KVI is now Oldies

Includes archive of Bill Virgin's columns fromJ une 2006 - March 2009

Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby Slip Q » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:04 pm

Hey Cleave and Winnipeg

What did you guys think of can-con in the pre legislated days? I just noticed the 1968 survey from CJOC in Lethbridge that is posted in today's
radio history thread contains 25% can-con. 8 of the 32 songs on the chart were and still are considered to be can-con. The CJOC jocks are
pictured at the bottom of the survey and surprise, surprise, one of them is a chap named Mike Cleaver. Did you bitch loudly to your PD about
the amount of can-con that was being played? Of course you didn't. They were all hit songs and CJOC played the hits.

I'll grant you that some crap slipped through the cracks in the 70s when things were legislated, but it really wasn't as bad as you guys make it
out to be. And then 35 - 40 years later getting you nuts in a knot because a US oldies station is playing American Woman .. freakin' hysterical.

Nothing likle a newsman playing PD.
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Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby Dan Sys » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:20 pm

Slip Q said:

The CJOC jocks are pictured at the bottom of the survey and surprise, surprise, one of them is a chap named Mike Cleaver.


And he hasn't aged one bit through the decades.
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Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby Mike Cleaver » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:22 pm

It's so easy for some on this board to sit and snipe away about what happened years ago.
As I've said before: "Vas you dere, Charlie?"
That comes from an ancient comedy clip from the '40's.
Yes, we were playing Cancrap at CJOC.
Yes, the jocks did bitch about having to work from a play list in which they had no input.
The CJOC situation was unique.
The music director at the time owned the local record store.
Talk about conflict of interest.
He wouldn't release any records for airplay on the station until he had them in his store for sale to the general public.
And he'd add to the survey the records he wanted to push.
For most of us who were jocks, it was the first time we ever had to work with someone who told us what we must play and how often those records should be played.
Before that, if it was in the record library, it was available for airplay and new releases were auditioned and added or discarded on the decision of a music committee, made up of the pd, the librarian and the jocks.
There are a lot of dirty little secrets in the commercial radio business and you had to be there at the time to learn about them.
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Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby jon » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:42 pm

CJOC wasn't alone with that level of control. UBC Radio (CYVR) in 1970 was the same. All records that arrived at the station were locked up until the Music Director and Program Director either added them to the 40 song playlist, or they got so old they went into the record library shelves as an Oldie. We even had a Hot Clock, telling you what to play each minute of each hour.

Back to the original topic of the thread: Seattle Top 40 radio had a strongly Canadian flavour in the 1969-71 era, at least going by KOL-AM, where my ear was glued until PM Drive's Robert O. Smith got moved to KOL-FM. Seattle DX'er Bruce Portzer recorded the KOL 1970 year-end countdown, so I've had a chance to hear it several times over the years. The number of songs that would later be recognized as CanCon was simply staggering. Even the above mentioned "American Woman" was recognized as a double-sided hit. And you can hear Robert O. seamlessly and quickly flip the 45 during a short intro bit leading right into "No Sugar Tonight".
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Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby jawbone » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:22 pm

Mike Cleaver wrote:Yes, the jocks did bitch about having to work from a play list in which they had no input.


Guess that's why the other guy had the title of music director. He knew what was selling.

I imagine you didn't stay there long considering your scruples and always having a better way to do things.

I don't know you Mr. Cleaver and have never heard you as a broadcaster, but I can tell you that I have never encountered someone as closed to other people's opinions, as you appear to be here. I hope it is just an act.
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Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby sparky » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:46 pm

Mike Cleaver wrote:For most of us who were jocks, it was the first time we ever had to work with someone who told us what we must play and how often those records should be played.
Before that, if it was in the record library, it was available for airplay and new releases were auditioned and added or discarded on the decision of a music committee, made up of the pd, the librarian and the jocks.
There are a lot of dirty little secrets in the commercial radio business and you had to be there at the time to learn about them.


This must have been quite a shock to all those new arrivals from Podunkville. Imagine working in an environment where there is some structure. I'll bet the station even had commercial logs that told you what commercials to play andf when to play them. Reading over your posts, you try to make it sound like every jock was the PD and MD of his 3 or 4 hour time slot. From 1963 onwards I worked at several stations, and not once was there one where you had the freedom to play what you wanted. Nobody had the freedom to grab a stack of records from the library and play what they felt like hearing that particular day. If you were playing tracks from albums, it was the proven hits that you played, not some obscure track from side II of a Freddy Cannon album. The new music that got played was what was on the weekly playlist and it was in the control room. Jocks couldn't just grab a stack of new releases from the Music Director's desk and play something for the hell of it. Oldies were usually categorized and you could choose stuff from each category so it had some sort of rotation.

The jocks at M-O-R stations usually had a little more flexability than their Top 40 counterparts. Things were pretty safe if they were playing music from familiar artists like Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Andy Williams etc. Their listeners listened for the sound and familiar artists, they didn't care about hearing the latest and greatest from whoever.

Over the years tighter controls on the music were made so the station would have a consistant sound. Let's face it, many on-air people have virtually no music or programming sense whatsoever. As a matter of fact, some are downright stupid. They may have a big voice, but they can't ad-lib 5 words without ummming and awwwing. How would you expect these clowns to be able to pick music? You might have a guy who's girl of the week likes country, so he tries to take his four hours in a more countrty direction just to please the little woman. Someone else might think he's a jazz expert and thinks he can spice up his daypart with a bit of Dizzy Gillespie or Stanley Turrentine. The morning guy might be a few years older than the young punks at the station and he decides some Mitch Miller or Lawrence Welk would be good aronund the breakfast table.

There is a god reason for control over the music of a station. It's their product. Likewise there isa good reason many one time jocks end up driving taxi, managing a McDonald's or greeting people at Walmart. Once again, these are all new careers that have structure and guidelines to them.
"You get a bunch of clowns together and sooner or later you've got a circus"
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Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby Mike Cleaver » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:34 pm

Jawbone: I realized being a jock had no future towards the end of the '60's.
It already had become too formatted and that wasn't a bad thing, it allowed stations to move from block programming, which was still in effect when I worked at CKOV and CJOC, including carrying CBC news and other programs and religious programming, to something more focused to the audience they were attempting to serve.
A certain type of music was expected during the morning show, then during mid mornings and afternoons while evenings allowed more freedom to play the "modern music."
If you don't know anything about me or my history in this business, going back 50 years next Christmas Eve, try Google.
That's the public broadcast history.
My behind the scenes work in broadcasting to make it more inclusive for women and minorities has been partially detailed in earlier threads.
Sparky: I don't know where you started but most jocks during that era started in "Podunkville" as you called it.
Until I left CKOV in April of '67, we still were picking and pulling our own music based on a general "time of day" directive.
At CJOC in 1967, when I arrived on May 3rd, there only was moderate control of the playlist, again, based on time of day, which increased monthly by a music director who had a vested interest in selling records, withholding new material from the radio station until it was available for sale in his store.
Study the history of the music industry as it relates to cross promotion of music in radio and the term "payola."
By late 1968, I had happily moved on to radio and television news and engineering
The totally controlled play list did not exist in my radio history until CKXL in 1971 and then CHUM in 1972.
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Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby Paul P » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:00 pm

I've been a keen observer of this site for some time and now feel compelled to jump in.

Mike Cleaver is correct, to a certain extent. Many stations, back in the day, that were family-owned, allowed the DJ's a certain amount of freedom when it came to choosing the music they played. In most cases, the 45's were in a certain 'slot' in the library and the jock had the freedom to choose which ones to play during a shift.
In the larger cities and multi-station operations, a music director was in charge and that was his (most of the time) job, to make sure formats were kept 'clean'.

As for CanCon, I was a jock when it was first introduced. Granted, at the time it seemed an onerous task to get the quota in, and tighter formats which were coming in at the time, made it harder in many cases to comply.
That is why some suffered CanCon 'burnout'.

104.9 in Vancouver is suffering from that ailment, which in my opinion, should not be allowed to happen. There have been many great Cdn. oldies from the 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s that could be played. More songs, in a wider rotation over a longer period of time would simply take care of it. I can't understand why it is such a problem.

As for KVI, I have tuned in a couple of times this week, and I must say it is great to hear much of the old time U-S music that you never hear on this side of the border. If they want to throw in a Canadian oldie because it was a hit, that's a bonus for their target U-S audience as far as I am concerned.
Being nice is my resolve - in 2012
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Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby sparky » Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:45 pm

I have a feeling Cleaver and Wpg will now be boycotting NHL hockey games.

In the final minute of tonight's Canucks game in Pittsburgh, the fans in the CONSOL Energy Center were treated to a portion of BTO's
Takin' Care Of Business to get the outta their seats and cheering the Penguins on.

Can you imagine an American audience in Pittsburgh, PA being forced to listen to a piece of Crap-Con.

What's the world coming to?
"You get a bunch of clowns together and sooner or later you've got a circus"
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Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby Anotherwpgguy » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:55 am

I've been boycotting NHL games for about 30 years. So mercifully, I was spared the monotonous caveman beat of BTO signalling rival tribes they had best be on guard tonite because they are out lookin' for women after drinking fermented grapes, and getting tattooed.

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Re: KVI is now Oldies

Postby Mike Cleaver » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:12 pm

I too was born without the professional sports gene, where overweight, out of shape guys lounge on couches and in bars and get s**tfaced watching some overpaid brawlers instead of getting off their asses and actually participating in sports.
So hockey, yeah, never watched it except for taking my late father to a Leafs-Canadiens game in Toronto in the last decade and a few times in a private box at some Senators games.
A totally overrated and overpriced "entertainment event" in my books.
Now, they even want you to pay to watch it on tv!
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