By Donovan Tildesley
Tuesday February the 2nd, 2016
We’re now into week 4 of this feature, and let me start off with a request to the listening audience. So far, I’ve pulled material from my collection of scoped airchecks. While there’s more to come, a good number of my offerings are unscoped. Some radio historians and aircheck purists prefer it this way, but the bulk of aircheck aficionados couldn’t be bothered with the music. If anyone out there would be willing to scope down material for me, it would be much appreciated. While I can’t pay you, I will figure out some small form of remuneration. Please email me to discuss.
Now on with the show … RED ROBINSON!!
Red Robinson on CKWX, Sept. 14, 1957
This came to me courtesy aircheck collector extraordinaire Don Shuttleworth back in 2008. It’s a youthful-sounding Red, in his early Teen Canteen days at CKWX. Notice how Red weaves himself in and out of the music on this recording; a kind of free-flowing style which was a staple of early Top 40 radio. While not my personal favourite formatically speaking, it’s a good example of how the format sounded at this stage in the evolution of Top 40.
Red Robinson and CISL Composite, Fall 1993
Before I knew what it was called, making airchecks was an early hobby of mine starting from the age of six. Sadly many of the hours I recorded back then were lost to the tape demagnetizer. My mother, feeling that I went through an inordinate number of blank cassette tapes in a month, limited the number I could use, and strongly suggested that I record over those I didn’t need anymore. She did have a point! Admittedly, my habitual “taping radio” was no doubt an early sign of mild OCD behavior, traits of which are still very much a part of my personality today. Besides, I don’t think either of us realized that this repetitive pattern would ever mean anything in a historical context. This particular tape, mostly recorded off of my first-ever portable Sony Walkman, is mainly Red Robinson and the brand-new CISL Wake-Up Club from September/October of 1993 (Red had just started at the station on August 3). It also includes brief snippets of Al Farrabee (middays), and Rob Barridge and Gerry O’day (weekends). Usually I’d be eating breakfast, with one hand on my oatmeal spoon and the other on the pause button! Other voices heard are Joanna Milios, Brian Decker, a short imaging piece from Ray Collins, Brad Edwards, and Bernie Holsworth. Notice Red’s liberal use of character voices and drops on this recording. Brian Decker also really stands out for me. The man had a colourful way of painting pictures and dropping slang into his newscasts! I was in Grade 4 at the time, and each day our teacher asked members of the class to share current events at the start of the day. Anytime I put my hand up to share, I would unconsciously go into a Brian Decker delivery. He was gone from CISL by December of that year (I guess management was “steamed” at his unorthodox delivery), but made stops at Mountain FM Squamish, JRFM Vancouver, and finally News1130, where he was one of the original anchors when the All-News format launch twenty years ago this month. Perhaps some of our posters can enlighten us to his whereabouts today? His name is missing from Gord Lansdell’s terrific Vancouver Broadcasters index.
If you have any suggestions for future selections, please email me!
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