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Thu Oct 25 8:06 am  #1


Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

Roger Ashby has been getting up early (or staying up late) for his various air times at CHUM over the years. But that will change on Dec. 5th, after the veteran announced on his show Thursday he'll be retiring. He's been doing it for 50 incredible years at the station - and even longer if you include some other places, like CKOC. 

I would certainly expect to hear a lot of hype leading up to the big day and that last show should be really something. It will be broadcast from the Sheraton Centre, which likely means a lot of big name guests, including those in broadcasting. 

Given the current state of the industry, I suspect there won't be many more people anywhere who get to work at the same place for half a century, especially on the all-important morning gig. Love the station or not, it's really an amazing accomplishment.  

You can hear the announcement here, which begins with a few aircheck snippets from both his AM and FM career, the story of how his father helped spur on an early interest in radio when he was only 10 and why you may not have heard the last of that famous voice yet.  

 

Thu Oct 25 8:37 am  #2


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

Roger has been a good friend for 47 of those 50 years and I want to wish him the very, very best.  And as he hinted I don't believe we've heard the last of Roger.

Best to you my old friend.

 

Thu Oct 25 8:57 am  #3


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

Dale Patterson's Rock Radio Scrapbook has plenty of Roger Ashby's work on the AM side of the station. He started as the overnight guy, another reason why we may never see his like again - outside of all news formats, who has anyone live and local in the wee hours anymore?

(You can definitely tell this is an overnight show - the commercials include Thorncliffe Bowlerama and Knob Hill Farms, two sponsors who were ever present on the early morning shift at stations across the city.)

Roger Ashby, CHUM-AM, August 1970 

 

Last edited by RadioActive (Thu Oct 25 9:01 am)

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Thu Oct 25 9:25 am  #4


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

Just to note that Roger is only the second person to achieve this length of time on Toronto radio.  The other would be the Legendary Wally Crouter of CFRB.  Wally spent 50 years on the morning show.  If Wally was the voice of my parents generation and beyond, Roger would be the longest standing voice of the Rock 'n' Roll Generation.  25 of those 50 years on the Morning Show.  Congrats again Rog.

 

Thu Oct 25 10:19 am  #5


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

John D wrote:

Just to note that Roger is only the second person to achieve this length of time on Toronto radio.  The other would be the Legendary Wally Crouter of CFRB.  Wally spent 50 years on the morning show.  If Wally was the voice of my parents generation and beyond, Roger would be the longest standing voice of the Rock 'n' Roll Generation.  25 of those 50 years on the Morning Show.  Congrats again Rog.

Roger is the last on-air talent from 1960s Toronto radio still on the air in the city. John Donabie, who retired from CIUT earlier this year, was the second last.

Ashby's 33-year run in mornings at CHUM-FM (1985-2018) may be tied with Marilyn Denis for the second-longest in Toronto radio history. Can't think of anyone else with such longevity in mornings in Toronto. Will Marilyn be continuing after Roger leaves?
 


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

Thu Oct 25 10:31 am  #6


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

The Toronto Star spoke with Ashby shortly before the on-air announcement. He admits the arrival of Jamar McNeil from the U.S. should probably have been a tip-off about what was coming and he explains why Marilyn Denis got the gig to be on air beside him, despite auditioning many others who didn't make the cut. 

In answer to Dale's question, according to All Access, Denis & McNeil will keep going after Ashby departs

Roger must have had some pretty incredible parents. Not only did his father "build" him a fake radio station in their home when he was 10, but they also let him skip higher education so he could pursue his dream in radio.

"...the summer between high school and university, I was offered the job at Hamilton. So my parents, who had always been supportive because they knew I wanted to do this, said go ahead and do this and if it doesn’t work out you can always go back to school. I never looked back,” he told the Star. 

But as he approaches the end of this gig, you can be certain there'll be a lot of looking back now.  

Toronto Star: Roger Ashby retiring from CHUM 104.5 FM morning show

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Thu Oct 25 2:43 pm  #7


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

Ashby was live on CTV's noon news and on CP24.

And while it's not filled with much new info (other than there will be ongoing on-air tributes to him on CHUM-FM until the final day) the story also made Billboard

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Thu Oct 25 4:13 pm  #8


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

One of the best and nicest guys in the business and luckily, I was privileged to work with almost all of them.  I first met Roger in September of 72 when I started in the newsroom at CHUM and we worked together there in two different shifts for over twenty years in three decades. 
As mentioned previously, John Donabie is another guy who also sets a record for having worked at almost all of Toronto's major stations over the decades and can easily handle any format that's been thrown at him. 
Both are lifetime friends who "got" radio and radio certainly got them.
All the best, Roger, in whatever you choose to do next!

 

Last edited by Mike Cleaver (Thu Oct 25 4:14 pm)

 

Thu Oct 25 5:08 pm  #9


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

You know how smooth Ashby is on air, but if you ever needed proof about his talent, take a listen to this infamous call during the "I Listen To CHUM" contest era over on the AM side.

I'm not sure if this ever aired but the way he turns a near disastrous moment into a triumph proves just how good he is. 

Roger Ashby Contest Call

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Thu Oct 25 6:11 pm  #10


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

RadioActive wrote:

You know how smooth Ashby is on air, but if you ever needed proof about his talent, take a listen to this infamous call during the "I Listen To CHUM" contest era over on the AM side.

I'm not sure if this ever aired but the way he turns a near disastrous moment into a triumph proves just how good he is. 

Roger Ashby Contest Call

Had not heard that before and it captures him well. Sunday morning oldies was a great show and he was able to keep the great tunes alive via the Morning Mystery Oldie and Morning Mystery Hit for many years.
 


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

Thu Oct 25 10:44 pm  #11


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

Congrats Roger.
When Kitchener's CFCA 105.3 (now known as Virgin 105.3) signed on in the summer of '67, two of the weekend fill-ins were a pair of neophytes from Waterloo. I was doing a campus-oriented show on Saturday afternoon 2 until 6, then, following news and a Hawaiian music 30-minute interlude, an "uptown country music" show titled Countrypolitan came on. It was hosted by high schooler Roger Ashby.
Sadly Electrohome, which owned CFCA at the time, did no aircheck morgue-ing.
Roger's piles of show LPs included Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, Webb Pierce, Jimmy Dean and the like --- no sign of Hank Williams or Ernest Tubb or Wanda Jackson. Roger's radio pals of the mid-60s included his carpentry-wizard dad Norm plus teenage guys such as Jim "Ace" Wright who was a CHUM board op for a number of years; Bill Bricker who stayed in Waterloo and perhaps listened to more radio than anyone; Rick Murray, who, as Rick Hunter, was on Toronto radio (CFTR?) for a number of years and unless I am mistaken is still spinning Oldies in Michigan or Florida. Ace and Rick also worked at CFCA (and sister station CKKW).
Of the two weekend student announcers, one went to the big town (via Hamilton), where I doubt he ever introduced Eddy or Jim or Webb again. My afternoon gig lasted six weeks and was humanely axed and I went into the production studio for the next four decades.
Roger attended our CFCA CKKW CKCO reunion last April, more than 50 years after leaving Kitchener, and I think I can speak for most of those attending that we felt a little bit of pride in what this kid from Hazel Street had done with himself and kept Toronto and Ontario entertained for such a long time.
I wish Rick Hunter would post some of the great stories he could tell about the formative years of Roger.
In the meantime, we still remember you Roger....best of luck in what looks like will be a busy retirement.
-rych mills

 

 

Fri Oct 26 10:15 am  #12


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

I recall Roger's arrival at 1050.  I also remember filling in for him for a week just as I was preparing to embark on my post CHUM journey to 590 around 40 some odd years back.  Roger, of course, subsequently moved on to 104.5.  Now here we are.  All the best to you as your road takes its upcoming twist toward the future Roger.
-----------------------------------

Sorry...my math skills have left me.  Let's try 30 some-odd years ago...like 34 or 35.

Last edited by Lee Marshall (Fri Oct 26 3:50 pm)

 

Fri Oct 26 3:15 pm  #13


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

Roger was also mentioned on the morning show on Sirius/XM; with Flash Phelps.  One of favorite personalities.  Now the news is known around the world.

 

Sat Oct 27 1:15 pm  #14


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

I also wanted to offer my congratulations to Roger Ashby, one of my all time favorites Chum and Chum FM personalities. One simple feature that has always stood out in my mind was how Roger used to end his AM show.  "Take care and take CHUM" .  To me it was simple and most effective


Habs

 

Sat Oct 27 1:46 pm  #15


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

I remember listening to his last show on CKOC, it was on a Friday night ending at 8 p.m. Four hours later, much to my surprise, he popped up on CHUM.


"The radio craze ... will soon fade." - Thomas Edison, 1922
 

Wed Oct 31 4:09 pm  #16


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

Zoomer Radio (AM740) are running station ID's that say "Zoomer Radio, the future home of Roger Ashby...we hope!....C'mon Roger, you love the Zoomer hits!"
 

 

Wed Oct 31 4:11 pm  #17


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

Daytripper wrote:

Zoomer Radio (AM740) are running station ID's that say "Zoomer Radio, the future home of Roger Ashby...we hope!....C'mon Roger, you love the Zoomer hits!"
 

Yeah id love to ask him if he actually likes "todays pop" playlist on CHUM 1045 haha.  

 

Yesterday 10:05 am  #18


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

markow202 wrote:

Daytripper wrote:

Zoomer Radio (AM740) are running station ID's that say "Zoomer Radio, the future home of Roger Ashby...we hope!....C'mon Roger, you love the Zoomer hits!"
 

Yeah id love to ask him if he actually likes "todays pop" playlist on CHUM 1045 haha.  

As It turns out, he actually answers that question in a new interview with FYImusicnews.ca. And he's fairly candid about it. He also talks about taking care of Wolfman Jack in the AM days, the two music celebrities that most impressed him - and the two who didn't - and why his impending sign-off is making it easier to really say what's on his mind.

And there are links to a three part article from 2014 that also delves deeper into Ashby's past. 

A Conversation With .. Roger Ashby
 

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Yesterday 2:48 pm  #19


Re: Roger Ashby Announces His Retirement From CHUM

Bill King did a great job with that Ashby interview. It seems Roger is not as careful now that the end is nigh.

A few years ago, Roger dropped by my place for a chat. It's an interesting listen in retrospect.

http://www.torontomike.com/2015/06/toronto_miked_podcast_episode_126.html

Last edited by torontomike (Yesterday 2:50 pm)