Fred Bass 4


00:00:03 Speaker 1 

Talking about Ross, Ross built a 60 pound pack short wave. 

00:00:10 Speaker 1 

And this was a long, long time before anybody thought about this. 

00:00:14 Speaker 1 

But he did it so that we didn’t have to pack a lot of macaroni around on the. 

00:00:18 Speaker 1 

Job and. 

00:00:24 Speaker 1 

We had shortwave on the number one fire hole on the fire trucks. 

00:00:31 Speaker 1 

A pickup point was. 

00:00:35 Speaker 1 

A pickup point was the Stanley Park theater in the sound room. 

00:00:42 Speaker 1 

Underneath the stage and that was where we picked up and straight into the transmitter from there. From this pack I used to pack it 65 pack. 

00:00:54 Speaker 1 

I would go out to the. 

00:00:55 Speaker 1 

Airport like I did 2 interviews in less than they happened out at the airport by using that pack. 

00:01:03 Speaker 1 

One was with. 

00:01:05 Speaker 1 

Senator Magnussen, who would just make he made his first survey flight? 

00:01:12 Speaker 1 

What turned out to be the Alaska Highway. 

00:01:14 Speaker 1 

Yeah, right. 

00:01:15 Speaker 1 

He flew up there and we made him come in back. 

00:01:18 Speaker 1 

At the airport and 20 minutes later, I was interviewing John Charles Thomas over another part we could get around. 

00:01:24 Speaker 1 

You see, we didn’t have all that equipment to carry. 

00:01:27 Speaker 2 


00:01:27 Speaker 2 

So that was a nice feature and the radio station consequently got a lot of listeners because you had that so. 

00:01:29 Speaker 1 

You know. 

00:01:32 Speaker 2 

On the spot. 

00:01:32 Speaker 1 

Well, we we were very close to the public in those days, very close to the public. 

00:01:37 Speaker 1 

We we had we used to run to about. 

00:01:42 Speaker 1 

Just 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon on ordinary run, and then we would play an uninterrupted recorded Symphony from 2:00 to 4:00 o’clock every day. 

00:01:53 Speaker 1 

Well, in that two to four, we used to go up with the pack and we go down to Stanley Park or something like that. 

00:01:59 Speaker 1 

And I know we I did a series of Indian legends. 

00:02:03 Speaker 1 

With the advertising manager of the Hudson Bay. 

00:02:08 Speaker 1 

And we used to go and sit in the exact spot that we were talking about and all we had was this pack and we’d have to. 

00:02:14 Speaker 1 

Worry about cables. 

00:02:16 Speaker 2 

So you’d have to without a script. 

00:02:17 Speaker 2 

Was this all done without a script? 

00:02:18 Speaker 1 

Well, well, it was. 

00:02:19 Speaker 1 

It wasn’t exactly a script, but it was done in the form of an interview rather than a legend, right? 

00:02:25 Speaker 1 

I mean, I would say, well, what? 

00:02:27 Speaker 1 

How did this come about? 

00:02:28 Speaker 1 

So he would answer it. 

00:02:29 Speaker 1 

You see, he would actually tell the legend. 

00:02:31 Speaker 1 

And we did in the form of a an interview like you and I are doing. 

00:02:34 Speaker 1 


00:02:34 Speaker 1 

Now, right? 

00:02:35 Speaker 1 

Yeah, he asked. 

00:02:36 Speaker 1 

I asked questions. 

00:02:37 Speaker 1 

He answered them. 

00:02:38 Speaker 2 

But this would have been before. 

00:02:39 Speaker 2 

The war, yeah. 

00:02:41 Speaker 1 

Well, the oh, oh, yeah. 

00:02:41 Speaker 2 

You. You started this before. 

00:02:43 Speaker 1 

This is back in the 30s, is back in the. 

00:02:47 Speaker 1 

Back in the early days of radio. 

00:02:49 Speaker 2 

Let let me just identify myself that I’m a Emmanuel Ronson. 

00:02:52 Speaker 2 

I’m talking to Fred Bass and today is the November 30th. 

00:02:56 Speaker 2 

1982 and I’m at the C KWX studios. I’m talking to Fred Bass about the early days in radio, and I I wanted to start maybe by asking you. 

00:03:09 Speaker 2 

How you happened to start in radio? 

00:03:11 Speaker 2 

You were telling me just earlier on some of your. 

00:03:14 Speaker 1 

Well, in 1928 the I was a musical director and theater day as the portable and Silent Pictures. 

00:03:24 Speaker 1 

And the in the spring of 1928, they notified me that the talkies were now in and I was out, and I took a job doing a meal, casting in a cafe and. 

00:03:39 Speaker 1 

Ross McIntyre. 

00:03:41 Speaker 1 

Go ahead and turn. 

00:03:43 Speaker 1 

Had this amateur license he used to get me to go over and help him do a little broadcasting, which I did. 

00:03:51 Speaker 1 

And I never thought of getting into the business until Ross asked me one day how I would like to try it. 

00:03:57 Speaker 1 

And I said I wouldn’t mind if I, but I was not mechanically inclined. 

00:04:02 Speaker 1 

But he said, oh, well, I said we’ll give you a job down the transmit him. 

00:04:05 Speaker 1 

I said. 

00:04:06 Speaker 1 

I won’t guarantee you’ll get any money for it, but we’ll give me a job. 

00:04:10 Speaker 1 

Hand them. 

00:04:13 Speaker 1 

I went down to the transmitter and we had this Uncle Jerry program with the children’s, with the little dulcimer going up in the studio, rigged jig jig, and then we become, I’m sure, a lot of people remember that. 

00:04:26 Speaker 2 

I can remember talking to some people and they gave me exactly the the way you did. 

00:04:30 Speaker 2 

It so it’s. 

00:04:31 Speaker 2 

Remembered by a lot of people, that was uncle. 

00:04:33 Speaker 1 

Uncle Jerry, Joe taggett. 

00:04:35 Speaker 1 

Well, he got a job with the. 

00:04:37 Speaker 1 

He got a job in Ottawa and. 

00:04:41 Speaker 1 

His program was dumped into my lap eventually, but as I said, he was telling him just now. 

00:04:46 Speaker 1 

I want afternoon. 

00:04:48 Speaker 1 

They phoned down, kind of frantic haste and said. 

00:04:52 Speaker 1 

Look, we haven’t got anybody to play the Dawson. 

00:04:55 Speaker 1 

Thomas happening. 

00:04:56 Speaker 1 

Will you come up the studio? 

00:04:58 Speaker 1 

So I went up the studio and I played it. 

00:05:01 Speaker 1 

And when I got through Harold Paulson came out, he was the manager of the station at that time. 

00:05:06 Speaker 1 

Although I’d been with the station before he before he was there. 

00:05:12 Speaker 1 

You said, did you ever think of being an announcer? 

00:05:14 Speaker 1 

And I said no, I don’t know anything about this. 

00:05:17 Speaker 1 

Game at all. 

00:05:18 Speaker 1 

You know, I’m going to give you an audition. So he gave me an audition and there was a news news 1A musical one and a commercial. And he said, all right, you don’t go back the transmitter, you work up up here. 

00:05:32 Speaker 1 

From here in the studio and three months later, George Taggart, who had rolled up a large registered list of kiddies with his program for the Hudson Bay, George went to Ottawa and they dumped the whole thing in my lap and George had about 9000 children and. 

00:05:52 Speaker 1 

They dressed me up as a captain and called me captain. 

00:05:55 Speaker 1 

Freddy got even got a chocolate bar out with my picture. 

00:06:00 Speaker 1 

And the first thing I know that I had a membership of 23,000 registered kids. 

00:06:07 Speaker 2 

They would write you in. 

00:06:08 Speaker 2 

And you’d have a fan club. 

00:06:10 Speaker 2 

So it worked then. 

00:06:11 Speaker 1 

Well, the the idea, of course it was getting mailing list I imagine. 

00:06:15 Speaker 1 

But these kids had to register at the store and they we would do a program. 

00:06:20 Speaker 1 

Junior G men. 

00:06:22 Speaker 1 

And we did that program on Friday night from 5:00 to 5:30 Friday night in the studios up on the roof. 

00:06:29 Speaker 1 

But Saturday morning I went down and did a live show on the 6th floor of the Bay where they had the the background was supposed to be a ship and we used to put on life talent shows. 

00:06:41 Speaker 1 

We used a lot. 

00:06:42 Speaker 1 

Type talent mode. 

00:06:43 Speaker 2 


00:06:43 Speaker 2 

What about the the junior gman. 

00:06:45 Speaker 2 

What kind of program was that? 

00:06:47 Speaker 1 

Oh, it’s just a name they gave it. 

00:06:50 Speaker 1 

So to keep the kids banded together, but they got to, they got to the point that there were so many kids that used to come into the used to come in on Saturday morning show, they’d all go tearing through the store and they’d knock over displays over and eventually. 

00:07:05 Speaker 1 

The baby had done a big deal. 

00:07:06 Speaker 1 

Their mezzanine floor, every room on the mezzanine floor. 

00:07:10 Speaker 1 

Was for the. 

00:07:11 Speaker 1 

This there was a medical and dental. 

00:07:14 Speaker 1 

There was a coloring room that all sorts of things. 

00:07:18 Speaker 1 

Every room on them. 

00:07:19 Speaker 1 

As an employer, I mean it really got a big, big, big thing, but it got got too big because they would. 

00:07:25 Speaker 1 

These kids would all be dashing down there on the side in the morning, they tear through the store and knocking over everything on the counters and. 

00:07:31 Speaker 1 

And they had to clean up. 

00:07:32 Speaker 1 

And that was what Paul had done up. 

00:07:34 Speaker 2 

What kind of programming did you use? 

00:07:37 Speaker 1 

Ohh, I’d just junior talent, junior talent, singers and dancers. 

00:07:42 Speaker 1 

Not well, not so much. 

00:07:43 Speaker 1 

Nancy for singers and sketches and that’s. 

00:07:46 Speaker 2 

You were hosting the show yourself. 

00:07:47 Speaker 2 

You were the host. 

00:07:48 Speaker 1 

Of the show. 

00:07:49 Speaker 1 

Yeah, captain free. 

00:07:52 Speaker 2 

Used to give them prizes and. 

00:07:55 Speaker 1 

Yeah, it was. 

00:07:55 Speaker 1 

It was a promotion. 

00:07:56 Speaker 2 

There I just wondered if anybody that came out of your program became. 

00:08:02 Speaker 2 

A personality themselves. 

00:08:03 Speaker 1 

I’d never know. I never know because I didn’t know happen with 23,000 registered, they were all registered. They had to have their parents sign the card. 

00:08:13 Speaker 1 

And then, you know, got too big. 

00:08:14 Speaker 1 

So that that that was just one thing that happened. 

00:08:17 Speaker 1 

But the the thing I think that people Remember Me mostly for and I don’t want to make this too personal. 

00:08:25 Speaker 1 

It was the depression in 30s we used to put on at night at midnight or after we got through at 10:30. 

00:08:35 Speaker 1 

We used to go in there and spend many hours all during the night selling stuff that was donated like. 

00:08:44 Speaker 1 

I had a box car, a box car load of coal. 

00:08:47 Speaker 1 

I sold one night. 


Over the. 

00:08:49 Speaker 1 

Air over the auction sort of thing. 

00:08:52 Speaker 2 

How would you do that? 

00:08:53 Speaker 1 

Would just, well, we took bids, we took bids for it, you see, and all the money was donated to to the people that were really needed it the this, this you must remember was the 30s. 

00:09:03 Speaker 2 

Would you sell it? 

00:09:04 Speaker 2 

Buy it? 

00:09:06 Speaker 1 

The the depression was 30s bad. 

00:09:06 Speaker 2 


00:09:07 Speaker 2 

You don’t want employment and welfare. 

00:09:10 Speaker 1 

And I think. 

00:09:12 Speaker 2 

So you sold that by the by the box car load. 

00:09:15 Speaker 1 

No, it’s all about the tongue. 

00:09:15 Speaker 2 

Or just by. 

00:09:17 Speaker 2 

By the time. 

00:09:17 Speaker 1 

You know McLeod river. 

00:09:20 Speaker 1 

And they would deliver it and all those the oil companies delivered a couple of 1000 gallons of gasoline and all this sort of we sold merchandise over there. 

00:09:31 Speaker 1 

But it it was freed up going because my first program in the morning was around 6:30. 

00:09:37 Speaker 1 

6:30 to 8:00 and I used to sit at the old piano in the studio and do silly songs, give the weather report, give news and, you know, regular your morning. 

00:09:45 Speaker 2 

Some morning show. 

00:09:46 Speaker 2 

Good to go. 

00:09:47 Speaker 1 

Then at 8:00 o’clock, of course, we had the Tremaine guys hand and his wife, they they come on. 

00:09:52 Speaker 1 

That’s the one. 

00:09:53 Speaker 1 

She just died just recently, Tremaine. 

00:09:57 Speaker 1 

His name? 

00:09:58 Speaker 1 

And Barbara tremaine? Well, that her her husband’s name was Tremaine. And we had we had a program them called Jane and Jim at breakfast. 

00:10:01 Speaker 2 

Oh, yes, right. 

00:10:10 Speaker 1 

They they were with us for a number of years. 

00:10:12 Speaker 1 

We were very good friends. 

00:10:13 Speaker 1 

Too the amazing thing about those two was that they they also did a major King series of detective stories, which they wrote themselves, and they played all the voices, just two people. 

00:10:25 Speaker 1 

These these were the early days. 

00:10:27 Speaker 1 

There was no money around, you know, every Friday night we used to have a we used to have a big musical. 

00:10:34 Speaker 1 

An hour and a half musical written by Jack Gilmore, who was with the CNIB players over at the railway station, and they moved over here. 

00:10:44 Speaker 1 

We had a a 10 piece Mama, like orchestra, Garon Holly, who was a Russian Tamil. 

00:10:52 Speaker 1 

And I think the most anybody ever got out of that show was $3 a head. 

00:10:58 Speaker 1 

But you see, in those days there was something mystical about mystical about this, this thing called broadcasting. 

00:11:04 Speaker 1 

People looked upon us as if we were men from outer space sort of thing. 

00:11:08 Speaker 1 

They they sold with a lot of glamour to it, never realizing it was a good old shirt sleeve. 

00:11:13 Speaker 1 

Hard work because you did everything. 

00:11:15 Speaker 1 

This isn’t how you learned the business. 

00:11:18 Speaker 1 

You would go down and see us sponsor. 

00:11:20 Speaker 1 

You would sign this contract, you’d come back to the station, you’d have his material. 

00:11:26 Speaker 1 

You would write the commercials, then you would pick the recorded music he was going to use, and then you went on the air and you operate and announced an operator. 

00:11:34 Speaker 1 

So you did every job there was in the station. 

00:11:37 Speaker 2 

You mentioned Jack Gilmore. 

00:11:39 Speaker 1 

You know Jack Gilmore. 

00:11:40 Speaker 1 

He’s he lives over in, he’s over in West Vancouver and he’s still alive. 

00:11:45 Speaker 2 

I actually went and talked to Jack. 

00:11:47 Speaker 1 

They they. 

00:11:52 Speaker 1 

Posting they they built these plays every week. 

00:11:57 Speaker 1 

And and I think I think the the most money we got everybody, everybody worked for about 3 bucks that is on the not on the show but on the in the show. 

00:12:05 Speaker 2 

So they were doing a show at the C RCV station. 

00:12:10 Speaker 2 

The CNR station then come over and do a. 

00:12:12 Speaker 1 

Well, they weren’t. They were working with the staff over there because one time they were, we had a network that used to come on 10:30 in the morning with Stanley makes dead all the way from the east, right across from all the stations, took it, Stanley. Max stayed with an orchestra and then. 

00:12:30 Speaker 1 

Oh, I I go back before that because I can remember. 

00:12:34 Speaker 1 

We can remember that the two popular stations, you won’t believe it and two popular station. When I first joined WX and 28. 

00:12:42 Speaker 1 

Was KSL Salt Lake City and KD KA in Philadelphia. 

00:12:48 Speaker 1 

So people listening you, you pick them up here, right? 

00:12:52 Speaker 1 

And another thing was up on the roof of the Georgia. 

00:12:54 Speaker 1 

We had a big RCA receiving set and that’s a 14 story building without a 13th floor and we could turn on. 

00:13:03 Speaker 1 

We could turn on during the day and we could pick up news coming from London on that set. 

00:13:08 Speaker 1 

Because the whole building was steel, it was, you know. 

00:13:12 Speaker 2 

You you. When I first was talking to you, you said I was asking you about other broadcasting stations that were there in 1928 and you were saying that the first stations. What stations? 

00:13:22 Speaker 1 

Well, yeah. 

00:13:24 Speaker 1 

When, when did you get the? 

00:13:25 Speaker 1 

Did you get the story of the how it had recently started? 

00:13:29 Speaker 2 

Not yet from, not from I’ve heard. 

00:13:33 Speaker 1 

Well, it was. 

00:13:35 Speaker 1 

I can explain it to him. 

00:13:36 Speaker 1 

It started actually in the non mode gasoline station. 

00:13:40 Speaker 1 

And Arthur Halstead, who was affectionately known as Sparks Grand Guy. 

00:13:47 Speaker 1 

He took a holiday in the states he used to like to go down to Phoenix and his wife Ruby. 

00:13:54 Speaker 1 

I think Ruby is around someplace, but I don’t don’t know where she is now, whether she’s living with her daughter across the line or she used to be here. 

00:14:03 Speaker 1 

But what he did was he got down the States and he found this new thing called Radio. 

00:14:12 Speaker 1 

He bought a set called Agrebi. 

00:14:16 Speaker 1 

And he brought it home here to Vancouver. 

00:14:18 Speaker 1 

Not here to make it an enamel. 

00:14:21 Speaker 1 

And Don Taylor, who was a bit of a monkeying around with electrical things, built a transmitter, which WX has here right now. 

00:14:34 Speaker 1 

And he built a small transmitter. 

00:14:37 Speaker 1 

And they. 

00:14:40 Speaker 1 

What would happen? 

00:14:41 Speaker 1 

At Holstead got the agency for the for the grieving. 

00:14:47 Speaker 1 

And So what he would do, he would he would go out and promote somebody to listen to it, to sell he sets. 

00:14:54 Speaker 1 

And so every time he wants to sell a set, they turn on the transmitter and out would go sparks with the with the car and with the machine in the car. 

00:15:03 Speaker 1 

And this is how he sold them. 

00:15:05 Speaker 1 

And this is what got him. 

00:15:06 Speaker 1 

Until the end of the broadcasting business, because you had to get a, you had to get a license. 

00:15:12 Speaker 1 

He didn’t. 

00:15:12 Speaker 1 

Know that at the time but he. 

00:15:17 Speaker 1 

We had a little we had a lot of fun with that, but the the point was that Ckmo had opened up here six months before this was April the 1st, 1923. 

00:15:29 Speaker 1 

And Ckmo would open up here six months before. 

00:15:37 Speaker 1 

28 and or during 28 and. 

00:15:42 Speaker 1 

This gave sparks the idea to come over to Vancouver and go into the business, so he he took a home gas station up on 14th and Granville home gas got, you know, regular station. 

00:15:55 Speaker 1 

And then he went into the he went into the broadcasting business from that. 

00:16:01 Speaker 1 

Wavelength so hard to get. 

00:16:03 Speaker 1 

And we had three stations on the one wavelength. 

00:16:06 Speaker 1 

We had several tried with his who had the Wesley Church and and there was. 

00:16:14 Speaker 1 

The most famous character I think had ever lived in those days was the Vancouver province who had Earl Kelly, and he was known as Mr. 

00:16:24 Speaker 1 

Good Evening because he always used to come in with good and he always finished up with some waste crack lying. 

00:16:34 Speaker 1 

I wish. 

00:16:36 Speaker 1 

Let’s see. 

00:16:37 Speaker 1 

We wish all were lighthouse keepers and all the people at sea and all the railroads, and especially the June brides. 

00:16:47 Speaker 1 

Good evening. 

00:16:49 Speaker 1 

And he was not in Mr. 

00:16:50 Speaker 1 

Good evening and he came, he he did at one time move into WX. 

00:16:55 Speaker 1 

Later on many, many years later, but we had to share 333 years. 3 organisations had the three on the one wavelength. 

00:17:05 Speaker 1 

Sorry, it meant that we would run sight of seven 3730 here in Vancouver and. 

00:17:13 Speaker 1 

And 7:30 at night. And one would come, Kerry with the news and then he would take over. But that that was all the province really wanted. 

00:17:21 Speaker 1 

Was just a news broadcast and so there was a gap in there. 

00:17:25 Speaker 1 

And then they opened up a bit of a studio down there and brought on Uncle Billy Hassle and all that sort of. 

00:17:31 Speaker 1 

But it’s it, it it. 

00:17:33 Speaker 1 

It was a long progression. 

00:17:35 Speaker 1 

I mean, it eventually took place and nobody really went out to break their neck about creating something, but actually we were. 

00:17:42 Speaker 1 

We were creating a new industry. 

00:17:45 Speaker 2 

Did you feel when you first started, did you feel the potential of that it was going to? 

00:17:52 Speaker 2 

Do you feel the excitement of it that it was going to be something big, or did you just? 

00:17:55 Speaker 1 

No, frankly, frankly, no, because we were all so busy. 

00:18:00 Speaker 1 

We had a small staff and we had all day to work from early in the morning till midnight and then with the split, the split shifts thing with the split wavelength, which of course that when we started. 

00:18:15 Speaker 1 

Being high power then that amalgamation took place, but this that was way later. 

00:18:22 Speaker 1 

No, the. 

00:18:24 Speaker 1 

We never looked at it. 

00:18:26 Speaker 1 

I I don’t. 

00:18:26 Speaker 1 

I can’t say that we ever looked at it as this is gonna be big industry. 

00:18:31 Speaker 1 

No, no. 

00:18:32 Speaker 1 

We were so busy and it was so exciting because everything that we did hadn’t been done before. 

00:18:41 Speaker 1 

And as Mac used to say, well, nobody’s ever done it. But let’s go out and try and see what happens. 

00:18:47 Speaker 1 

And this is how we solved it. 

00:18:48 Speaker 1 

Literally and and no, none of us. 

00:18:50 Speaker 1 

I don’t. 

00:18:51 Speaker 1 

I don’t think ever thought of, but that we were creating an industry because it did become an industry from last days. 

00:18:59 Speaker 1 

That people were still using earphones to pick up long distance. 

00:19:04 Speaker 1 

And it’s. 

00:19:07 Speaker 1 

Because it was exciting work and you were too busy, you didn’t even worry about how many hours you put in. 

00:19:12 Speaker 1 

There was a job to do them. 

00:19:13 Speaker 1 

Like for instance, we got all our cooperation, Trev Coleman, who was a public relations man for the CP. 

00:19:22 Speaker 1 

He came to us one day, he said. 

00:19:23 Speaker 1 

Look, he says you your was down there with all your equipment to the railway station. 

00:19:27 Speaker 1 

Important people come through. 

00:19:29 Speaker 1 

You always seem to get the important people. 

00:19:32 Speaker 1 

Tell you what I’m going to do is I’m going to wire every platform for you. 

00:19:37 Speaker 1 

And he wired every platform. 

00:19:38 Speaker 1 

So, but a big shot like RW Bandit when he was premier, he came through. 

00:19:44 Speaker 1 

I interviewed him on the back on the back steps to the train and all we had to do was go down. 

00:19:48 Speaker 1 

Plug in we were. 

00:19:49 Speaker 2 

On the air, right. 

00:19:50 Speaker 2 

This is at the CPR station. 

00:19:52 Speaker 1 

Yeah. And Trev Coleman last time at well, 67 when I was in, when I was doing the. 

00:19:59 Speaker 1 

The world’s fair? 

00:20:02 Speaker 1 

I went up to the CPR offices and my two oldest find out what happened to Trevor and who should open the door. 

00:20:09 Speaker 1 

But Trip caught himself from the guy that had wired the station for us. 

00:20:14 Speaker 2 


00:20:15 Speaker 2 

So you, you did a lot of going out and. 

00:20:18 Speaker 1 

Yeah, we we did a lot of outside work. 

00:20:21 Speaker 1 

Yeah, we did a lot of outside. 

00:20:22 Speaker 1 

Great, because from the. 

00:20:23 Speaker 1 

Place we couldn’t always get talent and what talent everybody wanted to get on there. 

00:20:29 Speaker 1 

That was a trouble and you’d waste more time doing auditions and that sort of. 

00:20:33 Speaker 1 

Stuff, but people seem to think there was a glamour about the thing we we never felt that way about it. 

00:20:39 Speaker 1 

We just was sweating about it. 

00:20:42 Speaker 2 

The long hours I guess and. 

00:20:44 Speaker 1 

Well, but you never noticed the long hours because you were too busy. 

00:20:47 Speaker 1 

Something was exciting. 

00:20:48 Speaker 1 

New happening all the time. 

00:20:51 Speaker 2 

And I guess you must have been at some of the bridge openings and? 

00:20:57 Speaker 1 

Oh, well, we we took the we took our packing out and we did the opening of the the bridge here. 

00:21:03 Speaker 1 

I had met. 

00:21:04 Speaker 1 

I had met we we met at our business. 

00:21:06 Speaker 1 

If something was happening to try and get hold of people. 

00:21:09 Speaker 1 

If there was artist. 

00:21:10 Speaker 1 

Meantime, us who can get them on an interview and being a piano player, I got mixed up in quite a lot of it. 

00:21:16 Speaker 1 

Like for instance, I played for Sammy Davis junior when he was 11 years of age. 

00:21:22 Speaker 1 

Yeah, but that was during the war. 

00:21:24 Speaker 1 

That was during the war when he was kind of a year or so down here. 

00:21:29 Speaker 1 

No, the the whole thing was so exciting that you you were always looking for things that were happening and we opened. 

00:21:38 Speaker 1 

We opened the, we opened the bridge. 

00:21:42 Speaker 1 

We opened the bridge the the landscape bridge. 

00:21:47 Speaker 1 

We opened that bridge and just about before before that was built, though I had interviewed Guinness and the Exchequer of Great Britain, who had come here to look this over by the British property. 

00:21:49 Speaker 2 

That was before the war, right? 

00:22:02 Speaker 1 

And I had lunch with them. 

00:22:04 Speaker 1 

And so I got in on the ground floor and then so we got the whole story and. 

00:22:08 Speaker 2 

So that that would be 1936. 

00:22:11 Speaker 1 

Or somewhere around that and my dates are not too because I’m rambling around. 

00:22:16 Speaker 1 

We also opened the Patella Ridge in New Westminster. 

00:22:19 Speaker 1 

We had Ridge Dad, who was one of our salesman at that time. 

00:22:23 Speaker 1 

We had him on the tug coming up the river. 

00:22:27 Speaker 1 

We had a station set up in the middle of the bridge. 

00:22:31 Speaker 1 

We had a man at each end of the bridge. 

00:22:35 Speaker 1 

And we did the whole thing from all those angles, and it was in a beautiful howling hailstorm. 

00:22:41 Speaker 1 

In fact, one of the things that I prized and in one of my scrapbooks, I still have the script, which looks like it was done on crepe paper because the hail just go just peppered the paper. 

00:22:54 Speaker 2 

1928 was a station called CWX. 

00:22:58 Speaker 1 

CKW WX, when I when I joined and it was a prior to that, I think it was CCKCDI think it was something that was when it was when they first got the first license, but it was it as far as I can. 


You see. 

00:23:13 Speaker 1 

Remember, it was always seeking everything. 

00:23:16 Speaker 1 

He ran a magazine in in. 

00:23:19 Speaker 1 

I’ve been curious now. 

00:23:20 Speaker 2 

This is. 

00:23:22 Speaker 1 

Will reader. Yeah, and. 

00:23:25 Speaker 1 

Later on, he had a program which was father and son because his son was an organist and they used to do a program called Father and Son. 

00:23:34 Speaker 1 

It was kind of a. 

00:23:36 Speaker 1 

Little topical thing and not not. 

00:23:40 Speaker 1 

They read poetry and that sort of thing, but it’s quite possible that will really did do a copy of that opening of the the toll bridge. 

00:23:50 Speaker 1 

But he ran a magazine. 

00:23:53 Speaker 1 

And I know he put on a. 

00:23:56 Speaker 1 

People want to make contest in which. 

00:24:00 Speaker 1 

Do you know who was your favorite announcer? 

00:24:03 Speaker 1 

And which was your favorite program? 

00:24:04 Speaker 1 

And I can also remember Stanley Max. 

00:24:06 Speaker 1 

Ted’s program was the favorite for the public. 

00:24:09 Speaker 1 

And you know these these, these things. 

00:24:12 Speaker 1 

The unfortunate part of it is I kept scrapbooks and. 

00:24:19 Speaker 1 

They’ve disappeared. 

00:24:21 Speaker 1 

Because I lent them to somebody of the UBC, they said they wanted the microfilm from my book, my scrapbooks, and I lent them a bunch of my early scrapbooks, and I’ve never seen them since. I’ve lost all those years from 1928 on. 

00:24:40 Speaker 2 

OK, so they. 

00:24:41 Speaker 2 

CKC FDC had started in April 1st 19. 

00:24:45 Speaker 2 

23 and then I’m all right. Right. OK. I was going to ask you. I was talking to Harold Paulson one day, and he was telling me about a radio program called the Radio Lumber Night Lumberjack Nightclub. 

00:24:58 Speaker 1 

The radio lumberjacks that was one of the one of the actually there was a film named Harry Mckelvey and a few other people who were working actually by the companies. 

00:25:08 Speaker 1 

Now Kelly Douglas. 

00:25:09 Speaker 1 

But they they put on a show called the Lumberjacks. 

00:25:13 Speaker 1 

This this is after the station got started going. 

00:25:17 Speaker 1 

And this was before I joined before I joined the station. This was between the 1923 and 28. In that five years, and it was, it was the Lumberjacks, and they were on once a week. 

00:25:32 Speaker 1 

I’m trying to think of some of the other guys that were around that, but it was it was a lively musical show and. 

00:25:41 Speaker 1 

I didn’t. I didn’t possess a set in those days. Myself too, too busy to try to find a living, but that was that came on in 1923. See, I was working in the theaters. 

00:25:55 Speaker 1 

I was a musical director in the theaters. 

00:25:56 Speaker 1 

Apple from from the end of the first world. 

00:25:59 Speaker 2 

War here in Vancouver. 

00:26:01 Speaker 1 

Over in Westminster and but we had a waterfall and theory has to be known as the Edison but now it’s. 

00:26:07 Speaker 2 

In Westminster, where where would you be performing in Westminster? 

00:26:14 Speaker 1 

The paramount or something. 

00:26:16 Speaker 1 

It’s a picture show anyway, but it always was a picture show, but it had Belleville too. 

00:26:20 Speaker 1 

We had all we had. 

00:26:21 Speaker 1 

The Orpheum talent coming through. 

00:26:24 Speaker 1 

Because I I I know that they do have that I got a notification that they have a tape of the early days of tiena on me and it’s got a number because they notified me over in the archives. 

00:26:37 Speaker 1 

Because those were the days when I played. 

00:26:40 Speaker 1 

I had an orchestra, but we played the silent movie and then we played an hour and a half silent movie and then we do an hour and a half and. 

00:26:50 Speaker 1 

I played a lot of artists who were going up the ladder in those days back there in 1923. 

00:26:57 Speaker 1 

And it was. 

00:26:58 Speaker 1 

I don’t want to get into this yet on this because this has has nothing to do with it, with the, with the radio, and they already have the story on that which I 

00:27:07 Speaker 2 

His name? Who? 

00:27:08 Speaker 2 

That I’ve come across is these these Becker is that? 

00:27:13 Speaker 1 

Ohh, ****. 

00:27:14 Speaker 1 

These Becker. 

00:27:15 Speaker 1 

Yeah, ****. 

00:27:15 Speaker 1 

These Berger, he and I were the. 

00:27:18 Speaker 1 

He and I were the two. 

00:27:20 Speaker 1 

We were the two top contenders for who was the best announcer in town who in this, this thing that I’ve talked about will read of putting out the magazine and taking that we both want. 

00:27:34 Speaker 1 

But now **** **** was. 

00:27:39 Speaker 1 

**** was a see. Who was he with or CJOR in? I think CJ over by this time was in business and **** was in the top man. 

00:27:52 Speaker 1 

But he finally ended up with ****. 

00:27:55 Speaker 1 

I never had too much to do with **** because we were. 

00:27:58 Speaker 1 

You know we. 

00:27:58 Speaker 1 

Were competitors and we knew each other, you know, but we have deep respect for each other, and Jack eventually got into. 

00:28:11 Speaker 1 

When the Second World War broke out, he he got into the broadcasting business with the with the BBC in London and from there he he went right through overseas. 

00:28:26 Speaker 1 

That time, what happened to ****? 

00:28:27 Speaker 1 

I never know. 

00:28:29 Speaker 1 

Never heard anymore of him. 

00:28:30 Speaker 1 

I do know some of the things he used to do from the BBC because he was on. 

00:28:35 Speaker 1 

He was operating him at the end of the war. He was operating the forces network. He and then another young fellow that came from CKWX. 

00:28:45 Speaker 1 

Who had become a captain in the artillery. 

00:28:48 Speaker 1 

They had the armed forces network and one of the boys that worked here in the station was also working on that network. 

00:28:55 Speaker 1 

I’m trying to think of his name is now. 

00:28:57 Speaker 1 

That they were there after the war was over. 

00:29:00 Speaker 1 

Seven years later, they were there. 

00:29:06 Speaker 1 

Yeah, ****, **** Diespeck and we, we were never too close. 

00:29:08 Speaker 1 

So I mean we, you know, we had our jobs and we, we we met them in different places, but we never spent a lot of time together. 

00:29:16 Speaker 2 

They were, I I guess that in nowadays they have ratings and experienced rating competitions between the stations that you that was that that kind of pressure existed in those. 

00:29:26 Speaker 2 

Days too. 

00:29:26 Speaker 1 

It was more. 

00:29:27 Speaker 1 

It was more of the ratings that they had, the the contest that they had were for the popularity of the artists and the announcers and and the musicians. 

00:29:37 Speaker 1 

They they were the kind of popularity contest there, and it wasn’t, it was, you know, who was the best guy and. 

00:29:44 Speaker 1 

Handling this kind of music, who was, I guess, the best guy? 

00:29:47 Speaker 1 

And who was the? 

00:29:48 Speaker 1 

Overall top announcers and I know **** and I were listed as the two top announcers, but. 

00:29:57 Speaker 1 

We never, we never made a big deal or we’re too busy we didn’t have. 

Part 2

Audio file 



00:00:02 Speaker 1 

And they were into it. 

00:00:03 Speaker 1 

They they were all Canada radio facilities operating out of out of Edmonton. 

00:00:08 Speaker 1 

They had a transcription service and today they’re still in business. 

00:00:13 Speaker 1 

The same outfit still in business, but it’s all under silker and they even have their own recording company in Toronto. 

00:00:21 Speaker 1 

Because one thing that one of the things that Carson set up was that MGM records would would be made in Canada, in Toronto, and he took a fellow named Mckim from here to be the manager of that. 

00:00:37 Speaker 2 

So that that was the all Canada. 

00:00:40 Speaker 1 

Yeah, they all Canada set up. 

00:00:41 Speaker 1 

Yeah, well, that was Caleb and Carson. 

00:00:42 Speaker 2 

I see, right? 

00:00:43 Speaker 2 

That’s the HTML here, right? 

00:00:46 Speaker 1 

Never into everything, but they they owned they own, they owned stocks and wisers W6 brewery over here. I mean, they were into everything. 

00:00:59 Speaker 2 

In in 1928, when you first started CKWX. 

00:01:05 Speaker 2 

Where? Where was it located? 

00:01:08 Speaker 1 

Well, I first started. 

00:01:09 Speaker 2 

Yeah, right. Right. 

00:01:10 Speaker 1 

Well, and transmitter was 1220 Seymour St. which was the 2nd floor of an electric workshop owned by a fellow named Longley. 

00:01:19 Speaker 1 

That was 1220. Seymour down just down the hill. That was in the when we were down the low hundreds. 

00:01:27 Speaker 1 

The studios were rooted. 

00:01:29 Speaker 1 

They originally set up. 

00:01:32 Speaker 1 

Just before I joined the station, I think they had a studio set up in one of the. 

00:01:40 Speaker 1 

One of the hotels down here. 

00:01:43 Speaker 1 

I know we had a studio in Westminster in the cafe because I used to operate that when I first got started, I used to operate that from every Wednesday night and we had to get up and we had to get off at 7:30 because. 

00:01:59 Speaker 1 

The province was going to come on and take over for the rest of the evening, or several. 

00:02:03 Speaker 1 

Trout was coming in. 

00:02:05 Speaker 1 

Several Trout went mostly for the church on Sunday. 

00:02:10 Speaker 1 

They they had. 

00:02:12 Speaker 1 

Oh, it was in the name of the hotel. 

00:02:14 Speaker 2 

That Belmont was that was that. 

00:02:16 Speaker 1 

Belmont and Belmont, and I think they had a fire there. 

00:02:18 Speaker 1 

There was a fire in the hotel and this was when they got the penthouse on La Georgia. 

00:02:26 Speaker 1 

On the on the Georgia Hotel. 

00:02:28 Speaker 2 

Right after the. 

00:02:28 Speaker 1 

And that was that was where that was by that time I had I had been started working in the with Ross and the boys down at O’Connor and the rest of them down at the transmitter and got shoved up up into the unexpectedly. 

00:02:46 Speaker 2 

You were. 

00:02:47 Speaker 2 

You were said you were doing some broadcasts from New Westminster. 

00:02:50 Speaker 2 

What? What was it? 

00:02:51 Speaker 1 

Well, that was when we split the wavelength this evening when they found out that I’d been doing costing for him. 

00:02:57 Speaker 1 

Costing for him. 

00:03:00 Speaker 1 

For a cafe, they took the management into taking a room down the basement and said, hey, we’ll, we’ll broadcast them here. 

00:03:09 Speaker 1 

And the cafe was all for it. 

00:03:11 Speaker 2 

But what kind of broadcast did you do? 

00:03:13 Speaker 1 

There, well, we we took out. 

00:03:14 Speaker 1 

We’re too old out there in Westminster. 

00:03:17 Speaker 1 

I was living in Westminster at the time. 

00:03:19 Speaker 2 

And you played the piano and announced and. 

00:03:21 Speaker 1 

Oh, we only put the artist on and everything else, but we did it from the basement of the cafe. 

00:03:26 Speaker 1 

They set it up to the studio and then afterwards. 

00:03:28 Speaker 1 

So we moved over to the. 

00:03:31 Speaker 1 

The the the big you know, what do they call it? 

00:03:34 Speaker 1 

Output down there. 

00:03:35 Speaker 1 

They got the big building down there. 

00:03:37 Speaker 1 

Now it’s got all the. 

00:03:43 Speaker 1 

It’s got the rooms full of apples and it’s the storage of storage thing and they bring the fish in from the sea and the 45 degree below 0 and they they wanted, they wanted to get on the air to get some. 

00:03:57 Speaker 1 

The city, and so they picked up. 

00:03:59 Speaker 1 

They bought and drank this room for us, and that became our still there was still the one down under the coffin. 

00:04:07 Speaker 1 

That didn’t last long because we would go up there and find there’s been a big party the night before and the place looked like it had been. 

00:04:13 Speaker 1 

Hit by a tornado. 

00:04:18 Speaker 1 

I would say that we we were trying to take the public into our confidence and I think we succeeded. 

00:04:27 Speaker 1 

I know that Jack Scott used to. 

00:04:31 Speaker 1 

Right up, every once in a while they give us a plug in his column. 

00:04:34 Speaker 1 

And the sun. 

00:04:37 Speaker 1 

And I know I I had one in one of my scrapbook, he said. 

00:04:40 Speaker 1 

Anytime anybody important to write in Vancouver, I look for Fred best because I get all my material from him. 

00:04:47 Speaker 1 

He asked the question. 

00:04:48 Speaker 1 

I get the answers that was the way there. 

00:04:51 Speaker 1 

Put it Jack and not of a good friend. 

00:04:55 Speaker 2 

By by 1928, radio was pretty well established in. 

00:04:59 Speaker 2 

Vancouver, wasn’t it? 

00:05:00 Speaker 1 

No, it was I. 

00:05:01 Speaker 1 

I wouldn’t say it was pretty well established the the IT was beginning to take on. 

00:05:08 Speaker 1 

Competition against station against station up to that time, the rest of the time, you know. 

00:05:15 Speaker 1 

You, you you didn’t break your neck to beat the opposition. 

00:05:20 Speaker 1 

Later on it it became a, you know who’s going to get there first, who’s on 1st, so I think. 

00:05:28 Speaker 1 

But I think one of the funniest one of the funniest broadcasts I ever DEADNESS was when they right down the street. 

00:05:34 Speaker 1 

Down here, the opening of the YMCA that to me it was one of the toughest jobs I ever had. 

00:05:43 Speaker 1 

With our short staff and we used to do a lot of leapfrogging, like for instance, uh, we used to, we used to take dance hall orchestras from from the dance hall, orchestras from the nightclubs. 

00:05:58 Speaker 1 

And we would leapfrog, you know, would say we’d be here at this one. 

00:06:02 Speaker 1 

And the crew would leave the equipment and the announcer was going to handle it to you. All he had to do was turn the Switcher, but in the mean time, the crew’s gone down and they gone down to another one that they’re. 

00:06:11 Speaker 1 

Going to pick up after them. 

00:06:12 Speaker 1 

And so we leapfrogged a lot. 

00:06:15 Speaker 1 

And then this happened. 

00:06:17 Speaker 1 

This happened with the opening of the YMCA here on on, on the street. 

00:06:24 Speaker 1 

The IT was all set. 

00:06:26 Speaker 1 

There was a dinner being held at opening this new YMCA down here, and they had a dinner at the City Hall in which was a big dinner with all the big shots. 

00:06:37 Speaker 1 

And they were due to come on here at 9:00 o’clock at night. 

00:06:41 Speaker 1 

From 9:00 to 9:30. So Russ and the boys picked me up with the with the, with the amplifier. They took me down there. 

00:06:53 Speaker 1 

Dumped me inside the door and gave me about 6 feet of cable. 

00:06:56 Speaker 1 

That’s all. 

00:06:58 Speaker 1 

And of course, there was a lot of people were gathering there for the opening of this building, the stairways full of people and people all around. 

00:07:04 Speaker 1 

The place and. 

00:07:08 Speaker 1 

Comes 9:00 o’clock and there’s no sign of the big shots. 

00:07:11 Speaker 1 

They haven’t turned up. 

00:07:13 Speaker 1 

So what do you talk about? 

00:07:15 Speaker 1 

And this this this was the problem. 

00:07:18 Speaker 1 

I only had 6 feet of cable. 

00:07:21 Speaker 1 

I couldn’t go anywhere, so I’m stuck inside the opening the door and I’m talking. 

00:07:26 Speaker 1 

I talk for 20 minutes about what I couldn’t tell you. 

00:07:31 Speaker 1 

But I talked for 20 minutes and finally the big officials arrived and they only had 10 minutes. 

00:07:36 Speaker 1 

On the end. 

00:07:37 Speaker 1 

But that was the toughest one to me. 

00:07:39 Speaker 1 

You know? 

00:07:40 Speaker 1 

What do you talk about when you’re stuck there? 

00:07:41 Speaker 1 

You can’t go anywhere, right? 

00:07:43 Speaker 1 

You just try to. 

00:07:44 Speaker 2 

What are the things to describe I guess? 

00:07:45 Speaker 1 

Oh, you’re. 

00:07:46 Speaker 1 

Yeah, you’re right out of everything. 

00:07:48 Speaker 1 

So you. 

00:07:50 Speaker 1 

But that that was one of the toughest I got through with it. 

00:07:55 Speaker 2 

Were you running the school at C KWX for a? 

00:07:57 Speaker 1 

While I didn’t run to school, but they we we had them now what we what we did. 

00:08:04 Speaker 1 

A big problem in the summer was getting replacements, and one of the things that the company did. 

00:08:11 Speaker 1 

They opened a training school at the UBC for the UBC and Ron Robertson, who was one of the one of the managers over on the Vancouver Island. 

00:08:21 Speaker 1 

I was one of the boys that came from there, so when it comes summer time we we gave them a kind of a university training on on the. 

00:08:32 Speaker 1 

But they also had certain practical things down here and. 

00:08:38 Speaker 1 

It was it was quite successful because we trained them and a lot of the fellows that moved to other stations came came from this school. 

00:08:47 Speaker 1 

We donated a complete a complete 16 inch library complete the whole thing. 

00:08:55 Speaker 1 

Box of the cabinets and everything else. 

00:08:58 Speaker 1 

All big 16 inch plastic stuff. 

00:09:06 Speaker 1 

Every season of every sin we did, we didn’t do it too long. 

00:09:10 Speaker 1 

Government stuck his nose in, jumped on us. 

00:09:13 Speaker 1 

But we did it for two or three years and. 

00:09:19 Speaker 1 

We had a graduation dinner and the boys that passed the graduation thing graduated were given the summer replacement jobs, and this is where they got their practical experience. 

00:09:31 Speaker 1 

I mean, the station, but this time it got a bigger staff and was was really growing, but. 

00:09:39 Speaker 1 

A lot of guys graduated from here and. 

00:09:42 Speaker 1 

And the government stepped in and they objected to us doing doing this school and the university and their. 

00:09:50 Speaker 1 

Their argument was, this is too commercial. 

00:09:55 Speaker 1 

Commercialism and they were against it. 

00:09:58 Speaker 1 

This this is the federal government. 

00:09:59 Speaker 1 

They were against it and we had to shut it down. 

00:10:02 Speaker 1 

But in the meantime we had turned out some darn good men. 

00:10:06 Speaker 2 


00:10:07 Speaker 2 

The Ckmo was doing the same thing, wasn’t. 

00:10:08 Speaker 1 

It at that time, well, Ckmo was actually it was a Business School. 

00:10:13 Speaker 1 

And then they that was they, they wrapped onto a station because they were, they were a Business School like the Duffus people down here that that they use that in conjunction, the old Alexander Ballroom area. 

00:10:29 Speaker 1 

They use that more or less to plug this school. 

00:10:33 Speaker 1 

That’s what it was for. 

00:10:35 Speaker 1 

But they they were, they say they they were six months ahead in Vancouver before WX started. No, what is now WX? 

00:10:43 Speaker 2 

You mentioned the All Canada radio people and also 16 inch transcriptions. 

00:10:49 Speaker 2 

They started coming in before the war and you started putting in these programs on disks over the radio. 

00:10:55 Speaker 1 

No, these these are mystical things. 

00:10:57 Speaker 1 

These are musical things. 

00:10:58 Speaker 1 

They went oh, we used to get. 

00:11:00 Speaker 1 

We used to get big 16 inch discs with shows on. 

00:11:03 Speaker 1 

This is this is some musical library that we wanted to move. 

00:11:07 Speaker 1 

We wanted to make Harold Carson. 

00:11:10 Speaker 1 

He give me, he gave Me 2 years and he said I don’t care how much you spend. 

00:11:14 Speaker 1 

I want you to build a build a a a library, he said. 

00:11:19 Speaker 1 

I want you to build a library that if it’s any good we will adopt in the entire chain. 

00:11:27 Speaker 1 

He said now. 

00:11:28 Speaker 1 

Tell me what you want. 

00:11:30 Speaker 1 

I had wheels. 

00:11:31 Speaker 1 

I had books. 

00:11:32 Speaker 1 

I had card files. 

00:11:34 Speaker 1 

I had a four way cross crossing. 

00:11:37 Speaker 1 

You didn’t even have to know the name of the song. 

00:11:39 Speaker 1 

If you knew the first line, I’d find out the record. 

00:11:41 Speaker 1 

I need pardon me. 

00:11:45 Speaker 1 

It had to be obtainable in five seconds. 

00:11:48 Speaker 2 

And that’s that’s that ended up at UBC at collection. 

00:11:52 Speaker 1 

Yeah, yeah, but that was a. 

00:11:54 Speaker 1 

That was a. 

00:11:54 Speaker 1 

That was a beautiful collection because there was one there that Billy Brown used to use. 

00:12:03 Speaker 1 

It was John Charles Thomas’s way. We were interested in most telling about meeting him at the meeting. Him at the airport. John Charles Thomas. 

00:12:12 Speaker 1 

Went under another name doing. 

00:12:16 Speaker 1 

Or what’s the name of it? 

00:12:18 Speaker 1 

I’m being like kind because I deleted it so I can’t think of the name of the tuner, but there was one that. 

00:12:25 Speaker 1 

Had the billing round played, we played it all the time. 

00:12:28 Speaker 1 

We got more requests for it. 

00:12:30 Speaker 1 

And it was a. 

00:12:34 Speaker 1 

I know Bill Brown. 

00:12:35 Speaker 1 

Joe Brown used it later and. 

00:12:38 Speaker 2 

As a sign off song as a sign off song or something. 

00:12:41 Speaker 1 

No, no, it was a request. 

00:12:43 Speaker 1 

You see, we did a lot of requests business, you know. 

00:12:45 Speaker 2 

Even in those days. 

00:12:45 Speaker 1 

Paper paper. 

00:12:46 Speaker 1 

The phone in our right hand and then. 

00:12:48 Speaker 2 


00:12:51 Speaker 1 

This was this. 

00:12:54 Speaker 1 

We were we were up to our ears in music and records and everything else. 

00:12:58 Speaker 1 

And then, of course, then the big company started putting out transcription services. 

00:13:03 Speaker 1 

And this is one that we had bought. 

00:13:04 Speaker 1 

Huge thing, but it was all 16 inch. 

00:13:08 Speaker 1 

Used to be the guys used to cuss because they’d walk across the floor here and pick up and punch the records studies. 

00:13:18 Speaker 1 

You see rubber on the floor now, some not in old places, but you you create static. 

00:13:25 Speaker 2 

Yeah, these nylon rugs. 

00:13:32 Speaker 1 

All that in the early days and we’re talking about entertainment people just almost banged, knocked down your door to get on the air. 

00:13:39 Speaker 1 

This this was the big thing. 

00:13:40 Speaker 1 

There was a mystical thing, you know, people to look at you or see if you were visited from outer space. 

00:13:47 Speaker 2 

And and most of them didn’t get paid either. 

00:13:51 Speaker 1 

Although the talent is the talent that came on, we audition and if they suddenly good, we put them on there. 

00:13:55 Speaker 1 

We never paid them though. 

00:13:57 Speaker 1 

They wanted to get on there. 

00:13:58 Speaker 1 

That was what they wanted to do. 

00:14:00 Speaker 1 

But you know this, they eventually came down and. 

00:14:04 Speaker 1 

Then we started paying. 

00:14:05 Speaker 1 

I can remember when I was programming program manager. 

00:14:09 Speaker 1 

You know, those days we paid 3. 

00:14:11 Speaker 1 

Like I did a whole week’s programming at a cost of $27.00 a whole week. People who wanted to go on the air, you know? 

00:14:22 Speaker 2 

This was during the depression years, I guess then. 

00:14:26 Speaker 2 

So you did the well. 

00:14:29 Speaker 2 

You’re known for the man in the street. 

00:14:32 Speaker 1 

Well, according this this is something I’m I’m going to confess to him. 

00:14:36 Speaker 1 

I never believed this, but both the sun and the prophets have done stories on me. 

00:14:43 Speaker 1 

And they claim that they have researched it and I was the first man to ever do a broadcast on the street. 

00:14:50 Speaker 1 

Now the Billboard I the first. 

00:14:52 Speaker 1 

I did the man on the street at Christmas time during the depression. 

00:14:56 Speaker 1 

That was when I went out and started collecting and the Billboard magazine awarded the station. 

00:15:03 Speaker 1 

A plaque. 

00:15:05 Speaker 1 

For a novel way of raising charity money that was, that was that I would admit to. 

00:15:12 Speaker 1 

But according to what the both the newspapers told me that I was the first man that ever did a broadcast on the street, nobody that was heard doing it, and that was brought about by 1 fact as I was turning previously, we used to. 

00:15:26 Speaker 1 

Watching overnight, we’d finish at 10:30, and here we’re going to 4:00 or 5:00. O’clock in the morning and. 

00:15:34 Speaker 1 

You know, it was it was playing a. 

00:15:35 Speaker 1 

Devil with their health. 

00:15:38 Speaker 1 

And you know, we were all almost zombies working all day and then going on doing that at night. 

00:15:44 Speaker 1 

And I thought there must be a better way of doing this. 

00:15:48 Speaker 1 

And this is do it. 

00:15:49 Speaker 1 

This was my idea and I thought there must be a better way so we got discussing it one day. 

00:15:55 Speaker 1 

And we worked out a plan in which we would make it attractive to the merchants like the Hudson Bay or what was some of the big stores. 

00:16:04 Speaker 1 

And we laid out a plan. 

00:16:07 Speaker 1 

And we tried it and it was successful and I did it from the end of from the 30s, right up to the start of the Second World War because I had to stop it because it it could. 

00:16:18 Speaker 1 

Have been used. 

00:16:19 Speaker 1 

For code messages and what have you and I have to stop. 

00:16:23 Speaker 2 

It how would you describe? 

00:16:27 Speaker 2 

And your your man in the street interviews where they just you take the pack and you’d go interview somebody. 

00:16:31 Speaker 1 

No, no, no, no. 

00:16:33 Speaker 1 

We threw out the sidewalk. 

00:16:35 Speaker 1 

Line line came down from laps up above. 

00:16:39 Speaker 1 

Our our amplifier was where we plug it in, turn it on and anybody could speak to me providing they made a little donation, didn’t matter, said nickel. 

00:16:47 Speaker 1 

But he got to the point where. 

00:16:51 Speaker 1 

With all these little prizes, I used to give away for the kids, it got to be a source of, you know, to remember. 

00:17:00 Speaker 1 

And the dear delightful lady with a with a, with an anxious accent. 

00:17:05 Speaker 1 

He, Willie, we’ve done the last shopping. 

00:17:07 Speaker 1 

We’re coming home now. 

00:17:08 Speaker 1 

Put on kettle. 

00:17:10 Speaker 1 

This is the sort of thing. 

00:17:11 Speaker 1 

And this is what made it for it was it was light and I’d go down to and I’d go down there. 

00:17:17 Speaker 1 

People got used to it. 

00:17:19 Speaker 1 

I’d I would go down there and it’d be a long run. 

00:17:21 Speaker 1 

People waiting for me wait for me to get down. 

00:17:25 Speaker 1 

And we just do a lot of silly things like Charlie de Pew, who worked at the Sun. 

00:17:29 Speaker 1 

He and I sat and played a crib game for a buck, a buck buck, a piece to put in the pot, you know, and this sort of thing sat on the curb and played tribute. 

00:17:38 Speaker 1 

Silly stuff. 

00:17:39 Speaker 1 

But the idea was we were trying to entertain, but we were desperately raising money. 

00:17:44 Speaker 1 

For the for the charity purposes, and I know, I do know that I have receipts in some of my letter scrapbooks and now have the receipts that I used to get because I made. 

00:17:55 Speaker 1 

I insisted that when we did a 2 hour shift, we immediately took 1/2 an hour to count the money. Somebody would come from the sun, take the money from him, give me the receipt. 

00:18:05 Speaker 1 

And I’ve got. 

00:18:05 Speaker 1 

I’ve got some pictures of that. 

00:18:06 Speaker 1 

I’ve got pictures of Bill Brown, and I have an acre outside the Orpheum. 

00:18:11 Speaker 1 

And when I was while I was working there so, but I sort of enjoyed it. 

00:18:17 Speaker 1 

In fact, if I could have found a. 

00:18:18 Speaker 1 

Way this year I would I would have liked to have gone out and helped them. 

00:18:22 Speaker 1 

With their Tiny Tim. 

00:18:24 Speaker 1 

Thing again today. 

00:18:26 Speaker 1 

There’s too many commercials in them and we didn’t have that many commercials in those days. 

00:18:32 Speaker 1 

So we filled up time. 

00:18:34 Speaker 2 


00:18:35 Speaker 2 

Yeah, I guess there wasn’t the well there. 

00:18:38 Speaker 1 

Well, between the between the two wars, you know? 

00:18:38 Speaker 2 

Was the funds. 

00:18:40 Speaker 2 

That’s right. 

00:18:42 Speaker 1 

But I do know it’s not in that we started that early and I do know the station got an award from the Billboard magazine. 

00:18:48 Speaker 1 

They got to play. 

00:18:51 Speaker 1 

For the. 

00:18:53 Speaker 1 

The novel idea of raising charity funds after the Billboard magazine the states. 

00:18:58 Speaker 1 

And it’s supposed to be around here, but nobody seemed to be. 

00:19:01 Speaker 1 

Able to find it. 

00:19:03 Speaker 2 

I guess there’s a lot of memorabilia around this station. 

00:19:06 Speaker 2 

You were saying there’s a transmitter, too, somewhere around. 

00:19:08 Speaker 1 

Well, not only that, but the gene was telling me the other day that he’s trying to find some microphones there meant somebody never got them back. 

00:19:21 Speaker 1 

Some of the old carbon mics they let them for window dressing or stage or something, you know, and I. 

00:19:28 Speaker 1 

Never got them. 

00:19:30 Speaker 1 

I had it. I was at a friend’s house who had a set with a a diamond shaped. 

00:19:36 Speaker 1 

Rabbit thing on top of top of the this was over in Westminster on top of a machine and he invited me up to his place and wanted me to listen to KSL. 

00:19:47 Speaker 1 

And I went up and spent an evening. 

00:19:48 Speaker 1 

We listened to KSL with all this. 

00:19:50 Speaker 1 

Beautiful music and then? 

00:19:51 Speaker 2 

I guess that was with. 

00:19:52 Speaker 2 

The headphones in those days. 

00:19:53 Speaker 1 

Well, no, that that was when they when they started dropping the crystal set. 

00:19:59 Speaker 1 

This was one of the early sets of boxes or I think but praying on that of course it used to be more or less, Crystal said. 

00:20:10 Speaker 1 

Yeah, you had to wear earphones and it was funny and a lot of things like that, a lot of static, but that that I would say would be about, well doing it for Ross. 

00:20:25 Speaker 1 

We didn’t record anything, but I I always used to be amazed at Russ the McIntyre because he’d not his head and I’d start playing and he’d go down. 

00:20:36 Speaker 1 

Boy, he’d be throwing switches all over the place and dash into the set and turn it on and find out where we work. 

00:20:43 Speaker 1 

And it always amazed me because it all laid out the whole clock I think was laid out on top of a kitchen table. 

00:20:49 Speaker 1 

There was no cabinet. 

00:20:50 Speaker 1 

It was switches and resistors and because I didn’t know much about them myself and know that. 

00:20:57 Speaker 1 

But that was the that was the. 

00:20:58 Speaker 1 

That was the kind of thing that we did we we explored. 

00:21:03 Speaker 1 

We tried to find a way that we could interest people in what was actually happening and I really think even today I think that this is one of the things that we have lost. 

00:21:18 Speaker 1 

In radio, we have lost that personal contact we have with our listener. 

00:21:25 Speaker 1 

Because you know, as I say, I can, I can walk down the street and somebody say. 

00:21:29 Speaker 1 

But, you know Fred. 

00:21:30 Speaker 1 

But I know him. 

00:21:31 Speaker 1 

Boy, when I was a kid so high just to go down and Christmas this. 

00:21:34 Speaker 1 

Time of year. 

00:21:36 Speaker 1 

You know, they they never forgot that. 

00:21:39 Speaker 1 

And we go very close to the public. 

00:21:43 Speaker 1 

And today, we’re so commercial in everything that you haven’t got time for any of the. 

00:21:49 Speaker 1 

It takes time and it takes a lot of free time. 

00:21:52 Speaker 1 

I mean, there’s there’s no free time. 

00:21:54 Speaker 1 

Anymore, it’s. 

00:21:58 Speaker 1 

But I always look forward to it. 

00:22:00 Speaker 1 

In fact, I phoned Jean the other day and I said, you know, I said it wasn’t rolling commercials. 

00:22:04 Speaker 1 

You got to come with. 

00:22:05 Speaker 1 

I’d love to come down and do an old man on the street broadcast with it, but they’ve got got time for it. 

00:22:11 Speaker 1 

To me, it’s a shame. 

00:22:12 Speaker 1 

I mean, we took a personal. 

00:22:15 Speaker 1 

In the first place, we had a challenge. 

00:22:18 Speaker 1 

Something hadn’t been done before. 

00:22:20 Speaker 1 

Well, let’s do it and see if it works. 

00:22:23 Speaker 1 

And so we were learning and building the business on what we were doing and. 

00:22:31 Speaker 1 

That, to me was very important that also the personal contact. 

00:22:36 Speaker 1 

I think I probably got that from theater because uh, I do an act hunky tonk act. 

00:22:42 Speaker 1 

I write silly songs and this sort of thing. 

00:22:44 Speaker 1 

I do an act and. 

00:22:49 Speaker 1 

As we used to say, make the audience laugh not at you, but with you. 

00:22:54 Speaker 1 

And this is where you got the feeling of an audience and we got the feeling of an audience by the close relationship that they had. 

00:23:01 Speaker 1 

They knew us all personally, and yet they’d never met us if you. 

00:23:04 Speaker 1 

Know what I? 

00:23:05 Speaker 1 

Mean we were we were characters in their. 

00:23:08 Speaker 1 

And to me, this has been the one weak spot in the whole setup. 

00:23:13 Speaker 1 

And I wish there was a way I could find to break that back again. 

00:23:22 Speaker 1 

Unfortunately, it costs a lot of money to run a radio station. 

00:23:26 Speaker 1 

Any kind of a station, I mean, there’s no, it’s millions now it’s not. 

00:23:31 Speaker 1 

But the point was we. 

00:23:33 Speaker 1 

We built an industry, but we didn’t realize it. 

00:23:36 Speaker 1 

We didn’t realize it. 

00:23:38 Speaker 1 

What we were building. 

00:23:39 Speaker 1 

We were just a bunch of young idiots that decided, well, this is something here. 

00:23:43 Speaker 1 

Let’s see what we can do. 

00:23:44 Speaker 1 

With it, and it was more exploratory than anything, but all of a sudden the things started to fit together. 

00:23:51 Speaker 1 

It dubbed together and it worked. 

00:23:55 Speaker 1 

And to me, the the one, the one, the one thing that the one thing that I was not bugged me. 

00:24:04 Speaker 1 

But the one thing that always was a a point with me. 

00:24:08 Speaker 1 

Who am I talking to? 

00:24:10 Speaker 1 

I’m going to know these people. 

00:24:12 Speaker 1 

This is How I Met them. 

00:24:13 Speaker 1 

On the street. 

00:24:14 Speaker 1 

They would come along and they’d always have a smile and a choke for you. 

00:24:18 Speaker 1 

And you know, and you actually met your audience. 

00:24:21 Speaker 1 

It’s just like being on a stage in a theater. 

00:24:23 Speaker 1 

Your audience is out there. 

00:24:25 Speaker 1 

Now you’re either going to place them. 

00:24:26 Speaker 1 

Are they gonna walk out and? 

00:24:28 Speaker 1 

And I guess it was that that prompts prompted me to look at this side of. 

00:24:36 Speaker 1 

Where’s the contact? 

00:24:37 Speaker 1 

Been lost, you know. 

00:24:40 Speaker 1 

As commercialism becomes so more important that humanity doesn’t come into it, and this is wrong because the minute something happens, everybody dashes to the job they want the story on it and all the gruesome details. 

00:24:55 Speaker 1 

We took a personal interest, I think in our, in our lessons. 

00:24:58 Speaker 1 

We like to please our lessons. 

00:25:01 Speaker 2 

So almost lunchtime. 

00:25:02 Speaker 1 

Results every Saturday morning. 

00:25:05 Speaker 1 

Now, I wasn’t supposed to work Saturday, but they used to come down every Saturday morning. 

00:25:10 Speaker 1 

Got they go and get the toilet out. 

00:25:14 Speaker 1 

Going there pretty nice. 

00:25:17 Speaker 1 

Because I I like soccer and you know, and I deal with a lot of soccer fans. In other words, I was appealing to soccer fans not only here, but I got round Robin ladders from Pearl River and places like that. 75 signatures. Thanks very much for, you know. 

00:25:34 Speaker 1 

And I remember 1 morning at Jimmy Duranty. 

00:25:38 Speaker 1 

I was doing a going to be doing an interview with Jimmy Duranty 1. 

00:25:43 Speaker 1 

Money, and I persuaded him to come on and. 

00:25:45 Speaker 1 

Do the English. 

00:25:46 Speaker 1 

Football, when he wanted some of those English names like Leicester, LE ICE, STR were way more fun than that program. 

00:25:57 Speaker 1 

But you know. 

00:25:58 Speaker 2 


00:26:00 Speaker 2 

I guess for a lot of the people in small communities, radio was the only contact with with the with the other world. 

00:26:07 Speaker 1 

Without a world. 

00:26:09 Speaker 1 

So, you know, this is. 

00:26:11 Speaker 1 

This is what we used to aim for was. 

00:26:13 Speaker 1 

All right. 

00:26:14 Speaker 1 

There’s a little little village up here, and let’s give them something. 

00:26:18 Speaker 2 

So your audience was not just Vancouver. 

00:26:20 Speaker 2 

In other words, it was you were trying to bridge those. 

00:26:21 Speaker 1 

No, no. But it was Vancouver put us because she didn’t have the power. And yet the strange part of it was I can remember when we were only 100 watts. When I transmitted down there. Seamless St. One month. We got 17. 

00:26:39 Speaker 1 

Postcards from Hawaii. 

00:26:42 Speaker 1 

Of people who had listened to us and they wrote and tell us they’d been listening to us on the news or on such and such a programme. 

00:26:51 Speaker 1 

100 words. But it was skip skip distance, just like you throw a stone on the pond. And it was skip distance. 

00:26:58 Speaker 1 

I can remember Bob Fortune used to work with us. 

00:27:01 Speaker 1 

Bob Bob married our Bob and the girl he married. 

00:27:04 Speaker 1 

And we’re in the we’re in this station. 

00:27:08 Speaker 1 

Bob Lady is. 

00:27:10 Speaker 1 

He and. 

00:27:12 Speaker 1 

One of the people that owned a delicatessen up on Georgia Street or meat, they they used to make beautiful Christmas goodies and. 

00:27:24 Speaker 1 

The two Bob and their son got hold of a Sloop and they went all the way down to Fiji and Bob sent us a card, he says. 

00:27:32 Speaker 1 

Imagine my surprise and I got up this morning and walked out the deck, turned the radio, and he said, I’m listening to ourselves. 

00:27:39 Speaker 1 

That was that was after Bob became the weatherman for the. 

00:27:44 Speaker 1 

But skip distance. 

00:27:49 Speaker 2 

I think it’s going to be the anniversary of CQWP X next year. 

00:27:52 Speaker 2 

Are you planning anything yourself for that? 

00:27:56 Speaker 1 

I’m not mixed up in any of it unless they invite me down to say Boo or something, but I personally I have. 

00:28:02 Speaker 1 

I have a celebration of my own coming up. 

00:28:05 Speaker 1 

On January the 12th. 

00:28:08 Speaker 1 

I will have finished 70 years in entertaining and I’m still capable of working. 

00:28:16 Speaker 2 

You’re still doing some stuff around town. 

00:28:18 Speaker 1 

Nowadays, not this show. 

00:28:22 Speaker 1 

Yeah, but I I oh, I I was a first musical director for Barker Belt. 

00:28:26 Speaker 1 

First five years, then they they sent me up to Dawson City 66 and I had they I was. That was their first musical gaslight policy. 

00:28:37 Speaker 1 

Up there over that period, I did right up till 74 up in Dawson City every summer in the Yukon, but with one year out. 

00:28:47 Speaker 1 

67 The Edmonton bought our show and we were there. We were the Edmonton exhibit at the world’s Fair and 6728 weeks. 

00:28:58 Speaker 1 

Stretch. That was a quite. 

00:28:59 Speaker 1 

A job, yeah.