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Red Robinson's Legends

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Red Robinson interviewed everybody from Buddy Holly to Michael Bublé over a 60 year radio/TV career. Thanks for visiting Red Robinson's Legends, and keep coming back for more!




Red Robinson interviewed everybody from Buddy Holly to Michael Bublé over a 60 year radio/TV career. Thanks for visiting Red Robinson's Legends, and keep coming back for more!








Chad Allan interview, 2000

Sad music news... Chad Allan passed away on November 21 at age 80. He is survived by his wife, Christine. Chad was born Allan Kowbel in Winnipeg and took his stage name, Chad Allan, in tribute to a favourite 1950s singer, Chad Mitchell. His first band was Allan and the Silvertones and then Chad Allan and the Reflections/Expressions, which evolved into the Guess Who. Chad left the Guess Who in 1966 to attend college. In 1967, he hosted the Winnipeg version of the weekly CBC TV music program Let's Go. Chad was a guest at the grand opening of the Red Robinson Show Theatre, and Red interviewed him on the September 21, 2000 edition of CISL Radio's "Wakeup Club". Here, they talk about the early days, some of the people Chad worked with, and the first time he heard "Shakin' All Over". In 2015, he was inducted as a Member of the Order of Manitoba for his contribution to Canadian music. A true rock'n'roll pioneer. RIP Chad!


Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry was among the performers at the historic 1956 "Show Of Stars" at Vancouver's Georgia Auditorium. This first "Show of Stars" was an all-Black show in the sense that the performers were basically Rhythm and Blues stars. The line-up included Chuck, Bill Doggett, The Five Satins, Fats Domino, LaVern Baker and Clyde McPhatter. Out of this show grew my admiration for the true roots of rock'n'roll. I could appreciate Bill Haley and the Comets and Elvis Presley, but after this dynamite show I realized where it had all begun. Chuck Berry impressed me the most musically. He would follow his early hits, 1956's "Maybellene", "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" with a string of rock'n'roll classics: 1957's "School Day" and "Rock and Roll Music"; and "Sweet Little Sixteen", "Reelin' and Rockin'", "Johnny B. Goode", and "Around and Around" in 1958. Chuck Berry received a Grammy Awards Lifetime Achievement award in 1984 and he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. In a Rolling Stone interview, he shared the origin of his trademark “duck walk” at a 1956 concert at the Paramount Theater in New York: “I had to outfit my trio, and I always remember the suits cost me $66, $22 apiece. They were rayon, but looked like seersucker by the time we got there. I actually did the duck walk to hide the wrinkles in the suit. I got an ovation, so I figured I pleased the audience, so I did it again, and again.” Chuck Berry is probably rock’n’roll’s most influential figure. You can hear his guitar riffs in the music of Buddy Holly, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys, and many more bands and artists. Here's my 1956 interview with Chuck Berry!


Ernie Freeman

Ernie Freeman came to Vancouver in 1956 as bandleader and arranger with the first "Show Of Stars". I chatted with Ernie backstage, we talked about rock'n'roll and I learned the meaning of the word "zeitgeist"! Ernie released "Jivin' Around" in 1956 and he appeared in Columbia Pictures' classic teen flick "Rock Around The Clock" Ernie's cover version of Bill Justis' "Raunchy", his biggest solo success, reached #4 on the pop chart and #1 on the R&B chart in 1957. Ernie played piano on a couple of classic early Sixties instrumentals: B. Bumble and the Stingers' first hit, "Bumble Boogie" and "Percolator (Twist)" by Billy Joe & the Checkmates. He also performed with and arranged for the Routers ("Let's Go") and the Marketts ("Out Of Limits"). As a staff arranger for Liberty Records, Ernie worked with Liberty stars Bobby Vee, Johnny Burnette, and Gene McDaniels. Ernie Freeman went on to work with Jimmy Bowen, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Connie Francis, Johnny Mathis and Petula Clark. He won Grammy awards for his arrangements of Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night" (1966) and Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (1970). Ernie Freeman died in 1981 in Los Angeles but he left an indelible mark on pop music.


Buddy Knox at The Show of Stars, 1957

Back when rock was young I had the pleasure of being the MC for The Show of Stars at Vancouver’s Georgia Auditorium on October 23, 1957. The all-star cast included Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Frankie Avalon, George Hamilton IV, Buddy Knox, The Everly Brothers, Paul Anka and Eddie Cochran. All this for three bucks! Typical of the anti-rock attitude of the day, The Vancouver Sun’s Alan Hope wrote: “What the audience lacked in mobility they made up for in rapt attention. Occasionally the jungle beat caught them and they strained forward, hands clapping.” Buddy Knox and Jimmy Bowen called their band The Rhythm Orchids. Buddy had the first rock and roll million-seller with Party Doll. He went on to record and sell millions of records. Jimmy Bowen switched from performing to become a very successful record producer. Here we are in this time capsule, young and positive. Oh, the memories!


Gene McDaniels

Liberty recording star Gene McDaniels arrived on the scene in 1961. His dynamic voice and soul were reminiscent of the late Sam Cooke. His first hit "A Hundred Pounds Of Clay" was controversial and was banned from British radio. The song was simply a story about God making man and woman from clay. The British apparently found something wrong with the concept. Gene was part of the gap that filled the period leading up to The Beatles. His other hits include "Tower Of Strength", "Chip Chip", "Point Of No Return", "Spanish Lace" and "It's A Lonely Town". These songs were written by some of America’s best including Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Gerry Goffin and Carole King and Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. In early 1962 Gene was in Vancouver for a date at Isy's Supper Club. He was kind enough to drop by my CKWX Platter Party for a chat, and we talked about his music and some of his influences in this expanded interview on Red Robinson's Legends: Gene McDaniels.


CFUN Soundathon Promos, 1964

Every year C-FUN counted down the Top 300 listener favourites in our "Soundathon". Over 150,000 votes decided which songs would appear, and we usually played them from 7:00am December 29 until midnight New Year's Eve. This annual tradition was so popular we started running "Summer Soundathons", celebrating the biggest summertime hits of the Sixties. The final C-FUN Soundathon ran in summer 1967: the #1 song was The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby", followed by Bryan Hyland's "The Joker Went Wild", "Monday Monday" by The Mamas & Papas, "Wild Thing" from the Troggs and "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. To promote Soundathon 1964, we decided to produce a series of promos taking a light-hearted jab at some of the C-FUN Good Guys and our news staff. Big laughs all around, and we've included some of our favourite 1964 C-FUN "Channel 14" jingles. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!


Bobby Taylor interview, 2006

Diana Ross and The Supremes had just finished a two-week run at the legendary Cave Supper Club in October 1967, touring on the strength of their #1 hit "The Happening". Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson heard a Motown cover band at an after-hours club and alerted Motown Records CEO Berry Gordy. Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers signed a recording contract with Motown, and Gordy produced “Does Your Mama Know About Me,” their debut single. The song was written by band members Tommy Chong and an old friend from my "Let's Go" TV show, Tom Baird. Tommy went on to huge success with comedy duo Cheech & Chong, and Tom Baird made a name for himself as a songwriter, arranger and producer for a number of Motown acts like Rare Earth, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder. At a 1968 Chicago concert, The Jackson 5 opened for Bobby and he arranged for them to audition for Berry Gordy and other Motown executives. The group was signed to Motown, and Bobby Taylor became their first producer. Bobby left Motown three years later after a financial dispute, recording sporadically into the mid-1970s. In 2006, Bobby dropped by my CISL/Vancouver morning show for this interview. We covered a lot of ground: our early days together at CBC-TV's "Music Hop" and "Let's Go"; an early band member named Jimi Hendrix; the real meaning behind “Does Your Mama Know About Me”; the musical genius of Tom Baird; a young Bruce Allen protégé named Michael Bublé; and my meeting with Sam Cooke and Bumps Blackwell. These were special moments with an old friend. Bobby Taylor died in 2017 at a hospital in Hong Kong, where he’d been undergoing treatment for leukemia. Tommy Chong remembered him as an extraordinary singer: “He used to do 'Danny Boy' and make everybody cry in the audience. He would hit notes that were unbelievably high and he could sound like anybody he wanted to sound like – Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey. I’ve been with a lot of singers, but nothing like Bobby.” Image: Nora Tam, South China Morning Post


Legends of Comedy: Gordon Jump

"WKRP in Cincinnati" premiered this week in 1978 on CBS-TV, airing for four seasons and 90 episodes. My late friend Terry Moore sat down with Gordon and his wife Anna in 1981 for this CKNW interview. The show, created by Hugh Wilson, featured the staff of a struggling radio station and was based on his experiences in sales at WQXI/Atlanta. New program director Andy Travis switches WKRP's format from easy-listening music to rock with help from deejays Dr. Johnny Fever and Venus Flytrap, station manager Arthur Carlson, sales manager Herb Tarlek, news director Les Nessman, receptionist Jennifer Marlowe and producer Bailey Quarters. Gordon reflects on his broadcast background and the inspiration for his character; the strengths of the show's cast; the advantages of syndication; he and Anna discuss how success has changed their lives; the truth behind Hollywood's "Tinseltown" myth; the importance of good management; and how they spend their free time. Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson was Gordon's signature role, and he starred in a short-lived revival of the show, "The New WKRP in Cincinnati" which ran in syndication from 1991 to 1993. He also appeared in the final season of Seinfeld, in which he played George Costanza's boss at a playground equipment company. You probably also remember when he took over the Maytag repairman role from Jesse White. Gordon Jump died at his home in Glendale, CA on September 22, 2003. He was 71.


Elvis Presley at Empire Stadium, 1957 - Entrance

It's August 31, 1957 in Vancouver and Elvis Presley is about to take the stage for his first — and only — visit here. With my heart pounding with excitement, I left Elvis in his dressing room and walked toward the stage at the north end of Empire Stadium. A huge curtain hung from the rear of the stage, and it was in this area that I waited for my turn to appear on the platform and bring on the legendary Elvis Presley. The acts on stage at this time were the Jordanaires, a gospel group from the US South who had recently been added to the background sound of Elvis' RCA recordings. They gave a more well rounded sound to the drums of D. J. Fontana, the bass of Bill Black and the incredible guitar of Scotty Moore. Road manager Tom Diskin stood with me on the backstage platform, and when the Jordanaires completed their set I walked out on stage. I can't describe the feeling of standing at one end of a stadium and looking out at a sea of 25,000 faces. I had to gather up every ounce of courage. Tom had told me to point to the right of the stadium when introducing Elvis, and he would run out of the tunnel and step into a large black Cadillac limousine. My introduction was brief. An off stage announcer shouted my name as MC, I walked out to thundering applause, and said "On behalf of the Teen Canteen, Canada’s largest teen show, I'm proud tonight to present to you, ELVIS PRESLEY!!!" With that short announcement I pointed to my right, and right on cue Elvis came running out of the tunnel and hopped into the waiting limo. The crowd went berserk. It sounded like a city of a million all screaming and yelling in unison. My greeting had been generous, and I knew that it was more for the fact that I had been instrumental in getting Elvis to Vancouver than for my own appearance, but the ecstatic greeting for Elvis was pure joy for seeing the one man who had brought the whole world of Rock'n'Roll together. Elvis Presley was the centerpiece of the art form and the idol of their generation and here he was — in the flesh! Elvis wore only the top jacket from his solid gold suit. When I asked him backstage in the dressing room why he hadn't worn the whole gold suit, he explained that the creases in the pants caused them to look terrible and unsuitable to wear. The gold suit had been a Colonel Tom Parker concept. Here was the golden boy of music in the Fifties and the Colonel was going to have him appear in gold, real gold, to show the world just how big his boy was. "The Colonel" knew the value of glamour and he used it masterfully. What follows is a recording of my introduction, Elvis' entrance, and the reaction of 25,000 fans. A night I'll never forget.


Jerry Allison

We're celebrating the life of Jerry Allison, drummer for Buddy Holly and The Crickets, who died this week (8/22). This extended interview was recorded at Vancouver's Legends of Rock'n'Roll show at EXPO 86. One of my favourite lines in the interview is when Jerry says, “I think we were the first ugly band... and then The Rolling Stones just took it and went all the way with it!” Jerry and Buddy met in high school in 1956 and the two began playing as a duo — Allison on drums, Holly on guitar and vocals. One year later, they linked up with bassist Joe B. Mauldin and guitarists Niki Sullivan and Sonny Curtis to become The Crickets. Jerry also co-wrote a couple of their biggest hits: “That’ll Be the Day” and “Peggy Sue”. After Buddy left The Crickets in 1958, the group continued to tour and record into the Sixties and beyond, with Jerry Naylor replacing Holly after his death in 1959. Jerry Allison’s career flourished as a studio musician at The Crickets’ label, Liberty Records in Los Angeles, working with artists like Eddie Cochran, Bobby Vee and Johnny Rivers. Along with fellow original Crickets Mauldin, Sullivan and Curtis, Jerry Allison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Smokey Robinson at a special ceremony in 2012. Smokey said, “Buddy Holly wasn’t just Buddy Holly. He was a Cricket. One day they gave us ‘That’ll Be the Day,’ on another ‘Maybe Baby’. They were indeed the original rock’n’roll band.” Jerry Allison’s drums are the best part of some of my favourites: “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday” and especially “Not Fade Away”. “That’ll Be The Day” was Jerry’s favourite. It was the first song he and Buddy recorded together.


Remembering Susan Jacks

I first met Susan Jacks on the set of Let’s Go, Vancouver’s weekly contribution to the CBC TV series Music Hop. The show allowed Canadian talent to get exposure from coast-to-coast on television. Susan was a wonderfully talented, stunningly beautiful lady with a voice like silk. Susan and husband Terry created some of Canada’s most memorable hit records as the Poppy Family. Their hit song “Which Way You Goin’, Billy?” was Vancouver's first million-seller! My friend John Mackie said "She was a natural singer, with a cool, clear voice that fell somewhere between Karen Carpenter and Tammy Wynette." Susan was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2010. I loved playing Susan's music on the radio, and my listeners loved our very own homegrown talent. She was a frequent guest and we've managed to preserve those interviews. Here, in 2006, she talks about growing up in Haney, BC and auditioning for Let's Go. Susan faced many personal traumas and health issues in later years, but her inner strength always kept her moving forward. She was one of the most positive, warm and friendly people I ever met. I will always remember Susan's voice, her stage presence and her love of music. In our interview she mentions a couple of her influences, Dusty Springfield and Jackie deShannon. And I know that somewhere out there, a little girl is listening to Susan's music and being inspired by that beautiful voice. Susan, you'll be missed by all of us who knew and loved you. I'd like to say goodbye by remembering the lyrics of one of your best songs: "I Thought Of You Again": "The train moved on... and with my nose against the glass... I hummed a song. It made me smile... and for a while... I just forgot that you were gone."


Rick Nelson interview, 1976

Rock'n'roll pioneer Rick Nelson would have celebrated his 82nd birthday today - May 8. This photo of Rick and me was taken in his car when I worked at KGW in Portland, OR in 1959. Notice the tape recorder. It was called a Mohawk, and like the haircut of the same name, it cut out the interview. When I got back to the station there was nothing on the tape. The same thing happened in 1958 backstage at the PNE Forum, no sound. It wasn’t until 1976 when he returned to Vancouver for a concert at the PNE Star Spectacular that I was able to get an interview. I showed Rick the picture and we had a laugh about my bad luck. Rick was the first teenage idol, and there is no doubt about that, but in those early days in the 50’s he had no stage presence. He would sing a song and then take a drink of Coca-Cola. Having seen the dynamic Elvis on stage at Empire Stadium, the audience booed him. He didn’t deserve to be booed. He was a great guy and one of the early rockers who really could rock and roll. He was a very quiet man. Many people said if James Dean could sing, he would have sounded like Rick Nelson. I had booked Rick for the Legends Of Rock'n'Roll show at Expo 86, but sadly he was killed in a plane crash near Dallas on December 31, 1985. Rick Nelson was just 45.


7 O'Clock News/Silent Night, Stonebolt featuring Daryl B

Here's a Christmas favourite from Vancouver's Stonebolt. The "news" voice you hear is another Vancouver favourite: legendary CFUN deejay Daryl B! Stonebolt's David Wills has the story: "I can’t recall exactly whose idea it initially was — likely Daryl's. He was a good friend of our managers at the time, and was very supportive of the band; so much so he even helped promote some of our shows. I believe we recorded this in the late fall of either 1977 or 1978. We were all familiar with the Simon & Garfunkel version, and since it wasn’t something our record label was involved with, we decided to do it as a special Christmas promo at our own expense. The recording of the music and vocal tracks was done in a hurry, at the original Ocean Sound back when they had their first studio in North Vancouver. As with the original version, Daryl chose a bunch of the really sad and disheartening news stories of the day, and wrote and voiced the nameless ‘newsman’ copy, which was then mixed to gradually fade in over the top of our song, just like AM radio stations' signals used to drift in late at night. CFUN played the heck out of it that Christmas season, and I think other stations across the country picked it up too. Stonebolt reunited in 1997 to play some events, and had so much fun that we did it off and on afterwards, between our other music projects. Around the time of our Regeneration/Best of CD in 2000, Ray Roper and I decided to record an updated version of Silent Night, with updated news copy. Ray tracked the new keyboards and strings at his home studio, and he, I, and Brian Lousley did all new vocals. Since Daryl was in Winnipeg and in very poor health by then, we recruited Tom Lucas — another CFUN alumnus — to be the news guy. We did updates again in 2001, and once more in the late 2000’s, this time using Tom Jeffries (yet another CFUN-er) to voice the news. There never seems to be a shortage of bleak news stories to update the Silent Night broadcast. Maybe next year the guys and I will produce a ‘good news’ version! RIP Daryl B! Love - the Stonebolt boys."


Andy Kim interview, 1990

Happy Birthday, Andy Kim! Andy is from Montreal, where he began singing at parties and school functions as a kid. When he was 14, he traveled to New York, where he met producer Jeff Barry. They produced a dozen chartmakers including "Baby I Love You", Andy's first million-seller. In 1969, Andy had a #1 record, but not under his own name. He was a member of The Archies, and that monster hit was "Sugar, Sugar". Andy continued recording throughout the early 70's and once again had a Number One hit with 1974's "Rock Me Gently". The song sold three million copies and it was Andy's second gold record. A couple of years later he "rebranded" himself as Baron Longfellow and continued to record, but the big hits were behind him. When I interviewed Andy in 1990, we talked about meeting Jeff Barry, his influence on Andy's music, and how Andy thought his songs stood up in a new era. Andy Kim is truly a Canadian legend! In 2017 performing rights organization SOCAN honoured Andy with their Cultural Impact Award. In recognition of his 50-year career and sales of over 30 million records, Canada's Walk Of Fame inducted him in 2018. Andy is also member of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. He continues to perform, and he's hosting The 17th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Special on Wednesday (12/8) at Toronto's Massey Hall. All proceeds support @camhfoundation Gifts of Light. You can help people experiencing mental illness on their journey to recovery at Visit Andy and see what he's up to these days at


Freddy Cannon interview, 1985

Happy birthday, Freddy Cannon! Freddy's music was a rock'n'roll radio staple in the late 50's and early 60's. His first hit "Tallahassee Lassie" was written by Freddy and producers Bob Crewe and Frank Slay. As Freddy tells me in the interview, the idea for the song came from his mother! Dick Clark (who co-owned Freddy's label Swan Records) suggested the record be edited to highlight the pounding bass drum, and Freddy became known as Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon for the thumping power of his music. "Tallahassee Lassie" hit the Top Ten in July 1959, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. His next record, "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans", rocketed up the charts in January 1960. It was his biggest hit and also sold a million. One of Freddy's biggest hits came in June 1962 with "Palisades Park", written by Chuck Barris. The song was originally written for Dion and it was called "Amusement Park" but producers Crewe and Slay changed the title. Another Top 10 million seller! Freddy came to Vancouver in 1963 for a show with Gene Pitney, The Chiffons, and Bobby Vinton. He signed with Warner Brothers that same year and he recorded his last two hits "Abigail Beecher" in 1964 and "Action" (the theme song to the TV series "Where the Action Is", a spin-off of American Bandstand) in 1965. Both failed to crack the Top 10. After leaving WB in 1967, he continued to work with Dick Clark at his Bandstand reunion concerts and to tour all over the world. Did you know Freddy appeared on "Bandstand" more than 100 times? Freddy returned to Vancouver in 1985 for The Legends Of Rock'n'Roll preview show. That's where we recorded this interview. Freddy lives in sunny Oxnard, CA today and you can keep in touch at


Dave Clark Five Press Conference, November 1964

On this day in 1964, three months after the Beatles' Empire Stadium concert, British hitmakers The Dave Clark Five arrived in Vancouver! A month after the Beatles smash February performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, the DC5 visited Sullivan and performed their first hit "Glad All Over". They returned the next week with two more songs and an encore of "Glad All Over". The group appeared on Ed Sullivan twelve times over a span of three years. Rock'n'roll competitor CKLG was just getting established and they were eager to take away some C-FUN listeners. To counter this I arranged for the Dave Clark Five to be available for an exclusive press conference right in the radio station's studio. Preparations were carefully made to ensure a minimum of interruption from avid fans who might invade the station. The first knowledge that fans had of the Dave Clark Five's presence in the studios was when they hit the air with their live press conference. CKLG complained bitterly to the show promoters... but to no avail. The Dave Clark Five — Dave Clark, Mike Smith, Rick Huxley, Dennis Peyton and Lenny Davidson — racked up some major hits between 1964 and 1967: "Glad All Over", "Bits and Pieces", "Do You Love Me", "Can't You See That She's Mine", "Because", "Any Way You Want It", "I Like It Like That", "Catch Us If You Can" and "Over and Over" Their last big hit, 1967's "You Got What It Takes", was released a couple of months before the Beatles' landmark "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album. Suddenly, music had changed and the formula hits stopped coming. The group disbanded in early 1970. Exactly 44 years after their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dave Clark Five was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 by Tom Hanks. They might have lacked the originality of The Beatles, but The Dave Clark Five did make a contribution. They were among the most memorable of the British acts that played Vancouver. Just a coincidence, but The Dave Clark Five just reissued their debut US album “Glad All Over” today! Remastered by Dave Clark at Abbey Road Studios and released on limited edition white vinyl, it includes the hit singles “Glad All Over”, “Do You Love Me”, “Bits and Pieces” and more. Pre-order your copy now at


Red "Retires" from CKWX, 1984

With all the excitement surrounding my 2000 "retirement" from the CISL Wakeup Club, another finale last week almost escaped my attention. On the 30th anniversary of my first radio show, I "retired" from the morning show at CKWX (now @CityNewsVAN) to concentrate on my ad agency and other projects. I treasure this photo taken with some old friends on my final day on the air. Sadly, they're all gone now but the memories are still vivid! While twirling across the Vancouver radio dial as a kid I became a steady listener to a different kind of deejay, CKNW's Jack Cullen. That's Jack on my right. Cullen talked to his listeners on a one-to-one basis and had a total disregard for convention. He was a character and an incredible performer. If you didn't listen to Jack Cullen, the next day your friends would say, "Did you hear what Cullen did last night?" He was my idol. While I was still in high school I made a new discovery. In addition to Cullen's CKNW "Owl Prowl", I was fascinated with Al Jordan's "Theme for Teens" on CJOR. Al played the hits of the day and invited listeners down to the studio to take part in the show. I visited after school one day and stayed on to join in the fun each afternoon. It was the most exciting moment in my young life and it inspired me to work harder to get my own show. Al Jordan made my career possible. That's him on my left. That's former C-FUN Good Guy and old friend Tom Peacock in the background. Tom moved on from C-FUN to CKWX in 1967 and by now was General Manager of the station. Tom was a homespun guy from Nanaimo, a great DJ with a booming voice who will be remembered by local hockey fans as the first PA announcer for the Vancouver Canucks. CKWX program director Ted Farr says, "We saw Red's 'retirement' as an opportunity. We had always played a smattering of hits from the 50s in our country music mix. I suggested he recreate his original 1957 CKWX program, Teen Canteen. We called it 'The 50s at 5' and the ratings went through the roof. When Red did leave the airwaves, 'The 50s at 5' became the centerpiece of our afternoon show. This was about the same time that we were having conversations about changing formats on our FM station. CISL had not yet relaunched itself as the Oldies Station, JR Country didn't exist, and we were enjoying the unexpected success of The 50s at 5. We thought 'why not take country music to the FM dial and relaunch CKWX as the Oldies Station?' I don't remember who got cold feet over such a bold move, but it didn't happen. CISL subsequently made a huge impact on Vancouver radio with the Oldies format. March of 1986 saw the launch of JR Country, and the beginning of the end of CKWX as a music station." Thanks, Ted! Now, let's return to those final moments of my CKWX morning show... on November 12, 1984.


Petula Clark interview, 2008

Happy birthday, Petula Clark! Petula's huge hit "Downtown" started climbing the charts about this time in 1964, and by January 1965 it was #1 everywhere. Petula followed up with a string of hits emphasizing the softer side of the British Invasion: "I Know a Place", "My Love", "A Sign of the Times", "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love", "Who Am I", "Colour My World", "This Is My Song", "Don't Sleep in the Subway", "The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener", and "Kiss Me Goodbye". Petula visited the River Rock Casino Resort in 2008 and we sat down to talk about her music and her long and illustrious career in the entertainment business. An amazing talent and a genuinely nice person. Stay in touch with Petula at


Ra McGuire interview, 2000

Twenty-one years ago last week, I retired from day-to-day radio and we celebrated with friends on CISL's Wakeup Club. Ra McGuire was one of those friends and we talked just before Trooper's 25th anniversary show at the Commodore. In this interview, we cover some of Ra's favourite Trooper music and he comes up with a great retirement project for me! Now it's Ra who's taking life easy. Just got word that he and Trooper guitarist Brian Smith are "officially" retiring. This from Trooper's Facebook page: "They've already been *unofficially* retired for a year and a half, so they've just decided to continue not working, since they've realized that they're getting pretty good at it." Trooper keyboard player Paul Gogo, bassist Scott Brown and drummer Clayton Hill will keep rockin' with new singer David Steele and guitarist Steve Crane. Best of luck to Ra and to Brian! And take it from me - this "retirement" thing rocks!


Bill Henderson interview, 2000

Bill Henderson has been part of my musical background since the early days, as part of Vancouver bands The Collectors and Chilliwack. Three members of The C-FUN Classics - Howie Vickberg, Claire Lawrence and Glenn Miller - along with Bill and the late Ross Turney - formed The Collectors in 1966. Howie left the group in 1969, and Chilliwack was born the next year. The group played together for more than 30 years, and produced some of my favourite hits: "Lonesome Mary", "California Girl", and "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)". Bill and Chilliwack were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2019. Lots more Collectors and Chillwack lore (and some amazing photos) at It was a thrill to have Bill as a guest during my final week of day-to-day radio on CISL's Wakeup Club, and so great to have him at Red's Rockin' Gala! We had a great time comparing notes on our kids and talking about the musical memories we shared. Hope you enjoy it too!