got a man? 

00:21:57 Speaker 1 

That can do. 

00:21:57 Speaker 1 

It certainly we’ve got a man that can do it. 

00:22:01 Speaker 1 

Guess who? 

00:22:05 Speaker 1 

So after this fellow left and they made arrangements to do this broadcast. 

00:22:09 Speaker 1 

But one weekends. 

00:22:12 Speaker 1 

He calls me and says you’re going to do a rugby broadcast from McDonald Park. 

00:22:19 Speaker 1 

Hell, I’ve only seen about 2 rugby games in my life and at that stage in my broadcasting career. 

00:22:26 Speaker 1 

I’d only been sports broadcasting for about six months. 

00:22:30 Speaker 1 

And how I started is another story, but any rate. 

00:22:33 Speaker 1 

I said OK. 

00:22:35 Speaker 1 

So come the appointed day, CFFT had its equipment set up in the grandstand at McDonnell Park and. 

00:22:45 Speaker 1 

On a particular day and. 

00:22:48 Speaker 1 

You know who? 

00:22:50 Speaker 1 

And some other fellow who was acting the engineer. 

00:22:53 Speaker 1 

I don’t remember who it was. 

00:22:55 Speaker 1 

We set up our rudimentary gear. 

00:22:58 Speaker 1 

And deliver broadcast of this whole rugby game. 

00:23:03 Speaker 1 

And that was a memorable event because I don’t know whether you realize it or not. 

00:23:06 Speaker 1 

But there are 15 men on each side of the rugby team. 

00:23:11 Speaker 1 

And I knew most of the Victoria Fellows personally, so I could recognize them. 

00:23:16 Speaker 1 

But I didn’t know the New Zealand team from a hole in the ground. 

00:23:20 Speaker 1 

And it turned out to be a rainy day. 

00:23:23 Speaker 1 

And that’s a grass field at McDonald Park. 

00:23:27 Speaker 1 

And the only way I could identify them was by the numbers on their. 

00:23:31 Speaker 1 

Oh, they’re sweaters. 

00:23:35 Speaker 1 

And I got so that I could, as long as I had about 5 minutes ahead of a broadcast, I could sit down with a list of. 

00:23:41 Speaker 1 

15 men and 15 numbers and memorize them. 

00:23:45 Speaker 1 

And this is fine for about the 1st 5 minutes. 

00:23:47 Speaker 1 

Then they got all over mud. 

00:23:50 Speaker 1 

And I didn’t know who the hell was. 

00:23:52 Speaker 1 

And the only time I knew who was running was when they had a toss in from the side and the three quarter line lined up and I knew who the three quarter line was. 

00:24:01 Speaker 1 

But nobody else had a radio, so nobody was checking me. 

00:24:05 Speaker 1 

And we got lots of compliments on the broadcast afterwards. 

00:24:09 Speaker 1 

I’m sure I. 

00:24:10 Speaker 1 

Had the wrong fellow scoring touchdowns several times. 

00:24:14 Speaker 2 

So rather than just saying New Zealand. 

00:24:15 Speaker 2 

You just give a name. 

00:24:17 Speaker 1 

Well, in some cases I would be right and in other cases I wasn’t. 

00:24:21 Speaker 1 

But the point is. 

00:24:24 Speaker 1 

It was a live broadcast live, not delayed. 

00:24:28 Speaker 1 

Because we had no delaying facilities, there were no tapes in those days. 

00:24:33 Speaker 1 

There were no the the bridge between. 

00:24:36 Speaker 1 

The only way you could delay things in those days was with a disc. 

00:24:41 Speaker 1 

And our disk recording equipment was primeval between disks and tapes. 

00:24:48 Speaker 1 

There came wires, wire recorders. 

00:24:51 Speaker 1 

We didn’t have a wire recorder, so everything was done live. 

00:24:57 Speaker 1 

So you know your. 

00:25:01 Speaker 1 

Your strong points and your weak points all went out live. 

00:25:05 Speaker 1 

But on the other side of the coin. 

00:25:09 Speaker 1 

We did them live, broadcasts, all sorts of all over the place. 

00:25:14 Speaker 1 

All over the place. 

00:25:16 Speaker 2 

That put a lot of pressure on. 

00:25:17 Speaker 2 

The announcer? Yeah. 

00:25:20 Speaker 1 

During the war I I wasn’t a member of the services for physical reasons and during the war from 39 to. 

00:25:27 Speaker 1 


00:25:29 Speaker 1 

We really only had two experience announcers on staff. 

00:25:34 Speaker 1 

There was me. 

00:25:36 Speaker 1 

And I was the alleged chief announcer and the alleged. 

00:25:40 Speaker 1 

Program manager and there was one other fellow I. 

00:25:43 Speaker 1 

Called Barry Wood. 

00:25:44 Speaker 1 

Who went on to? 

00:25:46 Speaker 1 

Bigger and greater things than CBC and Donnies and the rest of them were utter greenhorns. 

00:25:53 Speaker 1 

So sure. 

00:25:56 Speaker 1 

We used to. 

00:26:00 Speaker 1 

Every Wednesday night now, I’m moving ahead into CJ VI days, but during the war, every night, every Wednesday night, we used to broadcast live. 

00:26:11 Speaker 1 

From 7 to 8. 

00:26:15 Speaker 1 

From camp McCauley. 

00:26:18 Speaker 1 

YMCA Hut. 

00:26:20 Speaker 1 

Where they used to put on a concert for the. 

00:26:23 Speaker 1 

Arm of the Army fellows stationed at Camp McCauley. 

00:26:28 Speaker 1 

And we would broadcast this concert live. 

00:26:31 Speaker 1 

I only broadcasted I was emcee of the concert. 

00:26:35 Speaker 1 

And most of the time I did my own operating too, because there wasn’t a spare engineer. 

00:26:40 Speaker 1 

And I’d go over there and I’d set up the equipment and see that it worked and. 

00:26:44 Speaker 1 

And then go on the stage and emcee. 

00:26:47 Speaker 1 

The thing and. 

00:26:48 Speaker 1 

Announcer and everything. 

00:26:49 Speaker 1 

And that ran from. 

00:26:50 Speaker 1 

7 to 8. 

00:26:52 Speaker 1 

Then I’d run. 

00:26:54 Speaker 1 

Not running but. 

00:26:56 Speaker 1 

Hop in my old car and go like hell. 

00:26:59 Speaker 1 

Out to Willows, which is at work on Irving Park, is now. 

00:27:04 Speaker 1 

Where there’d be a lacrosse game. 

00:27:09 Speaker 1 

And I broadcast the lacrosse game live. 

00:27:13 Speaker 1 

The full game, not not one of these one period things. 

00:27:17 Speaker 1 

From 8:30 to about 10:30. 

00:27:20 Speaker 1 

And then 1/2 hour break. 

00:27:22 Speaker 1 

Between camp McCauley. 

00:27:25 Speaker 1 

And the start of a lacrosse game at 8:30 at Willows. 

00:27:29 Speaker 2 

How would they feel like? 

00:27:31 Speaker 1 

Oh, I don’t know. 

00:27:32 Speaker 1 

Some records from the studio. 

00:27:35 Speaker 1 

A recorded program from the studio. 

00:27:39 Speaker 1 

Either either standard 78 sort of. 

00:27:43 Speaker 1 

I transcribed. 

00:27:45 Speaker 1 

Program of some sort. 

00:27:47 Speaker 1 

We had advanced at that time and this would be now we’d be up to about 19. 

00:27:53 Speaker 1 

Oh, I don’t know. 

00:27:54 Speaker 1 

4142 they’d advanced to the stage where we subscribed to some transcription libraries, and that was another way of saying 16 inch disks that ran at 33 and 1/3. 

00:28:09 Speaker 1 

And they’d run for half an hour by themselves. 

00:28:12 Speaker 1 

So there only had to be 1 fellow. 

00:28:14 Speaker 1 

Back in the studio. 

00:28:14 Speaker 1 

And he put on one of these transcriptions, run the guide. 

00:28:17 Speaker 1 

Everything for. 

00:28:19 Speaker 1 

Half an hour. 

00:28:21 Speaker 1 

And that would fill the hole between 7:00 to 8:00 from Maccauley and 8:30 to 10:30 from. 

00:28:27 Speaker 1 

From willows. 

00:28:32 Speaker 2 

So what are some of the things? 

00:28:33 Speaker 2 

That, well, did you find it hard being? 

00:28:35 Speaker 2 

An announcer at first was. 

00:28:36 Speaker 2 

It was it. 

00:28:37 Speaker 1 

Hold on. 

00:28:37 Speaker 1 

I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

00:28:39 Speaker 1 

It was exciting and. 

00:28:41 Speaker 1 

And different and this was the sort of appeal that. 

00:28:45 Speaker 1 

Radio station managers in those days and. 

00:28:48 Speaker 1 

I don’t know if they still do it, I don’t know. 

00:28:51 Speaker 1 

But in those days, they. 

00:28:55 Speaker 1 

Use that as a lever tool. 

00:28:57 Speaker 1 

And get to Starry eyed youngsters such as you. 

00:29:03 Speaker 1 

To become involved in broadcasting. 

00:29:05 Speaker 1 

Mind you, by that time I’d advanced to a probably monstrous salary. I I suspect that in those days 1941 too, I was. 

00:29:15 Speaker 1 

Probably earning all of $100 a month. 

00:29:20 Speaker 2 

How would that stack up to other wages at the time? 

00:29:22 Speaker 2 

Would it still be pretty low? 

00:29:24 Speaker 1 

It was low in, you know, our wages always worth. 

00:29:31 Speaker 1 

Comparatively low, but on the positive side there was a. 

00:29:37 Speaker 1 

It was a good Esprit decor and. 

00:29:44 Speaker 1 

It was an interesting and exciting work and. 

00:29:48 Speaker 1 

The whole operation was a sort of a kind of a team family operation. 

00:29:52 Speaker 1 

You didn’t have to. 

00:29:54 Speaker 1 

There was no. 

00:29:59 Speaker 1 

No repetitious. 

00:30:02 Speaker 1 

Compulsion about it like a typical office job, there was a genuine appeal to it. 

00:30:05 Speaker 2 


00:30:13 Speaker 1 

Gee, these recorders with the cats eyeballs nowadays and. 

00:30:15 Speaker 2 

How they really are makes something so much simpler. 

00:30:20 Speaker 2 

What do you think some of the things are that you had to had to have to be a good announcer in those days? 

00:30:28 Speaker 1 

You had to be. 

00:30:31 Speaker 1 

Pretty fast facial and precise in your speech. 

00:30:41 Speaker 1 

I latterly was in the position where I did the hiring. 

00:30:45 Speaker 1 

And for instance, if anybody came who had come from Eastern Canada, we always insisted that. 

00:30:53 Speaker 1 

Toronto had two teas in it. 

00:30:57 Speaker 1 

But it’s not pronounced tyrannic. 

00:31:00 Speaker 1 

It’s pronounced Toronto because Vic. 

00:31:06 Speaker 1 

Has been peopled by. 

00:31:09 Speaker 1 

Individuals who were. 

00:31:11 Speaker 1 

To a surprising degree. 

00:31:14 Speaker 1 

Are well educated. 

00:31:18 Speaker 1 

Cosmopolitan in their upbringing and experience. 

00:31:23 Speaker 1 

And if we broadcast things that were either sloppy in speech or. 

00:31:29 Speaker 1 

In fact, we damn soon hear about it. 

00:31:33 Speaker 1 

Damn soon. 

00:31:34 Speaker 1 

Hear about it. 

00:31:35 Speaker 1 

And as a consequence, we did our best to get an answer to. 

00:31:43 Speaker 1 

Had a good basic knowledge of English. 

00:31:46 Speaker 1 

And the ability to pronounce it precisely. 

00:31:49 Speaker 1 

Granted, William. 

00:31:51 Speaker 1 

We didn’t hit the goal all the time. 

00:31:54 Speaker 1 

But this is what we strive for. 

00:31:57 Speaker 1 

And I think to a probably to a greater degree than at present, we emphasize precision and speech because now broadcasting. 

00:32:10 Speaker 1 

Particularly with the emergence of all these open line. 

00:32:17 Speaker 1 

And one man. 

00:32:17 Speaker 1 

Running a disc jockey operation for several hours. 

00:32:20 Speaker 2 


00:32:23 Speaker 1 

Broadcast speech has tended to become more colloquial. 

00:32:32 Speaker 1 

And I don’t mean it in a derogatory fashion to the man in the street, but more man. 

00:32:36 Speaker 1 

In the street. Ish. 

00:32:39 Speaker 1 

It’s I think it’s correct to say that in earlier days. 

00:32:45 Speaker 1 

Broadcasters were expected to uphold. 

00:32:53 Speaker 1 

Perhaps at times unreasonable level of precision and correctness in speech. 

00:33:03 Speaker 1 

It may well be a reflection of my age and generation, but I am inclined to think. 

00:33:09 Speaker 1 

Nowadays broadcasters, many of them not all of them. 

00:33:14 Speaker 1 

Let’s say some of them, not even many of them, some of them. 

00:33:18 Speaker 1 

Tend to use the. 

00:33:23 Speaker 1 

Slightly lesser. 

00:33:26 Speaker 1 

Slightly less precise. 

00:33:30 Speaker 1 

Language of colloquial. 

00:33:33 Speaker 1 

Common speech. 

00:33:36 Speaker 1 

In a so-called effort to. 

00:33:39 Speaker 1 

Be chummy or. 

00:33:42 Speaker 1 

Sound like the ordinary Joe? 

00:33:46 Speaker 1 

Whereas in my day. 

00:33:49 Speaker 1 

Broadcasters were expected to be precise and expected to be correct, and if they weren’t damn well, then somebody would phone up and give them what for in those days, particularly the. 

00:34:03 Speaker 1 

CVC, which? 

00:34:06 Speaker 1 

Even in those days was considered the epitome of precision. 

00:34:15 Speaker 1 

And to which many of our announcers either moved or graduated, and you can use whatever phrase you like. 

00:34:25 Speaker 1 

They were notorious for their insistence on precision and speech. 

00:34:35 Speaker 1 

So I think it’s reasonable to say that in earlier days. 

00:34:39 Speaker 1 

Certainly in the 40s. 

00:34:42 Speaker 1 

Broadcast this as a whole where more precise and. 

00:34:48 Speaker 1 

Attempted to be. 

00:34:51 Speaker 1 

Attempted to be examples of. 

00:34:53 Speaker 1 

Good speech. 

00:34:55 Speaker 2 

Did the fact that all the programming was live put any special pressures on people? 

00:35:01 Speaker 1 

Or live programming live programming inevitably. 

00:35:06 Speaker 1 

Puts more pressures on you if you know something is being taped. 

00:35:12 Speaker 1 

And it’s not going to be broadcast until it’s edited. 

00:35:15 Speaker 1 

Well, you know, right off the bat you can. 

00:35:18 Speaker 1 

Make a mistake and. 

00:35:21 Speaker 1 

They’ll say stop that, rerun it and do it again, sort of thing. 

00:35:25 Speaker 1 

And if you’re doing live broadcasting, you don’t have a chance to do that. 

00:35:29 Speaker 1 

You you’re either right the first time or you goof the first time. 

00:35:35 Speaker 1 

And whichever you do goes out to. 

00:35:38 Speaker 1 

Fully broadcast. 

00:35:40 Speaker 2 

Were most of those live programs scripted or did you have to do? 

00:35:42 Speaker 2 

Things off the top of your. 

00:35:44 Speaker 1 

In many, many cases, I think it would be safe to say that most of them were outlived. 

00:35:51 Speaker 1 

Before you became a senior announcer. 

00:35:56 Speaker 1 

You had to developer. 

00:35:59 Speaker 1 

An ability to ad Lib. 

00:36:01 Speaker 1 

We would consistently go into what today are considered complicated live broadcasting situations with nothing more than a bare bone sheet that you’ve got there. 

00:36:14 Speaker 1 

With a few facts on it and ad Lib around it. 

00:36:20 Speaker 1 

So you had to be a good Adler. 

00:36:23 Speaker 1 

And as a matter of fact, one of them very minor training disciplines, I exposed myself to and. 

00:36:32 Speaker 1 

Insisted other fellows do what the station was to if you can imagine this, go out on the roof. 

00:36:38 Speaker 1 

At the central building. 

00:36:40 Speaker 1 

And describe what they were looking at. 

00:36:43 Speaker 1 

And if you think that’s easy, you try doing it someday. 

00:36:45 Speaker 2 

Oh, I can imagine. 

00:36:48 Speaker 1 

Try describing what you’re looking at off the roof of a downtown building. 

00:36:52 Speaker 1 

In a reasonably attractive and coherent fashion. 

00:36:56 Speaker 1 

It’s not easy to do. 

00:36:59 Speaker 1 

But it’s something you learned to do. 

00:37:02 Speaker 2 

That’s the kind of thing you had to do in news broadcasting. 

00:37:05 Speaker 1 

That’s right, because there wasn’t time to write a script. 

00:37:10 Speaker 1 

We didn’t add script writers and that. 

00:37:12 Speaker 1 

Well, there were. 

00:37:13 Speaker 1 

Writers, but their function was to write commercial broadcast, and mind you, the single exception. And we used to do a good deal of so-called. 

00:37:24 Speaker 1 

All sort of kind of dramas. 

00:37:27 Speaker 1 

These would be quarter, hour or half hour dramatic shows which we would write ourselves. 

00:37:35 Speaker 1 

And we wrote them the scripts and the. 

00:37:38 Speaker 1 

And the directions for bringing in sound effects and everything else. 

00:37:44 Speaker 1 

And we wrote those ourselves, but they were rehearsed half hour. 

00:37:51 Speaker 1 

Mostly half hour, sometimes quarter hour, but mostly half hour rehearsed. 

00:37:56 Speaker 1 

So-called dramatic programs. 

00:38:00 Speaker 1 

And they were written. 

00:38:03 Speaker 1 

And I’ve been involved in. 

00:38:07 Speaker 1 

Writing a good many score allows and broadcasting, but keep in mind that the end broadcast the end broadcast was live, it wasn’t taped. 

00:38:18 Speaker 1 

You maybe got to reverse it once or twice. 

00:38:22 Speaker 1 

I would doubt ever more than twice. 

00:38:25 Speaker 2 

Who would act in those? 

00:38:27 Speaker 1 

Oh, members of the staff. 

00:38:29 Speaker 2 

It’ll be staff members. 

00:38:30 Speaker 1 

Oh, mostly occasionally. 

00:38:31 Speaker 1 

We’d pull in an outside one, but very seldom the receptionist. 

00:38:36 Speaker 1 

Everybody that was on staff, we write four or five characters into a given piece of stuff and use the people around the station. 

00:38:46 Speaker 2 

Was it very common in those days for radio stations to do dramatic programming? 

00:38:55 Speaker 1 

Comparatively so. 

00:39:00 Speaker 1 

I I don’t know. 

00:39:01 Speaker 1 

Maybe I should have meant that I. 

00:39:02 Speaker 1 

Don’t know for sure. 

00:39:04 Speaker 1 

We did quite a bit at our station. 

00:39:09 Speaker 1 

Probably because Victoria always has been a discriminating audience. 

00:39:15 Speaker 1 

I just can’t emphasize too strongly the the. 

00:39:21 Speaker 1 

In your knowledge and know how in many, many many fields of the. 

00:39:26 Speaker 1 

People in Vic. 

00:39:28 Speaker 1 

They would know more about more things than you’d ever know. 

00:39:32 Speaker 1 

And if you want an example of that. 

00:39:36 Speaker 1 

I was visiting at a. 

00:39:38 Speaker 1 

Program at his convention on the in Calgary one time and I heard about a program. 

00:39:44 Speaker 1 

Which was a sort of a kind. 

00:39:45 Speaker 1 

Of a quiz program. 

00:39:47 Speaker 1 

And we came back here to Victoria and revamped it a little bit and started in Victoria. 

00:39:53 Speaker 1 

It was called 6 for one. 

00:39:56 Speaker 1 

And in essence, it was. 

00:40:00 Speaker 1 

Six questions asked on the. 

00:40:03 Speaker 1 

Air over 1/2 hour. 

00:40:05 Speaker 1 

And if you. 

00:40:06 Speaker 1 

Got on with each of the questions. 

00:40:08 Speaker 1 

There was a dollar price, a dollar for the first two for the. 

00:40:12 Speaker 1 

Second three for the third. 

00:40:14 Speaker 1 

Four or five. 

00:40:16 Speaker 1 

And if you got 5 questions. 

00:40:19 Speaker 1 

You got the whole kit and caboodle. 

00:40:22 Speaker 1 

If you only got one question, you got the money and we used to. 

00:40:28 Speaker 1 

Beat our brains out. 

00:40:29 Speaker 1 

Trying to. 

00:40:31 Speaker 1 

Get those questions because they weren’t tomfoolery questions. 

00:40:36 Speaker 1 

The whole name of the game on the questions was to try and devise questions that, when asked, would prompt a listener to say. 

00:40:45 Speaker 1 

Geez, I should know the answer to that. 

00:40:48 Speaker 1 

But I don’t. 

00:40:51 Speaker 1 

And the listener would get crossed himself. 

00:40:53 Speaker 1 

Now let’s face it, that’s a difficult goal, especially at one stage in the game we run the program three times a day, and that’s 18 questions a day. 

00:41:02 Speaker 1 

But most of the time we ran it twice a day. 

00:41:05 Speaker 1 

Well, I’ll never, never forget. 

00:41:06 Speaker 1 

One time we were, I was the man was sick or something or other than I was doing the program. 

00:41:13 Speaker 1 

And I was looking through an encyclopedia trying to find some questions or any rate. 

00:41:19 Speaker 1 

So I came up with one question. 

00:41:23 Speaker 1 

It was an article in this encyclopedia about rubber plantations and how they cut the groove in a rubber tree to collect the SAP. 

00:41:34 Speaker 1 

And it appears, according to this encyclopedia, they always cut the groove. 

00:41:38 Speaker 1 

One way. 

00:41:40 Speaker 1 

I can’t remember where it was clockwise or anticlockwise. 

00:41:42 Speaker 1 

It doesn’t matter. 

00:41:43 Speaker 1 

But accordingly, it’s like competing. 

00:41:45 Speaker 1 

They always got it one way. 

00:41:47 Speaker 1 

And this wasn’t so I asked him here on this six for one program. 

00:41:51 Speaker 1 

According to the information we have rubber plantations, they always cut the groove upper rubber tree clockwise or anticlockwise. 

00:42:00 Speaker 1 

Which way? 

00:42:02 Speaker 1 

Well, it was a basically poor question because you had a 5050 chance of being right in the 1st place, but at any rate, some Joker answered it. 

00:42:11 Speaker 1 

And I’d no sooner got off the air when the phone rang. 

00:42:15 Speaker 1 

I go answer the phone and at some courteous old elderly fellow with an English accent. 

00:42:21 Speaker 1 

And he said concerning that question you asked about rubber plantations and the Groves. 

00:42:27 Speaker 1 

I can tell you that I’m a supervisor of six rubber plantations in Malaysia. 

00:42:33 Speaker 1 

And on our rubber plantations, we never cut them the way you said. 

00:42:37 Speaker 1 

We always cut them the other way. 

00:42:41 Speaker 1 

And I’ve never forgotten that for Victoria and its audience. 

00:42:44 Speaker 2 


00:42:45 Speaker 1 

Didn’t matter. 

00:42:46 Speaker 1 

Damn what the question was you asked because I was somebody in Victoria who was a genuine no Tom Foolery expert in the field. 

00:42:56 Speaker 1 

So yeah. 

00:42:57 Speaker 2 

Make things hard for you. 

00:42:58 Speaker 1 

Well, it made things interesting. 

00:43:00 Speaker 1 

Let’s put it that way. 

00:43:05 Speaker 2 

How did the war affect broadcasting? 

00:43:09 Speaker 2 

At least as far as you experienced it. 

00:43:11 Speaker 1 

Chiefly, we had no experience to announce this. 

00:43:17 Speaker 1 

And maybe as far as my memory serves, it was one of the first times we started using women on the air. 

00:43:26 Speaker 1 

The listeners didn’t like women, and if we used the women. 

00:43:30 Speaker 1 

The listeners would. 

00:43:33 Speaker 1 

Bench like steers. 

00:43:35 Speaker 1 

And that’s a contradiction in terms if ever there was one, but at. 

00:43:38 Speaker 1 

Any rate they did? 

00:43:41 Speaker 1 

But at any rate, a shortage of. 

00:43:44 Speaker 1 

Basically good men. 

00:43:49 Speaker 1 

And no experienced ones. 

00:43:53 Speaker 1 

That was the biggest brand then, of course. 

00:43:55 Speaker 1 

In addition to that, we. 

00:43:57 Speaker 1 

We broadcast a lot of service related stuff. 

00:44:02 Speaker 1 

We used to broadcast from. 

00:44:05 Speaker 1 

Naiden and the dockyard. 

00:44:08 Speaker 1 

We broadcast from Camp Maccauley every Wednesday night. 

00:44:13 Speaker 1 

We used to go out and do a. 

00:44:16 Speaker 1 

I broadcast. 

00:44:18 Speaker 1 

From a submarine. 

00:44:21 Speaker 1 

One time, but any rate. 

00:44:25 Speaker 1 

We did regular victory bond broadcast. 

00:44:30 Speaker 1 

Promotions from a stand down on View Street. 

00:44:36 Speaker 1 

Anyway, that sort of thing. 

00:44:39 Speaker 1 

Oh, in addition to which at times we kept our mouths shut. 

00:44:44 Speaker 1 

As you may or may not. 

00:44:45 Speaker 1 

Have ever heard the? 

00:44:47 Speaker 1 

Was it Queen Elizabeth or Queen Mary? 

00:44:49 Speaker 1 

Queen Elizabeth? 

00:44:51 Speaker 1 

She came into Victoria the early days of the war. 

00:44:55 Speaker 1 

Because we have the only one of the very few dry docks in the world that can handle it, and she came in here. 

00:45:03 Speaker 1 

For to be gutted, she was gutted of all her fancy trimmings and equipped as a troop ship. 

00:45:10 Speaker 1 

Her bottom was scraped and her engines were check. 

00:45:13 Speaker 1 

And there were several 1000 high school students. 

00:45:19 Speaker 1 

Among others worked on it. 

00:45:21 Speaker 1 

To do all this work. 

00:45:23 Speaker 1 

And together with the other news people, and remember the other news, people amounted to the colonists and the times and ourselves. 

00:45:30 Speaker 1 

That’s all there were in the news media in town. 

00:45:32 Speaker 1 

We knew all about it, but we never mentioned it on the air. 

00:45:36 Speaker 2 

Were you asked not to or did not to? 

00:45:37 Speaker 1 

Oh yes, we’re asking and we didn’t. 

00:45:40 Speaker 1 

She was here. 

00:45:42 Speaker 1 

On a secret visit. 

00:45:44 Speaker 1 

It was, and I think it’s fair to say that a pretty fair percentage of the people of Victoria never knew that the Elizabeth had been in here for about 10 days. 

00:46:01 Speaker 2 

You did a program, at least according to this newspaper clipping I read called. 

00:46:04 Speaker 2 

What do you know about? 

00:46:05 Speaker 2 

The war. 

00:46:07 Speaker 1 

Do they? 

00:46:07 Speaker 2 

Well, that’s what the clipping said. 

00:46:09 Speaker 2 

I might be wrong. 

00:46:09 Speaker 2 

I don’t. 

00:46:10 Speaker 2 

Know is that the thing? 

00:46:10 Speaker 1 

I like silly clipping. 

00:46:11 Speaker 1 

I don’t remember that. 


One, OK. 

00:46:19 Speaker 2 


00:46:22 Speaker 2 

Here, 1942 V Chestnut was appointed. 

00:46:26 Speaker 1 

Yes, just as the second manager. 


Down there. 

00:46:32 Speaker 1 

I have no recollection of that program. 

00:46:35 Speaker 2 

Well, just so sure. 

00:46:36 Speaker 2 

You can’t go by the. 

00:46:37 Speaker 1 

Newspapers no Fraser McAlpine, incidentally used to work for us, fellow wrote that. 

00:46:45 Speaker 2 

They are. 

00:46:45 Speaker 1 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:46:50 Speaker 1 

The end of the war, Ralph Pashley joined this station. 

00:46:54 Speaker 1 

He did. 

00:46:54 Speaker 1 

He was in the army and some camouflage unit soon became well known for his capital city commentary. 

00:47:01 Speaker 1 

And I wrote Capital city commentary all the. 

00:47:03 Speaker 1 

Time for Ralph. 

00:47:05 Speaker 1 

And then when Ralph left. 

00:47:07 Speaker 1 

I did the capital city commentary for more years than he did. 

00:47:12 Speaker 1 

Later years as host of a controversial open line show, passion ever was on an open line, no. 

00:47:21 Speaker 2 

Sounds like the the article itself has got a few. 

00:47:24 Speaker 1 

Yeah, it’s got some errors in it. 

00:47:26 Speaker 2 

I just thought you might. 

00:47:27 Speaker 2 

It was in. 

00:47:27 Speaker 2 

In relation to the thing about the. 

00:47:30 Speaker 2 

Did it put the the war, put it in economic economic restrictions on the station. 

00:47:39 Speaker 2 

How is it more or less business as usual? 

00:47:42 Speaker 1 

I don’t honestly remember, Dennis. 

00:47:44 Speaker 1 

I don’t remember. 

00:47:44 Speaker 1 

I keep in mind I was on the program side. 

00:47:50 Speaker 1 

I wasn’t manager. 

00:47:51 Speaker 1 

I was at those days, chief announcer. 

00:47:54 Speaker 1 

I had nothing to do with the. 

00:47:57 Speaker 1 

With the revenue of the station and I don’t. 

Part 3

00:00:02 Speaker 1 

I had nothing to do with the. 

00:00:04 Speaker 1 

With the revenue of the station, and I don’t honestly know. 


Whether they work. 

00:00:13 Speaker 1 

Stress on the station or not, I. 

00:00:16 Speaker 1 

Don’t think so, but I don’t know. 

00:00:20 Speaker 2 

You mentioned earlier the thing about Joe Summers and the seeing the television signals on the oscilloscope. 

00:00:27 Speaker 2 

How did radio people think about how did they view television when it started to come? 

00:00:34 Speaker 1 

Well, keep in mind I left radio in 67 and television as my memory serves. 

00:00:38 Speaker 2 


00:00:43 Speaker 1 

We didn’t really get into this market until what two or three? 

00:00:48 Speaker 1 

Years before that. 

00:00:50 Speaker 2 

I guess it would be the late 50s. There was a station in Vancouver in 53. Oh. 

00:00:56 Speaker 2 

The CDC came in 53. 

00:00:58 Speaker 1 

Let’s put it this way. 

00:00:59 Speaker 1 

I don’t think there was any significant. 

00:01:05 Speaker 1 

Nowhere near the dominance television has now. 

00:01:09 Speaker 1 

There wasn’t any significant intrusion of television. 

00:01:15 Speaker 1 

Victoria market. 

00:01:18 Speaker 1 

As my memory serves until the early 60s, sixties, when I left in 67, television was becoming pretty thoroughly established and I had myself appeared on it a couple of times. 

00:01:33 Speaker 1 

But the radio up until certainly up until oh. 

00:01:39 Speaker 1 

The early 60s. 

00:01:42 Speaker 1 

Was the dominant. 

00:01:45 Speaker 1 

Broadcast medium. 

00:01:46 Speaker 2 

So radio broadcasters weren’t afraid that it would. 

00:01:49 Speaker 2 

Take away their audience. 

00:01:52 Speaker 2 

At least not to the extent that it. 

00:01:53 Speaker 1 

Has no. 

00:01:56 Speaker 1 

Again, keep in mind I left in 67, certainly in the mid 60s. 

00:01:59 Speaker 2 


00:02:04 Speaker 1 

But there was number one. 

00:02:07 Speaker 1 

There was no sort of panic among radio broadcasters. 

00:02:12 Speaker 1 

Nor was there any. 

00:02:17 Speaker 1 

Desire to move to television sort of thing. 

00:02:23 Speaker 2 

How do you think broadcasting has changed since television has become so popular? 

00:02:33 Speaker 1 

Well, with all respect to those who are presently in it and I remain with many good friends still in broadcasting. 

00:02:42 Speaker 1 

Johnny Ansell, who is the current manager of CJV I he was an announcer at our station. 

00:02:48 Speaker 1 

Well, I’m very fond of Johnny. 

00:02:51 Speaker 1 

And Dave Armstrong, who remains the owner of. 

00:02:54 Speaker 1 


00:02:57 Speaker 1 

He’s been a friend for many years. 

00:03:01 Speaker 1 

And what’s his name? 

00:03:03 Speaker 1 

Mel Cooper. 

00:03:04 Speaker 1 

Let’s see Faye. 

00:03:06 Speaker 1 

He’s a good friend too. 

00:03:08 Speaker 1 

But within those bounds of good friendship, I’m glad I have nothing to do with AM broadcasting today. 

00:03:16 Speaker 1 

Because it has. 

00:03:18 Speaker 1 

Dropped into a. 

00:03:21 Speaker 1 

Probably into unnecessary. 

00:03:24 Speaker 1 

And comparatively comfortable slot. 

00:03:28 Speaker 1 

As a. 

00:03:30 Speaker 1 

Comparatively minor. 

00:03:33 Speaker 1 

Source of. 

00:03:35 Speaker 1 

Or news and. 

00:03:37 Speaker 1 

If you wish background music. 

00:03:41 Speaker 1 

And certainly latterly. 

00:03:45 Speaker 1 

Through these open line programs, an escape valve for. 

00:03:50 Speaker 1 

Neighborhood busybodies who left to hear themselves yak on the air. 

00:03:58 Speaker 1 

The dominant role that radio had. 

00:04:02 Speaker 1 

Remember in my time. 

00:04:05 Speaker 1 

It wasn’t radio that was scared, it was the newspapers that were scared. 

00:04:09 Speaker 1 

The newspapers were scared of radio. 

00:04:12 Speaker 1 

Because we were challenging there. 

00:04:16 Speaker 1 

As they thought, God-given right to be the. 

00:04:19 Speaker 1 

Dominant source of all news and radio was and did challenge them for the dominance in the news field. 

00:04:32 Speaker 1 

But now radio, whilst it appears to. 

00:04:35 Speaker 1 

Be doing a. 

00:04:38 Speaker 1 

Fairly competent job in. 

00:04:41 Speaker 1 

In spot news. 

00:04:44 Speaker 1 

Itsy bitsy news. 

00:04:47 Speaker 1 

Little, if anything, to the best of my knowledge, in any depth. 

00:04:53 Speaker 1 

Appears to have dropped into a slot of. 

00:04:57 Speaker 1 

Open line. 

00:05:01 Speaker 1 

Vehicles for neighborhood busy bodies and music which? 

00:05:07 Speaker 1 

Is very narrowly channeled to certain segments of the audience. 

00:05:13 Speaker 1 

In VI CJV’s case, they frankly. 

00:05:17 Speaker 1 

And it’s a free country. 

00:05:19 Speaker 1 

Can do what they like, they frankly program. 

00:05:21 Speaker 1 

So-called country music, and if you like. 

00:05:24 Speaker 1 

Country music. Fine. 

00:05:27 Speaker 1 

I haven’t listened to CKD a much lately, but I gather they’re real and. 

00:05:33 Speaker 1 

Jump, pop music and Ceefax, which has started out on the pretext of being a good music station and that’s the pretext. 

00:05:44 Speaker 1 

They got their license on and. 

00:05:47 Speaker 1 

Depending on what you call good music, see thanks plays little if any of it. 

00:05:54 Speaker 1 

Good music in the original concept meant mostly classical music, or at or at the least light opera and things like that. 

00:06:07 Speaker 1 

I guess the only real source of music like that now is some FM stations. 

00:06:16 Speaker 1 

Whereas in my day the radio wasn’t all around. 

00:06:20 Speaker 1 

Source of entertainment and news. 

00:06:25 Speaker 1 

We were very proud of CJ VI of having. 

00:06:29 Speaker 1 

With the exception of the CBC, which was funded by taxpayers money. 

00:06:35 Speaker 1 

We have one of the, if not the biggest. 

00:06:38 Speaker 1 

A record library in all Canada. 

00:06:43 Speaker 1 

And it may not mean much to you, but we had some 60 or 70,000. 

00:06:51 Speaker 1 

Individual records. 

00:06:53 Speaker 1 

All catalogued and cross indexed and we. 

00:06:56 Speaker 1 

Could find them. 

00:06:57 Speaker 1 

And we had four recordings of. 

00:07:03 Speaker 1 

Or perhaps 30 or 40 operas. 

00:07:07 Speaker 1 

We had full recordings of perhaps. 

00:07:11 Speaker 1 

O30 or 40 I guess symphonies and concertos. 

00:07:17 Speaker 1 

And you try and find an AM station that has one recording of a full opera now. 



00:07:23 Speaker 1 

One recording of a a full Symphony. 

00:07:27 Speaker 2 

And with these, would you be played fairly quickly? 

00:07:29 Speaker 1 

Oh, yes. 

00:07:30 Speaker 1 

Oh yes. 

00:07:31 Speaker 1 

I personally ran a. 

00:07:33 Speaker 1 

Classic music program for years on CJV I. 

00:07:38 Speaker 1 

And I pretend no expertise as a musician. 

00:07:43 Speaker 1 

But I’m very fond of music. 

00:07:45 Speaker 1 

And I guess I can hum or whistle most of the popular operas, chiefly because I’ve played them on the air so often. 

00:07:53 Speaker 1 

And and I’m very fond of them, but. 

00:07:59 Speaker 1 

That’s not done now. 

00:08:02 Speaker 1 

We had, for instance, CJV I. 

00:08:04 Speaker 1 

We must have had about. 

00:08:07 Speaker 1 

Or as memory serves, 7 or 8. 

00:08:10 Speaker 1 

Full operatic recordings on 78. Remember the big thick albums. 

00:08:17 Speaker 1 

By the Glenn born. 

00:08:19 Speaker 1 

Festival Orchestra and chorus. 

00:08:23 Speaker 1 

And I doubt that anybody has those today, except probably the CBC, which is gratuitously and benevolently funded by taxpayers and the likes of you and I. 

00:08:38 Speaker 1 

And they apparently, if you’re able to keep an astounding inventory of of music on hand, but if you’ve got enough money and you don’t have to worry about it. 

00:08:53 Speaker 1 

This is how you can behave and it’s so I think good to be fair about it. It’s to see BC’s credit that they have kept alive this treasure House of but. 

00:09:08 Speaker 1 

I won’t say good music, different music, because some people like the modern pop music and more power than them, if that’s what they like, as long as it’s well done and well played. 

00:09:19 Speaker 1 

But like also it’s I like country music. 

00:09:22 Speaker 1 

In little bits, I don’t like it all. 

00:09:24 Speaker 1 

God darn day. 

00:09:25 Speaker 1 

Like VI plays it. 

00:09:27 Speaker 1 

And I’ll I’ll go for some of the wildest jazer is going. 

00:09:31 Speaker 1 

One of my most memorable and personal events is. 

00:09:35 Speaker 1 

Going to a. 

00:09:37 Speaker 1 

A concert in the Old York Theatre, which is now the McPherson. What’s his name? Gillespie. Dizzy Gillespie? Yeah. And others. And a big band, about 27. 

00:09:48 Speaker 1 

Of them? Really. 

00:09:49 Speaker 1 

Played a concert in the Old York theater. 

00:09:53 Speaker 1 

And by God, they were good. 

00:09:55 Speaker 1 

He had a he had a brass line of about 14 players. 

00:10:02 Speaker 1 

And I tell you, when they hit a. 

00:10:03 Speaker 1 

High note, they’re really gone. 

00:10:08 Speaker 1 

It’s a different day, a different age. 

00:10:11 Speaker 2 

Was the listener response to that to the kind of programming you were doing was it was there a? 

00:10:16 Speaker 2 

Listener response there. 

00:10:16 Speaker 1 

Oh yes, it was a very real risk response. 

00:10:18 Speaker 1 

But the essential difference you have to remember is there was no television. 

00:10:23 Speaker 1 

And record players. 

00:10:26 Speaker 1 

That like that regular player over there against. 

00:10:28 Speaker 1 

The wall. 

00:10:30 Speaker 1 

Which is a comparatively cheap one. 

00:10:34 Speaker 1 

That reproduces music better. 

00:10:37 Speaker 1 

And the equipment we had in CGV A is for the home recording equipment available today is infinitely better than there was in a broadcasting station in those days. 

00:10:52 Speaker 1 

And and there wasn’t any in those days. 

00:10:56 Speaker 1 

People at home didn’t have record reproducing stuff like this. 

00:11:01 Speaker 1 

This whole industry of home reproduction equipment has all emerged to. 

00:11:08 Speaker 1 

Oh, it’s my memory service. 

00:11:11 Speaker 1 

Oh, I guess the early 60s. 

00:11:14 Speaker 1 

And it’s boomed ahead in the oh 50s, maybe. 

00:11:18 Speaker 1 

But certainly in the 60s and 70s. 

00:11:21 Speaker 1 

So there wasn’t. 

00:11:22 Speaker 1 

The home record playing equipment there was not TV, remember? 

00:11:28 Speaker 1 

And there weren’t many radio stations in Victoria. 

00:11:31 Speaker 1 

There was only one station. 

00:11:35 Speaker 1 

Or even when DA came on. 

00:11:37 Speaker 1 

There were only two stations, so. 

00:11:39 Speaker 1 

We didn’t have to work in Vic. 

00:11:42 Speaker 1 

You could listen to it. 

00:11:43 Speaker 1 

What did you listen to? 

00:11:43 Speaker 1 

A good many stations always have been able to. 

00:11:47 Speaker 1 

In Victoria. 

00:11:47 Speaker 1 

We’re laughing lucky with our signals. 

00:11:50 Speaker 1 

But only one local 1. 

00:11:52 Speaker 2 

So you weren’t worried too much about the competition from the other species? 

00:11:55 Speaker 1 

Really, it really didn’t matter too much to us. 

00:11:59 Speaker 1 

If you wanted to listen to local news local events. 

00:12:05 Speaker 1 

Local live broadcasting. 

00:12:07 Speaker 1 

There was only one place. 

00:12:08 Speaker 1 

You could get it. 

00:12:11 Speaker 1 

And that was off the local radio station and we. 

00:12:18 Speaker 1 

We frankly did our best to cater to most tastes. 

00:12:26 Speaker 2 

OK, so you said this was a program that you still hear. 

00:12:28 Speaker 2 

You still hear about. 

00:12:34 Speaker 1 

Maybe if I made them this, I’ll tell you. 

00:12:39 Speaker 1 

You know, you get no broadcaster going and he’ll ramble on forever. 

00:12:44 Speaker 1 

I can tell you the time. 

00:12:45 Speaker 1 

About the Princess Juliana. 

00:12:47 Speaker 1 

When she was launching a ship down. 

00:12:49 Speaker 1 

At the dockyard. 

00:12:52 Speaker 1 

The blinking ship wouldn’t go. 

00:12:55 Speaker 1 

And she was in an embarrassing position. 

00:12:57 Speaker 1 

Let me quickly tell you that, OK, OK, this was during the war, and we were building ships here. 

00:13:04 Speaker 1 

And one of them was built for the Dutch Navy, Princess Juliana. 

00:13:11 Speaker 1 

Who laterally became Queen Juliana? 

00:13:14 Speaker 1 

As my memory serves, she was living during the war in Ottawa. 

00:13:18 Speaker 1 

Well, she came out here to officially launch this ship. 

00:13:23 Speaker 1 

I forget the name of the ship. 

00:13:24 Speaker 1 

Doesn’t matter if darn it was good. 

00:13:26 Speaker 1 

I think it was a Corvette or a minesweeper. 

00:13:28 Speaker 1 

One of the two was built here. 

00:13:31 Speaker 1 

By arrows and it was going to be transferred to the. 

00:13:36 Speaker 1 

I think operate under the Royal Navy, but with a Dutch crew. 

00:13:40 Speaker 1 

So Princess Juliana came out here to launch it, and it was a big dude, big social event. 

00:13:46 Speaker 1 

So there were two sets of broadcasters there, believe it or not, Bill Herbert. 

00:13:50 Speaker 1 

Of CBC and myself. 

00:13:54 Speaker 1 

And around right around the bowl of this ship had been built a platform for the brass. 

00:14:05 Speaker 1 

And the brass consisted as far as the ship was concerned, shipyards concerned, and Mr. 

00:14:10 Speaker 1 

Norman Yarrow, who was the President, and Mr. 

00:14:13 Speaker 1 

Isard, who was the general manager. 

00:14:16 Speaker 1 

And also on the platform. 

00:14:21 Speaker 1 

Were as the moment approached, Princess Juliana and some aides escorting her and a two or three Navy Admiral types. 

00:14:30 Speaker 1 

And all this. 

00:14:30 Speaker 1 

Sort of stuff. 

00:14:31 Speaker 1 

And Bill Herbert and I. 

00:14:34 Speaker 1 

And we’re describing the. 

00:14:36 Speaker 1 

Proceed the. 

00:14:38 Speaker 1 

Going up and Princess Juliana approached and she came up and I don’t know whether you know the process of launching a ship, but in essence, underneath the ship, when it’s on its ways, there are a whole bunch of wedges. 

00:14:54 Speaker 1 

Hold the ship in place and a whole bunch of man. 

00:14:58 Speaker 1 

One man by one wedge. 

00:15:01 Speaker 1 

And on a given signal. 

00:15:03 Speaker 1 

The men go bald and they knock out the wedges all at. 

00:15:06 Speaker 1 

Once and the ship goes plop like only plop about. 

00:15:11 Speaker 1 

1/2 an inch. 

00:15:12 Speaker 1 

But it plops down onto a grease waves and it slides into the water. 

00:15:16 Speaker 1 

That’s how it’s done well, the signal is given by a whole bunch of electric lights that are slung along underneath the ship. 

00:15:24 Speaker 1 

And the switch for the electric lights was a button underneath the rail up on the dignitary stage. 

00:15:33 Speaker 1 

You with me, OK. 

00:15:36 Speaker 1 

And the signal was Mr. 

00:15:38 Speaker 1 

Isaac pressing this button and that lit all the lights underneath the ship, and all the fellas go ****. 

00:15:47 Speaker 1 

And the ship goes down. 

00:15:49 Speaker 1 

But the bottle that held the champagne, the Princess Juliana. 

00:15:54 Speaker 1 

Was to use to launch the ship. 

00:15:56 Speaker 1 

Was held on a device. 

00:15:58 Speaker 1 

That was a spring loaded device rather like my arm, my fist holding a bottle of champagne and it was spring loaded and when she said I bless thee or whatever she did. 

00:16:10 Speaker 1 

Wish you good luck on the waves, she pressed the button and the spring loaded device bumped the bottle up against the bottom of the shed, whereupon this dry isarc pressed the. 

00:16:22 Speaker 1 

And all the fellas hit the wedges and the ship went down. All right? Everything’s under control, except that on the spring loaded device holding the bottle of champagne. There was a safety catch. 

00:16:34 Speaker 1 

So that it couldn’t be accidentally sprung and somebody forgot to take out the safety catch. 

00:16:42 Speaker 1 

And the Princess declared the ship well and truly launched. 

00:16:46 Speaker 1 

Reached over in a grand fashion to press the button. 

00:16:50 Speaker 1 

Izard pressed his button. 

00:16:52 Speaker 1 

The fellows all hit their wedges. 

00:16:53 Speaker 1 

The ship moved off and the safety catch is still on the blasted bottle of champagne and it. 

00:16:59 Speaker 1 

Sits up there and it never did hit. 

00:17:01 Speaker 1 

The ship the ship moved up. 

00:17:04 Speaker 1 

And here’s Betty and Herbert, describing this state of affairs. 

00:17:08 Speaker 1 

And we didn’t know what in hell. 

00:17:11 Speaker 1 

To cover up the embarrassment there was among that group. 

00:17:14 Speaker 1 

As it turns out, they all adjourned to the offices of Yarrows and had themselves tea or drinks or whatever they had, and they subsequently pulled the ship alongside the jetty and slung a rope down from the from the bow with the champagne on it, to the dark side and the. 

00:17:29 Speaker 1 

Princess took the rope and. 

00:17:31 Speaker 1 

Swung the rope down and it banged up against the ship and broke the bottle of champagne, but that was the sort of thing. 

00:17:36 Speaker 1 

And here were Bill Herbert and I describing this episode and trying. 

00:17:42 Speaker 1 

Dams to figure out what to say without describing the shocking embarrassment that the arrows, officials and the Princess were involved in. 


All right. 

00:17:54 Speaker 1 

But I wanted to tell you one more story. 

00:17:57 Speaker 1 

Because I’ve now been out of broadcasting for. 

00:18:01 Speaker 1 

14 years. 

00:18:04 Speaker 1 

14 years. 

00:18:06 Speaker 1 

And it was 12 years before that that this particular program was stopped. 

00:18:13 Speaker 1 

By decision of the then new manager. 

00:18:17 Speaker 1 

Which was his right. So we’re talking of 26 years ago. 

00:18:22 Speaker 1 

14 and 1226 years ago, and I still today. 

00:18:28 Speaker 1 

As frequently as five or six times a year have people stop me on the street and say, are you the fellow that used to tell the bedtime stories about the big red barn? 

00:18:42 Speaker 1 

And I said yes I am. 

00:18:45 Speaker 1 

And that series started in an unusual fashion. 

00:18:50 Speaker 1 

One of the salesman and I were sitting down in the island farms. 

00:18:55 Speaker 1 

Place which then was done on Broughton St. 

00:18:58 Speaker 1 

having a glass of milk and he was trying to figure out something to sell the island farms. 

00:19:03 Speaker 1 

And he said maybe they want to. 

00:19:05 Speaker 1 

Sell milk to. 

00:19:05 Speaker 1 

Children, what the deuce can you do for what? 

00:19:08 Speaker 1 

Would children like? 

00:19:10 Speaker 1 

So we agreed, maybe they’re like bedtime stories. 

00:19:13 Speaker 1 

So he says to me, ****, can you tell bedtime stories? 

00:19:16 Speaker 1 

And I said, sure I can tell bedtime stories. 

00:19:20 Speaker 1 

So he says, OK. 

00:19:24 Speaker 1 

So I dreamt up this idea. 

00:19:26 Speaker 1 

For the Big red barn. 

00:19:29 Speaker 1 

And the big Red Barn was peopled by a bunch of machines, and I’ve always been fond of making machine noises. 

00:19:41 Speaker 1 

Engines of noises like smoke, honk, honk that. 

00:19:45 Speaker 1 

Sort of thing. 

00:19:46 Speaker 1 

And at one time I was fairly good at it and I like doing it and I like children. 

00:19:53 Speaker 1 

So I went back and dreamt up this idea of the big Red Barn peopled by a bunch of a bunch of machinery. 

00:20:00 Speaker 1 

There was Bruce, the big bulldozer, and Betty, the baby bulldozer, and Cuthbert the Crane, and Terry the trailer truck. 

00:20:08 Speaker 1 

And Gus, the gas shovel. 

00:20:11 Speaker 1 

And a bunch. 

00:20:12 Speaker 1 

Of others. 

00:20:14 Speaker 1 

And I was good friends with a fellow called Frank Copley, who used to have a big barn out on Carey Road near Wilkinson. 

00:20:22 Speaker 1 

And that’s where he kept all his equipment. 

00:20:25 Speaker 1 

And it was painted red. 

00:20:27 Speaker 1 

And everybody thought I was imitating that barn. 

00:20:30 Speaker 1 

Well, I wasn’t really here consciously, but any rate, I had these crazy stories and they ran. 

00:20:35 Speaker 1 

Every night after. 

00:20:38 Speaker 1 

7:20 for 10 minutes and they ended at 7:30 and I used to have a gong. And after I’d finished these stories about what was happening to Bruce, the big bulldozer and Betty, the baby bulldozer, and she’d get. 

00:20:52 Speaker 1 

Stuck in a. 

00:20:52 Speaker 1 

Ditch and Bruce would come along and pull her out, complete with engine noises and all work, and then at the. 

00:20:58 Speaker 1 

End of it, I’d say. 

00:20:59 Speaker 1 


00:21:01 Speaker 1 

Time for bed. 

00:21:02 Speaker 1 

Everybody off to bed and I’d bang this gun thing I had. 

00:21:06 Speaker 1 

And we used to hear from dozens and dozens of parents who said that their children simply wouldn’t go to bed until they heard the story of Bruce, the big bulldozer. 

00:21:18 Speaker 1 

And I had told him to get the bed. 

00:21:21 Speaker 1 

And she said, and they used to tell us, remarkably, the little monkeys would go to bed. 

00:21:26 Speaker 1 

Well, today. 

00:21:28 Speaker 1 

26 years later, I’m still hearing stories. 

00:21:33 Speaker 1 

Now I’m hearing stories from people who are grown up. 

00:21:38 Speaker 1 

And they say when I was a youngster. 

00:21:41 Speaker 1 

We used to listen to the stories of the Big Red Barn and you’re the fella for them, they said. 

00:21:47 Speaker 1 

Did you ever keep anything? 

00:21:49 Speaker 1 

I said no because they used to sit down and I’d love them and I’ve kicked myself ever since, but I never. 

00:21:56 Speaker 1 

In fact, when I was away, I used to put some onto a desk, but I never even kept any of the desks and shoot. 

00:22:04 Speaker 1 

I must have done hundreds of them because the show. 

00:22:06 Speaker 1 

Was on the air for it all. 

00:22:09 Speaker 1 

Three or four or five years every night for 10 minutes. 

00:22:12 Speaker 2 

Every night. 

00:22:14 Speaker 1 

Monday through Friday, Monday through Friday 10 minutes, the stories of the Big Red Barn and these machines are in it, and one of the most fascinating little human interest offshoots of that was I told you, Frank Copley’s man Frank and Norm Copley and another another brother, I think. 

00:22:32 Speaker 1 

They had this machinery outfit on Carey Rd. 

00:22:36 Speaker 1 

And his man, when they were out with bulldozers and, you know, children will watch how bulldozers and shovels are working. 

00:22:44 Speaker 1 

They come up to these men and say, is that Bruce, the big bulldozer? 

00:22:48 Speaker 1 

And his men to give him credit, give them credit. 

00:22:51 Speaker 1 

They would never spoil the illusion. 

00:22:55 Speaker 1 

They’d always say no. 

00:22:56 Speaker 1 

This is not Bruce. 

00:22:58 Speaker 1 

Bruce is back in the Big Red barn. 

00:23:00 Speaker 1 

He’s had to have one of his tracks fixed today, or they’d have a fortune track. 

00:23:05 Speaker 1 

You know, the little ones who and I used to have. 

00:23:07 Speaker 1 

Betty 1. 

00:23:07 Speaker 1 

Betty, Betty, Betty, Betty, Betty, Betty. 

00:23:09 Speaker 1 

Like this? 

00:23:10 Speaker 1 

And they they bring a fortune along doing something or other. 

00:23:14 Speaker 1 

And they’d say, is that Betty? Oh, no, this isn’t Betty. It’s one of her friends. But Betty’s out helping Bruce somewhere. And these drivers kept up the illusion for hundreds of Victoria Kitties. 

00:23:28 Speaker 1 

And I thought it was a. 

00:23:29 Speaker 1 

It was a lovely, lovely little. 

00:23:31 Speaker 1 

Thing was hurting. 

00:23:31 Speaker 2 

It would hardly to imagine kids getting even as involved as that now in. 

00:23:35 Speaker 2 

A television program. 

00:23:37 Speaker 1 

Well, I don’t know. 

00:23:38 Speaker 1 

I understand some of them do in these television programs that they run for children in the morning, I don’t know. 

00:23:43 Speaker 1 

But you’ve gotta remember, there was no television those days, you see. 



00:23:46 Speaker 1 

But that was the basic advantage of radio drama and radio. 

00:23:51 Speaker 1 

It relied on imagination and you and you imagined all these things. 

00:23:57 Speaker 1 

You didn’t have murders spelled out. 

00:23:59 Speaker 1 

For you or. 

00:24:00 Speaker 1 

Well, those are spelled out for you in pictures. 

00:24:02 Speaker 1 

You imagined them, and your imagination is a damn sight better than most pictures. 

00:24:09 Speaker 1 

And it worked. 

00:24:10 Speaker 1 

It worked. 

00:24:11 Speaker 1 

Very, very well. 

00:24:12 Speaker 1 

It was a very, very satisfying. 

00:24:15 Speaker 1 

Series that went on for a lot and many, many adults used to listen to it, and I I had many adults stop me and say, you know, we listen to that blogging program. 

00:24:24 Speaker 1 

And I said, well, do you why? 

00:24:25 Speaker 1 

And they said, well, frankly, we really don’t know how you’re going to get yourself out of some of those fixes. 

00:24:31 Speaker 1 

And I said, if it’s any consolation, neither did. 

00:24:33 Speaker 1 

I because I didn’t have any script and I would just have to live my way sometimes into the damndest corners, you know, with the gas shovel up handed in a corner. 

00:24:43 Speaker 1 

The tree stump sticking out his eyes and and. 

00:24:46 Speaker 1 

And he’d have to. 

00:24:48 Speaker 1 

He’d have to call for Bruce. 

00:24:49 Speaker 1 

The big bulldozer. 

00:24:51 Speaker 1 

Then Betty would come along and help. 

00:24:53 Speaker 1 

Then they’d load everybody on Terry the trailer truck. 

00:24:57 Speaker 1 

So at any rate, that was a very satisfying series. 

00:24:59 Speaker 2 

And that was called the Big Red Barn. 

00:25:01 Speaker 1 

Yeah, bedtime story I still. 

00:25:04 Speaker 1 

Have the gun. 

00:25:06 Speaker 1 

They used to bong and the gong, incidentally, was one of these copper Shields that Joe Summers, whom I mentioned they used to put them between insulators on the transmission towers. 

00:25:18 Speaker 1 

And it’s a copper disc above that wide. 

00:25:21 Speaker 1 

And if you hit the thing with a bar like it I did, it made a real bomb. 

00:25:27 Speaker 1 

And it was all that was was a sound identification. 

00:25:30 Speaker 1 

I used to **** it at the start. 

00:25:32 Speaker 1 

And then at the end I say, OK, everybody off to bed, get to bed and bond the thing again. 

00:25:38 Speaker 2 

So there were any any other programs that you worked on? 

00:25:40 Speaker 2 

I’ve got that. 

00:25:41 Speaker 1 

Kind of response. 

00:25:42 Speaker 1 

Ohh Capital City commentary was written to. 

00:25:46 Speaker 1 

I did that for years after Ralph Pashley left. 

00:25:49 Speaker 1 

I wrote all the scripts for Ralph. 

00:25:52 Speaker 1 

And then after he left, I broadcasted and I did a a 15 minute news commentary. 

00:25:59 Speaker 1 

Every night at 6:15 for a good many years, wrote 1500 words a day for that. 

00:26:07 Speaker 1 

And it was. 

00:26:08 Speaker 2 

Like an editorial. 

00:26:09 Speaker 1 

Yes, it was, frankly, editorial, frankly opinion. 

00:26:13 Speaker 1 

Did you need it? 

00:26:14 Speaker 1 

And it was frankly written to be provocative. 

00:26:17 Speaker 1 

And it was tried my best to be factual and reasonably level headed, but it was written to be provocative and it caused a lot of comments. 

00:26:28 Speaker 1 

A lot of controversy and. 

00:26:30 Speaker 1 

Through it I. 

00:26:33 Speaker 1 

Got to know a lot of politicians and others. 

00:26:37 Speaker 1 

But that was that was before the days of open lines, and that that was written. 

00:26:43 Speaker 1 

I used to write that script. 

00:26:45 Speaker 1 

Because there was always a danger of being getting involved in a lawsuit on that one, I became very adept in using a skateboards like may or in my opinion, or it is probable that. 

00:27:02 Speaker 2 

It seems from all the people I’ve talked to that that that broadcasting in those days was something that was really involving that people. 

00:27:10 Speaker 2 

It wasn’t just something you did for a living. 

00:27:12 Speaker 2 

It was. 

00:27:12 Speaker 2 

It was really important. 

00:27:15 Speaker 1 

This is all parking bag, remember, no television. 

00:27:20 Speaker 1 

Only one radio station. 

00:27:23 Speaker 1 

Granted the local papers. 

00:27:26 Speaker 1 

And the local papers, increasingly scared of us. 

00:27:30 Speaker 1 

Because we were preempting their sacred right to news dissemination. 

00:27:34 Speaker 1 

And when I went on with the daily editorial broadcast, they were really upset because before that, you see, they had had a total clear field on the in the. 

00:27:46 Speaker 1 

Area of editorialising. 

00:27:49 Speaker 1 

But one of these scary things about the editorial broadcast was people got to thinking you were a second cousin to God, and there was always a danger that you felt yourself that you were getting to be. 

00:27:59 Speaker 1 

Second cousin to God. 

00:28:01 Speaker 1 

But people would forget that we labeled it as and frankly said every time that it was an opinion, and it was. 

00:28:09 Speaker 2 

But they would take it. 

00:28:10 Speaker 1 

Is that they would tend to take this fact. 

00:28:16 Speaker 1 

On the you know, the old, old premise that it’s so wrong that if you read it in the. 

00:28:19 Speaker 1 

Paper. It’s gotta. 

00:28:20 Speaker 1 

Be right and that could hardly be more incorrect. 

00:28:20 Speaker 2 


00:28:27 Speaker 1 

And opinion is or always should be differentiated from objective reporting. 

00:28:34 Speaker 1 

More and more these days, you listen to a news broadcast these days, and the news broadcasters will continually insert minor, sometimes major, but minor little expressions or observations which are opinion. 

00:28:47 Speaker 1 


00:28:48 Speaker 1 

And that was never allowed in my. 

00:28:51 Speaker 1 

A news broadcast was fact, and that settlement and you were never allowed to put in a you were nailed by the. 

00:29:00 Speaker 1 

By the broadcasting authorities, if you ever intruded any sort of opinion onto a news broadcast. 

00:29:07 Speaker 2 

How often would? 

00:29:08 Speaker 2 

The news be on here in those days. 

00:29:10 Speaker 1 

What about everyone? 

00:29:12 Speaker 1 

We have about to. 

00:29:15 Speaker 1 

8:00 AM. 

00:29:17 Speaker 1 


00:29:23 Speaker 1 

Until that night, we had 15 minute ones. 

00:29:26 Speaker 1 

Rest of the time, they’d be 5 minutes. 

00:29:29 Speaker 2 

Was that true during working or would they work? 

00:29:33 Speaker 2 

Would there be good broadcasts have been? 

00:29:34 Speaker 2 

Longer during the war. 

00:29:35 Speaker 1 

No, no, it takes a lot of material to fill a 15 minute broadcast. 



00:29:42 Speaker 1 

About 1500. 

00:29:43 Speaker 1 

Words in round figures is 100 words a minute. 

00:29:46 Speaker 2 

Was it was the news. 

00:29:49 Speaker 2 

Looked upon as being a primary the primary function, it was entertainment as important as news all. 

00:29:59 Speaker 1 

I would think in those days, perhaps 5050 news didn’t have anywhere near the emphasis nor the staff, but it does in modern broadcasting and modern day broadcasting, chiefly because modern day broadcasters have been able, because of this oversimplified. 

00:30:19 Speaker 1 

2 bit Open line operation to cut down on staff on their programming side. 

00:30:25 Speaker 1 

So they don’t do any remote broadcasting worth a darn. 

00:30:28 Speaker 1 

They don’t do any drama work, and they don’t do any very little sort of set programs. 

00:30:36 Speaker 1 

They have one Joker who sits on the board and runs it from. 

00:30:40 Speaker 1 

At 12 noon until 5:00 in the afternoon, and all I’ve got is 1, Joker and maybe a Joker and an engineer, and he runs all the work. 

00:30:50 Speaker 1 

And an open line broadcast. 

00:30:52 Speaker 1 

They have nothing else is one of the cheapest forms of broadcasting. 

00:30:55 Speaker 1 

Should only have to do is have a guy with a microphone and a whole bunch of tape cassettes in front of him, which he pushes to bring the commercial in and he can operate the board and talk in the microphone all by himself. 

00:31:08 Speaker 2 

So those kind of programs have taken place at the live program. 

00:31:11 Speaker 1 

Event to a very substantial degree, almost totally what you’re trying to think of. 

00:31:16 Speaker 1 

A modern radio station that broadcasts a total speech or a total game. 

00:31:23 Speaker 1 

Or a total concert from anywhere. 

00:31:28 Speaker 1 

Modern station will think it’s doing very well if it if it brings you a 32nd excerpt from some Joker’s speech. 

00:31:37 Speaker 1 

And that in my view is not good at all, because you could say something. 

00:31:42 Speaker 1 

Maybe that is you could hold forth for five minutes and I’d either. 

00:31:47 Speaker 1 

Agree with you or disagree with you. 

00:31:50 Speaker 1 

But presumably you come up with five minutes of reasonably intelligent dissertation on a given subject, but if I proceed to pull 15 seconds out of that five minutes that you’ve been saying I can make you look like a genius or an idiot, depending which 15 seconds I pull out. 

00:32:10 Speaker 1 

So that is, in my view, one of the most dangerous and and irresponsible developments of modern broadcasting, television and radio. 

00:32:19 Speaker 1 

Is the proliferation of these stupid little 10510 fifteen? They think they’re doing a a broadcasting depth. If they’ve got somebody on for 30 or 40 seconds. 

00:32:32 Speaker 2 

Whereas in in the old days you’d. 

00:32:34 Speaker 1 

Give the whole whole speech. 

00:32:36 Speaker 1 

Talk for half an hour. 

00:32:38 Speaker 1 

So you broadcast. 

00:32:38 Speaker 1 

Sole speech and you either wouldn’t like it. 

00:32:42 Speaker 1 

You wouldn’t like it, but at least you. 

00:32:43 Speaker 1 

Hear what he. 

00:32:44 Speaker 1 

Said right so. 

00:32:47 Speaker 2 

Well, that’s that’s really good now you. 

00:32:49 Speaker 2 

Give me some really good.