Remembering Red Robinson back in the 50’s


Red Robinson

Courtesy of Red Robinson

Look at those hours on the air at CKWX! You must realize that in the Fifties this represented a lot of air time. That split shift concept would not have been acceptable to many in my day, but to me it was another opportunity to take advantage of the brand new 50,000-watt CKWX signal by talking to thousands of new listeners at night from all parts of Western Canada and the United States. It was tantamount to a network hook-up.

CKWX program director John Ansell and I constantly bickered over the format of the show but I was determined not to get caught up in his preconceived ideas of what a deejay was supposed to sound like or play on his turntables. John was a first class announcer and efficient program director, but I was something entirely new and different. My unique program was not understood by many people in the radio business or in the retail world and John was constantly under fire from these sources as to “why CKWX should tolerate this noisy deejay and his God-awful records”.

The disputes between John and me were mostly centered around the record selections. In a fit of temper one day I said, “Listen, you hired me because I had an audience on CJOR that you wanted to get. I came here with the understanding that I would carry on with this program. It has worked. You recognized its commercial success and you paid to transfer it to your station. Now get the hell off my back and let me deliver that audience. If you interfere with my program other than in the areas of taste and basic radio procedures and the ratings are bad, you won’t blame yourself, you’ll blame me and I’ll be history in five minutes after a bad rating.”

If I hadn’t drawn a line, God only knows what type of program I would have ended up with. To this day I am headstrong about my individual projects. #TBT

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visit Red’s website HERE


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