Early Victoria Radio

A look back at various radio stations

Postby Victoriaradio » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:06 am

I am glad you mentioned Keith McKenzie. I remember when he arrived at CKDA, young, inexperienced, and a voice that had to stuggle to be radio ready. He loved sports of course and became Sports Director, but he also hosted other shows. In fact he became a seasoned voice and great radio personality. Dave Armstrong really liked him and moved him into management which Keith found awkward at first. He took over sales and near the end of the Armstrong rule, Keth was virtually Number 2 at CKDA. I think he is still in Victoria doing something other than radio. A most likeable guy!
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Postby segueking2 » Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:33 am

Keith is a prince to have put up with Oafs like me.

It is SO COOL to have anyone on the board that worked at some of the old joints in Victoria.
Anyone who worked at UVIC RADIO - PLEASE WRITE!

Anyone knowing where I can reach CLINT NICKERSON?
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Postby Victoriaradio » Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:58 pm

Bob Genn and I were the founders of Uvic Radio. We started the station in an old gardener's hut near the old cafeteria. We were hardwired to the "caf" the only location of our sound. Others involved in the first year of the station were John Sparks, Russ Gurney, Norm Jones, Bill Ozard, and Bob Food
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Postby segueking2 » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:05 pm

The UVIC radio that I was involved with was in the basement of the old health services hut - behind the SUB.
The place smelled of diesel - and it was a low ceiling...and musty.
We had egg crates on the wall - and we had two of these grotty old turntables....and an ev mike.
We had a few tape recorders.
The place was wired into the SUB and the long suffering student residences.
We tortured the three people that listened....but we learned.
Bab Patterson - Clint Nickerson and a few other great talents went through there. Bob was an engineer - and I wound up running into him 6 years after I flunked out of UVIC and he and I enjoyed talking about the 'good old days'. I had just moved to Toronto to take a shift in the big smoke. It seemed like a long way from a smelly basement, but I wouldn't have missed it.
Pink Floyd, new Beatles, CCR, Stones, Sly, Billy Preston, Steppenwolf, Jeff Beck, Charlie Musselwhite, The Collectors, The Painted Ship.... <grin>

Cheers :D
/
UVIC was and is, a great school.
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Postby Jack Bennest » Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:19 pm

VictoriaRadio has supplied the following:

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Postby Jack Bennest » Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:31 pm

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Postby gwp » Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:57 pm

Victoriaradio wrote: I am glad you mentioned Keith McKenzie. I remember when he arrived at CKDA, young, inexperienced, and a voice that had to stuggle to be radio ready. He loved sports of course and became Sports Director, but he also hosted other shows. In fact he became a seasoned voice and great radio personality. Dave Armstrong really liked him and moved him into management which Keith found awkward at first. He took over sales and near the end of the Armstrong rule, Keth was virtually Number 2 at CKDA. I think he is still in Victoria doing something other than radio. A most likeable guy!

Keith MacKenzie is alive and well and living in Parksville. He sings in the church choir and still plays bridge. I visited with him several months ago. Your right ... nice man .. took a chance on an enthusiastic teenager 44 years ago - Lundy Sanderson at VI was the first to turn me down.

Keith MacKenzie was station manager, Ruby Masters the Accountant, Dave Hill was program manager. I was always treated well at CKDA. DA would call me on the air and ocassionally make requests for the lastest "Golden Sound". $190 a month was a lot of $ for a teenager in 1962. Stayed there for 21 months ... before going on to CHWK.

Andy Steven was News Director in the beginning ... then he focused on CHEK and Fraser McAlpine came over from CJVI. Others on the team were Bill Pike - News, Bob Gillingham - Sports, Blain Fairman, mornings, Chuck Mudrak, mid morning, Doug Taylor - mid day, Rob Malcolm - evening, Rolph Johansen - evenings, Carman Pascoe, evenings, me and then Jeanie Belcher and King Lee. Lee Halberg was the olde fisherman and Jock Dunbar did a Scottish show.

Golden Sound Radio Format was based on a half-hour segment. Golden Sound Tune, Top Tune, Sing-a-long, Showtune, Golden Sound Tune, Top Tune and then all over again. Gold Sound Tunes were just that. Top Tunes were selected hits of the day. Sing-along was a folk tune, or the sing-a-long gang, Show tunes were from Broadway or the movies. The only exception was 5 a.m. to 6 a.m daily when the station played the top 15 C and W. The cows loved it and gave more milk!

On going promos included
Advertiser of the hour
Famous Canadian
Lucky License Numbers

Swiftsure Yacht race was covered from the Chatham Chief also used to get to the TX site. CKDA FM 98.5 was the studio transmitter link. Remotes were a big thing from the Golden Sound Mobile Studio -- An old bread van painted bright yellow.

Cheers
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Postby gwp » Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:06 pm

Victoriaradio wrote: CFAX was born in the back rooms of Queale's Electronics in Victoria where Mr. Parrett was Manger or owner. He was the first operator of CFAX. The station was a "good music Station." The only announcer I remember was Dave Shearer. He did the morning show, the afternoon show and, I think, the evening show, The station was on the air from sunrise to sunset. CFAX broadcast first from the old CJVI studios in the Central Building.
Later the Copelands and the Daggs took over the station and it started the journey to become what it is today.

Worth noting that John Ashbridge got his start at CFAX 810 while still attending high school. He would voice track the classical music shows on weekends and in the evenings when daylight went later than 6 p.m. CFAX original transmitter site was in the bog just off the Pat Bay highway north of Victoria. The tuning hut is still in the bushes.
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Postby Victoriaradio » Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:27 am

Thank you for bringing back so many more memories. I remember Chuck Mudrack when he did "Hospital Bulletins" at CJDC in Dawson Creek. There were few phones in the Peace River Country at the time and Chuck would read names of people who were ready to be discahrged and invite relatives to come and pick them up.

Also, I had forgotten about Fraser McAlpine. He was one of few who worked at both CKDA and CJVI over the years. After leaving radio he went into real estate. I don't know what happened after that.
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Postby Victoriaradio » Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:35 am

Bob Gillingham is another Sports guy that went from Victoria radio to greater things, along with Bill Stephenson (CKDA), Ted Reynolds(CJVI), and John McKeachie (CKDA).
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Postby Victoriaradio » Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:39 am

Jock Dunbar was a legend in his own time. He was very active in the Scottish entertainment world of Victoria, sang on the radio and at concerts all over the Island. He hosted a Scottish music program or 2 on the station.
He was a major sales person at CKDA and CFMS and stayed loyal to Dave Armstrong for many years. Every Victorian over the age of 65 would remember Jock Dunbar.
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Postby Victoriaradio » Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:41 pm

Here are some other voices from Victoria Radio that might elicit a memory or two???

Doug Fletcher (CKDA)
Hart Kirsch (CKDA)
Alec Burton (CJVI)
Bob Bowman (CFAX)
Ernie Pearce (CKDA)
Maury Gwyne (CJVI)
Sid Lancaster (CKDA)
The Dobber (CFAX)
John Barton (CKDA)
Des McDermott(CKDA)
Lundy Sanderson(CJVI)
John Sparks (CKDA)
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Postby Jack Bennest » Sat Aug 19, 2006 2:16 pm

I was surprised to see an old picture of my father, Norman Bergquist, in the CKDA Gallery at bcradiohistory.com in a poster along with the CKDA crew. Dad got his start on the west coast in broadcasting as an engineer at CJOR at the end of forties. In the summer of 1951 Dad and family moved to Victoria to work for Dave Armstrong as Chief Engineer at CKDA. This was shortly after I was born and my earliest memories are of Esquimalt and Victoria. Your articles on CKDA and Dave Armstrong filled in a lot of questions of why Dad was away from home so much of the time. There were long periods of time when my sisters and I did not get to see him since he left for work before we got up and returned after we went to bed. But it's good to see that he left his mark on history with the CKDA transmitters on Chatham Island. It was my mother's suggestion to look for a site offshore which my Dad followed up on. We have fond memories of outings to Chatham Island on the Chatham Chief with Dad as skipper of the vessel. The trips to the CKDA studios in downtown Victoria were cool with and I still remember the electronic equipment there, my Dad's workshop in an out of the way corner on the first floor as well as the offices in the studio.

Dad was also involved with building CHEK TV as its Chief Engineer in the mid fifties. (I learned yesterday that this December marks the CHEK-TV 50th Anniversary.) We had a home not far away from the CHEK TV studios on Cedar Hill Cross Rd. Every time the station went off the air Dad would head over there to get it back on. I remember them doing a lot of remotes for the station such as one for the PNE, I think, in Vancouver with semi trailers packed with television equipment. We spent a part of one summer on Saturna Island where the CHEK TV transmitters were. The Saturna Chief was very nice and provided a link to the island since the ferry was not always available.

Any plans for a BC television history?

Norm Bergquist passed away on August 10, 1992 in Fresno, California. In the early sixties our family moved here when Dad became an engineer at KJEO (CH 47). His responsibilities again included keeping the station on the air and setting up some remotes.


Best Regards,

Jim Bergquist
Fresno


thanks to the work done by radio historian alan newberry
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Postby Jack Bennest » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:34 am

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I need help on identifying anyone in this shot. I know only one face for sure

couple more look a likes

and some mysterys


this submitted by James Bergquist of Fresno - his dad, the engineer is at top left
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Postby Jack Bennest » Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:06 pm

The CHEK-TV picture.

The two on the right seated, would appear to be Dave Armstrong and Bill Rea.
The woman could be a young Ruby Masters, who always controlled the money for D.A. I only knew her in her latter years. RR

CHEK went on the air in November of 1956

1957

Bill Rea, former owner of CKNW-AM New Westminster, purchased a 20% interest in CHEK-TV. David Armstrong retained control and took over as General Manager.

1960

After losing money, David Armstrong sold his interest in CHEK to BCTV, owner of CHAN-TV Vancouver. Frank Griffith owned the 20 percent interest of Bill Rea.

The mystery is unravelling.
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