Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

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Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby jon » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:22 pm

ref. - http://www.mcrr2010.com/

The 2010 Motor City Radio Reunion!
The Media Event of the Year

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND….the date is set and preparations are being made for what promises to be THE must attend media event of this year 2010! The crew who organized the last such gathering in 2005 has re-assembled and is planning ANOTHER Motor City Radio Reunion for Saturday September 25th. The venue will be the magnificent Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Detroit suburb of Novi, MI.

A number of significant milestones are occurring this year. At the 2010 Detroit Radio Reunion, we plan to honor some legendary Detroit radio personalities: Dick Purtan, for his 45 years of entertaining us at WKNR, WXYZ, CKLW, WCZY/WKQI and WOMC. Specs Howard, for his 40 years of running the famed school that bears his name in Southfield. Sonny Eliot, who turns 90 this year, and is still doing the weather (in studio) on WWJ, which celebrates 90 years of broadcasting on August 20th as the first radio station on the air in the USA! And, of course, the beloved Ernie Harwell, voice of the Detroit Tigers 1960—2002.

Reports are also circulating of a WSHJ-FM reunion of alumni from the famous Southfield High School station at 88.3 which launched a plethora of big names in radio including; Pat St. John and Doug Banks! We’ve heard that gathering will be slated for Friday night the 24th so WSHJ staffers coming in for the Radio Reunion can attend both events! In a tight economy, it makes sense to schedule such gatherings on the same weekend so attendees only have to make one trip instead of two.

The last Radio Reunion was held in September of 2005, and drew over 300, but, a number of people missed it for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was Hurricane Rita headed for the Texas coast-line. This year, despite predictions by The Weather Channel, we are hoping for good conditions and a great chance for hundreds of radio folks to come together for another “group hug.” Sadly, according to our records, we’ve lost over thirty more of our friends since the last Reunion. So, we thought we’d better hurry.

If you have ever worked in any capacity at any station in southeastern Michigan or surrounding areas, please get in touch with Art Vuolo at artvuolo@aol.com so we can make sure that you’re on the guest list. Since there is never enough time to visit at such affairs, an after-glow Open House and birthday party is being planned by Art for the day after. It will run on Sunday from 11 a.m. till the last person leaves! So things should be hopping Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Those flying in from out of state, will want to book their return flight as late (Sunday night) as possible...or better yet, on Monday. It will be a tri-fecta weekend for everyone! Please spread the word, via phone, e-mail, regular mail, face book, twitter or smoke signals to anyone you feel should be at this event! Check this site often for updates on the Reunion.
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby Mike Cleaver » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:28 pm

Even though I never worked in Detroit/Windsor, man, would I ever like to be there!
Talk about broadcasting history!
There will be many attending with whom I've worked before and it would be great to renew acquaintances.
I'd love to take my mic and computer and interview some of these radio icons!.
Maybe I'll win the lottery before then.
Mike Cleaver Broadcast Services
Engineering, News, Voice work and Consulting
Vancouver, BC, Canada

54 years experience at some of Canada's Premier Broadcasting Stations
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby Hallicrafters » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:54 pm

My most interesting Windsor/Detroit experience;

1969, I'm working news at CFCO Chatham. One spring evening we notice that CKLW is off the air, so is their FM, and so is their TV station.(an hour with all carriers up with no audio or video) We found out later that the CBC had blacked out the Red Wings game; so an irate fan got out his handy dandy hack saw and cut a main guy wire on the tubular tower just outside the studios. 15 tons was ready to fall on master control. Charlie Van Dyke and the PD at the time drove out to Harrow TX and tried to carry on like nothing had happened, they grabbed turntables, but forgot the 45 centers so it became a dogs breakfast fairly quickly. Dick Smyth headed out and did a newscast, alluding to the problem but no definite story. They were fairly back to format although many 45's were "off center".

They called CFCO to use our "crystal palace" type remote trailer. Our General Manager Norm Haynes and the engineer headed to Harrow with the IHC Travelall and the 20 foot portable studio in tow. Just as they drove through the gate in Harrow, Canada Bridge managed to get the guy wire sorted. The studios on Riverside Drive were up and running again.

In it's hay day all the CKLW properties were owned by the "General Tire and Rubber Company" RKO, so the money didn't stay in Canada. Paul Martin senior was on the board of directors, I guess that's how they held onto the property for so long. The sales office was in Detroit. It sure fell apart after it was sold.

I worked there only one day, but it was the last week of operators, RKO built new studios away from Riverside Drive before they left. (TV was spun off to the CBC) They had real problems finding a buyer for the radio properties. "why do I want a station in Windsor?"

The new studios had on air and production adjacent to each other, you just had to drag the cart racks though a sliding door for maintenance for on air. The announce booth also had it's own private bathroom.!!! (and it was clean!!)

BTW, CKLW when they went music and when they were a "killer" sold all their remote gear. Remotes were just not done at all. (if the gear isn't in the station, sales can't even make a case for one) Later when I did sales in Calgary I finally figured out how inefficient remotes were dollar wise. Let alone the unanswered throws.

CKLW, WKNR, WIXY 1260, WABC, WCFL, WLS, WBZ, KYW (when it was in Cleveland) all of them hammered into Chatham, some at night only, were the reasons I went into broadcasting, I only wish stations with that energy and professionalism existed today.

Mike interview Mike Marshal (Frank Brodie at CKLW), he is Canadian worked there during the good times and was fill in PD when they were looking for a new one. Caring, classy guy who later was PD of CFTR and should have run CHFI but that's another story.
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby Anotherwpgguy » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:36 pm

I might be able to make that reunion ... I've missed 2 in a row now, and its becoming embarrassing that one of the biggest boosters of CKLW should be so lax.

I could even bring along a couple of Paul Drew memos just to make fellow operators quake in their boots.

What a fabulous opportunity to have worked at the fifth largest station in North America in the late winter of 1969 and spring of 1970. When I was there, it was just behind WABC, KHJ, WLS, and WIBG ... you really felt you were a part of something huge when you walked in the door of that radio station ... never felt it before, and never after ..... although I sure did have some fun at other stations though!

And ... my 5 years at CKVN/CFUN were likely the most fun of all. .... from what I can remember anyway ..... LOL.

Regards from
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby hagopian » Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:59 pm

Not to blow anyone's cover - but Winnipeg pal is one maestro when it comes to the nearly dead art of running a Board - and he also is a World Class Pilot and just so happens to be one of the nicest people I worked with in all my Years in da biz.

That is what the memories are - all people centric, and this gent is la creme.

I would give a lung to spend a few hours with my pal here...."meet ya at Jericho....and bring your new Glider!"
* now poor Mr Peg is gonna have try and guess who I am. LOL.
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby Anotherwpgguy » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:10 pm

Huuummmmm, did I "babysit" you on your first shift at CKVN/CFUN? Did I visit you at Mahone Bay? Did we cough up about 15 lungs between us?

Am I getting anywhere?

Anotherwpgguy (now in La Ronge, flying bombing runs)
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby hagopian » Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:02 pm

Busted. The video of you doing a pickup just about made my heart stop. The memories are still clear old pal, and you loom terrifically large in the legend.
Drop me a note pls and we gotta get together before too many more moons....
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby Anotherwpgguy » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:11 pm

I'm thinking of doing a trip west this fall to do some Sturgeon fishing in the Fraser, or Salmon somewhere up the coast.

The neat thing is that I can disguise that as a career development trip, as I'm almost due for the classroom portion of my Flight Test Examiner's capability to renew it for another five years.

A PM shall be on the way when things settle down ... super-hectic at the moment....lots of fires, and "The Wind Cries Mary" .. tee hee.

Cheers Matey ... oh, that expression reminds me ... I often think of your dad when I see a WW2 Corvette plying the North Atlantic on The Military Channel ...

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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby pave » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:34 pm

As to Anotherwpgguy being a super-duper pilot: I was sitting in the right seat of a Cessna Queen-Air when he power-jerked it off the runway at Calgary International.

As I recall, some guy came on the tower radio and said, "Nice punt!"
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby Anotherwpgguy » Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:21 am

Speaking of "The Wind Cries Mary" ... Pave is the guy who played Jimmy Hendrix for me the first time. I recall saying ... "and only three guys make all that sound?"

Speaking of sound ... I was the self-appointed sound man for Pave's band when I was what ... eighteen?

What a small world .. chuckle chuckle.
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby douglasm » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:01 pm

Jeez, I would really love to be there. Art Vuolo used to live next door to me back in the late 60's at Eastern Michigan University. His Christmas parties were things legends are made of, and legends attended them, even back then.

Thanks for reminding me of the "Tower's falling down" story regarding CKLW. Hadn't thought of that in years. The AM crew retreated to the transmitter site, where a back up studio was located. Alas, the turntables didn't work. It's a funny story, and I hope this link works.

http://www.thebig8.net/tower2.wav
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby douglasm » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:02 pm

By the way, anyone remember what the night time call letters for CHYR, Lemington were?
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby jon » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:14 pm

CHIR.

That was what I remembered, but I just checked Wikipedia to be sure.
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby douglasm » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:31 pm

Thank you. Odd duck it was. A daytimer paired with a lower powered AM that only ran at night. I remember they had an afternoon drive jock with an interesting show. Basically, if you hadn't heard Dick Purtan on WXYZ that morning, you'd hear the same jokes, etc. from this guy on CHYR that afternoon. Can't for the life of me remember his name, though.

(I'd listen to his show and steal....er, borrow....Purtan's jokes second hand and use them in Jackson, MI that evening)
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Re: Ever worked in Detroit/Windsor?

Postby hagopian » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:10 pm

Purtan was silk. But, for me, WLS and John Landecker, * Records truly was his middle name......was la creme.
Landecker also lit me up when he was at WIBG Philadelphia.

I truly miss the whole deal. The Control Room, the wonderful rhythm of running a board, using real discs, carts and even, gasp, reel to reels.

What I would have done with a Burli hub, back in the 'day'.

But, c'est ka vie - it was but a time and a place.
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