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, October 27, 2010




'Happy Birthday CHUM! We're anticipating 50 more, 'cuz ya know, "Rock and roll will never die!"'



Jun 2007

1050 CHUM Turns 50

Canada's First Top 40 Radio Station Now Part of Major Media Empire

 bigger text smaller text
By: Lee Rickwood

Anniversaries commemorate happenings of major historical significance or a more personally relevant nature. The 50th anniversary of 1050 CHUM rock radio is both. For fans of radio and pop music, 1050 CHUM generates some serious sentimental currency in our memory banks. And it generated some serious currency for the corporation ever since. Today, 1050 CHUM is now part of CTVglobemedia, following approval and finalization of its CHUM Ltd. acquisition, concluded barely one month after the AM station's 50th birthday. CHUM Limited assets at the time of acquisition included 34 radio stations, the A-Channel Network of 6 local stations, CKX Brandon, and 19 specialty stations including MuchMusic, Bravo!, Space, CP24 and CLT. But the number that really matters is 1050. As most folks recall it, the first of Canada's rock radio dynasties was born in humble and happenstance fashion. Founder Allan Waters was working for a man known as Jack Sharp, who owned of a number of enterprises, most notably a profitable patent-medicine business. Eventually, he had to sell off some of his holdings. Waters set his sights set on the medicine business, but he ended up with a money-losing radio station called CHUM. In December 1954, Waters took ownership. Only 250 watts and only broadcasting dawn until dusk. CHUM floundered until Waters heard a top 40 radio station while on vacation in Miami in the winter of 1956/57. The music wasn't to his taste, but he saw and heard a major opportunity. Despite internal protests, CHUM 1050 dropped Rosemary Clooney and her ilk, and started rocking around the clock on May 27, 1957. People who knew Waters (and people who had never heard of him) began to call him crazy, phoning him at all hours of the day and night pleading - demanding - that he 'take that noise off the air'. But Waters stuck with it, and he told the story many times how he would only allow 40 records into the station! The key to success, he felt, was repetition of those same records over and over. If anyone brought in another record, he would throw it - and/or the offender - out. The rest is history, as they say, and its captured in weekly CHUM charts. For many years, (weekly charts were produced from 1957 to 1986), those charts were the measure of success for musicians in Canada and the barometer of teen tastes and activities. Record retailers such as Sam the Record Man prominently displayed the week's chart and racked the 45 RPM singles according to its rankings. Every week, teens would flock to Sam's to check the charts. The job of every record promotion person was to secure a hallowed position therein. The job of every teen was to be cool, of course, so they had to have the latest 45s at home, and they had to have the car radio tuned to CHUM. "My memories of CHUM are of the 'back-seat' variety," teases a fan named Karen. "If you wanted to get a date, having a car was one thing, but it had to have radio. In those days, the dating scene and the music scene were directly connected. That's what I remember." In the early 60s, 1050 CHUM was credited with airing the Beatles a full year in advance of U.S. stations, thereby vaulting to the top of the Toronto radio pile. 1050 CHUM was a big part of the frenzy and fan-aticism that greeted the Toronto concert appearances by the Fab Four; DJ Duff Roman still calls the thrill of seeing the Beatles, and hearing the fans scream, as one of his most memorable. ...
As another fan recalls, listeners took notice and made contact, too. "I remember wanting to know the name of a certain song they had played, and I called in," describes long-time listener, Barb. "Well, we dialed the number, and it was the DJ himself who answered! I couldn't believe it. They were on air, but they were so accessible, so friendly, you thought they were playing records just for you." By 1974, Roman was made program director to take the station to a new level. The station morphed from Progressive to Album Oriented Rock, a somewhat more structured sound with a professional playlist. By 1977 the new sound was so successful that it had become the #1 FM station in Canada in terms of weekly circulation. By 1984 the next step in the evolution began. As the baby boom aged, CHUM-FM made the move to Adult Rock, launching the new sound with a TV ad takeoff on "The Big Chill."

Fifty years on, the familiar neon sign still lights the street, and it still proclaims "Radio One 1050 CHUM". It towers over the city, it towers over all the memories from those days. It reminds us of era when radio ruled, and music was magic.
Happy Birthday CHUM! We're anticipating 50 more, 'cuz ya know, "Rock and roll will never die!"


No comments:


"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