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October 12, 2020 11:19 am  #1

CFRB At 10: A Frozen-In-Time Look Back In History

CFRB will turn 100 in 2027, and it will be worth watching to see if they actually address that anniversary. They did mark their 10th year on the air in 1937 with a special booklet that was released about what was then a very different station. It was full of congratulations for E.S. Rogers, who owned the place, and there was a lot of praise for the still new Rogers company.
With Bell in charge, you’ll never see that now!
All of which brings me to a fascinating little bit of history from a great site called, a place where hundreds of artifacts from radio stations around the globe are waiting to be rediscovered. Among them: this special commemorative publication from what is now 1010 on your dial, at the time celebrating a decade on air.

It was an era when the monarchy occupied an important place in Toronto and Canada, arguably more than they do today. Hence this ad.

Today, TSN1050 is the shared home of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Most of us grew up with CKFH – Forster Hewitt’s station – being the flagship. But 'RB also got in on the action with the aforementioned Hewitt at the helm.

’RB prides itself to this day as being the place where the newsmakers come to talk. Turns out it wasn’t that different back in the day, only one of the people doing the talking was a doctor who became known for delivering the most famous babies of his time. And then there were the five kids themselves, who would later grow up to despair the fame their birth had caused.

And if you weren’t obsessed with those kids and instead you were one, they had something for you, too. (Although Uncle Bill looks kind of creepy to me.)

CFRB was an affiliate of CBS Radio, then a powerhouse of what we now fondly call “Old Time Radio Shows." They explained to a 1930s audience how those shows came to be received in T.O.

Ah, but turning on those old, huge radios must have been a real pain in the – well, back. Turns out they had an answer for that, too.

It was a long time ago, but I kind of wish we still had “stoop tuning” today! Talk about bending over backwards to listen to the radio.
I can only wonder what ’RB will do – if anything – when their centenary comes later this decade.
You can see the complete 1937 yearbook for the station here.


October 12, 2020 4:29 pm  #2

Re: CFRB At 10: A Frozen-In-Time Look Back In History

In 1937 CFRB would have been on the air for 15 yrs if they had begun broadcasting in 1922.   Then 1947 would have marked 25 years.


October 12, 2020 4:47 pm  #3

Re: CFRB At 10: A Frozen-In-Time Look Back In History

You're right. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but that's what I get for starting to write that story at 12:15 AM after a very long day! Even the book notes that it's their 10th anniversary edition, something my tired eyes completely missed. As I recheck it now, they were actually on the air in 1927 - not 1922. I will make the corrections and I very much appreciate you pointing it out. I was always bad at math, but much worse when I'm half asleep!  

My apologies to all those who read the wrong copy. I strive for accuracy, but once in a while, things get away from me. This one did. I believe the other two historical posts are OK.. They were written in the daylight when I was fast awake!

     Thread Starter