Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 179: The CHUM Requiem

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 179In this 179th episode, Mike chats with Marc Weisblott of 12:36 and Ed Conroy of Retrontario about the fall of 1050 CHUM as a Top 40 radio station and the coinciding rise of MuchMusic. This episode is exactly 1:49:31.

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Sarah

Awesome show. Weisblott rocks!

June 15, 2016 @ 9:22 AM

Anon&on

Couldn't figure out why Weisblott sounded so familiar- Dan Carlin! He sounds like Dan Carlin (Hardcore History, Common Sense podcasts).

Here's my Toronto Mike podcast concept: Vic Rauter is the gameshow host, Toronto Mike is the announcer and judge, Jeff Woods and Marc Weisblott are the contestants going head to head, giving their vocal interpretations of Vic Rauter phrases as he throws them out freestyle. Points awarded, winner takes home a GLB gift pack.

June 15, 2016 @ 5:54 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Really enjoyed this episode, I liked the 3 way back and forth conversation. Ed was just warming up at the latter part of the episode.
Having grown up with CHUM through the late 60's, and 70's ( my mom always had it on) and all my cousins from northern Ontario, would be glued to the radio when they would visit in the summer.
You never mentioned John Gilbert who had a talk show on CHUM, remember my mom and her sisters listening to his show after breakfast.

June 15, 2016 @ 6:19 PM

anonymous

R.I.P Jungle Jay Nelson, mornings in 70's.

June 15, 2016 @ 7:03 PM

Hans

Being someone who was born in the late 70's my knowledge of CHUM's heyday is limited so I'm really enjoying these mini history lessons I'm hearing about Toronto's radio history. Thank you Mike for putting this all together.

After listening I could easily see a few tangent episodes dealing with MuchMusic's rise and decline along with CITYTV's rise and then fall.

Thanks again Mike, Marc and Ed.

June 16, 2016 @ 10:05 AM

Barry

This was fun to listen to. I was never much of a CHUM listener ... I went from Q107 to CFNY in the early 80s, so CHUM was never going to be my thing, but I watched the CHUM 30 every week (briefly mentioned) and Toronto Rocks. RE: the latter ... I'd completely forgotten that John Majhor came back after his venture into the US. It would have been interesting to see what his career would have become if he'd ended up on Muchmusic. In my memory (which could be flawed) he was a far better host/VJ than most of what we saw in those early days, so my guess is he would have been one of the stars. Where he would have gone from there, I don't know.

June 20, 2016 @ 2:56 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Barry

You should listen to ep 180 with Jim Van Horne. We talked about John Majhor and I asked him why John didn't end up on MuchMusic.

June 20, 2016 @ 3:02 PM

Pat Kelly

As a guy who collected CHUM charts from 1973 to 1986 (yes, I clipped them out of the paper), I have to correct a couple of minor issues.
* The post-disco era was not as much to eliminate black acts as it was to go hard rock. Even Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" never charted. But acts like Asia, The Knack, The Vapours, XTC all had #1 songs.
* Ghettoizing cancon: They didn't as much squeeze Cancon into pre-dawn hours as cut down Canadian tracks to 90 seconds or less. Particularly smaller hits.
* The big difference between AM & FM at this point was that the CRTC would only allow "hit records" to be played about 20 times per WEEK! And a hit record was defined as any song that made the Billboard Hot 100. This meant that FM stations would go to deep tracks on albums long before they were released as singles.
* "Take Off" going to #1 was not a sign that CHUM was taking the chart less seriously. They'd often had gimmick songs go to #1. Between 1970 & 1985 all the following were CHUM #1 records: My Ding-A-Ling, Monster Mash, Spiders and Snakes, Kung Fu Fighting, The Streak, Convoy, Disco Duck, Rock Lobster & Turning Japanese. Hey, I love these oldies, but they were still novelties.

June 20, 2016 @ 8:12 PM

@1236

great points all, but!

— not sure how hard the rock was ... there were plenty of sappy ballads in the air during that period, too, and obvious dayparting of softer songs for the midday crowd

— they definitely did all-CanCon after 10 p.m. and weekend early mornings ... but, yeah, the skimping on song lengths was also prevalent

— there were plenty of non-hits on the CHUM Chart, too: especially British records that were off the American radar — maybe should've mentioned the regulation aspect more (at the risk of putting everyone to sleep)

— still qualifying "Take Off" as a novelty cop-out because they put it at #1 even though it wasn't available on a 45! of course by then the 7-inch format was just about on the outs ... along with the variety stores that used to stock the CHUM Chart singles ...

June 20, 2016 @ 10:08 PM

Jody Thornton

Jeez, I swear I remember "Take Off" being released on an Anthem 45-rpm disc. I have to search my collection now. Pretty bad when you start forgetting what you have and what you don't.

I know that CHR stations excised the spoken intro and extro when it was carted up. But I swear that at least a promo must've existed. Again, I'll check ...lol

June 21, 2016 @ 7:14 AM

@1236

turns out you're not imagining things (but it came after the album)

June 21, 2016 @ 8:19 AM

Barry

@ Toronto Mike

I heard that conversation with Jim Van Horne about John Majhor and Muchmusic ... It sounded to me like he was mixing up Muchmusic and The New Music, though -- he mentioned Jeanne Beker and JD Roberts. JD ended up on Much but I don't think Jeanne Beker ever did.

@ Jody Thornton and @ 1236

For nostalgia, here's the 45 version of Take Off (with a picture of the record!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svOVJzmhAjw

June 21, 2016 @ 9:26 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

And for those of us a little young to remember when this 45 was released, Take Off might be best known as the song played when the Simpsons arrive in Toronto.

June 21, 2016 @ 9:30 AM

Jody Thornton

That's exactly as I remember it on the radio. Mind you, that appears to be an American pressing, so ours would have been Anthem, I think.

By the way, did the web page font just change to an Arial font?

June 21, 2016 @ 9:30 AM

Jody Thornton

You're too young to remember November-ish 1981? Really?
:( Sheesh I'm old

June 21, 2016 @ 9:31 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jody Thornton

I remember parts of 1981!

My pop culture awareness doesn't really kick in until 1983.

June 21, 2016 @ 9:33 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

And I did not change the font face today. :)

June 21, 2016 @ 9:35 AM

@1236

Jeanne Beker did the news stuff for the first year of Much.

June 21, 2016 @ 9:44 AM

Jody Thornton

I upgraded Pale Moon and its new release was the problem. Went back to the previous version and now all is good.
:)

June 21, 2016 @ 9:45 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

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June 21, 2016 @ 9:50 AM

Jody Thornton

Pale Moon is a fork of Firefox. It will get small numbers. It will likely be fixed in a few days or so. The developer is working on a new rendering engine right now, so hiccups can happen sometimes.

Basically Pale Moon is great for those who hate Australis (the newer Firefox "chrome-like" interface)

June 21, 2016 @ 10:03 AM

Pat Kelly

"Take Off" definitely deserved to be a #1 song in Toronto. It didn't enter at #1 but leapt from #27 in its first week to the top spot in its second week.

http://www.sctvguide.ca/episodes/images/chum%20chart%20take%20off.gif

You can't believe the level of Bob & Doug mania at the time. There was a parade for them in front of Sams & A&A Records with thousands attending. It was a front page news story.

It was, in short, exactly what a pop-radio station of the day should have played.

June 21, 2016 @ 11:15 AM

Pat Kelly

Notice that one of the songs Take Off kept out of #1 was "Don't Stop Believin'".

Also "Do She Want Love" by "Michael" Holland was on the same chart.

Note also what's absent: During the same week on the Hot 100, Olivia Newton-John was #1 with Physical, EW&F were #3 with Let's Groove, and Diana Ross was #7 with her cover of Why Do Fools Fall In Love. None of these made the CHUM Chart.

June 21, 2016 @ 11:25 AM

@1236

they tried to make up for lost time with Diana Ross when pivoting into the MOR zone after Much started — including the duet with Julio Iglesias! but this was obviously a prelude to the changes in June 1986

June 21, 2016 @ 1:09 PM

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