Adalbert A. “Pappy” Murphy (1884-1959)

Adalbert A. "Pappy" Murphy

Year Born: 1884

Year Died: 1959

Year of Induction: 1983

Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Murphy, Adalbert A. “Pappy” (1884-1959)

In 1922, a travelling salesman called on “Pappy” Murphy, co-owner with D.F. Streb of The Electric Shop Ltd., a wholesale electrical supply store in Saskatoon, to persuade Pappy to stock his company’s radio equipment. The salesman was Spence Caldwell, who would later found and become President of the CTV Network, but who was then on the road selling Marconi product. 

As writer Knowlton Nash describes it in his book The Swashbucklers, Pappy later recalled: “He loaded us with a lot of cats’ whiskers and horns and what-not, and I said ‘I guess we’ll have to have a radio station to sell this kind of stuff'”. Within a year, Pappy Murphy and his partner had launched CFQC-AM, with its slogan “The Voice of the Hub City”. .

The station began as a one-man operation in one room at the back of the Electric Shop. Pappy would buy out Streb in 1932, and the station became owned by A.A. Murphy and Sons Ltd. 

When the Canadian Association of Broadcasters was first formed in the twenties, western broadcasters created their own separate association, to protect what they saw as their different interests and concerns. But when then CAB President Harry Sedgwick toured the west to try to persuade broadcasters there to make the CAB a full national organization, it was Pappy, together with fellow westerners Dick Rice and Harold Carson, who supported Sedgwick in his successful efforts to achieve the unification he sought. 

During his long career in broadcasting, Pappy was actively involved in the Association, and served a term as Vice President. He also served with the Western Association of Broadcasters as President. With Gordon Love (CFCN Calgary) and Dick Rice (CFRN Edmonton), “Pappy” founded Radio Representatives Limited, with offices in Toronto and Montreal. 

Many years later, on December 5th 1954, Pappy’s newly licensed CFQC-TV began broadcasting from the same building as CFQC-AM. The station had been due to launch three months earlier, but adverse prairie weather delayed the installation process.

Pappy believed strongly that community service was an essential role for local stations, and CFQC-TV’s schedule included many locally produced programs, in addition to the many hours of national programming that the station carried as a CBC affiliate.

Pappy Murphy died in 1959. Twenty-seven years later, in 1986, A. A. “Pappy” Murphy was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.

Sources include:
The Swashbucklers (Knowlton Nash: McClelland and Stewart Ltd)