Shown above are some radio legends from Canada, L-R, Gary Russell, J.Robert Wood, George Johns, and Chuck McCoy. (Chuck contributes to this week’s blog below)
These four radio guys only had three things in common but those three things happened to be very special. They’re all from Winnipeg, they all worked at CKY, and they were all heavily influenced by Jim (Darin) Hilliard, shown below.
Chuck McCoy: At a recent gathering where I was doing my usual rambling on radio, a guy asked me who my mentors and/or motivators were. Who were the people that truly motivated my passion for the business? I thought of several; Jim McLaughlin, Tony Viner, Gary Miles, J.Robert Wood and of course the guy that gave me my name and the first piece of DJ advice after I was hired at CKY, “Hey Chuck you got to get a rag-top!” The first piece of advice I ever got. Thanks, George!
But you know as I thought about it, my real desire, passion, and excitement for radio occurred before I was ever even working in radio. In the years ’62-’64 I became obsessed with radio, great radio at 580 on the dial. I listened all the time, just lovin’ what was coming out of my transistor. The pure magic, the production, the music, and the creativity I heard on CKY during those years steeled my desire to be on the radio and more important to be on CKY. Listening to the likes of Dennis Corrie, Gary Todd, Jimmy Darin(JD Inc.) and one of my very favorites Chuck Dann was almost orgasmic. If I ever got on the radio, I just had to be a “Chuck.” Then, of course, you added the McCoy. Daryl was genius as a technical jock with such a tough Mother Fucker attitude. I studied Daryl daily driving out to Champs just to watch him work. 58 CKY, your Summer Spot was all I lived for at that time in my life (16-18 years old)
I did BS my way on to CKY about the same week in 1965 that Jim Hilliard was leaving. I only met him once at the station itself. I think he said, “Hi, how are you doin’?” Hey, it made my day.
Hell George, I went on from CKY to CHLO and a good on-air career when I jocked at 1050 CHUM the epitome of TOP 40 in Canada, Made CFUN #1 in my first PD job, back to Moffat and National PD in Winnipeg again and then finally ending my career as Executive VP and General Manager in Toronto at Rogers and Canada’s biggest radio cluster.
But the other day when that guy asked me for my biggest influence, it was clearly that great AM 50,000 Watt station we were both so lucky to work at.
In thinking about it all I realized how big a part Jim Hilliard played in my success. Other than that one time at CKY and at your birthday party (70, I think), I never spoke more than 15 words to the man. And that’s a shame. Someone who really made such a difference in my life and I have never even said as much as “Thank-You.” He wouldn’t know who I am but I know you are in touch with him regularly, and before too much time goes by I’d like to say “Thank-You.” And maybe you could help in that regard.
Do you think you could do me a favor and pass this note along to him? I’d like him to know how much he did for a crazy kid in Winnipeg that lead to what I consider a very rewarding and meaningful career.
Geo: I’ve already sent your note onto Hilliard, Chuck, and in a couple of days I’ll probably get a call from him saying, “Johns, who the hell is this guy?” You can count on me to fill him in on your greatness. 🙂
I know just what you’re feeling, Chuck, a lot of us were very lucky that Jim had touched our lives those many years ago. He has no idea though how many guys he influenced while he was at CKY, nor how many of them went on to run Canadian radio.
Glad you wrote what you did Chuck because as I’ve always said, “Nobody does it alone, everybody owes somebody for something.”
Doing the right thing is never easy.
Even though Mr. Businessman doesn’t create or invent much, he sure pays himself well.
Who’s in more danger, a white guy in a black neighborhood, or a black dude in a white one?
Seeing as everyone in prison is innocent, I can’t believe I’m not incarcerated. I’m the most innocent of all. 🙂
The heart wants what it wants, the brain is not involved nor consulted.
We are all blind to the things we don’t want to see.
Only politicians could screw up a country like Venezuela. They have more oil and mineral reserves than any other country on the planet.
No matter how poor a country is, its leaders always live well.
Trying to change the world while having a good time is extremely difficult.
Texts are personal, that’s why you get more response from them than anything else?
I wish someone would calculate how much a politician makes an hour when they’re working. I think this would bring clarity to the minimum wage.
You don’t need much motivation to be able to sit down, but getting up is a whole other thing.
Great morning shows talk about their city and the folks who live there, about them.
Sometimes it takes seeing a photo of Cynthia and then Yoko, to realize that it’s not always about beauty.
It’s not how hard you work, it’s how much you produce.
The only people more untrustworthy then men may be women. Just ask the mother of a 14-year-old son.
It’s nobody’s turn, you have to earn it to deserve it.
You can’t beat a heritage radio station, it has to blow itself up.
To learn, one first needs to understand.
I wonder what the millennials are gonna do when they discover that no matter who’s in charge, there’s no free lunch?
When what you think, say, and do, are the same thing, you pretty well can count on being happy.
Wow, the Pats and the Saints are both out not to mention the Bills and the Eagles.
Speaking of the Pats and Saints, the smart move may be to have both Brady and Brees hang it up. They don’t seem to be making many smart moves on the playing field anymore.
Geo’s Media Blog is an inside look at Radio, Music, Movies, and Life. For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to Geo’s Media Blog @ GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.