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1953-2017: Radio Legend Red Robinson Hangs Up his Microphone

John Mackie by John Mackie, Vancouver Sun                                                                                                       Published on: June 30, 2017

Vancouver radio legend Red Robinson has plenty of memorabilia in his office from 60-plus years on the air. ‘It’s stupid the stuff I’ve held onto in a way, but it meant something to me,’ he says. 

Red Robinson has tried to retire a few times.

“I had big parties and everything — it was terrific,” he laughs.

“It became a thing with me. Maybe next year I can retire again.”

But each time the easy life beckoned, he missed the buzz of going on the radio. So the legendary disc jockey has remained on the air for 64 years.

For the last several years Robinson has held down a Sunday slot on CISL. He celebrated his 80th birthday on air March 30.

But CISL was recently sold and will be changing formats from oldies to sports in September. So this week, Red decided it was time to finally retire for good.

“I’ll tell ya what did it to me,” he said.

“My grandson is 14. He’s always bugging me, ‘Grandpa when are you going to retire?’ I knew what he meant — spend more time with him. A couple of weeks ago I said ‘Aden, I’m retiring.’

“He said, ‘Grandpa, you mean we can spend more time together?’ That got to me. It’s the right move. You’ve got to go sometime, right?”

His last day will be Aug. 27. This week, he started going through some of the boxes of memorabilia in his office. Going through a box filled with autographs Robinson came across something special — a Buddy Holly signature from his lone appearance here on Oct. 23, 1957.



  1. I predict…August 28th [or so] he’ll be right back at it [somewhere] ….and his grandson will be with him [to show him how it’s done!] HAPPY RETIREMENT, RED

  2. Red Robinson, a fine Canadian and a fine gentleman, met him once a couple years back when he attended the Innovative Audio (Surrey B.C. ) June audio/hi-fi garage sale. Best wishes to you Mr. Robinson.

  3. Was fortunate enough to have met Mr. Robinson a couple times when I was a BCIT student covering a Boys High School Basketball Championship for CKWX and J.P. McConnell.
    Red seemed just like he did on the air — a nice guy!!

  4. One of my mentors and best friends. A true L E G E N D.

    I am honoured to be his friend.

    He taught me so much.

    I hope he and Carole enjoy some time with the Grandkids and chill.


  5. He’ll be missed as will CISL…of which I shall no longer be a listener the day the format changes. But there are lots of brain-dead sports types out there looking for a source to charge up their lobotomized brains.

  6. Way back in the summer/fall of 1998 I did overnights on Z95.3 and Red was doing mornings on CISL. We’d often cross paths in the hallway as I was on my way out and he was on his way in. He was an unbelievably nice guy and always willing to give this new-to-the-industry “kid” a couple of pointers & tips.

    All the best to Red & his family in his retirement…

  7. Thanks,. Red, for pioneering this great art-form of ours and giving us great entertainment. Please quit this business when you are good and ready, and not when others want you too !


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