Radio Miscellany


Andy Frost and Gord James

Roger Ashby and Bob Magee



I have been a music trivia fan since my teens and have played  trivia contests on the radio ever since  One of the earliest contests I  won the Beatles double album 1962-1969 series from Jim Bauer on CHUM FM in 1973. I correctly answered a question about Jimi Hendrix. CHUM FM had great contests in the free form days and I got to see The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Jethro Tull and many more thanks to them. Also very proud to have won a “brown paper bag” from David Marsden.

I continued to play contests for many years and have uncovered  air checks of some of these from the late 80’s and early 90’s. They were always done on tape delay and so after I won I would have time to hit play on the tape recorder. The tape delay is the reason why you will hear various contestants repeating the same incorrect answer.

The air checks include stellar announcers. Superstars of Toronto radio as far as I’m concerned. The first clips has Andy Frost on Q 107 from August 1986 and Gord James on CHUM FM from August 1988.

The second clips features Roger Ashby from December 1988 and April and July 1989 plus Bob Magee on CHUM AM from February 1990. I will post more of these in the future.


I’m not sure about the date of this clip but my best guess is early to mid 80’s. Benjy Karch was the music director on the original free form CHUM FM and he also did fill in and weekend on air shifts. This air check is from the time that CHUM FM had switched to mainstream AOR but the program was called Flashback and looked back at CHUM FM’s heritage. Interesting to hear Mr. Karch reminisce  about the free form days after he plays Jeff Beck’s Bolero and Bob Dylan. Plus there’s a bit of Ten Years After. I don’t think there’s many if any Air Checks of Benjy Karch out there and I have one more that I will upload at some point and that is from the free form days. Enjoy this one for now.


An interview by Jim Reid with the Mael Brothers of Sparks from 1983 during their tour with Rick Springfield. Their single Cool Places had been released recently and they discuss how they got together with Jane Weidlin of the Go Go’s and their work with the Belgian group Telex. Some interesting and prescient comments about rock videos at the start of the MTV revolution.


The free form format was mostly fading away by the time of this clip from 1984 and some the best music on the radio was on the oldies shows. I present to you a clip from one of the best top 4o oldies orientated shows from the 80’s. Dick Bartley’s Sold Gold Saturday Night. Recorded off WBUF FM in Buffalo, NY. The show had an audience in Toronto as the station came in very clear and you actually hear a caller from Toronto requesting a song. Since this is a site devoted mostly to the free form format I have added a bit of a twist and the clip is book-ended by two songs recorded off the CBC Stereo show called Nightlines which was still mining the free form vibe during the mid 80’s. The first track on the clip is Jane  Siberry’s beautiful “Writers are a Funny Breed” and the clip ends with Frank Zappa’s oldies parody track “Wowie Zowie” and somehow things hold together.

Some of the oldies tracks are pre  -1965 but even these reflect the changes that were about to occur post 1965. You will hear the Orlon’s “South Street” which may be the first song in which the word “hippies” was used. There’s also The Rooftop Singer’s “Walk Right In ” with the lines “everybody’s talking about a new way of walking, do you want to lose your mind…baby let your hair hang down.” There’s a lot more including some “heavy” music by Iron Butterfly and Deep Purple. A most enjoyable clip that highlights the diversity of 60’s top 40  radio.


The first clip features short but rare air checks of Ken Wine and Yola from free form WBUF FM from June 1975.

The second clip is a montage of various radio contests from the early 90’s featuring the following:

1. Humble and Fred on CFNY.

2. Russ Mcleod on the 60’s @ 6. 1050 CHUM.

3. Dave Macy Oldies 104 Buffalo, NY.

4. Bill Hayes Mix 99.1.

5. Gord James and Marilyn Dennis. CHUM FM.

6. Tom Rivers, Carla Collins, Larry Fedoruk. and Mike Stafford on Mix 99,.1.


 A countdown show from CKOC AM Hamilton with John Novak and Dave Smith. Countdown includes the top two songs from 1966 and then on to the top 100 of 1967 staring with number 100. You will also hear the news with Brent Sleightholm and some commentary by Frank Lynn Cooper. Stay tuned for more clips from the countdown.



 This is a web site devoted to free form radio and so I sometimes take liberties in mix and matching the air checks.

This one starts with Kraftwerk’s “The Model” recorded off CFNY sometimes in the 1980’s with no announcer and included here to highlight how good music could sound recorded off FM on high speed reel to reel. After that we hear a few segments from the album # 1 Record by power pop cult heroes Big Star. I recorded the  album when it was played in it’s entirety by Gary Storm on WZIR FM and you can hear him very briefly as he flips from side one to side two of the album. I had been looking for the album for a long time as it was not released in Canada and the Toronto stations were not playing it. This would have fit nicely into Brain Master’s show on CHUM FM when it was released in 1972. When WZIR played the record in 1980 it was the first time I heard it and it lived up to the hype and expectations . I was eventually able to land an import copy. The great thing about living in Toronto at the time was that you had access to two major radio markets and some of the Buffalo stations were ahead of the curve  at times.

After Big Star the clip segues into Dick Bartley playing another power pop band, Crabby Appleton, on WBUF and the clip ends with an unknown announcer on CKLN who you will hear briefly before and after a truncated version of “The Water Song” by Hot Tuna. The fidelity not so great by the end of the clip as it was recorded in mono in slow speed.

Bob Magee, Dan Michaels  CHUM AM & Gord James CHUM FM

This clip consists of radio contests recorded off CHUM AM and CHUM FM sometimes during the late 80’s/early 90’s. The first announcer is Dan Michaels on CHUM AM. The second segment features the great CHUM AM morning team of Bob Magee, Samantha Houston and Robbie Evans. The final segment has Gord James doing his impression of Don Pardo which he would often roll out during contests on CHUM FM and AM.  Marilyn Dennis can also be heard on the clip.

Note that the CHUM AM clips are in stereo  recorded off cable FM and Bob Magee actually plays the longer FM version of “Get Together” by the Youngbloods rather than the AM edit.


This is the continuation of the CKOC countdown show posted earlier. Dave Smith and John Novak are featured counting down the top 100 of 1967.  A great year for top 40 rock and some excellent tracks are included. The clip is from September 1984. More clips of this countdown will be uploaded.


CKOC countdown of the 60’s continues with some interesting song selections ranging from the baroque pop of the Mojo Men’s cover of The Buffalo Springfield’s Sit Down I Think I Love You, the bubblegum of Tommy Roe’s Jam Up and Jelly Tight,  the rarely aired Call Me Lightening by the Who and more. A bonus on the clip is the insertion of the the track Stop This Car by Jonathan Richman which was obviously not recorded off CKOC but was on the same tape. Must have been recorded off public or college radio as I don’t think there were any commercial stations in the area that would play the track in September of 1984. WUWU FM having changed formats. CFNY did not play this track although they were an early supporter of Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers. The song does not sound all that incongruous in the countdown as the musical mix on top 40 radio during the 60’s was always interesting and fascinating.

The announcers on the clip alternate between John Novac and Dave Smith.

Roger Ashby  Early 90`s and Bob Magee 1996

More radio contests. The first clip features Roger Ashby and Marilyn Dennis on CHUM FM from Sept. 1991 and the second clip has Bob Magee, Samantha Houston, Robbie Evans and Brian Henderson on 1050 CHUM from 1996. Two of the very best morning teams on Toronto Radio.

1050 CHUM in the late 80`s and into the 90`s had some of the most creative music contests and this one was called confusion where they played bits from two different tracks simultaneously and the caller was asked to ID both. Recording quality is poor unfortunately on parts of the clip.

Both these morning teams understood how to keep their listeners engaged and entertained.


The CKOC countdown of the top songs from the 1960`s continues with the year 1968. Lots of psychedelic era classics are featured including Pictures of Matchstick Men, Itchycoo Park, Sky Pilot, Magic Carpet Ride, All Along The Watchtower and more.  Listen for a couple of interesting ads around the 30 minute mark. One featuring Bill Murray and the other for a Duran Duran special on the station. They were huge at the time of this recording made during the fall of 1984.


Going backwards on the countdown which had reached 1968 on the last installment but I found this additional 1966 segment. Clip is almost 75 minutes long and features John Novak and Bob Sherwin both of whom were long term jocks at 1150 CKOC. Listen also for the promo recorded by Casey Kasem for the airing of his American Top 40 show on CKOC.

1966 was a great year for rock music and there’s some fantastic songs on this broadcast including  Motown hits, The Beatles, ? Mark and The Mysterions, Donovan, The Cyrkle, Paul Revere and The Raiders and more.

This countdown was generally well researched and narrated but there’s bound to be the odd inaccuracy. Happens to the best. I have to point out a minor error that’s made by almost every DJ that plays the track Groovy Kind of Love. The song was not by Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders. Wayne had left the group by the time the single was recorded and so it was just the Mindbenders. Eric Stewart was the lead singer on the track and he would join future Mindbender Graham Couldman to form Hotlegs who had the novelty hit Neanderthal Man  and who in turn evolved into 10 CC. Alright that’s the end of the nerd break now more music !


Radio London ( The Big L) was certainly freewheeling if not free form. This clip has “enhanced” audio on some tracks  due to the very poor audio on the original tape.

Some great music is featured including the Who’s Legal Matter, The Searchers covering the Rolling Stones and Nancy Sinatra’s How Does That Grab You. There is a brief promo for a show  on the station called The Roman Empire. I rounded out things with the inclusion of some audio from The Who Sell Out album which was a tribute and spoof of Radio London. The Who album offers an excellent replication of the fun and creativity heard on the station.

I have about 25 minutes more Radio London, with a bit better audio quality, that I will upload in the future.


Updated previous audio issues fixed

Bob Mackowycz was the original host of the Six O Clock Rock Report on Q107. He was long gone by the time of this air check but the show continued to feature some great interviews. I remember Joey Vendetta and Steve Warden hosting the show for a long time in the mid 90’s. Vendetta and Rory O’Shea are the hosts on this air check but Steve Warden is featured conducting the interviews with Ray Davies  and the group Universal Honey. Interesting to note that Q was actually playing alt. indie band Guided by Voices  ( featured at the very end of the air check and part of the regular programming). The date of the air check noted is October 9, 1995.

Two mainstream stations at the time playing interesting alternative bands. A reminder about how homogenized and barren the commercial radio dial of today has become.


 CHEX AM was a Top 40 station located in Peterborough, Ontario, a town about 1.5 hours northeast of Toronto. The station at the time of this aircheck was owned by the CHUM group. The aircheck does not include any commercials and some of the DJ patter is cut. The music selection and presentation sounds similar to  major market Top 40 stations at time.  The station as well as it’s FM  and TV counterparts had an affiliation with the CBC and were located on Television road on the outskirts of Peterborough. The DJ is Dave Fisher. I have some more tape from this station as well as it’s competitor CKPT AM which I will post in the future.


Hamilton, Ontario’s 1150 CKOC is Canada’s oldest continuously operating radio station. The station has been playing Top 40 rock and oldies since 1960. That is about to come to an end next month when the station will switch to a all sports format.

The first clip above and others uploaded earlier are from a time when the station was playing Top 40 rock but was featuring a special year by year count down of the top 100 songs from the 60’s and early 70’s. The original broadcast ran for several of days during the fall of 1984. The DJ’s featured include station veterans John Novak, Dave Smith and Bob Sherwin.

The second clip features Dave Smith playing contemporary material from 1984 plus a short syndicated segment from American radio personality Pat St John.

The station will soon be no more but the magic and the memories live on via these clips. I have some more tape from the station that I will upload in the future.

CKOC 1984 & CHEX & CKPT  1971

Two clips featuring some great music from the early 70’s.

The CKOC clip is a continuation of the countdown recorded in September 1984. I had thought only the 1960’s were covered but I found additional tape featuring hits from the 70’s. Some of the CKOC uploads are complete air checks as I had made unattended recordings which I never edited. Others unfortunately were taped to capture the music and not the DJ’s. This montage is of the latter variety, unfortunately. You will, nevertheless, hear a fair bit of DJ patter featuring the terrific trio of John Novak, Dave Smith and Bob Sherwin.

The music featured is from the early 70’s and Cancon ( Canadian Content Rule) had made an impact on the hits of the day and you will hear some requisite Canadian top 40 favorites from the era. Some excellent music is heard on this long but disjointed air check.

The second clip features CHEX and CKPT from Peterborough from January 1971.  A small market with two top 40 AM stations. The stations were more like full service rock and pop stations, featuring some MOR acts, top 40 and also FM friendly album cuts.  That is very apparent on the CKPT portion of the air check. God by John Lennon is not a typical Top 40 selection due to it’s controversial message. You will also hear an interesting cover of Help by the Carpenters. I have not heard Band Bandit by Tundra on the radio in decades but you get to re-live that memory. One of my favorite tracks on the air check is Go Back by Crabby Appleton. This was power pop before the genre had a name. Essentially,  the phrase made it way into the rock lexicon circa 1972 when groups such as Big Star, Stories ( pre-Brother Louie), The Wackers, Blue Ash, The Raspberries and others began to release music to counter the over produced self indulgence found on many recordings of the day. Power Pop has been described as the music made when you cross the Who, Kinks or early Small Faces with The Beatles or Beach Boys. Also interesting to hear the name Runt. That was actually Todd Rundgren . His first solo album came out under that name and produced his first top 40 hit in 1970.

The first DJ featured on the CHEX air check may be Dave Fisher but I’m not certain. The CKPT clip features Joey Edwards and his humor along with the diverse musical selection makes for some great listening. Mr. Edwards also worked at stations in Bellville and Ottawa.

I think I still have perhaps 30 more minutes of the CKOC countdown and perhaps an hour or more left from CKPT. Will upload those in the future.


The first clip features Dick Bartley recorded off WBUF FM in 1984. The set features a great set of oldies. Outside of CBC stereo, some of  the best music found on the radio at the time was oldies based. Dick Bartley’s Solid Gold Saturday Night captured the fun and excitement of the golden era of top 40 radio.

The second clips features the two best morning teams on Toronto radio during the late 80’s and early 90’s. Bob Magee and company on 1050 CHUM and Roger Ashby and Marilyn Dennis on CHUM FM. A compilation of contests featured on the stations. I have posted contest clips in the past and there is some repetition in format. They are relatively rare and there is some peripheral content including a few ads and the perennial swipe at the Toronto Maple Leafs .

Have a listen below to a superb version of Fools Rush in by M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel (She and Him).

 Ted Yates  CKPT AM 1975 & CHSC FM 1971

Take yourself back to the early 70`s  and your parents have the living room console stereo perpetually tuned to the easy listening FM station. Your parents go out and you change the station to the local Top 40.

That memory may be revived as you listen to these two clips. The first clip comes from the automated easy listening format on St Catherines, Ontario station CHSC 105.7. You will hear a few tunes, one includes some dated sermonizing.  Also a commercial and a full newscast. The clip is from January 31, 1971, the day that the last manned moon-craft, Apollo 14, launched. That event is referenced in the newscast.  Not sure why they flip from one channel to the other during the newscast. Perhaps stereo was new to the station.

The second clip is from the summer of 1975 and features DJ Ted Yates on Peterborough, Ontario`s 1420 CKPT.  An entertaining clip. You may wonder if you had actually switched the radio dial from your parent`s station as  things get rolling with BJ Thomas and the 1940`s novelty tune Shaving  Cream.  A re-release of the latter tune had  charted on the top 40 charts  in 1975 after gaining exposure on the Dr. Demento radio show. Things pick up with tracks by Fludd, America and The Chambers Brothers.

A major market presentation by a small town station. Mr Yates was last  heard on CKOC until their format change in September 2015.

1050 CHUM & WRIT 1340

The first clip features 1050 CHUM from the summer of 1975. The DJ is Mike Cooper I believe. Corrections welcome. Roger Ashby can be heard during a commercial.

The second clip is from WRIT AM 1340, Milwaukee. WRIT was one of the early top 40 stations in America having switched to the format in 1955.  There is a Toronto connection to the station as it the place where Jay Nelson got his start. This clips was taped near the end of their original incarnation as Top 40 and they are having a 1950`s weekend. You will hear some retro 50`s station ID`s. This was taped during the summer of 1974. Not sure who the DJ is. I have several more hours from this tape to upload in the future.

The original version of Searchin`by the Coasters is played above on WRIT and below is a version by the Grateful Dead when the Beach Boys Joined them at the Fillmore East on April 27, 1972


Almost 90 minutes of Carl Banas on CKFM from 1974. Includes an almost intact air check with the news presented by Eric Thorsen. Some very interesting ads. I believe I hear CHUM FM alumina Walter Michaels at least once.

The seconds clip has a Beatles Montage as played on CKFM and at  end of the montage I have pasted on a couple of ads that I know came from an earlier 1973  CKFM air check.  The first  ad features the unmistakable voice of David Pritchard for the House of Stein and the second has Roger Ashby on a gum commercial. Stars from CHUM FM and AM featured on ads played on CKFM.

I have more from CKFM from this era to post in the future.

The John Lennon original of this song is played during the Beatles Montage and here’s a cover by The Wackers

Top 40 relics from WKIX/WCFL and More 1966

These are recording that I did not make myself but rather collected and picked up from an antique sale. They are wonderful tapes that preserve an important part of a bygone era.

The first clip features Bob Baker from WKIX recorded just before the mid term US elections in the fall of 1966. WKIX  known as Channel 85  was the leading Top 40 station in Raleigh North Carolina at the time. I had erroneously thought that Mr Baker may be future 1050 CHUM DJ Duke Roberts as he worked briefly at WKIX and a Billboard magazine article had him using the name Bob Baker at one time.  This tape was made at the station for a serviceman named  Rick Fitzwater and if you listen at the end you will hear why the tape seems to be the one made at WKIX.

A great period piece including some local and national commercials and a full newscast.

The second  clips comes from Chicago Top 40 powerhouse WCFL  AM ( The voice of Labor) recorded in August of 1966. The DJ is Jim Runyon and you will also hear some commercials and a newscast. Listen during the newscast for the voice of a young Rev Jessie Jackson. Recorded during the height of racial protests and upheaval in the US.  The third clip is a repeat of the WCFL broadcast but recorded using a different tape player. Drop me an email and let me know which clip sounds better as I have used both machines on the web site.

The last clip is rather fragmentary and sounds like it may be mostly sourced from WABC AM during the fall of 1966.

The quality on the first two clips is excellent. Enjoy a part of radio history from 1966.


This clip features legendary Boston top 40 DJ Arnie Ginsburg, He was unusual for bucking the tradition of the radio voice and name. You will hear some common Woo-Woo-ism’s on this broadcast. This is from his tenure at  Group W or Westinghouse  outlet WBZ during the 1970’s and the show is called Night Train.

Most of the oldies heard are top line hits but there’s also a  few surprises.  Listen for the Miller ad, is that Tony Joe White of Polk Salad Annie fame ? I have Eddie Rabbit  on a Miller commercial on the KISW broadcast recently loaded to the main section of the site. There’s a few seconds of dial turning near the end of this hour long clip and some brief static at the top during the newscast.

I still have about one more hour of this broadcast to upload in the future. That is the second side of the reel to reel tape and I just listened to it for the first time after a few years and it will not disappoint.

KBPI FM Denver Oldies 1981 & WPEZ Pittsburh 1976 Countdown

KBPI had an AOR format at the time of this air check but on Sunday they would play oldies on the Nostalgic Rock show hosted by Pete Mackay who was a mainstay of Denver radio. They were highlighting old rock instrumentals on this particular episode. The recording is good but unfortunately you only get to hear one track on a two track stereo broadcast and for that reason you may find that some of the songs sound like alternate takes.  A number of tracks that are rarely heard on oldies radio these days are featured.

The second clip features DJ Dennis Elliot on Pittsburgh Top 40 station WPEZ. They are playing the top tracks of 1976 starting with number one hundred. Number ninty nine is Wam Bam by the group Silver who included John Batdorf  (of Batdof and Rodney fame) and Bruce Mydland  ( a member of a later incarnation of the Grateful Dead). The track’s bubblegum sound is surprising given that membership.

I have more from both stations that I will be uploading in the future.


This is the second upload the the site from Carl Banas and I have some more content from him to upload in the future. CKFM was the top rated FM station in Toronto at the time of the recording.

CKFM was what could be described as a “beautiful music” station but in today’s terminology it might be called a Hot AC format. There was definitely some overlap with what the Top 40 stations at the time were playing as you will hear on tracks by Bread, The Brotherhood of Man, Bill Withers, Three Dog Night and others. There’s also some-overlap with what the progressive rock stations at the time were playing on tracks by The Beatles, Cat Stevens, Carol King and It’s a Beautiful day.  I  thought it was an audio typo when Mr Banas said “It’s a Beautiful Day” as they were a San Francisco hippie band. The track featured by them is somewhat atypical as it sounds tailor made for the “beautiful music” format and can be heard starting at 8:54 of the first clip.

You will hear some fabulous period piece ads including those for Yorkdale Mall, Sherway Gardens and Fairview Mall. There’s a funny ad for the Wood Allen movie “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex” and former CHUM FM DJ Walter Micheals can be heard on a commercial for Old Vienna beer.

There’s a version of this Bacharach/David  classic by Johnny Mathis on the clip and here’s a Top 40 hit version by The Walker Brothers from 1966

Bill Brown & Bill Winters WCBS FM Feb 1974

These clips are from relatively early into WCBS FM’s Oldies format which had launched in July 1971.  Bill Brown was with the station  from the time of the pre-oldies pseudo free form days up to the end of Oldies in 2005. On this particular show  he says that this will be his last regular on air gig as he is staying with the station but off the air. He announces his regular on- air replacement as Bill Winters but he is filling in for Dick Heatherton on this show. He returned to regular on air shows though I am not sure when.

Bill Winters is heard after Brown. Winters passed away in 1975 at the age of 35 right after his on air shift at the station and there are not that many air checks of him from WCBS.

The first clip is in mono due to channel drop outs during this part of the tape. The second clip is in stereo and the quality varies throughout the clip but is at it’s peak when the Bar Key’s Soul Finger is played. The was the era when WCBS played a lot of 50’s oldies and Doo Wop and also two current hits per hour. These were referred to as future gold.  One such hit played on this broadcast is  Smokin’ In The Boys Room by Brownsville Station.

Have a listen to  and enjoy a long slice of the golden 101 “where all the good songs are gone”.

Toronto’s CHFI FM Early Stereo & Buffalo’s Pre-rock WBEN FM & WGR AM

The first clip comes from Toronto beautiful music station CHFI from 1962 ( ?) shortly after they had converted to stereo. The irony is that the broadcast is not recorded in stereo. Stereo receivers were relatively rare and there were even stereo converters for those without actual stereo receivers,  just as there were in the early days of stereo TV.

The second clip is from WBEN FM before their automated rock era and well before they changed their call letters.

The third clip comes from WGR AM. I recorded this myself on September 10, 1984. The clip features the late Joe Galuski on the Golden Graffiti Countdown. Quality alert for this clip.

Jay and the Techniques biggest hit Apples, Peaches, Pumkin Pie is heard on the WGR broadcast and here’s their second biggest hit

Oklahoma Top 40 Radio May 1969

This is a fractured air check meaning that it consists of snippets and includes stations from Lawton Oklahoma and Oklahoma City. Station include KSWO,  KOFM,  KCCO and  a bit of Oklahoma City’s KOMA which had a strong signal and was heard widely across the continent. I have more tape of KOMA and other Oklahoma top 40 that I will upload in the future. These tapes make for a good listen mainly due to the diverse playlist which includes a few big top 40 hits of the day, some Doo-wop and also rarely or never heard regional hits. There’s also an interlude of a station playing smooth Jazz by Chico Hamilton.

There were two tracks on this clip that I had not heard before and they occurs at 12:54 and 33:35 and are not identified. The first track is “The Uninhibited Bicycle Rider” by The Two Mile Pike and the second track is likely “Too Much of a Good  Good Thing” by The Strawberry Street Singers. Thanks to the help of Tord and BadJack at the Steve Hoffman Forumn.



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