Born: October 28, 1945, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

After a few reincarnations 1050 CHUM quietly passed away on March 26, 2009

1050 CHUM was a legendary Top 40 powerhouse from the late 1950s through to the early 1980s.

The station had a formula no other station has been able to duplicate.

Through the formative ‘50s, the unforgettable ‘60s and the interesting ‘70s, 1050 CHUM played a major role in shaping the radio landscape in Toronto. Recording acts from Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Guess Who, Elton John, The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers and Bob Seger not only graced the airwaves but walked the halls of 1050 CHUM.

The radio station was famous for the CHUM Chart. From 1957 to 1986, 1,512 consecutive weekly charts were published, making it the longest-running chart of its kind in the world.

Also, 1050 CHUM was noteworthy for hosting many famous rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and The Beatles (1964, '65, and '66).




Wednesday, November 11, 2009



LINK: CHUM: Landmarks

This chronology is indicative only.

It covers -

beginnings (1945)
into television (1968)
content production (1994)
CTV and cable tv deals (1997)
Craig Media (2004)
BGM bid (2006)
Context is provided by the broader communications and media timeline.

1944 York Broadcasters incorporated

1945 launch of Toronto radio station CHUM-AM (1050 chum)

1954 York Broadcasters Ltd acquires CHUM-AM (1050 chum) from Jack Q'Part

1957 CHUM-AM reformatted, becomes Canada's first Top 40 24-hour rock station

1962 York acquires CKPT-AM (1420 Memories) in Peterborough, Ontario

1963 CHUM-FM Toronto (104.5 CHUM-FM) launched as classical music station

1965 CHUM acquires CJCH-AM (AM 920 CJCH) in Halifax, Nova Scotia

1967 CHUM becomes a publicly traded company on Toronto Stock Exchange

1967 acquires radio stations CFRA-AM (580 CFRA) and CFMO-FM in the Ottawa, Ontario market...CONTINUED @ CHUM: Landmarks


From Broadcast Dialogue



I arrived at CHUM on Valentine’s Day 1968. I was hired by Alan Waters and Larry Solway to assist Larry with his responsibilities as VP Programming so that he could devote more time to his telephone talk show, Speak Your Mind.

I had had a lot of exposure to some incredible top 40 radio stations before coming to CHUM, including CKY Winnipeg, CHED and CJCA in Edmonton. CHUM could not hold a candle to any of them at that time.

In fact, CHLO St. Thomas – where I served as a rookie program director prior to coming to Toronto – would have given CHUM a run for its money thanks to a terrific signal, beautifully sung PAMS jingles, production by Bob Greene and the late Chuck Riley, and outstanding on-air personnel including Arlene Dee, Hal Weaver, Paul Ski and Chuck McCoy....READ MORE @ • View topic - I remember CHUM



Pre-recorded Introduction



LINK: Doug Thompson is a legendary fixture at CHUM radio in Toronto

Radio heavyweight lightens his load with HHB Flashmic
By Peter Champman, HHB Communications Canada Ltd.

Doug Thompson is a legendary fixture at CHUM radio in Toronto, Canada. Having first stepped through their doors in 1965, he’s been recording reels for 42 years.
In that time, he has won 150 awards for creative excellence and worked with Ringo Starr, Phil Collins, Natalie Cole, Randy Bachman and John Candy -- for whom he was head writer and creative director for his weekly series “Radio Kandy.”

Mostly known for his long form radio productions such as an award winning, two-part radio retrospective on John Lennon, and more recently his involvement in the CHUM and National Broadcast Museum Foundation archives, he’s worked in pretty much every recording format short of magnetic wire.

Having started on a Nagra, moving to portable DAT machines and finally to the HHB DRM-85 Flashmic, Doug reflects on sore shoulders, airport security and sprained ankles. Who said rock & roll journalism was easy?

“Nagra tape recorders were heavy, heavy machines. I mean literally 25 pounds. And those were just bears to carry. I remember I was doing some interviews in LA and I had a short amount of time to do them. I’d somehow sprained my ankle and was on crutches. So I had this huge Nagra tape recorder on my crutches trying to get down the street in Beverly Hills. So the crutches would go, then the Nagra case would go, then the other way with the crutches… It took me half an hour to go a block. Believe me; I’m glad the Flashmic is around now, it would have been so much easier back then.”

Portable DAT machines, however, offered a little relief in terms of size and weight.

“When I was using a DAT machine you’d have to put it in a carrying case, and… it’s still heavy! It might only be five or 10 pounds but it’s sitting on your shoulder. With [the Flashmic] I can carry it in the little carrying case or in my hand or I could just shove it in my briefcase.”

When asked how the Flashmic’s small size and light weight changed the way he worked, he had this to say:

“I just came back from England and I used the Flashmic over there because I didn’t want to bring the DAT machine and the adapter and all that. The Flashmic was just absolutely perfect because I could go in the dressing room, I could go outside. You can plug in the earphones so you can hear what it sounds like if you’re in a hotel room and find the best spot to sit. I’m quite happy with it. It’s the most portable mic recorder ever! It’s great!

“I was surprised; when I took it [on the plane] security didn’t even ask to open it. With the DAT machine they always want to open the case and look at it. With the flashmic they obviously saw it was a microphone shape, but they didn’t even open it up.

For the Chum Radio Archives we’ve been interviewing a lot of the former disc jockeys and staff and we’ve been using the HHB Flashmic; taking it where ever, as there’s often not a lot of places to plug-in. In some of these older homes that people live in, the wiring causes buzzes and clicks, even when it’s grounded, so the Flashmic is phenomenal for that.”

The CHUM Radio Archives finds Doug on a five to six year project sorting through the mammoth collection of audio tapes that have been collected since CHUM’s inception in 1959, then transferring them to compact disc. What does Doug rely on with such an arduous task?

“I have an HHB Burn-it and I burn all my material on a Burn It with the HHB Thermal Blanks. It’s been a treasured piece of equipment for seven or eight years now!”

Check out the online Rock Radio Scrapbook ( to hear some of the great tapes Doug has saved from the dusty vaults of Rock and Roll History. ...READ MORE @ Doug Thompson is a legendary fixture at CHUM radio in Toronto



"1050 CHUM" was a legendary Top 40 powerhouse during the late 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

Early history and Top 40 format

CHUM AM was launched as a dawn-to-dusk radio station on October 28, 1945 by Jack Q'Part, an entrepreneur in the business of patent medicines. The station, then operating from studios in the Mutual Street Arena, was taken over in December 1954 by Allan Waters, a salesman from Q'Parts' patent medicine business. Waters' first major move was to secure a license for 24-hour-a-day broadcasting for CHUM, along with a power increase to 5,000 watts. Less than three years after Waters acquired the station, and soon after bringing the new fulltime transmitter online, a major programming change was made. On May 27 1957, Waters switched to a "Top 50" format that had proven itself popular in some U.S. cities; Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" was the first song played. "1050 CHUM" pioneered rock and roll radio in Toronto, and was noteworthy for hosting many noteworthy rock concerts including, among others, visits to Maple Leaf Gardens by Elvis Presley (1957) and The Beatles (1964, '65, and '66). While the station was rising to the top of the popularity ratings in Toronto in the early 1960s, it also built yet another new transmitter in Mississauga, Ontario (a few miles west of the current Toronto city line) along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and raised its power once again to its current 50,000 watts around the clock.

CHUM DJs of the 1960s were zany morning man Al Boliska, who quit in late 1963 to go 'across the street' to CKEY.He was replaced by WKBW, Buffalo radio & TV personality Jay Nelson, popularly known as "Jungle Jay" from his role as host of a children's show on Buffalo's Channel 7 which was also popular among Toronto youngsters. He would be followed by housewives' jock John Spragge; singer/DJ Mike Darow; Pete Nordheimer, replaced in 1961 by witty Bob McAdorey; teen DJ Dave Johnson; and all night maven Bob Laine. Later additions to the CHUM DJ lineup included Duff Roman and Brian Skinner, both of whom came over from CKEY (then owned by Jack Kent Cooke). In the late 1960s, early 1970s, CHUM DJ's included Duke Roberts (also known as Gary Duke for a time), Johnny Mitchell (better known today as Sonny Fox), J. Michael Wilson, Tom Rivers, Scott Carpenter, Jim Van Horne, John Rode, Don Reagan, Terry Steele and Roger Ashby. Among their later mighttime hosts was John D. Roberts, who joined CHUM in 1977 and would eventually become known across North America as White House correspondent for CBS-TV and host of CNN's morning program "American Morning."

CHUM was also well known for its contests, like the 1970s' "I Listen to CHUM" promotion, in which DJs would dial phone numbers at random and award $1,000 to anyone who answered the phone with that phrase.

From gold-based to oldies

By the mid-1980s, CHUM had lost ground in the Toronto ratings to competitor Top 40 station CFTR and FM-based music stations. On June 6, 1986, CHUM dropped its Top 40 format for a heavily gold-based adult contemporary format ("Favourites of Yesterday and Today"). By 1989, CHUM adopted an oldies format, drawing heavily on its previous Top 40 reputation to cater to the fans of that era's music.

Chart #1 - Monday, May 27, 1957 - TOP 50


Monday, May 27, 1957

Chart Number: 1
10Presley, ElvisAll Shook Up0
20Boone, PatLove Letters In The Sand0
30Williams, AndyI Like Your Kind Of Love0
40Everly Brothers, TheBye Bye Love0
50Mineo, SalStart Movin' (In My Direction)0
60Storm, GaleDark Moon0
70Robbins, MartyA White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation)0
80Gracie, CharlieFabulous0
90Como, PerryGirl With The Golden Braids, The0
100Ray, JohnnieYes Tonight, Josephine0
110Diamonds, TheLittle Darlin'0
120Dell-Vikings, TheCome Go With Me0
130Boone, PatWhy Baby Why0
140Husky, FerlinGone0
150Como, PerryRound And Round0
160Berry, ChuckSchool Day0
170Knox, BuddyParty Doll0
170Lawrence, SteveParty Doll0
180Dorsey Orchestra, JimmySo Rare0
190Domino, FatsI'm Walkin'0
190Nelson, RickyI'm Walkin'0
200Gracie, CharlieButterfly0
200Williams, AndyButterfly0
210Belafonte, HarryMama Look At Bubu0
220Lowe, JimFour Walls0
220Reeves, JimFour Walls0
230Dee, JohnnySittin' In The Balcony0
230Cornell, DonSittin' In The Balcony0
230Cochran, EddieSittin' In The Balcony0
240Mathis, JohnnyWonderful! Wonderful!0
250Mello-Tones, TheRosie Lee0
250Tune Drops, TheRosie Lee0
260Coasters, TheYoung Blood0
270Domino, FatsValley Of Tears0
280Draper, RustyFreight Train0
290Gilkyson, Terry & The Easy RidersMarianne0
290Hilltoppers, TheMarianne0
300Bowen, JimmyI'm Stickin' With You0
310Laine, FrankieLove Is A Golden Ring0
320Platters, TheI'm Sorry0
330Hunter, Ivory JoeEmpty Arms0
330Brewer, TeresaEmpty Arms0
340Sands, TommyTeen-Age Crush0
350Little RichardLucille0
360Sands, TommyMy Love Song0
370Starr, KayJamie Boy0
380Starr, RandyAfter School0
390Johnson, BettyLittle White Lies0
400Bennett, TonyOne For My Baby (And One More For The Road)0
410Knox, BuddyRock Your Little Baby To Sleep0
420Clooney, RosemaryMangos0
430Cornell, DonMama Guitar0
440Belloc, DanFlip Top0
450Baker, LavernJim Dandy Got Married0
460Boone, PatBernardine0
470Copeland, KenPledge Of Love0
470Torok, MitchellPledge Of Love0
480Four Lads, TheI Just Don't Know0
490Armenian Jazz SextetHarem Dance0
500Williams, BillyI'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter0

John Gilbert "No Charge"

Mike Cooper's April Fools Joke

80's PROMO

Bob Sam Robbie - 1050 CHUM Morning Show - 1992

Tom Rivers 1982

John Majhor CHUM 1050 Morning show 1986

1050 CHUM Card 1983