Live Blogging A Toronto Morning Show

RadioHumble Howard has invited me to sit in with the new EZ Rock morning show. It should be a crowded room as I join Humble, Kim Stockwood, Colleen Rusholme and Rick Hodge.

I'm going to sit in and live blog the show, assuming they can throw my laptop on the net. I want to document how it all comes together for those of us not in the biz. If nothing else, it should be good for shits and giggles.

Since I'll be there, hanging with the EZ Morning crew, I can get any info you want. What are you most curious about in the morning show radio universe? Do you have any specific questions for Humble, Kim, Colleen or Rick?

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SOWNY Show With Humble and Fred

radioI'm not a radio insider, I'm just a fan of the medium. I always have been. Perhaps it has something to do with watching WKRP or all those nights as a kid listening to Blue Jays baseball on my old transistor radio. As a fan of radio, especially Toronto radio, I'm always interested in what's new in this market, even when it applies to stations I don't listen to.

The big yellow board, officially known as The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum, is one place to check the pulse of radio in this city. The Sowny Show with moderator Craig Smith and Don Andrews is a one hour live audio program in which they discuss what's new in radio and speak to guests. Over the past six weeks they've spoke with both Humble Howard Glassman and Fred Patterson of the old Humble and Fred show, although they didn't appear together. I know, the title of this entry is a little deceiving, but it got you reading this far!

They appeared on separate shows, but both were honest and insightful making for great insider radio content. I didn't listen as a guy who knows them both personally, I listened as an old fan of their morning show and I thought it was awfully compelling. You don't hear this kind of brutal honesty very often.

SOWNY, bless their hearts, makes it a little tough to actually hear this show. Once I've navigated the 1997 frames, I'm never able to get that SOWNY Show player to actually work, so I've gone ahead and taken their MP3s and streamed them through my Odeo account. Guys, before you get your knickers in a knot, realize that this is only going to let more ears hear your show and that's what it's all about.

Here's Humble's appearance from August 11.

Here's Fred's appearance from September 8.

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Good News For Freddie P

radioThe summer of 2008 has been bitter sweet for fans of the Humble and Fred show. Over the past few weeks both Humble Howard and Fred Patterson have moved on to the next phase of their professional lives. I'm very happy for both guys, even though I'll likely never get to hear my favourite radio tandem on the air again.

Today Freddie P announced he's the new program director of two radio stations: Peterborough's Best Rock, 101.5 the Wolf, and Home Town Oldies 980 Kruz that will move to 100.5 FM sometime in the fall. It's perfect for Fred as it will allow him to spend more time at his beloved tin palace, a trailer a mere 20 minutes from Peterborough.

Humble has moved on to mornings on EZ Rock 97.3 as he works toward his goal of being the Canadian John Tesh. I'm rooting for him. Actually, I'm rooting for both Humble and Fred as they move on from the old Humble and Fred show.

Nothing lasts forever. Congrats, Fred. I remember really digging The Wolf during a trip to Peterborough. Any station that plays that much Hip and Neil Young is alright by me.

Like They've Done This Before

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Virgin Radio 999 FM

radioIf you're a virgin, you finally have a radio station that caters to your sense of celibacy. Oh wait, I think I'm reading this press release wrong. It seems Mix 99.9 is being re-branded today. It's "the launch of the first North American commercial FM radio station under license with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Radio International".

Astral Media has been busy this summer. They own Mix 99.9, now Virgin Radio 999, and EZ-Rock, which recently introduced a new morning show featuring Humble Howard, Kim Stockwood, Colleen Rusholme and Rick Hodge.

That's right, they finally unveiled Rick Hodge as the mystery fourth member of the EZ Morning Show. Rick Hodge was part of the Roger, Rick and Marilyn behemoth that's aired on CHUM FM for the past few decades. He's also going to be a part of the Bill Carroll Morning Show on Astral's CFRB 1010.

Last year I visited The Jim Richards show on CFRB and took a stroll down the hall to see where 99.9 and EZ Rock broadcast from, and they're all literally on the same floor of the same building. All three have introduced significant changes this summer. If you're keeping score at home, here are the highlights, or the lowlights, depending on your perspective.

  • Stu Jeffries is out as host of EZ Rock's morning show
  • Humble, Kim and Rick have joined Colleen to form the EZ Morning Show on EZ Rock
  • Rick Hodge has left 104.5 CHUM-FM for double duty on EZ Rock and CFRB 1010
  • Mix 99.9 is now Virgin Radio 999
  • Chris Biggs and Taylor Kaye now host "The Rush" on afternoons on Virgin Radio 999
  • Some guy named Ryan Seacrest will air evenings on Virgin Radio 999

At least Astral has some good content for the billboards they own.

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Humble Howard: An Exclusive Interview

MicrophoneNow that he's had two mornings under his belt as co-host of the new EZ Mornings with Humble, Kim and Colleen show on 97.3 EZ Rock, I pummelled Humble with a few questions.

As always, he was happy to comply and he even got me sniffing with his final answer. Enjoy this exclusive interview with Humble Howard Glassman. *sniff*

Q: How does it feel to be back on morning radio in Toronto?
A: Weird. Good, odd and a bit strange. I keep thinking that I've just come back from a really long vacation and that maybe I wasn't fired after all. Having said that I'm very happy to be doing what I really love to do even if I haven't gotten any better at it!

Q: Has there been any rumbles in the hall with Mad Dog and Billie? I know you guys are down the hall from one another...
A: Yes, Billie punched me and took my lunch money. Actually I did see them last week and they couldn't have been nicer.

Q: Are there any plans to bring The Humble Report to EZ Rock?
A: At this point, no...but it's early days now and as the show evolves it might return in another, gentler form. Much like myself.

Q: The EZ Rock website promotes a fourth member of the team. The teaser silhouette tells us it's a male. Care to spill the beans as to who it will be?
A: Well I didn't want to say anything but I'm happy to report that it will be Ed the Sock...except this time he'll be funny.

Q: When will you introduce the weekly segment with Toronto Mike?
A: Strange that was one of the first things I asked my boss,"Why has this station not already signed the great Toronto Mike, master blogger and SEO wizard?" Shame, I say. To be honest and quite sappy, one of the many good things that happened to me after I got fired was meeting TO Mike and the rest of the fine Boon clan and that is the dang truth. Go ahead Boon, have a sniffle. I hope that works for you and your many fine Toronto Mike fans, unfortunately it's about 6:15 pm now and I have to get ready for bed. Peace out!

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Mike Holland Checks In

EmailToday I exchanged messages with Mike Holland who now goes by his real name, Michael Bouyea. He's responsible for one of my favourite Blue Jays songs, "We Got The Blue Jays". You can hear the R.B.I. Single Version here.

Thanks Mike for uploading my song "We Got The Blue Jays". It's good to hear it again. I played all the instruments on that song and produced it. I was pretty happy with the outcome....Again, thanks for putting it up on your site for all to hear. Much appreciated.

A former 1050 CHUM radio personality, Mike Holland is now retired and living in Connecticut. He seems sincerely pleased I was sharing his song. That's way better than a cease and desist order.

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A Closer Look at the EZ Rock 97.3 Playlist

Radio I once took A Closer Look at the Edge 102 Playlist and with the big news from Humble Howard, I thought I'd take a closer look at the EZ Rock 97.3 playlist.

I'll be checking out Humble's new show, but like many of you who loved him on 102.1, I'm not really a Celine Dion kind of guy. My plan is to listen to the chatter and vacate for 3.5 minutes when the Barry Manilow comes on. But really, how bad could it be?

Here's the most recent songs played on EZ Rock and my personal rating of each tune. 10 is best, 1 is worst. When you see a question mark that means I don't know the tune by name.

Aug 10
Irene Cara Flashdance...what A Feeling 4
Aug 10
Eagles One Of These Nights 5
Aug 10
Barenaked Ladies Jane 8
Aug 10
Phil Collins Against All Odds (take A Look At Me Now) 6
Aug 10
Gloria Estefan Turn The Beat Around 2
Aug 10
Gino Vannelli Black Cars 4
Aug 10
Alicia Bridges I Love The Nightlife (disco Round) 3
Aug 10
Carolyn Dawn Johnson Complicated ?
Aug 10
Lionel Richie My Love ?
Aug 10
Jesse Cook / The Bodeans Early On Tuesday ?
Aug 10
Jordin Sparks Tattoo ?
Aug 10
Elton John Your Song 5
Aug 10
Alicia Keys No One 6
Aug 10
The Fray How To Save A Life 6
Aug 10
No Doubt Don't Speak 8
Aug 10
Alan Frew So Blind ?
Aug 10
Tina Turner What's Love Got To Do With It 6
Aug 10
Chantal Kreviazuk All I Can Do ?
Aug 10
No Mercy Where Do You Go (edit) ?
Aug 10
Avril Lavigne Innocence ?
Aug 10
Chicago You're The Inspiration 5
Aug 10
Jennifer Warnes First We Take Manhattan ?
Aug 10
Earth, Wind And Fire/the E Boogie Wonderland 5
Aug 10
Shakira Hips Don't Lie 5
Aug 10
Jim Brickman / Feat. Jordan Hill Destiny ?
Aug 10
Mariah Carey We Belong Together ?
Aug 10
Daughtry Feels Like Tonight ?
Aug 10
The Bee Gees You Should Be Dancing 3
Aug 10
Shania Twain That Don't Impress Me Much 5
Aug 10
Naked Eyes Always Something There To Remind Me 8
Aug 10
The Stylistics You Are Everything ?
Aug 10
Bryan Adams I Thought I'd Seen Everything ?
Aug 10
Paula Abdul Straight Up 4
Aug 10
Sarah Mclachlan Building A Mystery 7
Aug 10
The Cardigans Lovefool 6
Aug 10
Barry Manilow Copacabana (at The Copa) @ 1
Aug 10
Jacksoul Still Believe In Love ?
Aug 10
Linda Ronstadt / Aaron Neville Don't Know Much 5
Aug 10
Rod Stewart Broken Arrow 2
Aug 10
Justin Timberlake What Goes Around Comes Around ?

It's actually not as bad as I thought it would be. There was no Celine and we got a little BNL, Sarah Mclachlan and No Doubt from Tragic Kingdom.

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Humble Howard Returns To Morning Radio on EZ Rock 97.3

radioIt personally delights me to tell you Humble Howard Glassman has returned to morning radio in Toronto, hosting a show on EZ Rock 97.3. Humble will be joined by Colleen Rusholme and Kim Stockwood and his first day back on the air will be August 11.

Before I became a friend of Humble Howard, I was a fan. The Humble and Fred show was my morning show throughout the 90s. I awoke to his voice on CFNY 102.1 through most of my high school years and all of my university years. I didn't follow him over to Mix 99.9, but I did write an entry about that which would lead to a great friendship.

Humble Howard, Are You Okay?, written a little over two years ago, currently has 397 comments wondering where Humble had gone and letting him know that he's missed. Humble wrote me in response to that entry and asked me to call him. We hit if off and next thing I knew I was flying his plane, hanging out with his family and having them over to dinner.

As it turns out, Humble is better than okay. We're all lucky to have him back on the air. Congrats, Howard. This heterosexual male is adding EZ Rock as a station preset in his car and that, in itself, is a miracle.

Check out the shades

Related Links:

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The Music of Your Life

memoryYouTube user Retrontario frequently uploads fantastic retro-Toronto-centric gems. These clips never fail to bring back a ton of memories for me, so I feature them from time to time.

When I was young, I'd tune in 1430 on the AM dial to hear Blue Jays baseball with Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth. I've written a ton about this pastime and you can read those entries here. Sometimes I'd fall asleep listening to games on the west coast and when I awoke to my transistor radio I'd hear "The Music of Your Life" on CJCL.

The Music of Your Life wasn't the music of my life but the music of the 50+ crowd who wanted to hear bland music from the 40s and 50s. 1430 CJCL would eventually go all sports and turn into The Fan, but in the 80s it was big band tunage for the old folks. Nothing is scarier than awakening at 3am to the music of Jimmy Van Heusen.

This ad promotes the CJCL morning show with Tom Fulton, Scott Ferguson and a few other names I don't recognize.

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Rick Hodge Escapes Roger, Rick and Marilyn

radioI've never listened to Roger, Rick & Marilyn on 104.5 CHUM-FM, but my mom loves that show. That's her morning show. While I was waking up to Humble & Fred on CFNY, she was waking up to Roger, Rick & Marilyn on 104.5 CHUM-FM.

My mom will be upset when I tell her there is no Roger, Rick & Marilyn anymore. Rick Hodge, host of "Sunday Night Funnies", has left CHUM-FM. Roger, Rick and Marilyn have been a morning team here in Toronto for over twenty years and they've been quite successful. If, like me, you've ever asked yourself who the heck is listening to such stuff, it's people like my mom.

I sense there will be more significant Toronto radio changes in the coming weeks. Stay tuned...

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