Novermber 23, 2018
Welcome to JJ-365 Salutes. Over 2018, we pay tribute daily to one of “The Good Ones”. Today we are shining the light on Terry Evans.
Here’s another legend, one who is still going strong! At fifty-four, Terry Evans is just about to celebrate 39 years in radio. How has he managed to stay in the game all these years, and continue to play at a top level? He has kept up, remains a pop culture student, is a great storyteller, and continues to do the work. Steve Jones, long-time VP/Brands & Content for STINGRAY RADIO (formerly NEWCAP), told me once about one of their talent conferences where Terry presented his views on the art, how hard he worked at his presentation, and how he knocked the audience out.
Terry has a different sound, more laid back in his delivery, and is real and ‘present’.
My interaction with him was certainly from a distance when I was the VP Programming for Standard Radio. When coming into market I always enjoyed being part of the sessions with him and his team throwing out ideas. The guy is a true pro and I would say still has a lot left in the tank.
Like most of us Terry started as a youngster in this business. He was in Radio at CFKC in Creston, B.C. at fifteen years of age and in 10th grade. The radio station was in a house beside the hospital in Creston and Terry’s friends thought it was hilarious to hide behind cars across the street and throw snowballs at the Control Room window as soon as he opened up the mic off the back of a song or did a newscast.
After graduating in 1982 he was off to Lethbridge Community College for the Communication Arts program but when Murray Redman got hired away from LA-107 for a position in Brandon, school became plan B. Terry, having previous radio experience, was the only ‘First Year’ permitted on CLCC, the College’s radio station. He airchecked his first show and used that tape (as Johnny Rogers) to get the swing gig Redman had vacated. Jim Duffin was PD and didn’t like ‘Johnny Rogers’ because it was too ‘Piratey’ in his opinion. They decided on Terry EVANS with (very) little thought after Duffin decided that ‘Chernof’ sounded like ‘Turnoff… the Radio’. Swing turned into mid-day’s in 1983 and the game was on.
In 1985 it was time to test Major Market waters so off went the tapes. Form letters galore came back from PD’s all across Canada except one. 365’er Marty Forbes took the time to critique the demo and tell Evans what it would take to get to Major Market Radio. After a few months the call came from Neil Edwards at K-97 and in January of 1986 Terry was off to Edmonton for what he calls the coveted 2am-6am time slot. There was a short stint in Mornings with Robin Allen when Brad Phillips left and then it was Evenings for a spell…then Mid-day’s until the Summer of ’92.
That’s when 365’er Eric Samuels hired Terry away from K-97 to launch The BEAR in 1992. Terry was helping Eric assemble his IKEA furniture before he knew what the format was going to be. Being a part of what many call the greatest radio station launch in Canadian Radio History was truly a hi-lite for Terry and everyone involved and The BEAR took the city of Edmonton by storm. Mid Days, Afternoons with Jake Daniels and then Mornings with Kodiak, Cub Carson and Diane at The BEAR would round out Terry’s five years and set the foundation for what would become The Terry, Bill and Steve Show on K-97 in the early 2000’s.
Terry found himself back at K-97 in 1997 with Seanna Collins on the Afternoon Drive, and then moved into mornings to start gradually building The TBS Show for an historical run at #1 and the groundbreaking ‘Uncensored Show’ that predated podcasts, satellite and internet radio. Under the tutelage of Program Director Steve Jones at the time, Terry says “virgin territory was being unwittingly pillaged and plundered that would shape the way radio would develop over the next 10 years.”
It all fell apart in 2006 with his exit from K-97 and he followed his entrepreneurial leanings to start up ‘Terry Evans Transport’. The transport company was going great when NEWCAP’S Randy Lemay called offering to welcome Terry back for the fall of 2007. Round THREE at K-97 began. A number of different morning show combos took place before another kick at the TBS cat under the late and great Pat Cardinal and Steve Jones at the head office of NEWCAP. There were more personnel changes over the years until we get to the present where Terry approaches his 33rd anniversary in Edmonton and still weaves morning magic, these days with partner Pete Potipcoe.
Having the reputation that he would do anything, anytime was fun and dangerous for Terry. Walking on Fire before an Edmonton Trappers game in front of the people in the stands, and Bungee Jumping and Skydiving on the air.
Then there was wearing a Medieval Suit of Armour while standing on the 200-yard mark of a Golf Driving Range to raise money for The BEAR Children Fund. What could happen?? Exactly. Nothing happened so someone suggested he move up to the 100-yard mark. How did that go Terry? “It didn’t take long for me to get pegged in the ankle.. one of two spots not sufficiently protected from the shots people were taking from the tee boxes. And everyone was hitting at the SAME TIME! Most people were using irons to try and peg me off but one guy was using a driver and sure enough-that’s the one that I saw from the second it left the club face…a low riser that I thought would hit me in the chest…which was protected by the armour…Nope. It continued to rise as it approached and as I stretched out to take the impact, my chest-neck was exposed and that’s where the drive hit me. Later that night when chatting with Bill Ranford after the Oilers game, the goaltender who was stopping 30-40 100MPH shots per night told me that I was an idiot for pulling that stunt. An inch to the left and it would surely have killed me. The Golf Ball sized welt completely disappeared from my throat after about 10 days. The red mark remained until summer. That poor decision is still making remains today.”
He remembers the time at the BEAR when Eric Samuels gave him with a pair of Roller Blades. “I was a decent skater but with no previous Roller Blading experience, and I would strap them on occasionally in the unfinished basement of my East Edmonton condo. It was a good way to pass the time while waiting for the dryer to finish its cycle that always seemed to take longer than the washer. Finally, the dryer was done and in went the next load of wet clothes. Timer set to 70 minutes and the start button was pressed. A few more laps of the basement then off to meet friends downtown. The ONE load bearing beam in the basement was lower than the Joists and that’s the one I caught with my forehead and was ass over tea kettle onto the concrete floor. When I awoke…It was quiet. Dryer was done its cycle. Clothes weren’t even warm anymore. It wasn’t DARK outside, but I missed Happy Hour. Thanks, Eric!”
Terry Sums up: “I appreciate the incredible pool of talent I have been able to work with and learn from over the years…on air and off…as well as on the Friday Night with Terry Evans TV show in 1999-2000. I continue to work closely with charitable organizations and music initiatives in the Edmonton area and beyond and at only 54 I have no immediate plans to stop any time soon. New owners bring new opportunities and possibilities! Hello, Stingray!”
Today. personnel moves are much swifter and sometimes it’s not even for performance. High salaries, culture misfits etc. The job is to be indispensable and understand ‘show business’ is actually two words. Know the meaning of both of those words.
On-air types who ‘mail it in’ or ‘quit and still come to work’ are exposed and moved on. I work with a lot of great young talent on the way up, and the best advice I have for long-termers is keep sharp, stay on your toes, and do the work everyday (Content preparation is ‘a way of life’). That pretty much describes Terry. Humourous and fun, a solid teammate and oh yeah, he’s fearless! Don’t even ask how many shows he has done while nude…And walking Naked down Jasper Ave?” Keep it going Terry and atta be!
Thank you, Terry Evans for being one of “The Good Ones”. Feel free to like and share Terry’s positive story. Who is the subject of tomorrow’s JJ-365 Salutes? As they say, stay tuned
Jim JJ Johnston is the multi-award winning CEO, President and Chief Talent/Content Coach for JJIMS INC. and works with talent in many different industries.