CBC Radio

Small Types Club

Network: CBC Radio

Broadcast Run: 1945 to 1952

Broadcast Medium: Radio

When CBC radio announcer Byng Whitteker returned to Canada after being seconded to the BBC for the last two years of the war, 1943-45, one of the first new shows he created was Small Types Club, a weekday lunchtime radio program for children.

Children would make a daily date with the show, which was heralded by Ann Stephens’ recording of the Teddy Bears’ Picnic, and wouldn’t leave their sets until Byng ended each program as he always did, by admonishing the kids to “Ssssscoot! Out to play. Back into bed, off to school or whatever mother tells you.”

Soprano Barbara Shuttleworth was a regular performer on the series, and Byng’s interest in all kinds of music made for a widely varied selection of guests and records – including Canada’s introduction to Danny Kaye narrating the story of Tubby the Tuba.

The series ran on CBC radio until 1952, when it moved to television with a new title, Small Fry Frolics, and a new host, Frank Heron. Small Fry Frolics moved back to radio in 1956.

Whitteker did many more programs for CBC radio and television, including Audio, Byng’s Choice and Court of Opinion, and jazz programs including Starlight Moods, Moonmist and Thirteen and Terry. He also hosted CBC-TV’s Ford Theatre series in the early 1950s on Friday from 9:00 – 10:00 pm.

Byng was named Chief Commentator for CBC in 1965, and helped develop programs for broadcasters covering the Centennial celebrations in 1967. He died young at 56, in 1970.

Written by Pip Wedge – May, 2012