Remembering CJAT

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Remembering CJAT

Postby jon » Wed May 23, 2012 3:25 pm

The recent death of Dave Glover discussed in another thread got me thinking about CJAT in Trail. Where so many on air folks have been. For a long time, it was the second market that many went to. Often from CJDC in Dawson Creek or CHQB in Powell River, where many got their start.

By the time that I arrived in May 1972, CJAT-610 was a cooking little Top 40 station that made good money, despite not airing any ads after 6pm. In the basin below Cominco where most of the Trail population lived, no other AM station could be heard in the day, and the RF interference from Cominco made it tough to listen on skip at night.

John Jackson is one name that comes to mind. Not just because he was at CJAT when I was, but that he was still there more than 10 years later. He did PM Drive in 1972, and was also Music Director. CJAT had a weekly record chart, of 40 songs, but it was not numbered. The first song was just the first song, not the most popular. As a chart collector in the 1960s, we called them Play Lists as opposed to Record Surveys. They weren't generally published, and stayed within the station. I don't know anyone who still has a copy of CJAT's play list from that era.

John was a great guy with lots of enthusiasm, who never let Billboard's Hot 100 get in the way of charting a song that listeners liked. "Super Bird" by Neil Sedaka comes to mind. John had a huge knowledge and respect for the music of the '50s, which undoubtedly influenced his decision to give the song a listen and some airplay so that listeners had a chance to express their interest in it. John would often hang around until after midnight and talk on air with the evening DJ after management was asleep and couldn't complain. The topic was usually Music of the '50s.
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby jon » Wed May 23, 2012 4:06 pm

And here is a current picture of Jim Harrison. He and Barrett Lawrie were the CJAT News team in 1972.

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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby mccrady » Thu May 24, 2012 12:34 pm

CJAT was my first broadcasting job. I started in the summer of 1960, right out of High School. Dave Glover was the first of many memorable characters I was to meet in my time there and in the years that followed.

Also around at that time were Harry Barisoff and Joy Pollard (better known on the wet coast as Joy Langan, union activist and, for one term, NDP MP for Mission-Coquitlam). And kooks such as Jerry Stevens, who went on to be a creative writer for an advertising agency in Vancouver. Glover loaned his car, a little Simca, to Jerry one day so he could run an errand. I don't have the vocabulary to adequately describe the initial look on Dave's face when Gerry returned, handed him the keys and told him the car shimmies at 85.

Guys who went into other fields included newsman Roy LaValley (law), Joe Remesz (real estate), Ralph Milton and Jack Fisher, who both went to the dark side (PR).

Glover was the guy who took young punks such as myself by the scuff of the neck and slowly but surely morphed us into both announcers and civilized people. He and Dawn would have us over for dinner. He would point out our mistakes in ways that helped us remember: "I never want to hear you say a-GAIN again."

I was on the radio. Two hundred bucks a month. Living out of a boarding house. And when I look back on it, some of the best years of my life.
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby jon » Fri May 25, 2012 7:38 am

A 1930s CJAT QSL card sold recently on eBay for over $100:
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/261002824732

Seller's scan is a bit fuzzy, but still worth a look.

Says 13 bids, but there were actually only three bidders duking it out.

I don't recall EVER (before) seeing anything on eBay from CJAT, despite automated daily searches for the last dozen or more years.
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby radiofan » Fri May 25, 2012 9:20 am

In my early record collecting days (late 60s) I seem to recall seeing a 45 with a yellow CJAT label. Does this ring any bells? If it actually does exist, was it a station profile promo or was it
a CJAT jingle from PAMS or some other jingle house? I have a KISN Portland "Sound Of The City" 45 (which was a PAMS jingle all about Portland) and a 45 from KJR in Seattle with their
"Sound Citizen" jingle on it.

Would love to hear it if it actually exists.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby oldnewsman » Fri May 25, 2012 9:56 am

Hey McCrady..tjhat Simca beloged to Jack Fisher...long suffering News Directior (a former Scottish military policeman) He had to work with Berisoff and Bruce Hood. Gerry Stevens was an announcer but not in the newsroom. If you remember we had to wear ties...even at night when no one was in the station. Joe Kobluk was the new Station Manager . Dave Townsend, who lived with his mother over the Bank of Montreal, was the bookkeeper/accountant. Do Freer, who worked at Comincpo (didn't everyone) would broadcast the smokeatrer's play by play with Harry supplyi g the backup stats. Nancy Green was making a name for herself skiing at Rossland. Ralph Milton, PD, becasme a Missionary.. Joe Remusz, the morning man, was a graduate of Lorne Greens academy. Bob Kay was the strange mid day announcer...he used to be the Puritan Jolly Miller. The company did buy rock records so Dave borrowed them from the local record store so hne could play them on his hit parade show. I remember Pat Boone's Moody River wasn't heard for a month until Dave borrowed it. Dave Glover, who also played accordion in a band, watched over all us young guys really well.. Ed Karjl who landed at CFUN was hired...stayed one day and disappeared after he found out that the night disc jockey monitored the CBC and filed records and mailed back transcriptions and programs. For the newsroom the competition was Bruce Hogle's Trail Times with its crack English reporter Dennis Williams. It was a fun time...and the nurses residence was downtown next to the Legion and Trail arena, while the hospital was acrosss the river.When you mleft that station you were well trained.... Oldnewsman
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby mccrady » Fri May 25, 2012 11:32 am

Oooops. I thought that car was Dave's. Mayhaps the old brain is starting to lose a few wrinkles. Dave Townsend was best man at my wedding. Is he still around? And how could I forget Hood, with whom I also worked at CFCP in Courtenay. And Bob Kay and his chocolate-covered ants for breakfast. My memory of Don Freer relates to his mother ... she entered -- and won -- a guess-the-sound-effect contest called Kitchen Klatter. The draw was done at 'NW in Vancouver, so there was no fix in. Anyway, I was sent out to interview her. But she had a bad ticker, so to keep from having a cardiac episode she took a tranquilizer right after she heard the show. By the time I got there, getting any sense of excitement out of her was a lost cause. It was a dreadful piece of tape. And then there was Ken Littley, the part-timer who loved to sing along with whatver fat lady was doing her thing on the Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera broadcast. And Burt Decaire, the kid who filled to time after the opera with the rankest rock and roll he could find..

There was action at places other than the nurses' residence. Remember Kline's apartments? And the great flood of '61 when I had to move in with Stevens and Hood because my boarding house, which was on the river, was half under water.

Interesting times. And you're right. I was well-trained when I left that place.
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby oldnewsman » Fri May 25, 2012 12:40 pm

wasn't there some problem with Littley and children? after we moved along? Townsend was a captain in the reserves in Trail. And then there was Pat O'neil who also was with us in Courtenay after Trail..enough said. Oldnewsman. Glad you are still around and finally filled in the Vancouver broadcasters info.. it was sketchy at first...
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby PMC » Fri May 25, 2012 11:04 pm

Great engineering with John Renzie ! :towel:

Plenty of spaghetti and chicken at the Colander :lol:
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby crs » Sat May 26, 2012 5:59 am

As a former 'QR Castlegar alumni, my best CJAT memory was the year we had our Christmas staff party at East Gate Garden (GM Gord Brady loved their Chinese food) and we knew that CJAT was having theirs at the Curling Club across the street. Well after our fill of chow mein, egg rolls and copious amounts of our favourite beverage, someone had the bright idea that we "crash" the CJAT bash to exchange Season's Greetings. Could've heard a pin drop when we burst through the door...I honestly thought Dennis Guerin was gonna chomp through his cigar.

As News Director and lone reporter for QR, I quickly realized how impossible it would be to compete with a newsroom of 5 in Trail including a FT Sports Director....our Sports Director at QR doubled as mid-day host.

Nice reading about the CJAT memories. Small town West Kootenay radio at it's finest!
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby oldnewsman » Sat May 26, 2012 3:57 pm

It is interesting to notre how many of CKNW's people worked at CJAT..starting with Bill Hughes in 1945..including Geroge Garrett as manager At one point ...even MacDonald, the present news director.. Someone should make a list...The training had to have been great.
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby jon » Sat May 26, 2012 6:28 pm

oldnewsman wrote:It is interesting to notre how many of CKNW's people worked at CJAT..starting with Bill Hughes in 1945..including Geroge Garrett as manager At one point ...even MacDonald, the present news director.. Someone should make a list...The training had to have been great.

I know it is not what you meant, but I think it is worth pointing out that CJAT was a couple of "tiers" away from CKNW, in the sense that CKNW was not hiring directly from CJAT. At least in the '60s and '70s, and likely beyond, if you were from B.C., you generally started your career at stations like CJDC in Dawson Creek or CHQB in Powell River. CJAT hired people from CJDC and CHQB. After CJAT or another "second step" station, there were generally a couple more steps before you hit the Vancouver market.

There were exceptions, of course. Chuck Chandler went straight from CJDC to all nights on CJCA Edmonton, in 1965 when CJCA was still winning the Top 40 wars, and not doing badly in the overall market ratings either.

Among other reasons, Trail was considered a one station market because of the geography and the RF noise from the Cominco smelter, which prevented stations other than CJAT from being heard clearly, if at all.
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby Mike Cleaver » Sat May 26, 2012 7:17 pm

MacDonald hasn't been News Director at NW for five years now.
He's the Assignment Editor.
Ian Koenigsfest has the News Director title and also produces the talk shows.
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby mccrady » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:14 am

A few years after Dave Glover retired in 1993, be was asked to produce a history of broadcasting in Trail. Copies of the document, which he titled "One Moment Please" were made available at his memorial service, both on paper and as emailed .pdf scans.

The writing could be tighter, but it contains some neat anecdotes.

I don't have sufficient clearance to post attachments here, but if anyone would like a copy emailed to them, here's how to reach me (shredded thusly to thwart spammers):

1.It starts with "dmccrady"
2.Separated by an "@" sign from the e-mail server
3.The mail server starts with "telus"
4.It has a ".net" extension.
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Re: Remembering CJAT

Postby Jack Bennest » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:04 pm

This should make it easier for those interested in seeing the document

http://www.bcradiohistory.com/Pictures7/one.pdf

Just press the link
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