Friends Celebrate Former CKLW MD Rosalie Trombley
Video tributes by artists and jocks whose careers she helped will include Smokey Robinson , Alice Cooper , Burton Cummings , Tom Shannon , Paul Anka , Pat St. John and Bobby Lamm of Chicago. Big 8 jocks Pat Holiday and Bill Gable and traffic reporter Jo-Jo Shutty-MacGregor attended.
Shutty-MacGregor says Cummings' tribute, taped at a concert, made her cry. "He said, 'I wouldn't be on this stage and you wouldn't be watching me if it wasn't for a lady in Windsor,' then he sang 'These Eyes'" — a song Trombley broke.
Tony Orlando, who owes his hit "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" to Trombley, emceed the dinner, held at the Chrysler Theater.
Rosalie Trombley, born in Leamington, Ontario, began her career in 1963 at CKLW in Windsor, Ontario and grew to become a legendary figure in the music industry.
Rosalie Trombley is legendary in the history of AM Top 40 radio and was known for her amazing ability to predict and pick future hits. Artists that have publicly acknowledged her pivotal role in their success through early belief and airplay include, but are not limited to, Alice Cooper, Elton John, Bob Seger, Earth, Wind & Fire, Tony Orlando and Dawn, The Guess Who, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Chicago, Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, Gordon Lightfoot, The Stylistics, Anne Murray, Parliament/Funkadelic, Aerosmith and many, many others.
A 1973 Billboard article specifically notes her role in promoting the Skylark song "Wildflower", playing it for over three months as an album cut before its release as a single.
The term "crossover hit" owes much of its definition to Rosalie's uncanny ability to pick artists from urban & rock playlists and cross them over to CKLW and their Top 40 format. In that era of radio the top 40 format, as defined by cumulative audience listenership and reach, was the most listened to programming of the music audience.
Bob Seger immortalized Rosalie Trombley in his 1972 song "Rosalie" from his Back in '72 album. "She's got the tower, She's got the power / Rosalie, Rosalie Trombley" are two lines from the lyrics of that song. The song has been covered by the band Thin Lizzy, on their 1975 album Fighting. Trombley reportedly refused to allow the station to air the song, threatening to quit if the station added it to its playlist. CKLW never played it, although the song did receive airplay on other Detroit stations.
Rosalie Trombley has been inducted into the Motor City (Detroit) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Week Broadcaster's Hall of Fame. Now retired and still residing in Windsor, Ontario, Rosalie Trombley's legendary status remains undiminished.
See Photos here.