Red Around Town — March 2011

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. A sad note about the end of two of my favorite antique stores. First the Cloverdale Antique Mall closed. The problem was not a lack of customers, it was the high cost of rent. Store owner Tim Garrett was paying $15,000 per month for the 18,000 square foot facility in Cloverdale but the mall’s owner wanted to double the rent so the mall closed. It was always fascinating to visit the Mall as they had everything from antiques to a most interesting array of collectibles.

Now comes word that the Red Barn, located only blocks from the Cloverdale Antique Mall is about to close its doors as the owner is ready to retire. These are two of the Lower Mainland’s most significant antique and collectible outlets and now they are closing their doors forever. They will be missed.

In passing: Bill Henderson of Chilliwack fame tells me that Glenn Miller, who was part of Chilliwack and before that The Collectors and prior to both these incarnations The Classics has died. He was a  quiet but generous man who was unable to attend the 40th reunion of the band recently at the River Rock Show Theatre due to poor health. Glenn had MD and it slowly brought him down.  He will be missed. Thanks Glenn for all your contributions to our music scene.

A bulletin out of Beaumont, Texas states that Johnny Preston, who sang 1960’s chart topping hit Running Bear has died at 71.  He was born in Port Arthur, Texas. His talent was brought to the  attention of Mercury Records by local deejay/singer J.P. “The Big  Bopper” Richardson.  J.P. wrote and produced Running Bear, which became a million seller for Preston the year after Richardson died in the plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.  Preston’s follow-up hit Cradle of Love was also a big seller.

Received a note from Kareen McKeown that drummer Rick Coonce of The Grass Roots passed away on February 25 at Nanaimo General  Hospital. Kareen worked with him for over 20 years. The band had hits such as Let’s Live for Today, Midnight Confessions and Sooner Or Later to name but  a few of the 21 hits they charted in Billboard.

Phil Collins is ditching his career. The famed Genesis drummer and vocalist and of course successful solo artist cited medical reasons for his retirement. He says that years of  drumming resulted in a variety of medical issues including hearing loss, a dislocated vertebra and nerve damage to his hands.

My friend Jim Hault, longtime voice of Global TV in Vancouver, has hung up his headset. Jim says he is tired after a half century of broadcasting.  Word is that Toronto will supply the next voice. Typically West Coast talent is overlooked once again by the geniuses in Toronto.

Farewell to David Ingram, who passed away a week ago. David was well known for his rebel attitude and outspoken views on Shaw Television and on the Gary Bannerman show of yore on CKNW.  He owned Centa Tax and offices sprang up all over Vancouver.  He was, without  question, one of the best tax experts in this country.  His many  books became best sellers.

Fellow announcer Gene Kern, who hails from the golden days of radio and CKWX is hospitalized at Lions Gate Hospital.  Gene has had  breathing problems for some time.  We wish him the best in the coming weeks. Gene was from the true announcer days in radio and spent his entire career at CKWX.

Thanks to Alyn Edwards for driving a green Mustang with me aboard for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 20 in downtown Vancouver beginning at 11am.  I hope it doesn’t rain!