Saturday, May 27, 2023

May 27 Radio History

➦In 1933...Future Canadian media mogul Ted Rogers Jr. was born in Toronto.  He founded his company in 1960 with Toronto radio station CHFI and built it into Canada’s largest wireless, cable and media company. He died from congestive heart failure Dec. 2 2008 at age 75.

➦In 1951…The radio serial "Wild Bill Hickock" began on the Mutual Radio network. Guy Madison and Andy Devine starred on both the radio and syndicated TV versions.

➦In 1957...1050 CHUM-AM became Canada's first Top 40 radio station.

The CHUM Building at 1331 Yonge St., Toronto was the home of 1050 CHUM from 1959 until 2009

Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and The Beatles (1964, '65, and '66).

In the late 1950s, CHUM was calling itself "Radio One", as its ratings continued to increase. An important part of CHUM's success was the station's unpredictable morning man Al Boliska, who joined CHUM in October 1957, after working at station CKLC in Kingston, Ontario.

By 1959, Boliska had made a name for himself as a disc jockey who got listeners talking. He also made them laugh, and became known for telling what he called the "World's Worst Jokes".

Boliska also did a number of stunts, such as taking part in a professional wrestling match with Whipper Billy Watson. When he lost, that led to another stunt, where Boliska stayed away from his show for several days, saying he was now too discouraged by the loss to do his show. A hypnotist was called in, and Boliska's self-esteem was restored.

Boliska left CHUM in late 1963 to go 'across the street' to CKEY. He was replaced by WKBW Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters. He would be followed by housewives' jock John Spragge; singer/DJ Mike Darow; Pete Nordheimer, replaced in 1961 by Bob McAdorey, teen DJ Dave Johnson, and all night DJ Bob Laine. Later additions to the CHUM DJ lineup included Duff Roman and Brian Skinner, both of whom came from rival Toronto rocker CKEY (then owned by Jack Kent Cooke).

(Courtesy of the Rock Radio Scrapbook, Click Here for  an early aircheck of 1050 CHUM from July 17, 1957.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, CHUM DJs included Duke Roberts (also known as Gary Duke for a time), Johnny Mitchell (better known today as Sonny Fox), J. Michael Wilson, Tom Rivers, Scott Carpenter, Jim Van Horne, John Rode, Don Reagan, John Majhor, Mike Cooper, Daryl B, Terry Steele, Mike Holland and Roger Ashby. Among their later night-time hosts was J. D. Roberts, who joined CHUM for a time in 1977, eventually becoming known across North America as White House correspondent for CBS News, then the co-anchor of CNN's morning program American Morning. Rick Moranis, later famous for his work on SCTV and Ghostbusters, was briefly a late-night CHUM DJ in the mid-seventies under the name "Rick Allan".

CHUM became well known for its zany contests. In the 1950's and '60's, it was contests such as 'The Walking Man', where listeners had to spot CHUM's mystery walking man using only clues given out on the air. The 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion had DJs dialing phone numbers at random and awarding $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase. In 1976, there was the CHUM Starsign promotion. Listeners wore a button featuring their astrological sign. If CHUM's 'Starsign spotter' saw you wearing your Starsign, you won prizes such as money or concert tickets to major events.

The CHUM Chart was, for many years, the most influential weekly Top 40 chart in Canada and has been hailed as the longest-running continuously published radio station record survey in North America. The first CHUM Chart was released on May 27, 1957, with Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" the first Number 1 song.

1050 CHUM aired Top 40 from 1957 to 1986.  Today, 1050 CHUM airs Sports Talk.

➦In 1994...famed talk-show host, Larry King, aired his final Westwood One show, leaving radio to concentrate on his nightly CNN hour.

Peri Gilpin is 62

  • Actor Lee Meriwether is 88. 
  • Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is 87. 
  • Actor Bruce Weitz is 80. 
  • Singer Bruce Cockburn is 78. 
  • Jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater is 73. 
  • Actor Richard Schiff (“The Good Doctor,” “The West Wing”) is 68. 
  • Singer Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees is 66. 
  • Singer-guitarist Neil Finn of Crowded House and Split Enz is 65. 
  • Actor Peri Gilpin (“Frasier”) is 62. 
  • Actor Cathy Silvers (“Happy Days”) is 62. 
  • Comedian Adam Carolla is 59. 
  • Actor Todd Bridges (“Diff’rent Strokes”) is 58. 
  • Drummer Sean Kinney of Alice In Chains is 57. 
  • Actor Dondre’ Whitfield (“Queen Sugar”) is 54. 
  • Actor Paul Bettany (“The Da Vinci Code,” ″A Beautiful Mind”) is 52. 
  • Singer-guitarist Brian Desveaux of Nine Days is 52. 
  • Actor Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”) is 50. 
  • Musician Andre 3000 of Outkast is 48. 
  • Rapper Jadakiss is 48. 
  • TV chef Jamie Oliver is 48. 
  • Actor Ben Feldman (“Mad Men”) is 43. 
  • Actor Darin Brooks (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) is 39. 
  • Actor Chris Colfer (“Glee”) is 33. 
  • Actor Ethan Dampf (“American Dreams”) is 29. 
  • Actor Desiree Ross (“Greenleaf”) is 24.
  • In 2011..Jeff Conaway, Actor and singer (Taxi - "Bobby"; Grease - "Kenickie"; Babylon 5 - "Zack"), dies of pneumonia and sepsis at 60
  • In 2017..Gregg Allman, Hammond organist, guitarist and vocalist (The Allman Brothers Band - "Whipping Post"), dies of cancer at 69

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