Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

"Memories of nearly 50 years in the Biz"

Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby Brian Lord » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:16 am

Brian Lord Stories #37
(How Edward Caswell (Brian Lord) Got His Name) #37


By Edward Caswel
l


(Editor's Note: Before Edward Caswell was Edward Caswell he had undergone considerable problems with his previous name -- Brian Lord -- so that when it came to changing his name to Edward Caswell he was already fed up with "name" problems. Keeping that in mind we have included a short "prequel" to the main theme. Also, I have switched from first person to third person for the Hong Kong tales being as I am writing under a pseudonym.)


Rena Lord lay in her hospital bed in the Post Delivery Room at St Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, Canada with a worn but contented look on her face. Worn because she had been through an exhausting experience--giving birth--and contented because her baby boy was healthy and she was finally at peace after nine months of discomfort and concern, a frequent condition of mothers, especially those carrying their firstborn. In Rena's case, this would be the only pregnancy she would endure because as her son grew older she realized that one child was enough!

Hovering over Rena, holding a clipboard to which was attached a printed form, was a member of the Administration staff of St Paul's--a nun, Sister Cynthia of the Cloisters--who was there to record official information about Rena's baby.

Sister Cynthia asked, "And what will we be calling the little one, my dear?"

Rena answered, "His first name will be Brian and his second name Caswell"

Sister Cynthia asked "And how will we be spelling the first name, my dear? With an "i" or with a "y"?"

Rena said "With a ....." At this point there was an interruption. Three beds over, Gleena Pilsudsky, was abruptly awakened when an orderly accidentally bumped her mattress while attempting to retrieve a bedpan. Gleena, who had just arrived in Canada from her native Poland and was ill at ease in the new country, let out a shriek that could be heard throughout much of the hospital and so frightened the orderly that he dropped the metal bedpan with a clatter, spilling it's contents all over the floor.

Sister Cynthia thought she had heard, over the ruckus, Rena say that the baby's name would be spelled with a "y" and that's what she wrote on the form. Rena had actually indicated it was to be spelled with an "i" and so Brian grew up spelling his name B-r-i-a-n and the mistake was not discovered for more than sixty years when he wrote the Government requesting a copy of his birth certificate in order to obtain a passport and found that the government apparently spelled his name with a "y".



The spelling became a problem when Brian found he must use "y". At least officially! When, in 1995, he arrived in Hong Kong and began work at Metro Broadcasting he encountered considerable fuss. He was forced to redo all the forms he had been required to fill out... switching the "i"'s to "y"'s. (He had, unthinkingly spelled his first name using an "i" instead of a "y"; Chinese are particular about such things.) He became decidedly fed up with the spelling of his name. In Canada no-one seemed to take notice.



His frustration came to a peak during his first full working day at Metro.



About three hours into his shift Bryan was at his desk learning how to run Metro's computer system. He had met most of his fellow workers---the financial reporter, the Sports reporter and the News Director, Brian Curtis, among others, when somebody yelled out "Bry/ian". Both Bryan Lord and Brian Curtis answered "Yes" and immediately Brian Curtis became excited..." WHAT... WHAT IS... OH GOD... this won't DO.. we can't have.. Brian's MY name... GODDAMMIT...we can't have TWO BRIANS... NO WAY... that's totally unacceptable... GODDAMMIT... MY name's Brian... now YOU (pointing to Bryan Lord) come in here with the SAME NAME... No No No... no no no no no... NO NO NO... this ISN'T GOING TO WORK... Every time anybody calls ME... YOU'LL be answering... and... no no no no no no NO NO NO. this isn't... HORROR, it's HORROR... what the HELL are we... no no"



By this time the newsroom had come to a standstill and the entire staff... both English and Chinese... were staring at either Brian Curtis or Bryan Lord. Brian Curtis was on his feet, running around between the desks and slamming things when Kelly Dean, the Channel Director, came out of his office.

"What's goin' on?" asked Kelly.

Brian Curtis said "Well it's a DISASTER. Poon just called me a minute ago from his desk and this NEW GUY answered because HIS name's Bryan TOO. Kelly we can't have this... there's got to be... we have to... "

Kelly said "Ok, Ok, settle down... let's just...”

Curtis (interrupts) "... We could lose RATINGS"

Kelly said "Ok Ok let's just settle down and discuss it. I knew his name was the same as yours, but I hadn't given it any thought...”

Curtis yelled "... FOR GOD'S SAKE, KELLY... I've been here for FOUR YEARS... I was here FIRST... I WAS THE FIRST BRIAN..."



(Kelly Dean was well aware of the nuances introduced in cases where "word confusion" lurked. Two examples: Kelly would not allow anyone to use the word "which" on the air. He felt that, somehow or other, it would confuse Chinese listeners into thinking that the announcer was not using the word as a pronoun but instead was referring to an old hag, dressed in black with a hooked nose and broken teeth flying around on a broom. Kelly also gave orders that the announcers must not use "may" in the copy... as in "... there may be a change..." Kelly decreed that "may" should be substituted by "could" or "might" because listeners would think that the announcer was referring to the MONTH of May, regardless of whether or not such use would be completely out of context.)



As Brian Curtis continued to mumble and swear, Kelly turned to Bryan Lord who sat transfixed, staring at a blank spot on the wall.

Kelly said... "What other names have you got?"

Lord said "Huh?"

Kelly... "Other names... we've got to get you another name... and get this crap out of the way..."

Lord ”How about Caswell Whiteside. Those are family na..."

Kelly "Naaaa, that sounds like a cheap Hollywood movie...”

Lord ”Well then Edward, Edward Caswell. Caswell's my middl...."

Kelly "Fine, fine, fine... LISTEN EVERYBODY... THIS... (Point’s to Bryan Curtis who is leaning against a pole, slack-jawed, ashen-faced and trembling.) THIS is BRYAN CURTIS. And that new guy there... he's EDWARD CASWELL now. E-D-W-A-R-D C-A-S-W-E-L-L... DO NOT MAKE A MISTAKE...He's EDWARD CASWELL so nobody will get confused. GOT THAT?”

Curtis ”What if he forgets?"

Kelly Dean "You're not going to forget are you Edward?"

Edward Caswell: "................ fuck no, man...."



People hardly spoke to Edward Caswell for the next two weeks. And when they did they did not call him by name. He had no friends. That is, until two new people came to Metro... a young lady named Kristina Millman and a British fellow named Rupert Winchester. They both thought Brian Curtis was an asshole.
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby Paul P » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:29 am

Funny how some people can get all goofy over a name.
These are great reads Brian, I hope there are more to come.
Being nice is my resolve - in 2012
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby slowhand » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:33 am

Somehow, it doesn't sound like a station that would have pre-ordered your "Brian Lord" jock jingles before your arrival.

I've got to feel sorry for the poor Production guy who had to go through the entire music library on some hard drive and remove all the nasty words, like "may" and "which", from the lyrics. Did he beep it out or simply replace each one with silence? I'm assuming here that he wouldn't get custom re-sings of offending songs. After all, some of the artists were dead while others couldn't sound like they used to when they originally sang some of their hits.
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:41 am

Brian Lord wrote:....They both thought Brian Curtis was an asshole.


and how astutely observant they were!
I also was subjected to involuntary name-changes throughout my career.
When I switched from news to jock at the same station (CFUN) I had to drop my given name, Gerald Thom, and ultimately went on the all night show as Jackson Casey (boy, was I saddled with that one for a lot of years), borrowed from a favorite jock of my pre-radio youth.
Funny thing, I wasn't even a big fan of his act, I just liked the sound of the name.
When I moved to Winnipeg, Pat St. John and Bob Laine had a new name waiting for me; Casey Fox, tailor designed to counter my competition Raccoon Carney at CKRC. They already had me registered at the Winnipeg Inn across the street under that name and when it came time to sign the register, I had no clue as to how it was meant to be spelled!
I decided to add a little flourish and chose to set it down as K.C. Foxxe.
The only other name I ever used was Richard All.
Anytime you were irresponsible enough to be tardy in following me on the air I would carry on into your time slot informing the audience that, until you showed up, it was "Dick All on the radio".
"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby Mike Cleaver » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:31 pm

And Bob Lawblaw.
One of my favourites from back in the day when many stations contributed voicers to BN was a newsman working at CKLW, which was not supposed to submit voicers for some unknown reason.
But when there was a big story in Windsor/Detroit on the weekend, the BN desker would call 'LW and ask for a voicer or a wrap.
The newsmen would make up a name so the boss wouldn't trigger to the ruse.
The best one was one fellow who shall remain anonymous who had a beautiful mellow voice.
He happened to be black.
His BN sign-off of choice was Walter Mellon.
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby hagopian » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:52 pm

FUNNY stories. Love the DICK ALL stuff.

For those among us lucky enough to have either 1/ worked with or 2/ listened to Mr. Sennheiser is his prime - consider yourself lucky. I was blessed enough to work with NS at two stations.

Not to throw shine in public - but this gent was ne plus ultra and is (was) an incredibly good team mate and friend...oh and did I mention he was superb on the air>?

Ooops....gotta go > time to hit the top of the hour ID and lay over the intro to "LocoMotion - by Grand Funk" and hit the post....ttyl.
:salute:
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby jon » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:20 pm

Mike Cleaver wrote:And Bob Lawblaw.

Hopefully, Loblaws gave the guy free groceries for life.

My first paid speaking part in radio was on the FM side of an AM/FM station, where some of the programs had a scripted intro, most memorably, an hour of show tunes every night at 7 p.m. Invariably, the script ended with "My Name is ____________________."

Unfortunately, I was so uninspired by the programming that I never thought of using the line I coined while at UBC Radio as part of an intro for the first edition of a late night program of LG-FM-inspired album cuts: "My name is irrelevant." There was general consensus at UBC that it fit well into the concept of egoless announcing.
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby hagopian » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:18 pm

*Fell down laffing Bob Blawlaw - hilarious.

I wish I had thought of that.

Funny - today I was thinking of the people I worked with that have moved on - and one face popped up a few times.

Darryl Burlingham.

Now, NS and a few of the other sea dogs here have some stories about this gent - but Tedddy and his crew have to pay for the bandwidth here - so I will let it go.

Thanks to the guys that hold this together.

It takes work. It's appreciated. :bow:

It's incredibly comforting to see posts from some of the great people I have met....Cleaver and NS, Mr. W and a few of the other gang around here are those special kind of people that made "working" in radio rather an oxymoron.

Man, it was stressful - but boy am I blessed.....and hope that the current reign of air crew are having as much or more fun...the business is different now, but I am sure there is still a lot of laughing going on. I hope so.
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:49 pm

jon wrote:My first paid speaking part in radio was on the FM side of an AM/FM station, where some of the programs had a scripted intro, most memorably, an hour of show tunes every night at 7 p.m. Invariably, the script ended with "My Name is ____________________."
Unfortunately, I was so uninspired by the programming that I never thought of using the line I coined while at UBC Radio as part of an intro for the first edition of a late night program of LG-FM-inspired album cuts: "My name is irrelevant."


Prior to 1967, CKLG FM (now CFOX) programmed an easy listening format in Vancouver and some of the programming arrived for airplay pre-produced by an outside source. These would come with a script to be read over the introduction so as to localize the show or add sponsorship mention.
Legend goes that there was one evening staff announcer who, either by lack of attention, sheer stupidity, or just for the hell of it read the scripted intro as: "..and now CKLG FM brings you Candlelight and Wine..music up and out".
"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby Mike Cleaver » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:07 pm

Ah, Candlelight and Wine!
I think every easy listening station had this going at one time or another.
I'm pretty certain it was my brother who did a spoof on K-97 in Edmonton one evening, calling his segment "Bare Bulbs and Beer," which fit in pretty well with the format developed by Doug Pringle (and after that, we play a puuuurple!)
Pringle had colour coded all of the albums and marked specific cuts for airplay.
He had DNA like chains of colour coded dots on the wall to indicate the order in which the tunes should be played.
When you came to the end of the string, you simply selected another one and followed that.
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby jon » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:21 am

I'm quite surprised that CKLG-FM would have used the "Candlelight and Wine" program title, given that CHQM had been running a nightly program with that title since sign-on in 1959, and it was still going well into the 1970s.

As for parodies, and just plain "name calling", JB Shane named his show "Candlelight and Swine" on CFUN/CKVN in 1969, complete with canned intro by Hugh Lowden, I think it was. As well as the fact it also aired from 6:30-9pm, the naming was no doubt also a protest against the light rock format of the ever smaller portions of programming that actually included music.
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby Mike Cleaver » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:08 am

As far as forcing people to change their names for on-air use, we had a similar issue at CHUM when we hired Bob Hodge to work in the newsroom.
The other Hodge in the station was incensed, saying basically the same thing brought up in Brian's thread, I was here first, blablabla.
So Bob Hodge ended up becoming Bob Summers, a star in his own right as the long time traffic reporter during morning drive on 1050 CHUM and CHUM-FM, later also including CITY TV in his reports.
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:27 pm

jon wrote:I'm quite surprised that CKLG-FM would have used the "Candlelight and Wine" program title, given that CHQM had been running a nightly program with that title since sign-on in 1959, and it was still going well into the 1970s.


True, it probably was some other titled program, these details get muddy over time; but as Mark Twain said:
"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story".
"You don't know man! I was in radio man! I've seen things you wouldn't believe!"
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Re: Part 37: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby Jack Bennest » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:26 am

Neumann Sennheiser wrote:I also was subjected to involuntary name-changes throughout my career.


Probably because you were a dish jockey. In my short 15 years I was only called Jack Bennest - strange name.
Nobody noticed. lol

As for Brian Lord I will have to re-read the article to get the drift. On facebook Brian is someone else and the reason why
is more important than the history of how it came about. Good Lord.
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Re: Part 38: How Edward Caswell Got Him Name

Postby Brian Lord » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:53 am

Jack .......


I am Ed Caswell on Facebook because I joined waaaay back when it started at the insistance of both Rupert Winchester and Kr
Neumann Sennheiser wrote:
istina Millman who I worked with at Metro where ... as the story relates... I was known as Edward Caswell.[SendTo=][/SendTo]
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