Radio nostalgia, continued.

Click below to hear Radio Nostalgia, part 2. Neil talks with legendary Montreal/Vancouver radio host Pat Burns.

Check back next week for part 3.

Links to more information:

the Kiddie Answerman, a 1950’s radio programme

Pat Burns

Early days of CKGM

CKGM was founded by Geoff Stirling and opened on December 7, 1959. The station was then on 980 kHz with a power of 10,000 watts fulltime as a class B station, using a directional antenna with different patterns day and night (the nighttime pattern being somewhat tighter). The 980 kHz frequency had been previously occupied by CKVL. While most of the station’s programming was devoted to music (playing Top 40 hits), the station also had a number of open-line talk shows.

An FM sister station, CKGM-FM (later known as CHOM-FM starting in 1970) was opened on July 16, 1963. After a few weeks of simulcast with CKGM, the FM station adopted a beautiful music format on September 1.

In 1963, a molotov cocktail was thrown through a window, but was faulty and did not ignite inside the studios.

In 1965, CKGM hired open-line host Pat Burns, famous for his controversial opinions, especially on language issues. Known in particular for featuring prominently on his show Francophones who were proud of being bilingual or of being assimilated to the Anglophone community (again, depending on the point of view), Burns would remain on the air until early 1969, only being driven out of Montreal after a boycott campaign targeting the station’s advertisers was launched. Burns was sufficiently controversial to be publicly denounced by Quebec Premier Daniel Johnson Sr., and the station received numerous bomb threats during the late 1960s. The station had already a history of bombing.


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