Chapter Five - “CFTR, CHUM, and the Big 8"

Chapter Five - “CFTR, CHUM, and the Big 8"

Postby Tom Jeffries » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:07 pm

Raised in the peripatetic life, as the son of a Canadian Naval Officer, I spent the first 18 years of my life moving from Ottawa, to Victoria, to Halifax, to England, back to Ottawa, back to Victoria, and repeat.

I had my radio ears perked with KJR, while I was in Victoria. (*meeting Lan Roberts and Pat O’Day (in 2001, was as exciting as meeting Muhammed Ali). The Seattle station boomed into Victoria and I loved it. I also was a fan of Red Robinson - but, he drifted in Victoria, but I would be in Vancouver, visiting the Grandparents, and I would be glued to the red head.

I was a Latremouille, and CKLG junkie, in turn, and by 1967, when I cracked the mike for the first time, I thought I had a clue what being a jock was all about. Boy, was I wrong. Bigtime.

In later years, I finally moved up - and hit Toronto in 1976. The war between CFTR and CHUM was really intense....and Chuck Camroux told me he loved stealing me from the CHUM group, (*CFRA, in Ottawa) just to “get JR Wood’s B/P up there a bit”, and he would chuckle. I don’t think he was kidding.

Toronto and Ottawa included great skips for Chicago radio and that’s when I followed up on John ‘Records” Landecker, after his time at WIBG, in Philly. I caught Larry Lujack and Gary Gears and the WLS crew and was insane for the way they communicated. I was lucky to have a great team at CFTR, and although I enjoyed CFTR, it ended on a sour note, that was eased by a move back home to CFUN for a long run.

The media war in the Seventies was palpable, and let’s remember, we had CITY-TV as ‘cutting edge’ and this is pre Cellphone and of course, the Internet. In reality it was the last run for big time radio, as it were.
It was stressful, but Toronto, I grew to like, even though I found it hard to meet people. I worked just about solid 7 day weeks for the nearly 2 years when I was in Toronto.

I am glad to have had the chance.

The big echo - the PAMS shotguns and ops with hands like Chopin, it was fun. HUGE numbers, and we actually got big enough that the local TV times had the CFTR jocks (*excluding little ole me) on the cover...because we were killing in the market.

CFUN, as I mentioned earlier, was a very fine shop. It still makes me smile....ah, yes, Kitsilano, in the Seventies and Eighties was pretty cool.

The only regret? I didn’t take a chance on an offer I had in the States, and I wish I had cracked the lineup during the glory days of CKLW - The Big B, in Windsor. I would have put up with that one hoss town, just for the shot.

I guess we can’t have everything.

I made every mistake a human being can make. I was an I D I O T, and nearly paid the ultimate price, as I stared at yet another empty six pack. May 6th, I start my 25th year, with nary a drop. I am so BLESSED.

I could ramble on for weeks about some of the wild and wacky things I got up to, but they would be dead boring for you, because you weren’t there - so I am finally bidding YOU adieu.

I wish you well, in all you take on and again, thanks to RadioFan for the chance to say a few words, and thanks to the great people that made every day so special during my 38 years on the air.

I treasure them.

You take care.
Tom Jeffries
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Re: Chapter Five - “CFTR, CHUM, and the Big 8"

Postby CubbyCam » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:11 pm

Really enjoyed reading your radio memoires Tom... Had the privilige of working with many of the people you mention, and of course working with you was a great pleasure. Just too bad we didn't do it for a longer time. You're right about the biz though. We had a great run, and worked with many great people. It was a fun way to spend a career. :-)
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