Station to Station with Joe Pavia

Up and down the radio dial and other stops

Assignment: The Allans

What began as just a quick trip to the Kitchener Public Library turned into a five year, independent research project about the former owners of the house my family and I lived in.

When my wife and I purchased our 1930s home, we discovered that 16 different families had lived in the house between 1932 and 1997.

The first question we had: what’s wrong with the place?

Well, nothing! 

The families that lived here moved in an out for different reasons and in differing circumstances. Through my research I uncovered many great stories and some amazing photos of five of the 16 former owners.

This blog focuses on John and Florence Allan. They moved to Kitchener in the early 1920s after Jack, as he was referred to, accepted the job of managing the new Capitol Theatre.  In 1932  he added the Lyric Theatre to his duties.  

Continue reading “Assignment: The Allans”

Blog: The Jeff Howatt Aircheck Sessions

Without even realizing it former radio news anchor Jeff Howatt helped me through a major on-air news presentation crisis I was going through.

Howatt was the afternoon news anchor at 104.5 CHUM-FM in Toronto, while I was the afternoon news anchor at DC 103.5 in Orangeville, Canada

In my opinion Howatt had the smoothest news presentation on a music radio station with a read that was flawless. He was a pleasure to listen to.

My afternoon newscasts were a disaster. Turning on the microphone turned me into an incredibly anxious person, and I couldn’t make it through a sentence in a news story without tripping over a word or five. Sensing my days were numbered I reached out for help.

Continue reading “Blog: The Jeff Howatt Aircheck Sessions”

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Episode 27: Robert Munsch

Robert Munsch

The kitchen conversation, December 1986

This photo with Bob Munsch was taken in 1991 during a visit to CJEZ-FM in Toronto for an interview to promote a tv special.

The book

Author and storyteller Robert Munsch released what would become his multi-million selling children’s book Love You Forever in 1986.

It was the 11th book Munsch had published, and it was a drastic change from his silly stories that made kids and their parents laugh.

This book tells the story of the relationship between a young boy and his mother over the course of a number of years.

Munsch told me that adults who read it cried, while elements the story made the young kids laugh.

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Audio: Alanis Morrisette at the 1992 JUNOS

I was in the media room at the 1992 JUNOS on the night Alanis Morrisette won the award for Most Promising Female Vocalist and recorded the backstage question and answer session with reporters.

Continue reading “Audio: Alanis Morrisette at the 1992 JUNOS”

Blog: Someone stole my David Cassidy interview

Someone stole my 1990 David Cassidy radio interview and has taken credit for it as their own.

I received a copy of this fraudster’s interview from someone who heard the interview and realized it was mine and let me know.

The fraudster claimed the interview was done in 1990 at a radio station they worked at. While they may have interviewed David Cassidy that year the interview that’s making the rounds on a number of podcast sites is not their interview, but a re-recorded version of mine.

The fraudster edited my interview to make it appear that David Cassidy was a guest on their music show.  They deleted my voice and substituted their own, so that David Cassidy appeared to be responding to questions posed by them.  Most of the questions they used were mine and word for word, Cassidy’s responses were the one’s he gave to me. Continue reading “Blog: Someone stole my David Cassidy interview”

Video:1987 TV weather audition

At the time I thought it was the most amazing TV audition I had produced, and that it would get me a job at a tv station presenting the weather.

My presentation had energy and showed confidence;  my tone was conversational; I was engaging . . . and my hair looked fantastic!

At least that’s what I thought in 1987 at the ripe young age of 23.

Watching the video demo tape years later as a “grown up”, I cringe and wonder what I was thinking!

Continue reading “Video:1987 TV weather audition”

@themovies State of Play (2009)

Journalist Cal McAffrey is assigned to cover the murder of an assistant to U.S Congressman Stephen Collins. McAffrey’s investigation about his old friend’s assistant leads to the discovery of a cover-up that involves many prominent Washington D.C. politicians. Continue reading “@themovies State of Play (2009)”

Episode 26: Abbie Hoffman, American political activist

The flu and serious injuries from a car accident didn’t stop Abbie Hoffman from talking for two-and-a-half-hours to an audience at the University of Guelph in September of 1988.

The co-founder of the 1960s counter-culture group the Youth International Party, or Yippies as they were commonly known, had a lot to say.

No surprise, he talked politics. Americans would be electing a President that November in a race that pitted George Bush against Michael Dukakis.

As well he had co-authored, with Jonathan Silvers, An Election Held Hostage which was about to be published in the October edition of Playboy Magazine. The feature discussed the arms for hostage deal and its influence on the Reagan-Carter American presidential election of 1980.

His talk at War Memorial Hall was titled Watergate to Contragate: Criminals in the White House.

Continue reading “Episode 26: Abbie Hoffman, American political activist”

Assignment: Virtual Reality circa 1992

Reporting the news is serious business! Reporters need to cover stories that may provoke a range of emotions from the tragic to the light hearted. 

One light hearted story I was assigned to was to cover a preview of a new innovative and interactive game called Virtual Reality that would be appearing at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto Canada in 1992. Continue reading “Assignment: Virtual Reality circa 1992”

@themovies Broadcast News (1987)

Broadcast News is the 1987 comedy/drama set at a regional television news bureau in Washington D.C. Continue reading “@themovies Broadcast News (1987)”

John Majhor radio and tv host

John Majhor was the first famous radio and television person I ever worked with. 

The Toronto broadcaster was well known in the 1970s and 80s for his DJ work on CHUM radio, and as VJ of the first music video show in Canada called Toronto Rocks where he introduced videos and interviewed musicians. It was a show I watched regularly.

John and I worked together at two Toronto radio stations, first at 97.3 CJEZ where he was morning host and later CFRB 1010 where he filled in as a talk show host. Continue reading “John Majhor radio and tv host”

Episode 25: Sid Sedunary, Titanic orphan

Sid Sedunary, who lived all of his life in England, had known the story of the sinking of the Titanic from a very young age.

His mother had told him about the ship and of his father Sid Sedunary Senior.

He was a third class steward on the Titanic, and one of 1,500 passengers and crew who died on the ocean liner’s maiden voyage in April, 1912. Continue reading “Episode 25: Sid Sedunary, Titanic orphan”

Episode 24: Jean Little children’s author

Children’s author Jean Little passed away on April 6, 2020. She was 88.

She had published over 50 books during her career including favourites, From Anna, Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird , and her first, Mine for Keeps which was published in 1962.

Little, who was visually impaired since birth, wrote novels that focused on children’s issues and the obstacles they had to overcome. Continue reading “Episode 24: Jean Little children’s author”

Episode 23: Celia McBride, playwright to spiritual director

Celia McBride is a Canadian playwright born in the Yukon and currently living in Port Hope, Ontario.

She was the only female playwright to have her one-act play, Walk Right Up, performed at the inaugural season of the Stratford Festival’s newest venue, the Studio Theatre, in 2002.

That play tells the story of the three adult children from the fictional Ruskin family, who need to make decisions about caring for their elderly parents.

I first interviewed Celia McBride in the summer of 2002 after seeing the play.  We catch up 17 years later and discuss other artistic projects she’s undertaken in the interim, as well as her latest writing project, a spiritual memoir.

In this episode, my interview with Celia McBride from playwright to spiritual director.

Continue reading “Episode 23: Celia McBride, playwright to spiritual director”

Good News!

The first story in a radio newscast is the most important in a collection of stories read at the time you tune in. Usually that lead story is the most up-to-date, and appeals to the greatest number of listeners.

Think of the inverted pyramid which is wide at the top, emphasizing the big story. That pyramid narrows until it reaches the bottom where the newscast ends with a “kicker” story, usually a lighthearted good news item that is supposed to send listeners off with a smile. That’s what I was taught at school anyway.

A music radio station I worked for early in my career restructured that pyramid and instituted a “good news” policy whereby the top story needed to be a positive story.

Continue reading “Good News!”

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