Welcome to JJ-365 Salutes #16. Over 2018, we pay tribute daily to “The Good Ones”. Today we are shining the light on Gary Michaels.
Gary Michaels is an Ottawa radio legend. Growing up as a little gnat nearby in Smiths Falls Ontario, I used to listen to CJET RADIO. The DJ I remembered the most was Gary Michaels. Like most teenyboppers in the area, I would call the hit-line. Gary would take the time to talk to me and every once in awhile he would put me on the air. It was where I first thought of radio as a career. He left the JET in 1970 for Ottawa Radio, and we moved away to Prince Edward County shortly after.
When I got the call to go to CFGO radio, I knew Gary was on-air there, and was excited to meet him. I quickly blurted out the story about how I grew up listening to him. I told him what a career impact he had been on me, and how excited I was to be working with him at the same station. I was very young and impressionable and he knew this. I felt he took me under his wing and looked out for me. We had a lot of fun at that station and Gary was one of the guys who was the glue of the station.
Howard Lapides (his CFGO on-air name was Jon L’Heuri) is a heavyweight producer and manager (Freddy Got Fingered in 2001, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2008, and Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers in 2011 to name a few). Here are some of his thoughts regarding Gary’s impact in the CFGO hallways:
“Gary Michaels is from Ottawa. It’s his town. Much as William B Williams was to New York City, Gary Michaels is to Ottawa. Ottawa moves to the rhythm of Michaels. When the new staffed arrived at CFGO-AM, Michaels was our conduit to the city. He knew all there was to know about Ottawa: ask him a question and get an answer ten levels deep. Michaels was priceless. The CFGO-AM staff was a tight-knit group, in large part because of Michaels. Other than him, the only people we knew, in Ottawa, were one another. He was the backbone of local radio. He held it together, made listeners care about the city and left a touch of class, on all that he did”.
I remember listening to Gary Michaels while growing up in Ottawa he was an amazing DJ as they were called back then he made want to me to become a radio announcer but unfortunately I unable to ubtain employment as a radio announcer only in sales.I dream of one day to have my voice heard over the airwaves,so therefore I thank you Gary for being the best radio announcers in Canada