A Radio Jaunt, 1927

Bits and Pieces of BC Radio History

A Radio Jaunt, 1927

Postby cart_machine » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:38 am

It was Radio Week during October 1927 and the newspapers jumped on it to rake in all kinds of advertising.

Better still, the Vancouver Sun published some brief outlines on the stations that were operating in Vancouver at the time.

We reproduced one in a separate post, but we'll put the whole lot of them here. It’s nice to see the newspaper mention names of staff announcers. It’s a shame they aren’t a little more accurate. CFYC’s “J. Tinney” was remembered by John Avison to be named “W.J. Tinney.” Tinney was a building contractor. “J. Harris” is called “R. Harris” in another story, but the city directories of the era offer no clues. “Aunt Emma,” who also appeared on CNRV, is Mabel Frances Tomer, who died in 1961 at the age of 77. She lived on Barnston Island.

I’ve found nothing on Bill Phillips (we can reject the idea it’s CHQM’s fine announcer of the same name), but Ted Sheasgreen’s obit (with a photo) appeared in the Province on December 8, 1934. Evidently, his career at CFCQ (which became CKMO) was short. He is listed in the city directory as “retired” in 1933; perhaps he couldn’t work because he was gassed at Vimy Ridge during the war. His occupation, in prior years, is listed as “salesman.” I doubt radio was a full-time paying proposition for any of the announcers with the exception of Harold Paulson at CKWX. Paulson moved on to the CBC and died in White Rock in 1983 at 84.

Here are the station profiles from the Sun of October 22, 1927. CKCD barely gets a mention as it was owned by the Province. The listings following the profiles are taken from the Sun, with the exception of CKCD.

CFYC Has Large Fan Following
Presenting attractive musical programs in conjunction with regular addresses by heads of the organization under whose control it operates, CFYC, the station of the International Bible Students at Vancouver, has a large following of fans. The station is also featuring during the winter months a children's program staged weekly by Mrs. F. Tomer, better known as "Aunt Emma." This program is proving a popular one. J. Harris is the leading announcer at the station which is under the management of F. Tinney. The latter also acts as announcer. The studio of CFYC is located in the downtown district but the transmitter is situated in Burnaby.

Church Radio of United Is Held In High Esteem
Although occupying but a fraction of the time the other stations of the city are on the air, CKFC, the station of the United Church of Canada In Vancouver, is held in high esteem by all radions.
In addition to the regular broadcasting of United church services, CKFC also puts on the air a weekly concert, in which leading artists of the city take part. The standard of the programs is exceptionally high and welcomed by all. The popularity of the station is a tribute to the operation and management by Cyril Trott and Norman Hill. Virtually all broadcasting by CKFC is done by remote control. The transmitter and antenna is located in the city.

Housewives of City Assisted By Local Radio
THE busy housewife who daily listens to radio programs as she does her work Is the popular fan of CFCQ, lively 50-watt local station.
Service is the forte of CFCQ and their aim is to meet all requests. That their work is appreciated is seen in the mammoth list of names daily recorded on the "request book." The station is owned by the Sprott-Shaw schools but is leased to Harry Hooper and associates. W. "Bill" Phillips and Ted Sheasgreen are the announcers and the station has as its slogan "The Voice of the Canadian Gateway to the Orient at Vancouver."
Tommy Thompson, pianist, is a featured artist while CFCQ has attained no small degree of popularity through its two night clubs, "The How-Do-You-Do club" and the "Shingle-Weavers." The studio and transmitter are both located in the downtown area.

Predicts Boost
PLEASING programs of high calibre and service to the listener is the watchword of radio station CKWX, one of the city's most popular broadcasters.
Formerly operating under the call letters CFDC, the station is continuing to build up a large following with the diversified entertainment it presents. CKWX is owned by the Sparks Company of Vancouver and Nanaimo. The station has a power of 100 watts.
Harold Paulson, as director and chief announcer, is the one to whom credit must go for the popularity of the station. His pleasing personality and clear pleasant announcing has won him a host of friends. Outstanding on the programs of CKWX for popularity are the organ recital broadcasts given on Thursday evenings between 11 and 12 o'clock and Sunday evenings from 10 to 11. The station's studio and transmitter are located in the city.

ORCHESTRA TO PLAY OVER AIR
Sunday Evening Concerts Planned by CKWX

A 15-piece concert orchestra in a varied semi-cIassical program is the tid-bit of entertainment awaiting music-loving radio fans who tune in on CKWX, Vancouver, on future Sunday evenings between 5:30 and 6:30.
The announcement of the coming broadcasts as made today by H. W. Paulson, director and announcer of CKWX, is of especial importance, as the programs are considered to be among the greatest features heard locally to date. The orchestra is under the direction of Leslie Grossmith, pianist, composer and conductor, who has for several weeks been bringing the unit up to concert perfection. The opening program for tomorrow, Sunday, promises to be an exceptionally entertaining one, Including "The Firefly," "Coronation March" and ballet numbers from "Faust."
The orchestra is being presented to the radio public under the sponsorship of the Evergreen Broadcasters, a group of public spirited citizens, according to Mr. Paulson, who are interested in developing the standard of music over the air. A series of four concerts, commencing tomorrow, has been arranged and may be extended.

Record Holder
HOLDING a record for the broadcasting of public events and addresses by prominent personages in addition to its regular musical programs, CJOR is another popular local broadcasting unit.
Lord Willingdon, Hon. Arthur Meighen, Roger Babson and others have been broadcast by CJOR while addressing local organizations. The station is also noted for its sport broadcasts. CJOR put on the air the memorable service held in Stanley park during the Confederation celebration and at which time Sir George Foster gave an address.
CJOR, owned by George C. Chandler has a power of 100 watts. The studio is situate in the city but the transmitter is located on Sea Island. The announcing is done by Mr. Chandler. The station is fortunate in having as musical director, Mr. Frederic Kidson, formerly of the Royal Carl Rost Opera company, London, England.

CHPC Broadcasts Its Church Music
Broadcasting by phantom license, CHPC, the Presbyterian church, although only lately entering the field of radio, has a large unseen audience at its command. CHPC broadcasts only church services. It uses the transmitter of CKCD.
The latter is using a power of 100 watts and broadcasts news items in addition to a weekly concert of music. The transmitter and studio is located in the downtown district.

CNRV GIVES KIDDIES' TREAT
Youngsters Are Featured In Series of Programs
Children's programs by children is the excellent plan being followed by CNRV, Canadian National railways station here, in entertaining the kiddies during the winter season. Through the co-operation of J. S. Gordon, municipal inspector of schools, and Miss E. Lloyd Roberts, assistant supervisor of music, a splendid program for months to come has been announced by George Wright, manager of CNRV.
Three children's programs have already gone out over the air and have met with a great response from kiddies and parents alike. The programs for the remainder of the season are scheduled as follows:
October 28, Dawson—Miss Wilson, 2a.
November 4, Grenfell—Miss MacPherson, 3b; No. 11, Central Miss Adam, 3a; Nov. 18, Seymour, Miss Daly, 4b; Nov. 25, General Gordon, Miss Murray, 4a.
December 2—Mount Pleasant, Miss Herd, 5b; Dec. 9. Florence Nightingale, Miss Duffus, 5a; Dec. 16. Nelson, Miss Neale, 6b.
January 5, Hastings—Miss Williamson. 6a; Jan. 12, Bayview, Miss Hawkins, 1b; Jan. 19, Macdonald, Miss Smithson, 1a; Jan. 26, Franklin, Miss Graham, 2b; Jan. 31, Strathcona, Miss Sibley, 2a.
February 7, Model—Miss Brinton, 3b; Feb. 14. Roberts, Miss Chasteney, 3a; Feb. 21, Livingstone, Miss Bell, 4b; Feb. 28, Charles Dickens, Miss Kion, 4a.
March 6, Beaconsfield, Miss Armstrong, 5b; March 18, Cecil Rhodes, Miss Faunt, 5a; March 20, Simon Fraser, Miss Greggor, 6b; March 27, Tennyson, Miss Tucker, 6a.

Tuning In
CJOR Program
(291M)
SATURDAY
6:00 to 7:20 p.m. — Dinner program.
7:20 to 7:30 p.m. — Finance news and market reports.
7:30 to 8:00 p.m. — Address.
8:00 to 9:00 p.m. — Studio program.
SUNDAY
5:00 to 5:30 p.m. — Lecture.
5:30 to 6:00 p.m. — Lecture.

CKWX Program
(410M)
SATURDAY
10:30 to 12:00 a.m. — Morning music hour.
4:30 to 5:30 p.m. — Afternoon music hour.
6:00 to 6:30 p.m. — Time signals, announcements and music.
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. — Studio program.
SUNDAY
10:00 to 11:00 p.m. — Organ recital.

CFCQ Program
(410M)
SATURDAY
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. — Shopping hour.
12:00 to 4:30 p.m. — Studio program.
10:30 to 1:30 a.m. — Studio program.
SUNDAY
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. — Studio program.

CFYC Program
(410M)
SATURDAY
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Bible talk and musical program.
SUNDAY
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Bible talk and musical program.

CNRV Program
(291M)
Saturday — Silent.
Sunday — Silent.

SATURDAY
CKCD (411) 8:30-8:50. The Province news summary.
SUNDAY
CKCD (411) Silent.
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Re: A Radio Jaunt, 1927

Postby jon » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:42 am

To put this in perspective, it sounds like a lot of radio stations, and a lot of choice for the listener.

That is, until you realize that there are only two different frequencies (wavelengths) shown. Which, of course, means that frequencies were shared, and you had a maximum choice of two Vancouver stations on the air at the same time.
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Re: A Radio Jaunt, 1927

Postby cart_machine » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:21 pm

jon wrote:To put this in perspective, it sounds like a lot of radio stations, and a lot of choice for the listener.

That is, until you realize that there are only two different frequencies (wavelengths) shown. Which, of course, means that frequencies were shared, and you had a maximum choice of two Vancouver stations on the air at the same time.


To be honest, I don't think a lot of radio listeners cared. Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles were within easy listening distance and by 1927 the American stations were on separate frequencies.

Even into the 1950s, the "radio highlights" section of the papers consisted mostly of American radio, especially network fare (the CNR/CBC were later exceptions).

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Re: A Radio Jaunt, 1927

Postby jon » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:48 pm

B.C. residents have long listened to U.S. Radio.

At about the same time, 1927, there was an article in the Chilliwack paper by the radio columnist concluding that KHJ Los Angeles had the best live classical music concerts of any station in North America. And commenting on how easy KHJ was to receive in the Lower Mainland after Dark.

A full quarter century later, the Lower Mainland still was listening to stations as far away as San Francisco during both day and night hours. When the CBC moved from 1130 to 690, there were huge howls of protest, and at least one Editorial in a Vancouver newspaper, complaining about the CBC ruining reception of KNBC (the former call letters of KNBR) on 680 from San Francisco.

In fact, I just read this morning about Gerry Davies retiring from all nights on CKNW and Jack Kyle replacing him, with Mel Cooper stating that the station hoped that Jack might capture some of the large late night KGO San Francisco audience that existed at that time in the Lower Mainland.
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Re: A Radio Jaunt, 1927

Postby cart_machine » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:33 pm

jon wrote: When the CBC moved from 1130 to 690, there were huge howls of protest, and at least one Editorial in a Vancouver newspaper, complaining about the CBC ruining reception of KNBC (the former call letters of KNBR) on 680 from San Francisco.

In fact, I just read this morning about Gerry Davies retiring from all nights on CKNW and Jack Kyle replacing him, with Mel Cooper stating that the station hoped that Jack might capture some of the large late night KGO San Francisco audience that existed at that time in the Lower Mainland.


I can't remember if I posted anything here, but Dick Diespecker's column in the Province—on more than one occasion, I think—featured letters from listeners annoyed they couldn't hear Jack Benny and other CBS shows because CBU moved to 690. Diespecker seemed to be delighted all that "culture" got a better frequency and an increase in power. (Benny was not on Canadian radio then because he was sponsored by American Tobacco).

I can't recall who KGO had after midnight but Ira Blue was on the evening and I can't see Ira Blue listeners switching stations.

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Re: A Radio Jaunt, 1927

Postby jon » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:20 pm

You're right, of course, cartie. There were undoubtedly more complaints about CBU interfering with KIRO-710 (CBS) than KNBC-680 (NBC).

At first glance, one wonders why anyone would listen to KNBC from San Francisco when you could hear the same NBC programs on KOMO from Seattle. But KOMO is on 1000 and CKWX was on 980 at the time, with 5,000 watts. Which means KNBC had the cleanest NBC signal. Until the CBC took over 690.
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