Monday, March 11, 2013


I was on the air in the 70's!  It's weird to think about.

The 70's seem to be a very long time ago and it's hard to believe I'm in my 5th decade of radio! 

When I was a board op in Peterborough at CHEX, I remember playing "Hollywood Nights" as a current song.  When I got to CKLC in Kingston my show included "Miss You" and "Running On Empty".

In 1979, disco music was still happening, and my boss gave me my own Saturday night show called "Night Flight" - a disco show. I remember asking my boss, "Am I going to get type-cast as the disco guy?" Back then the music in the studio was all on cart - one song per cartridge.  That was a time when you could physically hold the music in my hand!

As disco faded, something else happened just before 1980 - it was new wave! The Police, the Cars, Nick Lowe! Even Billy Joel recorded a new wave song!
CKLC - 1978. To my right are the commercial carts,
and just behind the microphone were
the current songs.
Into the 80's, there were hair-bands and spandex worn by Triumph. There was synth pop that came from Europe, and the Canadians picked up on it - like Platinum Blonde. For years, you couldn’t get away from the synthesizer as the lead instrument and man did the rock fans hate it!

In the 80's it was common thinking that "the 70's sucked", until the 90's. Then we renamed the 70's a time of classic rock and retro, and it started to sound good again.

When the 90's grunge happened, I was working in Adult Contemporary radio playing Celine Dion while our rock competitor in Sudbury was playing Live and Nirvana. I remember seeing students on their way to school grungy, unwashed hair, wearing plaid.

I taught a radio class at Humber College in the late 90's at a time when Puff Daddy and Creed were playing opposite kinds of music and a student in my class said "hiphop is the new Top 40!" I think his comment was maybe five years ahead of its time.

Over the years I’ve seen several waves of boy bands, from the Osmonds (when I was a teen) through the New Kids On The Block, to the Backstreet Boys and now it’s New Direction. It seems music goes in cycles. We all know that.

Christian music doesn't have the kind of deep pop history. Oh how I wish there was a Christian version of Supertramp!  What would it have been like to have been a DJ on Christian radio playing Larry Norman and Keith Green as a current song, and introducing them in concert!

But you know what?  Each decade is "the good days" to someone. It's all history we enjoy to various extents, remember "where we were when". In 2013, there will be music fans reflecting on their Toby Mac collection!

Still, (a smile comes upon me when I think of this), I was on the air in the 70's! I was part of a music era that was in another universe - and I like that very much.

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