Radio


Tom Rivers on CFTR

radioA couple of years ago, I wrote about my Toronto morning radio show history. I've listened to a few different morning shows throughout the years, but it all started with Tom Rivers and the Rivers Air Force on 680 CFTR.

Tom Rivers passed away a few years ago, but I'll never forget my first favourite DJ. Checking my RSS feeds this morning, I found a great entry from Shane Alexander sharing a clip of Tom Rivers doing his show back in 1988. I might have left Rivers for Jesse and Gene on Q107 by this time, but it's that same show I loved complete with Rusty and the Unfriendly Giant. If you remember Toronto radio in the 1980s, you'll love this clip.

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Quirks & Quarks

tvI've always enjoyed Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald. It airs Saturdays on CBC Radio but you can hear archived shows here. Bob McDonald has a way of explaining complex aspects of science in a way dummies like me can understand.

This afternoon I caught McDonald on CBC Newsworld's Mansbridge One on One. Peter Mansbridge was hitting him with viewer questions and one was about male baldness. Bob was asked why we go bald and whether it was completely hereditary or not. Bob stated it was hereditary, usually from the mother's side, and there seemed to be a link between particularly hairy people and baldness. The more often you need to shave and the more hair you have on your body, the more likely it is you will go bald.

I loved that answer because I've always had a hell of a time growing a beard. If I go a few days without shaving, it just looks bad. The hair grows, but it's not full and bushy and there are bald spots. I've complained about this before, but now I'm glad I can't grow a decent beard. It's probably the reason why I still have a thick head of hair on my head.

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Top 102 Canadian New Rock Songs of All Time

radioCFNY Edge 102 is right now counting down the top 102 Canadian new rock songs of all time. If you don't live in the Greater Toronto Area, you can listen online here.

If you know me at all, you know this kind of thing is right up my alley. When the list is complete, I'll post it here and throw my two cents in the mix. We'll definitely hear the staples like Our Lady Peace, The Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies and Sloan, and we'll probably hear new comers like Arcade Fire, The New Pornographers, Death From Above 1979 and Billy Talent, and let's hope we hear a little Treble Charger, Killjoys, Headstones, Watchmen, Rusty, The Pursuit of Happiness and Grapes of Wrath.

This should be interesting...

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On the Radio, Whoa Oh Oh

radioI bumped into an old friend the other day told him to contact me through this site. I got an email from him later that day in which you remarked that it's pretty cool I'm working in radio.

I've never written about my career in radio because I've never worked in radio. I've listened to a lot of radio, but that's not quite the same thing, although I hear the pay is similar. The confusion probably derives from my involvement in the Humble & Fred podcasts, but that's web based "radio".

I got this message through my site yesterday, from somebody else.

hey i have just tuned into your station and i am loving it, the only problem is once you get to scarborough travelling on the 401 to ajax the signal cuts out. is there another station i can switch to in order to get the same relaxing music. Kay

It turns out Kay was asking about 103.9, Proud FM. My interview with Bingo Bob confused her and she thought it was my station.

I'm the leader of the show, keepin' you on the go, but I know I can't live without my radio.

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20 Toronto Radio Stations

radioI wrote about my old stereo, recently resurrected and now bringing me much enjoyment on a daily basis. She's got twenty FM station presets on her, and I use every one.

At night I'll browse through the twenty stations and hear what's cooking in the city. I recently taught James how to do this and his new favourite pre-bed ritual is cruising the dial himself. He's right at home at the controls.

You're probably wondering what Toronto radio stations I've programmed into the twenty presets. No? Well, I'm going to share this information anyways, if for no other reason than to have it documented in case I need a quick reference one day.

Here they are, in ascending order.

  • 88.1
  • 88.9
  • 89.5
  • 91.1
  • 92.5
  • 93.5
  • 95.3
  • 96.3
  • 97.3
  • 97.7
  • 98.1
  • 99.1
  • 99.9
  • 102.1
  • 103.5
  • 103.9
  • 104.5
  • 106.5
  • 107.1
  • 107.9

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Timing is Everything

newspaperThe Sun has an article today about Mike Bullard. It's all about how happy he is working at XM Satellite Radio, hosting his own show Mike Bullard Uncensored. Here's an excerpt from the article.

"When I got depressed -- and I got depressed -- I just said I am not going to give up," he said. "I decided I wanted to do something where I could become a known entity in the United States."

He has found it in satellite radio. With Sirius and XM about to merge he doesn't know what the future holds, but says, "If I did this the rest of my life, I would be happy."

Looks like the magician has reappeared and once again he's a comedian.

It sure sounds like Mike's a happy camper. The Sun went to print with this article this morning, but check out what Judy Croon has to say on her website.

Unfortunately, due to budget constraints at XM, Mike Bullard Uncensored has been cancelled. On behalf of Mike, Lawrence and myself, we would like to thank our listeners for their support. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me, or call XM at 1-800-XM-RADIO (USA) or 1-877-GET-XMSR (CANADA)

Just so you know, the three of us agree that this is the most fun we have ever had on a show and we are going to miss you :(

That's right, on Friday Mike Bullard Uncensored was cancelled and today the Sun has Mike beaming with glee at his new found success.

Timing is everything.

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The Bingo Bob Interview

microphoneI met Bingo Bob for the first time when we all showed up at Dan Duran's house to record the 17th annual Humble & Fred Christmas Show. He used to produce the Humble & Fred morning show and recently scored a cool gig producing the morning show at 103.9 Proud FM, the first radio station in Canada catering to the LGBT crowd. I just Googled it... LGBT means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, in case you didn't already know that.

Bingo Bob ArrivesWhen I threw these questions at Bob, I thought Proud FM had already launched. It turns out I was just hearing a test of the signal. Nevertheless, here's my interview with Bingo Bob.

Q: People know Bingo Bob from The Humble & Fred morning show. What went down in July of 2006. Spill the deets...
A: July 2006 was the end of a very significant part of my life. It had already been a strange 11 or 12 months...as Fred was let go a year earlier...leaving Humble Howard and myself the last two left from way back at the Edge days working together. But on July 15th I got a call from the assistant to the GM at Standard Radio Toronto at about 3:30 in the afternoon asking me to come in to the station at 5:30...yikes. I knew exactly what was coming. It was one of the worst feelings in the world. I had never been fired from anything, never mind something I cared so much about. Humble's explanation of how it felt in his article in the Post was very accurate. It's quite surreal. I wasn't even married a year yet, and it was the day before a planned two week vacation in London and Paris...talk about putting a damper on the festivities. I got to the station, my GM told me they are "going in a different direction in mornings"...and that was that. They walked me out...told me I could come back and get my stuff if I wanted...but I didn't...I stopped off at the morning show office and took as many office supplies as possible.

Q: How did you get the nickname Bingo Bob?
A: When I first walked into The Humble and Fred Show @ Edge102 to become an intern, Humble asked me what I did...and lucky me I was a bingo caller/runner/manager. So I immediately became Bingo Bob.

Q: Congrats on being the first Morning Show Producer for the new Proud FM. How is it working with Ken Kostick and Mary Jo Eustace?
A: They are terrific...very nice people who have a great chemistry...I can't wait to get on the air with them...and they cook! It's awesome.

Q: The launch of Proud FM was awfully quiet. You're the first gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender focused station in the country. Shouldn't you be bringing the noise?
A: Well, we aren't launched as of yet. If you do happen upon 103.9 while in your car, what you are hearing is merely a test of the signal...we don't launch until Mid-April.

Q: I'm a heterosexual male. Am I allowed to listen?
A: We are an inclusionary station, we don't JUST cater to the LGBT crowd, we are for everyone.

Q: Who's funnier? Humble or Fred?
A: Hmmmm...actually neither of them. I find them both to be quite serious and somewhat melancholy.

Q: In some quarters, Proud FM is probably a little controversial. Have you had any negative response? Do you receive homophobic email?
A: I haven't yet, but I know some people who were involved in the CRTC application have received death threats.

Q: The Proud FM website has been coming soon for a while now. Do you need a little help with that?
A: Let me ask around...I like your stuff...so we will see!

Q: I live a little west of the downtown core. I get 103.9, but it's a little fuzzy. Any plans to boost the signal so you come in clear throughout the 416?
A: Right now our signal is one of the smallest in Toronto...depending on where you are in the 416 you might have a hard time picking it up on a home stereo...but if you are listening in your car, we are coming in quite well all over the place. My dad called me the other day to say that he was listening while working in Brampton.

Q: Is there anything else you want to share with the Toronto Mike crowd?
A: Not that I can think of...Just that they should keep checking your site as often as possible, anybody who loves Humble and Fred, Pearl Jam and The Simpson's can't be half bad. (Those too are three of my favourite things) And of course to check out my blog too: http://blog.myspace.com/bingobob I have to admit I have been a little light on the postings as of late...who knew building a radio station from the ground up would be so much work?

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My Good 'ol Stereo Resurrected

speakerWhen I was dating my wife back in '95, there were two sleeping quirks she had to deal with. I slept all night with a fan on, no matter what season it was, and I fell asleep each night to the radio.

She not only learnt to live with the fan, but she now requires the fan for a good night's sleep. We've had a fan blowing on us every night of our marriage. The radio habit, however, had to go. My night time ritual of cruising my station presets and falling asleep with the sleep timer on ended when we got married.

Last night I decided to dust off my good 'ol Sony mini-system and set her up in the bedroom. I cruised the dial and added 20 FM presets, just as I did as a teenager. This stereo is about fifteen years old but everything works great except the CD player. It was sweet hearing her and seeing her again.

I wonder if there's room for three in this marriage. We'll soon find out!

My 15+ Year Old Stereo

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The CFRB Interview, As Promised

radioYesterday I wrote about my evening at CFRB. I promised I'd actually share the Humble Howard interview with Jim Richards, and here it is.

Here's part one...

And here's part two. This is the one you want to hear because the first 32 seconds are all about yours truly. Top of the world, Ma!

And just to be a completist, here's part three...

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My Evening At CFRB

radio"Wanna come to CFRB with me? It might be good for shits and giggles". That was Humble Howard's offer yesterday afternoon. As luck would have it, my Monday night was open and I was in the mood for shits and giggles. We agreed to meet outside 2 St. Clair Ave West at 7:45pm.

We burned an hour having coffee at the joint across the street before we entered the domain of Standard Broadcasting. This was his office before he was canned, so there was that extra element of awkwardness. We were met in the lobby by Richard the producer of the Jim Richards show and I was introduced as the embedded journalist. I love that title.

I got a tour of the on-air section and met Freeway Frank who was on the air at 99.9 MIX FM and a genuine nice guy. He's commented on this site before and even knew Toronto Mike. He was working in the studio where the Humble & Fred show was broadcast from, which made it even more eery. There was also EZ Rock 97.3, but we didn't go into their studio, and then there was 1010 CFRB.

My mother tells stories of my grandmother working at Laura Secords at St. Clair and Yonge and CFRB personalities like Gordon Sinclair and Betty Kennedy dropping by all the time, but I digress. CFRB has been a big time radio station in this market for a long time, whether we kids like it or not. It was very cool meeting the producer and board op and watching them to their thing while Humble was on the air. Dean, the board op, even answered my many questions about this crazy new medium called radio.

I took pictures, and you can see the photoset here. Jim Richards, who I sincerely think is a very funny man, was laid back cool, although we didn't get a chance to chat long. He was sorta busy workin'. The interview itself seemed to go well and Humble managed to drop a promo for this very site, which was cool. I'll share the interview here later.

At the end of the day, I enjoyed a lot of shits and giggles, and that was the point, wasn't it?

Jim Richards & Humble Howard

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