Early Victoria Radio

A look back at various radio stations

Postby Jack Bennest » Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:36 pm

KITN was the property of two local Victoria guys, "Mad Mel" Potts and Rob McAdams. Potts,(who legally changed his name to Mel Happy), eventually landed with 14 CFUN in Vancouver and now resides in Australia. Robert McAdams is a Victoria Real estate developer. KITN was a Victoria radio station which operated out of a store-front window in the Metropolitan Store on Douglas Street, Circa:1961-2.. the boys bought air-time from KONP 1450 AM, a two hundred fifty watt AM radio station 20 miles south of Victoria in Port Angeles, Washington, who's signal booms into the Victoria market! the boys sold air-time to Victora merchants, then broadcast via telephone line from the store-front location to KONP studios and transmitted on 1450 across the straight to Vancouver Island from 4pm to 8pm Monday thru Friday... this was Victoria's first official "Rock and Roll" radio station...Mad Mel and Rob the Blob were active in participation on the promotion of local bands and talent as described in the ad promoting the new station, ie: Belmont High School and this promotional dance feature... kudos to these Victoria pioneers who had an idea that worked for a time....

cut and paste directly from the www
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Postby Victoriaradio » Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:31 pm

I just returned from a trip to Ireland. Dublin radio sounds like any other major city radio. Same music, pace, commercial content and homogenized, standardized, corporate controlled, personality lacking sound. Corporate disinterest in the "art" of radio has made shopping center sound the world around. Fortunately I found the Irish sound in the rural areas!
Alan
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Postby Jack Bennest » Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:04 pm

thank god AN is back.....


to bring some sanity to this board - up with the Irish!!
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Postby radiofan » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:24 pm

I believe Doc Harris was involved with Mel Potts and KITN.

Some may recall there was an actual KITN on 920 in Olympia, WA ... no relation to the KITN in Victoria.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Postby Jack Bennest » Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:49 am

See new thread on Jack Stewart
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Postby Victoriaradio » Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:27 pm

Sound images from an earlier time on Victoria airwaves..............

Bob Switzer with silken voice introducing a 78 record on CJVI.

Laurie Dillabaugh reading the Victoria Home Furnace Oil 8 O'clock evening news on CJVI.

Lorne Cunningham reporting an accident from the CJVI news cruiser (parked outside the Red Lion Inn).

Dave Abbot open lining on CJVI in the morning.

Jules Ross giving money away on CKDA on "Cash Clues".

Roy Jacques at CKDA with bold news editorials.

Ed Farey from 1 to 3 on CKDA with "Music for you and Me."

Dave Armstrong interviewing folks on Roving Reporter outside Francis Jewellers on CKDA.

Keith McKenzie reading sports at mid day on CKDA.

Dave Hill (the smoothest voice in Canadian radio) doing the wake up show at CKDA.

Dave Shearer playing Hernandos Hideaway on CFAX.

Hugh Curtis reading the 6 evening news on CFAX.

Bill Dobson in the afternoons on CJVI.

Jim Cairnie reporting weekend news on CJVI.

Bob Aylward at CJVI playing records.

Maurice Cownden doing Club 900 on CJVI at 9 at night.

Andy Stephen reading the 6 evening news on CKDA.

Tippy O'Neill on CKDA at 6:05 with "Tippy's Srapbook."

Ferdy Baglo spinning country records on CKDA from 5 to 6 PM.

Ted Reynolds hosting "Six For One" on CJVI.

Rudy Hartmann on CJVI with "good" music.

Joe Easingwood on CJVI Saturday nights with "Music From Around The World."

Stan Peters hosting a teen show on CJVI.

Ray Nichol on CKDA with Empire Music Hall.

Hal Yerxa with his talking bird on CKDA at 4 for the kids.

Don Wilson reading news at night on CKDA.

Barry Bowman doing the morning mayor show on CFAX for decades.

Norm Pringle on House Party evenings on CKDA.

Phil Barter reading news at CKDA.
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Postby Victoriaradio » Tue Jul 04, 2006 8:07 am

One important name that got missed in all the above is Bill Pike. Bill with the deepest news radio voice in the world was at CKDA for a long time. Eventually, he was News Director. Bill was rooted in Victoria as was his brother who built some of Victoria's early townhouses. A talented radio professional and fine person!
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Postby Jack Bennest » Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:58 pm

Bill Pike - News CKMO Vancouver 1949-early 50s; news CKDA/CFMS-FM Victoria; Saturday morning Roving Reporter on Douglas Street CKDA. Died in Victoria August 8, 1983 at age 61.

do we have a picture anywhere Allan?
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Postby Victoriaradio » Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:18 pm

Gordon Reid was the Number 2 person at CKDA for many early years. He was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, travelled with a stock company...Edmund Harvey Productions..."Bachelor Husband." Started in radio at CJOR to CFRN to CKNW and then to CKDA. He co-hosted "Housewives Holiday:" on CKDA for several years, also emceed a public participation show called, "Meet The People." For a time he announced a 30 minute evening show of classical music called, "Treasure Chest." Gordon Reid died in Victoria.
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Postby czarcasm » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:59 pm

Is Hal Yerxa the same person who later went on to start CFCW in Camrose?
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Postby Victoriaradio » Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:34 am

Yes. Hal Yerxa is the same one.
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Postby segueking2 » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:09 pm

Thanks for the Victoria post.
Yup - woked there too.

CKDA - Art Simmons was News Director - Ralph Pashley (when he was sober enough, bless him) - Art L. Cooper -Music Director.
Ruby Masters and Dave Armstrong.
It was quite a place. I just about destroyed Keith McKenzie's nerves. I was op and at CKDA they had this arcane way of getting guys on the air live from Memorial Arena. Keith would dutifully phone and I would never be able to get him on.
I would go and shoot pool with Art Simmons, in the basement of the Olympic Hotel, around the corner from the Douglas.
It was a great time. No money, but a great time.
I watched the famous Bobby Hull goal to win the Stanley Cup - in the Douglas Hotel bar - where the morning man (whose name escapes me) was holding court.
It was quite a place.
CFMS? One room. That was it.

I was opping at CFAX - and worked with Hugh Curtis. What a weird dude. If you screwed up with his pile THIS high of voicers, or missed a cue...you were dead. He would come screaming into the both and kick yer chair and call you a stupid DONKEY!
Oh, the love!!!!!

I worked with Ray Orchard the night man landed on the moon.

That was amazing.
In those days we had teletype machines from all the news services spewing out reams of that yellow newsprint.
We had a flash that the Eagle had landed. Then for about one minute all the teletypes STOPPED.
Then 5 Bells and ALL OF them exploded. MAN ON THE MOON - A NEW ERA FOR MAN.
Can't get that kind of excitement listening to a station with recorded voice tracks and the same tired crund we have now.
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Postby Victoriaradio » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:06 am

I am glad you mentioned Keith McKenzie. I remember when he arrived at CKDA, young, inexperienced, and a voice that had to stuggle to be radio ready. He loved sports of course and became Sports Director, but he also hosted other shows. In fact he became a seasoned voice and great radio personality. Dave Armstrong really liked him and moved him into management which Keith found awkward at first. He took over sales and near the end of the Armstrong rule, Keth was virtually Number 2 at CKDA. I think he is still in Victoria doing something other than radio. A most likeable guy!
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Postby segueking2 » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:33 am

Keith is a prince to have put up with Oafs like me.

It is SO COOL to have anyone on the board that worked at some of the old joints in Victoria.
Anyone who worked at UVIC RADIO - PLEASE WRITE!

Anyone knowing where I can reach CLINT NICKERSON?
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Postby Victoriaradio » Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:58 pm

Bob Genn and I were the founders of Uvic Radio. We started the station in an old gardener's hut near the old cafeteria. We were hardwired to the "caf" the only location of our sound. Others involved in the first year of the station were John Sparks, Russ Gurney, Norm Jones, Bill Ozard, and Bob Food
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