Year Born: 1903
Year Died: 1984
Year of Induction: 1988
Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Gray, Jane (1896-1984)
Jane Gray was one of the first women (if not THE first) to stake out a career in radio broadcasting. Her first experience came in 1924 in London, Ontario, at the Free Press’ station when its call letters were CJGC. Determined that women should have a role in the electronic wonder, she impressed the manager with the reading of a poem in an audition, and did further readings to the background of organ music.
Later, she responded to an ad for a woman to do a cooking program on CFRB. In competition with 90 applicants, Jane won the job. and at the (then) fabulous sum of $25 a week. She also took a whiff at buying time and re-selling it to several participating sponsors. One memorable role was that of ‘Princess Mus-Kee-Kee” on a program sponsored by a medicine company of the same name, in which she was obliged to wear an Indian costume in public, and answer questions mailed-in to the station by listeners.
A chance meeting between Jane and Ken Soble, encouraged Soble to seek out a career in radio which led to his ultimate purchase of CHML Hamilton and his part-ownership and management of CHCH-TV. Thus, it was not surprising to find in the 40s a daily “Jane Gray Show” on CHML, and later, a TV version on CHCH.
Jane Gray was a “born show-woman”. As she has been quoted – “I’ve done it all”.
In 1988, Jane Gray became the first woman radio performer to be inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
Written by J. Lyman Potts – April, 1996