I’m working by means of the ultimate chapters of Discuss, Vol. 2: Conversations in All Keys – The Enterprise – the enterprise being the Canadian music enterprise with 90 interviews spanning pioneers, shakers and movers behind the microphone (Roger Ashby and Shirley McQueen), the label guys (Steve Kane and Duff Roman), radio giants (reminiscent of Gary Slaight and J.R. Wooden), wide-eyed photographers (Barry Roden and Deborah Samuel), publicity artists ( Richard Flohil and Joanne Muroff-Smale), journalists ( Nicholas Jennings and Kerry Doole), songwriters (Dan Hill and Kim Mitchell), in session gamers (Invoice Dillon and George Koller), competition heads (Andre Menard and Pat Taylor), producers (Jeff Dalziel and Rob Wells), and radio managers (Pat Vacation and Ken Stowar).
A listing each broad and loaded with insights and historical past. My remaining name was to Edmonton’s Marty Forbes. Marty and I spent music time collectively at CKFM – me engaged on my satellite tv for pc jazz present and Marty deep into programming. These passing conversations have been steeped in Canadian music tradition. All the time riveting and insightful. Quantity 90, as I consider him in the intervening time, comes from a household with deep roots in Canadian radio and now in retirement, he is dedicated to a wealth of social exercise all grounded in household charity and giving again.
Marty Forbes: I’m midway by means of your e book, Discuss#1 The Artists and the half I like the very best is you can go chapter to chapter and benefit from the many acquainted faces you recognize after which return and browse the opposite chapters.
Man, you pull out so many great recollections with some nice those that I’ve had perhaps informal assembly with or whenever you chat with folks I’ve interviewed over time within the station. I realized a lot extra about them together with your interviews.
The one which stands out is Pentti “Whitey” Glan. No one on the road would know this man. He performed for a lot of nice bands, even together with right here in Edmonton with the Privilege. He ended up taking part in with my good friend, the late Barry Allen. I don’t know who else was within the band, however they moved to Seattle within the late ’70s and had a giant hit with West Coast Lady with a band known as Painter, and naturally Pentti ended up with Alice Cooper. You additionally discuss The Lincolns, a band that by no means actually broke by means of on radio, however I cherished them. A kind of, tremendous mega-talented bands. I’m having fun with this.
Invoice King: Marty you’re the remaining interview for Discuss #2, the Music Enterprise. There are 90 interviews they usually come from all sides of the business. Not everyone seems to be right here however a severe cross-section simply the identical. It’s been a harsh winter out west however momentarily you’re out of the deep freeze.
Marty: Invoice I am so honoured. I offered Arizona two years in the past with all the pieces happening down there however largely as a result of I’ve a grandchild now so after I got here again right here, I informed myself I’m not going to be a type of guys who complains in regards to the chilly. Simply cope with it. We constructed a spot in a gated lakeside neighborhood about an hour exterior of Edmonton. I purchased a snowmobile. The primary time in my life doing that and final week I purchased a Sea-Doo. I’m 70 years previous and don’t act my age. We love being again and residing in such an excellent metropolis.
Invoice: The place is the Honda Gold Wing now?
Marty: I’ve that right here as nicely. It’s a tremendous bike. I’m the Vp of the Alberta Bike Security Society too and we work with the federal government, the police and the RCMP to attempt to get a greater understanding of bike security and laws.
Invoice: You have been all the time posting on Fb the get-away pictures. You have been like Straightforward Rider.
Marty: When the Slaights offered Commonplace to Astral the primary name I acquired was from Jacque Parisienne. He flies me into Montreal to fulfill him, one on one, and the very very first thing he says to me is “you recognize you’re a legend! Can we discuss this motorbike you journey by means of Arizona?”
A 1.8-billion-dollar firm buy, and he desires to speak about bikes.
I’ve ridden for over 50 years now with the spotlight a romp by means of Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria.
Invoice: I’ve a good friend who was behind the resurrection of the Indian Bike and had a showroom down on King Road. I used to drop by and marvel at the great thing about these bikes. Simply gorgeous and on my want checklist.
Marty: There are such a lot of completely different Indian fashions now and they’re a sensible firm. Harley acquired caught in that ‘I wish to get a tattoo and be an accountant’ mode to really feel like a motorbike rider. After the primary 12 months, a lot of the guys I do know, get out of them and get into the Indian, or Wing, and say, why didn’t I do that earlier?
Invoice: Radio sensible? Is that also an ongoing concern?
Marty: I reshaped my consulting enterprise as media modified. I made a decision, after I retired, that I might deal with paying issues ahead and work solely in public service. If I get a name now, I say, I’m coming in my blue denims and sweatshirt and should you don’t rent me, I don’t care. I’ve been with John Cameron Leisure for the previous 12 years. It is a native man who owns an enormous development firm. David Foster flies him in to play the Muhammad Ali Struggle Night time mega-event in Arizona. I’ve executed all the media and advertising for them; largely targeted on digital now. It’s a present with a 150-piece choir, 60-piece orchestra and 20 front-line singers and dancers most of which got here off of cruise ships. They’re of their thirties and really achieved artists and each penny goes to charity. We’ve executed $1.5 million within the final ten years. My introduction telephone name from him was, “Marty, I’ve heard about you, we’re doing this present and it’s a Christmas present; your Household IS Santa nameless and we’re giving the cheque to you.”
You don’t say no.
I proceed to advise radio stations and check out my greatest to maintain up with what is going on within the enterprise and I really like mentoring younger expertise.
Dad began Santa’s Nameless right here in 1955 and donates 25,000 toys to kids yearly in Edmonton.
I work with corporations making an attempt to know what I name declining versus inclining media. Guys our age typically do not fairly perceive the place digital goes. They’re shopping for old-time promoting packages and losing their cash. I sit down and present them methods to reshape their promoting to attract all people to your Fb or Twitter enterprise web site or data-based advertising. Now with programmatic shopping for tendencies too, it’s all altering. I all the time be certain that there’s some part of public service or donations to Jerry Forbes Centre for my dad or Santa’s Nameless. In the event that they pay me, typically I simply purchase tickets to our exhibits and provides them to the children or individuals who cannot afford to attend.
Invoice: How has the music enterprise modified?
Marty: The recent information this previous month is the Bell layoffs, however every large Telco is totally culpable. Rogers has laid off folks and Corus has laid off folks as nicely and it’s modified the entire business – voice monitoring now guidelines – plug and play the radio. We have misplaced some actually good properties in small to medium markets so it is powerful for brand new expertise to get any hands-on expertise and time behind the mic.
The final ten years or so that they’ve taken a lot of the passionate folks out of the enterprise and that’s what has crippled the entire thing. I name it “de-careering” – no person misplaced jobs, they misplaced careers.
Within the previous days, the Bell/TSN layoffs would have simply despatched up smoke alerts for a full format change. I saved anticipating them to launch a nationwide information community. You’ve acquired all the belongings sitting within the buildings. If you will take somebody out of CFRB then put any person from CTV within the information discipline and construct one thing, then that is smart.
However that hasn’t occurred. What has occurred is we have now misplaced the Gary Slaights, the Ross Davies, Paul Skis, Roy Hennesseys, and Chuck McCoys, and many others. simply to call a couple of – business leaders who constructed phenomenally profitable operations. Not a lot new or progressive is going on…simply ‘chain shops.’
I can’t think about that first publish layoff Bell company assembly with the brand new man – “all proper let’s go on the market and check out to not lose any cash.” That’s the half that I don’t perceive. A broadcast sign – AM – FM remains to be immensely highly effective. Taking sports activities off in main cities like Toronto and Vancouver and put Larry “the fucking” Cable man on…c’mon!
The opposite factor, it’s doubtless a violation of the printed act.
Right here’s the largest half that’s fascinating to me. Once we all signed off on these licences, we have been held accountable. If Peter Fleming (CRTC) phoned you and mentioned you’ve acquired a RAP coming in October, you’ll undergo each aspect of your broadcast licence and ensure all the pieces you promised on that authorized doc was delivered and couldn’t be taken aside.
In the event you ever acquired caught in non-compliance with the fee, nicely that would value you licenses down the street.
How can all these folks be thrown out with out bringing again the information and neighborhood service obligations?
Are you able to think about what may occur in Toronto and Montreal with an enormous emergency? Take a look at the Texas winter storm scenario and what it will be like if it hit Toronto, for instance, and CFRB wasn’t on the air immediately. That’s the half I don’t perceive.
The largest distinction is, all of those corporations now, radio and tv, have turn out to be in regards to the fifth or sixth tier of their income stream. We now have hockey groups forward of us, we have now basketball groups forward of us, cellphones forward of us, specialty, cable, satellite tv for pc, Web and most are operations that don’t usually carry a bunch of individuals debt’ with them.
Dave Coriat (Commonplace) was so good about explaining consolidation to me after I retired, which I did as a result of Dad died at 58, and it was my plan from the day Dad handed away to hold it up on the similar age. Dave informed me about what was taking place with the long-term debt.
In the event you have a look at Marty Forbes, at my tenure and wage degree, if I retire at age 65, they need to price range twenty years at my pension degree.
When my spouse dies, she will get half or three-quarters of it until she dies too. I figured that from the day I left to age 85, they must put aside round $3,000,000 for me/us in that interval.
I’m all the time getting calls when the vets get laid off and I inform them this is the reason you bought to let go. It has nothing to do together with your expertise or what you dropped at the operation. It was the very fact you bought employed in 1970 and you’re at your peak earnings and pension proper now to allow them to blow you out of there and never care in regards to the product anymore merely to save lots of value and that lengthy obligation to their debt load.
They are going to put some child on now for half their charge and transfer on. That’s the half that’s crippling the business. The lack of expertise and fervour inside these buildings.
In the event you and I purchased a radio chain now we’d sit down and get the eight smartest folks from the business and determine what we’d do. Construct one thing wanted out there. They’re losing actually good alerts, AM or FM.
Invoice: As I look throughout the media panorama publicity for younger creators is dwindling. These small TV and radio hits at festivals and golf equipment are all however gone particularly doing this pandemic. There doesn’t appear to be an entry scenario to interchange this.
Marty: The evaluate of radio is arising by the tip of March. One of many strains I’ve all the time used is medical doctors have medical doctors on their boards, legal professionals have legal professionals, accountants have accountants on their boards, however radio has medical doctors, legal professionals and accountants on their boards. There aren’t any broadcasters within the broadcast business board.
We don’t have what I name a “senate” concerned…these retired of us who spent their lives within the enterprise concerned in between the regulators and people operating the enterprise now. The CAB used to try this nevertheless it’s not the identical anymore.
There was no formal evaluate since 1991; that’s earlier than the Web.
Consider this as a musician. I’ll use Brett Kissel, he’s a tremendous child, for instance.
Let’s say Brett comes out with a brand-new album, and let’s take CFCW… which is a monster Alberta nation AM station – they’re large followers of his and helped him large time. He takes the lead single into the station and does an on-air go to to the morning present they usually play that one time.
At 9:01 he goes throughout the hallway and takes your complete new album and sits down with the morning man, will get interviewed and performs the total disc on-line – perhaps does it on Twitch the place it’s interactive or Fb Dwell – including inventive functions to the entire thing. Have you learnt what counts for radio CanCon?
One airplay of the hit single. Thanks for coming in. No credit score for any digital help to show the product worldwide.
All people is in “worry issue” proper now.
Who’s going to step up and say the CanCon guidelines don’t make any sense anymore? Some anthology acts have obtained 50 years of steady airplay.
Brett Kissel got here into our Singing Tree occasion in the future and I requested him about Spotify and what it meant to him.
He mentioned, “Marty I acquired flown all the way down to Nashville by Garth Brooks; I opened for him on his US tour. I’m going dwelling that evening and verify to see that I offered 1,000 recordings off Spotify after every present.”
The borders for leisure and airplay are gone. Folks wish to be stars around the globe now, not simply in Canada. Do you watch Twitch in any respect?
Invoice: Assist me right here.
Marty: Twitch.television. It began as a gaming platform and now presents self-broadcasting around the globe; owned by Amazon so it is large. In the event you go up into the menu, you will note a music class – faucet on it and there are folks everywhere in the world in studios in basements of their properties taking part in and producing their music.
Oropilot has 38,000 followers on Twitter, a Spotify account – and 255,000 followers subscribe to his Twitch account. He exhibits up twice per week to play right here. He pre-promotes his look to everybody on what he’s going to do. He has a studio as large as all mankind and performs each instrument on the present. Now with Patreon, Go Fund me and all of those sorts of digital issues artists he can get ‘fan help’; money so if you wish to subscribe to his Twitch account, it’s $5 a month. Do the maths. Who cares the way you fund it anymore?
Invoice: You have got a mad ardour for music. The place did that come from?
Marty: Dad got here dwelling in the future from CHED with a rocket radio after I was 8 years previous. You pulled the cone out and you might take heed to AM radio. That was 1958. The primary file I ever keep in mind was A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation – Marty Robbins.
At that time, I began taking note of the dad and what was happening at CHED and I’ve some nice photos from again then… considered one of him shining Nat “King” Cole’s footwear as a parody. You consider that in 1958. I’ve one other of Dad, who was six ft 5 and wore cowboy boots which gave him one other inch or two, with a contest winner and the Everly Brothers wrapped in his arms. I met the Everly Brothers at Expo ’86 and took that image to them and acquired it autographed all of these years later.
I began to see all the enjoyable stuff that was happening and thought, that is for me.
Mother and pop divorced in 1961 and we got here to Toronto and would exit summers to spend the time with him. In 1967 I simply didn’t return dwelling. After faculty, I might go all the way down to the radio station and God bless these guys, as a result of, to a one, they taught me the radio. That is earlier than broadcast colleges.
At one level I come dwelling, and Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks are in our yard taking part in with my two brothers and my sister. I am nonetheless making an attempt to determine who was within the Hawks then and undecided if Robbie Robertson was there or not. Even to today after I run into Ronnie, he calls my dad the silver-haired gentleman. That is stuff you always remember.
I completed faculty on June 3, 1970. CHED was a large station; the town’s inhabitants was a half million and their cume was 600,000. They billed extra in 1981 than I did on the BEAR in 1998. After my remaining examination in school, I hopped a prepare to Kamloops and began writing and doing weekends at CHNL. After two years I acquired into Calgary at Moffat, CKXL – that chain was spectacular, and it began from there.
Invoice: When did you may have a way you might program music?
Marty: That’s an excellent query. When CKXL had gone by means of 5 program administrators in 1977 all the blokes saved telling me, the announcers, Rob Christie and guys like that mentioned, Marty, you present apply, it is best to apply. I’m considering, I’m within the constructing they usually’ll ask me. I’m going in to see Keith James Sr who had employed the final man and I requested him, why didn’t you rent me? I’ll always remember this, that is the second my life modified, he mentioned, you by no means utilized. He was proper!
Inside a month or two Maclean Hunter acquired the CJAY license and Tommy Thompkins got here after me and I resigned. I went up and did mornings and operations supervisor and realized the FM guidelines and laws earlier than Selkirk took me all the way down to Lethbridge and gave me my first Program Director gig.
In highschool, Dad would get me all of the data he had from CHED and I’d be the disc jockey at all the events. You get a really feel for matching music. You get a really feel for what matches and doesn’t match. Sitting down with dad after I was fifteen or sixteen a few of the recommendation, he gave me was, go to each single assembly they’ve on the stations – just like the engineers, the gross sales division, the promotion division. I’d been getting ready myself for the break and it was seamless after I acquired it. And I simply love doing it.
Invoice: CKKS – seven years. That should have been a settling interval.
Marty: MacLean Hunter had the license right here (Edmonton) and that’s the 12 months dad died, September 1981. I got here right here to bury my dad and that was arduous, and I launched CJAX FM and it was a horrible license. They requested me to write down a brand new one and current it to Ron Osbourne from MacLean Hunter Toronto and he flew in to debate it with GM Ralph Connor and me.
As we’re strolling into the assembly Ralph grabbed the envelope in my hand and pushed it behind me and mentioned, “don’t convey this up.” We now have a gathering on all the pieces else and Ron leaves the place and I say, “what’s with that Ralph, we aren’t altering format?”
I mentioned, “nicely you simply acquired my resignation, it is a canine license and if something was going to take me down it was going to be me, not MacLean Hunter.” I resigned and acquired the decision from Vancouver from Selkirk who requested me to return out and discuss CJAZ.
I fly out and meet with Tom Peacock; I adored this man, and we went out on his boat for your complete weekend and talked radio. He mentioned right here’s what we have now determined, and it is a powerful one as a result of it was a license that was cherished within the music neighborhood, however the listeners simply didn’t take to it.
He requested if I might take a shot at making the station viable over the following 12 months or so and if not then we might change the format.
I mentioned, guess what I’ve in my hand? It was the A/C license MacLean Hunter didn’t need. They have been shedding a considerable amount of cash at that time and ultimately on one of many hardest days of my life in 1986 needed to let seventeen folks go to flip the station to A/C as Kiss-FM (CKKS). It took us two swings at getting the licence and thank God for Peter Fleming.
I used to be dishonest a bit on the license with a few of the logistics. In the course of the first listening to, Tom would maintain his hand on my knee and if I mentioned one thing mistaken, he’d squeeze it.
After I acquired right into a dialogue with one of many commissioners about their evaluation programs, they mentioned Quincy Jones isn’t a jazz musician. I requested have you ever listened to his album with Depend Basie Dwell in Las Vegas with Frank Sinatra? You’re going to inform me that wouldn’t high quality? However he does Michael Jackson too they mentioned. So! James Osbourne, are you going to inform me all of that styling doesn’t slot in a Tender Jazz AC format?
The WAVE was simply popping out of Los Angeles with a easy jazz type of sound and we described the station as being aligned with them. They did not purchase it.
No, it’s acquired to be Dixieland, it’s acquired to be Large band. Holy fuck, I knew I used to be useless.
Peter Fleming phoned me after the primary listening to and mentioned, “Marty, flip it again to the unique license and in two weeks we’re going to do a RAP and you will get a cross” so I knew the license was executed. That was seven nice years. To today the topic will present up nonetheless in numerous publications or media websites. What was the journal, oh yeah, the Georgia Straight, they known as me the person who killed jazz?
After I acquired there a bunch of the radio guys mentioned, “what have you learnt about jazz?” Nothing. “You coming right here to run a jazz station?” Yep! We flipped the license and when the primary e book is available in and we’re having a score occasion the identical man that mentioned that to me, (I believe we launched with a seven-share) seemed over mentioned, “you bastard.” I mentioned, “I informed you I didn’t know something about jazz, what do you suppose I used to be doing right here?”
Invoice: 16 years with Commonplace.
Marty: Have you learnt the historical past of my dad and Allan Slaight?
Invoice: No, inform me.
Marty: Allan and pop launched CHED right here in 1955. Gary and I have been born about eight weeks aside, two or three blocks away from one another. In 1989 I had accepted a job in Toronto to go to CHUM-AM which I took for the mistaken purpose. I took it largely as a result of I had two younger daughters, my mother was there and I wished her to be part of their lives. It was the mistaken tradition for me and the mistaken time.
Jimmy Waters and I laughed. He didn’t know if I stop or he fired me or a little bit of each, however I used to be dwelling a mere few days after leaving them when my first Gary telephone name got here and he mentioned let’s go for espresso.
The choice to take the CKFM job at that time was made and I cherished it there however couldn’t deal with the town of Toronto elevating two youngsters and spending three hours a day on the street. I used to be going days and days with out seeing my youngsters.
I went again to Vancouver and positive as heck Gary was shopping for properties right here and the telephone name, I’ll always remember was quite simple,” Marty, do you wish to go dwelling?”
I mentioned sure, and he informed me in regards to the Edmonton alternative, and I got here in and monitored for about 9 months till the fee authorised all the pieces and the attractive half was, my entire aim in life was to catch my dad and turn out to be a basic supervisor and to be one within the metropolis of Edmonton the place dad’s legacy was all the pieces to me motivated me large time.
It was sixteen spectacular years of constructing the BEAR and the opposite two properties.
The launch of the AM sports activities station was additionally rewarding working with Ross Davies and Paul Williams. Sadly, Astral blew up EZ (CJEZ) Rock, which we had as an eight share, and is now a two share VIRGIN which is fascinating.
Allan and Gary believed it was sensible that just about all people within the chain who was a basic supervisor was a former program director and believed if the blokes have been taking care of the product as a precedence that the gross sales would turn out to be simpler. It was true. The work the entire chain did to determine what it’s or grew to become was thrilling and an pleasant time.
It was an excellent chain for sharing data and experience, but Gary all the time gave you the leeway to handle to the very best of your capability as we have been presupposed to know your metropolis. We did some superb issues.
I labored with the very best within the biz…proper from the highest down…legends like Pat Vacation, Rob Braide, the late Gary Russell, Eric Samuels, JJ, and so many extra. I used to be proud to be a type of guys.
We have been all handled first-class begin to end. Nice conferences in unique areas like Vegas, Miami, New York (NBA’s personal suite) Nassau, Jamaica and enjoyable and recreation with the crew have been simply as necessary as sturdy enterprise classes.
There have been enjoyable annual ‘prizes’ given out at our conferences too together with probably the most bizarre-looking pillow that you simply needed to carry again onto a aircraft and a ball and handcuffs, and chain given to the Supervisor who had the worst dangerous luck occasion throughout the previous 12 months.
Invoice: Give me a few profession highlights – these unforgettable moments.
Marty: The entire deal with sharing and charity and neighborhood. Income is one factor, rankings too, however the stuff that we did for Edmonton and our listeners will stick with me eternally. The BEAR’s Youngsters Fund, for instance, raised $2.6 million in money in sixteen years. The money was directed to tools in kids’s hospitals.
We used to go to youngsters’ hospitals at Christmas to provide each child a stuffed Bear. I nonetheless hear from folks twenty years later about that.
We constructed a set within the Royal Alexandra Hospital that seemed like each different hospital room till you opened it up, proper beside the neonatal the place we have now eight coronary heart displays for new child youngsters. It had TV and video games for the children, pull-out sofa, meals, micro-wave and stuff like that. So, moms that needed to undergo the trauma with their youngsters, acquired to make use of this room. Our United Approach was phenomenal and neighborhood service linked me to my subsequent step in life. Half the doorways that open up in your neighborhood come from the work you’ve executed on the radio.
After the Astral sale, they employed me to work with their Radiothon crew and we did three years with 82 stations coast to coast are raised $21 million for teenagers’ charities. Additionally they wished me to show a course for the following Gen of GMs within the chain however simply earlier than beginning the economic system tanked and I used to be executed so opened Radiowise Inc.
After seeing the hundreds of thousands upon hundreds of thousands the Slaights have given to charities throughout the nation, nicely, that respect continues to today.
Invoice: Away from the radio what does the household discuss?
Marty: At Christmas, brother Gord would are available in from Vancouver. He spent 38 years with Moffat and WIC., after which the Canucks. Bro Ger, from Calgary, is within the CMW Corridor of Fame. Collectively with Dad, we have now over 150 years of radio.
He had an excellent Household room the place all of us gathered and bonded. We might say we by no means had Christmas, we had conventions.
Every of the blokes adopted dad into the enterprise differently. I may by no means be pretty much as good on the air as Gerry was and nor may Gord. Gord was a tremendous producer and long-time gross sales supervisor.
However neither may handle or program what I did. Our dwelling was full of enjoyable.
One 12 months Dad kicked us out of the home so he may (his phrases) costume the Turkey. Once we acquired again it certainly was dressed with a hat, bow tie, crimson lips, and a high hat. Our present one 12 months was batteries with a tag that mentioned, ‘toys not included!’
It was sitting down and pontificating about life and the issues that we’ve executed and the locations we’ve been. It was so neat and really worldly. I miss him enormously.
It was a problem my entire profession with a couple of individuals who would say, “the one purpose you’re within the enterprise is due to your dad.” I labored twice as arduous to ensure I earned my manner as did the opposite two boys. Dad could have opened the door for us however we needed to kick a couple of doorways all the way down to get into the league of respect that he acquired.
Invoice: How would your dad deal out recommendation?
Marty: He had a tremendous knack for by no means making our choices for us. I’ll offer you an instance. After I had a job provide in the future, I name him up and we’re speaking, he says “nicely, I’m not going to let you know what to do son, that is a hundred percent your determination. Right here are some things chances are you’ll wish to contemplate although.”
He would offer you sufficient data to go make the choice your self. If I used to be proper on my remaining choices, he would acknowledge that, and if I used to be mistaken, he would say, “nicely, you gave it a whirl.”
As a remaining notice, there are 4 metropolis streets named after Dad right here and a constructing known as the Jerry Forbes Centre for Group Service the place 22 public service teams are housed together with 630 CHED Santa’s Nameless that Dad began in 1955.
He’s been gone nearly 40 years and remains to be making a distinction.