Best Canadian Announcer of All Time?

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Best Canadian Announcer of All Time?

Postby jon » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:41 pm

The CBC's George Maclean would be the person I'd normally name if I was ever asked who had the best combination of sound and ability to "read well".

But, I just stumbled on a mini-bio of Allan McFee, and recall that he was my choice before I started hearing George. It occurs to me that Allan may still be my #1 choice, but he kind of fell off my radar in the '70s because the only serious work I heard him do after that was his nightly Two Seconds of Fame when he could be heard to say "The National, with {whoever}". Back in the late '60s, you'd hear him every morning at 8:35 a.m. with Max Ferguson on CBC Radio, "talking crazy talk", but then he usually did at least one national Newscast a day on CBC Radio.

I'd be interested in your thoughts on really great announcers. Obviously, if we move beyond Canada, I'd be thinking about Walter Cronkite. And, of course, different criteria gives you a different answer. Robert O. Smith, for example, would get my vote for the announcer I most enjoyed listening to 6 days a week, every week for years, when he was on KOL Seattle in the late '60s and early '70s.
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Postby Gord Robson » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:28 pm

Bob McCord, Wes Montgomery, Mike Marshall CHED, Norm Edwards, Michael JA Obrien, Jim Jackson CKXL, Daryl B, Doc Harris, Dan Williamson, Racoon CKLG, and the best of all IMOP Rick Honey of CKNW with Frosty a very close second.

In Saskatchewan, Hart Kirch, Johnny Walker Dave Mitchell and Charlie West when he was there.

In Winnipgeg.... Boyd Kozak, Doc Steen, Don Slade, Jim Christie, Gary Hart and many others.

In can read that elsewhere.

In Montreal.....Ralph Lockwood, Dean Hagopian, Roger Scott, Gary Kines, Jim Patton, Donny Burns and I could go on and on for all the cities.

And of course with respect to Wes......Don Percy.

They're all great. It's not a contest.
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Postby Russ_Byth » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:36 pm

OK, now I'm hurt! :cry:
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Postby OpenMike » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:32 pm

Allan McFee called his job "a heavenly way to live." The long-time "irreverent" CBC radio host lived to the ripe old age of 87. McFee joined the CBC in 1937, just nine months after the corporation came into being. And he spent a staggering 52 plus years here as a host and announcer.

Allan McFee's popularity grew, probably because of his lack of respect for anything official. He was a long-time sidekick for Max Ferguson's show Rawhide in the '50s, and for 17 years he hosted the programme Eclectic Circus -- juggling a mix of classical and popular music with well -- insanity is the word that comes to mind.

Even after his retirement in 1985, Allan McFee worked as an announcer for Air Farce and the Max Ferguson Show.

McFee had a reputation early on as a rebel at the CBC, joking on-air and clashing with producers and bureaucrats who tried to repress his act.

One of the ways he'd vent his frustrations was to dot the studio ceiling with asparagus tips he'd thrown in the air.

Alex Frame, vice-president of CBC Radio, honoured McFee as the "oldest-ever 'enfant terrible'".
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Postby YesterDaze » Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:02 am

For his purely announcer qualifications, George McLean has achieved hero status with me. Thirty-some-odd years after his hey day as the voice of CBC News, he is still heard nationally doing radio commercials.

A lot of them.

And he's obviously no spring chicken. But to my ear, his pipes are the same as ever.
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Postby Jack Bennest » Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:58 am

George Mclean is so old I can remember his voice over on a commercial
for the local funeral parlour in Penticton

George worked briefly at CKOK along with a host of others and commercials sometimes lingered for years on the air.

George must be in his 80's and using the talent fees for trips abroad.
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Postby jon » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:00 pm

If you are interested, you can hear a lengthy report from George McLean from 43 years ago. He is covering the situation in Port Alberni just after the 1964 Alaska earthquake that caused a tidal wave in Port Alberni. At 7:55 into this clip, George's report starts: ... _tsunamis/

Top Dog: I heard a rumour a few years back that George was doing voice work to put his granddaughter through university, but I haven't confirmed that.

Oops, I just googled and found out that I started the rumour as a joke when I first heard his Choice hotels ad on air here several years ago, and posted it on a radio discussion board at the time.

And, I also see that I have fallen for a few misspellings on the site. It is McLean, not Mac.
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Postby Glen Livingstone » Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:07 am

Let's not forget Hal Weaver.
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Postby XFM » Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:09 am

Alan McPhee
Michael Enright
Barbara Frum
Lister Sinclair
Peter Gzowski (not tv)
Ralph Benmurgi (when he did radio, not tv)

Norm Edwards
Bruce Kenyon (when he did talk)
Mike Richards
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
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Postby Victoriaradio » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:01 pm

Al Jordan
Jack Kyle
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Postby Gord Robson » Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:39 am

I'm with Pluto on Hal Weaver who we lost much too young. The guys where I heard him on CJCA were really good and he was a stand out. Names there included Jim Hault, Bob Gibbons, Frank Todd, Don Lamb, Lorne King, Bob Bradburn, and many many others and I'm sorry if I forgot anybody.
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Postby crs » Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:58 am

being a child of the 70s and Top 40 radio, my favs would be Roy Hennessey, Jim Hault, Jay McPhail and Gord Robson. They just had a natural way of making radio fun to listen to.

as far as radio news, Roy Jacques, David Palmer and Merv Connelly had great reads. JJ Richards had a great set of pipes too.

BTW Gord Robson, if you read this. What's the story with the "Skip" Robson moniker back in the 80s? I often wondered if you made the decision or if some pinhead in the corner office woke up one day and decided you would be renamed "Skip." Just curious...
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Postby Gord Robson » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:43 am

Thank you crs......The story behind the 'skip' thing is simple. I just thought I would add something to what I had been doing on CKLG as the station was moving to a younger audience in those days and I was now doing afternoon drive after middays. And LG73 had become 'new music radio' with all the the greats like Jeff Rechner to come. It worked and got some attention. I just kind of laugh at it now. It's showbiz.
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Postby johnsykes » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:51 pm

Funny the Skip day at CJOR, I suddenly threw the gauntlet at JP McConnell who was at WX at the time.....countering his J Paul bit, I closed my sportscast with J Robson Sykes reporting. Within minutes I was called in to Don Wall's office and asked about it......I was just in fun.....but my second name is J Robson Sykes should be ok.....Don said.....sure but you poked fun at not only McConnell....but that great sportscaster at NW...Jim Robson. It was the last time I ever used J Robson Sykes.

Cheers all
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Postby Promotions Guy » Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:39 pm

I agree wiwth Gord Robson. I have listened to, and worked with a lot of announcers, but I think one of the most talented is Bob McCord. From his first days at CHED as James Bond to Glacier Insurance, McCord kept everyone going and never a dull moment. I remember being around the station when he "walked out" and Don Kay jumped in suddenly. It was what radio is all about. Personality. I wish radio would go back to the talent and out of the hands of the bean counters.
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