The Dan Haber Collection

CHUM 1050
Credit for all the following 60s-era CHUM checks should go to the following terrific people: Kent Spraggett (who found them) Bill Dulmage (who dubbed them) Charlie Rittenbourg & Sam Ward (who enhanced them), and most of all, Dale Patterson of Canadian Press, who sent them to me--so I could contribute them here. (He's got a great Top 40 Radio history site located at It's well worth a look.)

The origin of these gems is a story in itself. Seems Kent was at a flea market a few years ago, when he asked a woman if they had any radio memorabilia. She replied that they did----specifically tapes of Jay Nelson, Brian Skinner and some other legends from the mid-60s, when CHUM ruled the Rock & Roll Roost in Toronto. Turns out the lady used to be a receptionist at the station during that time, and while the checks weren't for sale--they were available for dubbing! It took an all-night marathon session, but the copies were made, and the tapes returned to their original owner. Little did she know the world would one day have this unnamed heroine to thank for some vintage--and otherwise lost--radio history.


Jungle Jay Nelson, CHUM Toronto (1965) (18:59)

The story goes that a teenage Frank Coxe called WARM in Scranton, Pa. one day in the early 50s to complain to the P.D. about the overnight guy, to which the P.D. supposedly replied "If you think you can do it better, you're welcome to give it a try!" CHUM IS LOOKING FOR AN ANNOUNCER

True or not, there were few who could "do it better". Or longer. Eventually, the newly renamed Jay Nelson ended up at WKBW Buffalo, doing morning drive in the early 60s. And by 1963, that led to a popular afternoon TV kids show, complete with pith helmet and stuffed gorilla--thus the "Jungle" nickname that would follow him the rest of his career.

Meanwhile, just across the border in Toronto, Al Boliska had left the CHUM morning show for arch rival CKEY, and the station announced it was launching a North America-wide search for a new A.M. driver.

The owner's daughter was a big fan of Nelson's TV gig, and suggested him for the slot. It was an opening he would fill for nearly 2 decades.

JUNGLE JAY MONKEES AROUNDJungle Jay was an immediate sensation in Toronto--the #1 rock jock in the city for almost 20 years. While this check doesn't showcase him at his best, all the elements are there. Strange voices, corny lines, and lots of pre-Drake Format personality radio. You'll also hear a joke on a fellow DJ that doesn't quite work out, as well as the regular "Hello Toronto" feature, which sees him nearly upstaged by a veterinarian. Not to mention Hartley Hubbs in the CHUM Chopper and Just Plain George in the control room.

JUNGLE JAY NELSON Nelson's reign in Toronto came to an end when he finally left the station in a tearful farewell in 1980. He ended up at lots of other jobs: Morning man at an easy-listening FMer, Weatherman on a local TV station, and in an ironic twist--the A.M. driver at once-arch-rival, all oldies CKEY, which in some ways, completed the circle. But the great days were over. On May 27th, 1997, CHUM-AM celebrated its 40th year as a Rock 'N Roll Radio Station. But the man who helped make so much of it happen wouldn't be there to celebrate.

Jay Nelson died much too soon, in February of 1994. He was only 57 years old.

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Bob Laine, CHUM Toronto (2/6/65) (8:22)

"I told you Y.A. Tittle was coming to Toronto..."

This check comes from the days when "Full Service Radio" meant just that. Imagine a Top 40 station with hourly news, sports updates, ski reports and shtick--and all on the overnight show! Bob Laine was a serviceable jock who did the midnight run for several years on CHUM. Sounding more like an MOR announcer than a classic Top 40 wailer, Laine kept Toronto rock fans up for years. That is, until he shifted time zones, and ended up doing afternoons in the latter part of his on-air career.

You'll hear some great long-unheard PAMS jingles, (including one featuring a "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" insert, about 3 years before Tiny Tim brought the song to everyone's attention), a spot for an upcoming Beach Boys concert (which proves some things never change--they STILL come to Toronto every summer), and a small mistake on just who did "Suspicion" in 1964. Laine is still a part of Toronto radio. From the air chair, he went to the heir chair---as a Vice President of the company, where he remains to this day.

Laine passed away August 31, 2011. He was 72.

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G2/5.0 compatible TOP STREAM 32Kbps (16Khz)
Brian Skinner, CHUM Toronto December 1965 (15:41)

. . . Do you like whipped cream?
No, I detest violence . . .

Although the morning hosts get all the attention (and all the money), anyone who was a teenager back in the late 50s or 60s knows who the real stars were--the early evening jocks. Those were the guys you listened to doing homework after school, hanging out with friends-or in the car on a hot date. And in Toronto that guy was Brian Skinner.

Skinner Shows Shear Fear
This compressed and choppy check starts before Christmas and ends on New Year's Eve in 1965. In between, you'll hear the man they called "The Prez" having an obviously great time playing hits on the radio. He was truly an original, with lots of corny lines, weird voices--not to mention his ever-present drum and tambourine. You'll also hear such basic CHUM format classics as "Hit Picker's Hotline", "Split Second Sports", the CHUMbug Club, and "The Battle of the New Sounds".

Skinner was involved in some of the more unusual station promotions--including a months-long on-air debate about whether the boss would make him cut his long hair. (That was important back in the late 60s, and was played out both on the show--and on the station's long-running CHUM Chart.) In the end, of course, Skinner won. But as you'll hear from this check, the real winners were those of us on the other side of the transistor radio speaker who got to listen to this guy every night.

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Hal Weaver, CHUM Toronto (6/28/69) (13:37)

. . . Canada's Powerhouse of Popular Music . . .

Hal Weaver from CHUM Charts! This is classic Drake-format. When the great personality purge began at CHUM in 1968, their infamous chart went from Top 50 to Top 30--and their jocks went from Top Talent to Time & Temperature. Hal Weaver was in on that new wave. Here he is on on the eve of a major Canadian holiday, doing a "Million Dollar Weekend". But he shares the spotlight in this check with some classic late 60s summer spots. And we've left those intact: Clairol's "Come To The Sunshine" jingle (a 1967 hit for Harper's Bizzare), Johnson's "Turn On A Tan" Campaign, Joe Tex for Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a dynamic duet featuring Ray Charles & Aretha Franklin for Coke.

By the way, Hal's reaction to the Rochdale request for "Laughing" is understandable. The infamous University of Toronto residence was the collegiate center for drugs in the hippie era. Now you know what they were "Laughing" about.

Also note the odd jingle where the jock's name comes AFTER the call letters. A decidedly unusual package. As for Weaver himself, he left the station in 1971 for a gig in Vancouver. It was a fateful — and ultimately fatal — decision. Some believed he was killed in a traffic accident there in the mid-70s; but Repository visitors say he died of cancer.

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Still to come: More CHUM 'CHECKS from the Dan Haber Collection

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