Underground 50 Years Ago: It Was Tim Burge on CJOR

Stories and info about those no longer involved in the industry

Underground 50 Years Ago: It Was Tim Burge on CJOR

Postby jon » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:48 pm

Fifty years ago, Tim Burge was coming to the end of his great gamble to find a home in Vancouver for a San Francisco format known as "Underground". He had left behind his secure post as CKLG Boss Jock, after being unsuccessful in convincing CKLG management to move to the San Francisco Sound on either AM or FM.

At first glance, CJOR in 1967 sounds likely an unlikely home for Tim and his new music, but the station had recently been doing quite a good job at a "Chicken Rock" format, as we called it in those days.

As I remember it, most played artist on Tim's evening show was the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. His show immediately caught my attention. And I finally found something that did not strain my ears, as Wolfman Jack did each evening on XERB-1090, trying to null out 50,000 watt KING Seattle from my East Burnaby home.

It was about this time of the year that it all came a sad, crashing end for Tim and the Program Director who had hired him. Rumour has it that Jim Pattison himself hated what he heard Tim play.

Soon, Tim was back at CKLG, and became deeply involved in CKLG-FM a few months later when it went full-time Underground, with John Runge as Music Director. John had been playing a similar format at Edmonton's CKUA, though not full-time, since 1964.
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Re: Underground 50 Years Ago: It Was Tim Burge on CJOR

Postby Richard Skelly » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:04 pm

Long before transitioning to Pamela, Tim always acted on his beliefs. I recall he was front and centre in the Gastown Riots where protesters got bashed by billyclub wielding VPD officers (some on horseback). Although Tim returned to 1006 Richards after the CJOR experiment, wasn’t he subsequently turfed for labour activities?

I well recall evening chats in the later ‘70s with Tim at CFMI. After typing up a Discumentary script, I’d sometimes mosey into the studio to shoot the breeze while records (cart tapes) spun. Tim had a great idea for a syndicated show: focussing on a single pivotal album by an artist, with technical info, anecdotes about session players and the like. Eventually, such programs did emerge from the US. As far as I know, Tim was years ahead of his time in spotting that unfilled niche.

The Georgia Straight made Tim’s transition to Pamela a feature story in the ‘90s, one of the finest long form articles it published in those years. BC broadcasting is diminished without a Burge Purge. All the best to a great deejay.
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