Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Postby Tom Jeffries » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:35 pm

I get asked that question more than you would believe. I always give the same answer. I felt UNBELIEVABLY Blessed to have worked there, because of the PEOPLE, at 1900 West 4th Avenue.

For you non Vancouverites - CFUN was on am at 1410 - with a 50 KW pusher. Not the greatest pattern, but our engineers made the Station sound great - MONO.

When you are dealing with people PLUS entertainment, there are the inevitable clash of egos - but, if there were,I never saw it - and as far as I was concerned, I didn’t work with ONE Prima Donna.
What a relief that is! I looked forward to going to CFUN, every day.

I know that 3:45 am doesn’t sound very glamourous, but, I got to sit in for the incredible Fred Latremouille, and had the chance to do mornings, a ton. That was incredibly stressful - but with the stress came the drive to make every break perfect. Every jock at the station were excellent. Tom Lucas, Bob Merchant, Stu Ferguson, and Robert D. Vine, Jack Casey, Freddie, Rich Ellwood, Kirk Wilson, Darryl B. (*Incredibly we lost Darryl and Rick Honey within days, of each other, 12 years ago - and a huge hole was left in our Industry). Jim Hault was a great Morning talent, Ched Miller, and so many more.
The News Staff were led by JJ Richards. World Class. Kathy Danford was my team mate in the afternoon and she is just amazing. NEVER stumbled - always top of her game. (* Having Kathy Danford in the newsroom, really raised the bar).

I loved the feeling of connecting with CFUN listeners, because they were always great to have on the air, and I was glad to be able to gift many people with prizes and cash over the years. In effect, we all got paid to make people HAPPY. I take great comfort in that.

As my final years wind down, I look back on all those years, and smile. Thanks to Alan and Jimmy Waters are in order. The Family from CHUM, bought the station, after reacquiring the signal from the ignominy of CKVN and the owners in Montreal.
They treated all their staff VERY well. We were NOT over paid - but we were valued and the incredible Chuck McCoy and - later Pat St. John and Neil Gallagher, made sure that all of us were aware that we were part of something special. Our Christmas Parties were legendary.

Paul Ski was the GM for many years, and his skills find him now as one of the top shooters at Rogers. Thanks to Paul for his help when we worked together at CFRA in Ottawa, as well.
I had a career because of OTHER people, you see.
Fred Latremouille - was my mentor * more on Freddie when I look at KISS-FM years.

May I also take a moment to say thank you to you - if you just so happened to listen to CFUN, back in the day and we crossed paths. I had a great audience and we had warm repartee. It was a pleasure, believe me.
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Re: Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Postby Tom Jeffries » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:50 pm

I hasten to add - (*memory stick malfunction, in my brain)....Russ McLoud and J. Robert Wood, were two great cogs in the CFUN wheel. Mr. Wood was sent west to sort out CFUN and he sure did.

We used to stand up, when we were on the air. The Board was a Stan Davis Special. We used WIC’s excellent Aristocarts, as opposed to Audio Pac, in the majority. Sennheiser mikes, in Production, News and On Air.
The Production Crew at CFUN was always on the case. Curtis Staples and Robin Hagenbuck, were two excellent producers and they BOTH tried to help me be a better commercial reader - but I always SUCKED. The work of Jim Hault or Freddie or everyone else on staff was pretty hot. I was a live performer, and few can do commercials and be on air, with equal skill. Latremouille, Doc Harris and a few others yes, me? Not a chance.

Kits in the Seventies and early 80’s is a far cry from the latte sipping, BMW crowd, that has taken over my hood. Having the CFUN building turned into a thrift store? I would have never guessed.

The local hangout was Bimini.

Darryl B. had his own chair at the Bar.

Pac-Man and beer. Many informal jock meetings. Mellow.

CFUN was more like a home. I hope you have worked at a station that felt that way to you. I would see the people I loved everyday, play loud music, give away stuff and have fun - and get paid.

I don’t think it gets much better than that.

I am glad that at least a few of the CFUN types are still on the air. Tom Lucas, and a few others.

CFUN and CKLG were in a ratings tong war for years and I am not sure who won, and I don’t really care. I liked a lot of the CKLG guys, and we respected the hell out of them and the folks at Rock 101 and LG-FM. Brothers in arms, if you will.

Few people got to do what we did for a living and I wish you could have hung out with us for a few shifts. Oh sure, I wasn’t standing around, it was GO,GO, GO, but it was amazingly interesting....trying to make everything fit in the hour....following the format, talking to people....doing five things at once.

I loved it.

Remember “The Phrase that Pays”? The promotion was a stellar success because it had people simply answering their phone “I Listen to CFUN”, if it was CFUN calling - the caller would win a grand,

We used it at the re-launch of CFUN and gradually into the 80’s the Funsticker, became our stock and sell - placed on the rear window of your car, could win you loot. We’d call out the licence number and you had 14 minutes to call and win. (*As I recall - but I am hazy on that one).

We always had something going on.
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Re: Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Postby Anotherwpgguy » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:54 pm

Absolutely stupendous Tom .... it was a wonderful place to work.

Putting this link forward as a bit of humour, this is the way that Peter Benson and I wished we were like as we were on our way to 1900 West 4th ....

http://youtu.be/TtvsozMhbS4

AWG
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Re: Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Postby Tom Jeffries » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:43 pm

The transition from CKVN to CFUN was an exciting time - and I should hasten to add we had a TON of great talent in that era...from J. Lee Smith, and his winger Peter “Boom Boom” Benson, to Russ Tyson, Tom Lewis, John Rode, Johnny Mac and even Jon McComb.
Without everyone pulling on the same oar, we would have never made it.
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Re: Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Postby Eldon-Mr.CFAY » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:41 pm

Greetings,
Regarding CFUN to CKVN. I have a lot of the CFUN charts and CKVN music charts too. Don't forget Disc Jockey and great music host Hal Weaver. He worked at CKVN among other stations including CHUM and CHOW in Ontario. Hal was a great guy as I am sure Radiofan will confirm as well. We both spent some time at CKVN years ago while Hal did his program at CKVN. Interesting time in the CKVN Production studio!!! I just loved the CFUN/CKVN Fourth Avenue studio location. It was just down the street from one of my favorite radio and electronic parts stores, Rendell-Paret Electronics (now known as RP. Electronics but not at that location anymore). It was one of the first radio stores I bought parts at when I first became interested in Radio way back in 1967!!! I also remember an interesting store near there on 4th Avenue in Vancouver called the Psychedelic Shop which sold incense , rock posters etc.. Yeah I bought some posters and incense there. Always loved walking by C-FUN Studios on 4th Avenue and if the reception was open I would often walk in to get any promo. materia for contests or music charts. However my fondest memories of CFUN/CKVN are when Hal Weaver worked there. I remember that Hal did a remote broadcast when I think he worked for CJOR 600 at I think Harry Hammers Furniture Store in Surrey, that was a pretty wild experience if any of you remember Harry Hammer and his commercials!!!!

Anyway interesting to think back about CFUN and CKVN. I liked the last CFUN survey made in the late 60s before they switched over to CKVN for a few years. I still have a copy, lots of photos of it about past djs etc. that worked at CFUN....

Take care everyone.

73s Eldon
Bye . . Mr. CFAY "Frequently On The Frequency"
The CFAY Website: http://cfayradio.wordpress.com
CFAY Radio: http://tinyurl.com/l9qqmh
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Re: Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Postby Tom Jeffries » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:04 pm

We even had a glamourous very late night host “Roxanne Rolls”.

If Stu Ferguson has any 'Hollywood and Vine tapes'....love to hear one. Classic. Stu, and I had some fun...along with the rest of the jocks. If memory serves - how about Tom Lucas running up the bar tab at The Keg, at a jock’s dinner.....oh yes - it was too much fun. Hallow’een Parties? Oh man.

I am sorry I missed the all too short Hal Weaver, era.
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Re: Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:25 pm

Tom Jeffries wrote:If memory serves - how about Tom Lucas running up the bar tab at The Keg, at a jock’s dinner....


This happened on more than just one occasion.
There was the Keg incident in 1980 and then, not long after, Mr.CFUN inexplicably raised the odds by setting us up at the not inexpensive Hart House restaurant at Deer Lake. I cannot say who the instigators were (and who knows what the statue of limitations on these things are, really) but that was the one that got epically crazy. I guess if I had to put the finger on anyone I would have to blame our waitress. When asking about after dinner cognac, she inquired as to whether we would prefer Courvoisier VSOP (30.00 a bottle) or XO (130.00 a bottle). Of course the latter was selected and after that, for the rest of the evening, the cash register rang like the Bells of Notre Dame on Christmas Eve.
"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
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Re: Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Postby slowhand » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:26 pm

Tom Jeffries wrote:I am sorry I missed the all too short Hal Weaver, era.

It appears as if Terry Mulligan did too as he doesn't mention it in last year's autobiography. Yet he was PD for the first CKVN music year.
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Re: Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Postby Tom Jeffries » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:02 pm

I was in the Simon Ginsberg era at CKVN, after Hal.

Mulligan and I never worked together.

It was quite the joint.
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Re: Chapter Two: What was CFUN Like?

Postby Rich Elwood » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:58 am

Tom,

Great story about CFUN. I agree with you, it was a joy to work there everyday. You forgot our friend in production Nelson Millman who I went to Seneca College with in TO. Nelson has been very successful at Rogers and now at TSN. He was also a great production guy here. He did the best impression of Annis Stukas.

CFUN had a great lineup when I worked there from 77 until 80. Just before you arrived, I was the last guy on the air in the old studio and was the first guy in the new stand up studio up the hall. Franz Goes was the head engineer in those days and a skilled person. We made the move during Stairway to Heaven. It gave us 8 minutes to get the old studio shut down and the new one up...well it took Franz 8 minutes to make the move. I was in the "garage jock lounge."

I did noon to 3 for a couple months after Ched left. Then one day B told me they hired some guy from CFTR Toronto to do noon to 3. Still can't figure out why! Kidding. As you said, there was not a prima donna in the building. 1410 was a great radio station and working for Chuck McCoy was even better.

Is this what ex-jocks do....remember days gone by? Wow...I gotta start golfing again.

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