Red Around Town, November 2012

The CRTC has denied BCE‘s application to acquire control of Astral Media‘s television and radio services because it is not in the public interest. Astral media operates 84 radio stations (including Vancouver’s AM 650, home of Red Rock Diner, Shore FM and Virgin Radio 95.3) and 20 pay and TV channels. This is the first time in my memory that the commission has turned down such a mammoth financial exchange… Great turnout of Vancouver radio professionals at our RPM get-together! Among the highlights: a moving tribute to the late Gene Kern from son Steve, and a C-FUN Good Guy sweatshirt presentation to C-FUN alumni attending the lunch: Steve Herringer, John Tanner, Tom Jeffries, Rich Elwood, Terry David Mulligan, Neil Soper, Ed Kargl, Andy Hall, Cameron Bell, Dave McCormick, me, Peter Jackson, Doc Harris, and Fin Anthony

Global TV‘s Mike McCardell picked our event for his News Hour segment. Nice touch from anchor Chris Gailus (not shown at the end of the clip), who acknowledged former BCTV news director and RPM attendee Cameron Bell for his enormous contribution to the outlet’s success. Watch and enjoy!

A note from Gord Richmond, who says “Red, I was at the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, Texas for Buddy’s birthday celebration week. I saw your picture with Buddy taken in Vancouver in 1957. It was cool to see two legends.” Thanks for putting me in the same category as this icon!

I would like to personally invite you to a true Christmas party at the Red Robinson Show Theatre on December 2.  The musical On The Air — A Christmas Special features Jim Byrnes, Candus Churchill, me and CBC morning man Rick Cluff. You’ll be taken back to a time when radio featured live programs and then the show will flash forward to the present time, all the while engaging the audience with the greatest Christmas music of all time. The show is produced by award winning producer Ruth Nichol. Get your tickets early and then get in the Christmas mood… Carole and I decided to go to that Seattle Seahawks game with the visiting New England Patriots. The game was touch and go, but in the last two minutes it got really exciting. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw a long bomb into the end zone to score the winning touchdown. Most money was on Tom Brady and the Pats but it didn’t happen that way. What we really noticed was the fans appreciation of Canadians. The Seahawks declared it Canada Day and flew the Canadian flag alongside the Stars and Stripes. A group of RCMP officers in full red serge were on the field when our national anthem played, and the anthem was sung by North Vancouver’s Whitney Saip Dyck. We were surprised how many in our section knew the words. When you attend an NFL game you realize that in the U.S. football is a national religion… the latest issue of Blue Suede News magazine features a story on Robin Luke, the one-hit wonder who had a million seller in 1958’s Susie Darlin’:

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He was an affable young man who grew up in Hawaii.  Believe it or not in those days I paid to fly him from Honolulu to Vancouver to perform in and around Vancouver. He flew here in a four engine prop plane. I believe it was a double decker Stratocruiser. I can only imagine what the drone of those engines was like during that 11 hour flight. In the pre-jet days it was either this or come by boat!

This photo of me with Robin appeared on the cover of Cash Box magazine and I show it here. He went on to an academic career, not trusting show business. Robin retired recently as a professor and head of the Marketing Department at Missouri State University… I hope you tuned in to my special Halloween haunts on Global TV on the morning of October 17. I never realized how many ghost stories exist in this city, from Gastown to the Hotel Vancouver. Tour host Greg Mansfield studies the paranormal and is a fascinating story teller…

Kathi McDonald
, best known for You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, her 1980 hit with Long John Baldry, has died at age 64. In her career Kathi sang on sessions with Ike and Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones (Exile On Main Street), Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Leon Russell’s Shelter People and with Big Brother and the Holding Company. Kathi was a native of Seattle, but spent many years in San Francisco. She died 42 years to the day Janis Joplin died according to Tom Maguire of Big Brother and the Holding Company… only a few folks knew that Rod Stewart was in town a weekend ago to take part in the recording of Michael Buble’s new Christmas CD and TV show. The invited audience was surprised to see him on the set. He stayed a few days and then left town…