Let’s remember more of the great CJOB people from the “old days”.
For 35 years, the first voice most people in Winnipeg heard every weekday morning was John “Red” Alix. And it was quite a voice – strong, fatherly, and quintessential among CJOB people. And every morning between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m., Red would open up the phone lines for Beefs and Bouquets. All of Winnipeg got its chance for a 30 second airing of a beef or bouquet. Red worked hard to keep the flow going and well balanced. It was a quick way to know what was on everyone’s mind before you got to work.
I first got to know Red when I was doing the overnight show and had to get things ready for his arrival. This meant primarily making sure that the coffee was made, and made well. Red normally did not say much while he was getting ready to go on the air. Then, when the show began, he would come completely to life.
George McCloy was at CJOB even longer, starting just after World War II. I think he was one of the originals when J. O. Blick built the station. George did the mid-day program on OB weekdays, as well as the Shut Ins Show on Sunday morning.
I have a rather special memory of George. One day I was digging through the station archives, and I found an old metal transcription disk from 1950. When I played this, I heard a recording of George McCloy reporting from a small boat during the great Winnipeg flood. As he gave his location, I realized that he was broadcasting from just outside what would later be my house on Glenwood Crescent, which was deep in water.
Most distinguished among CJOB people, Dudley Patterson was Winnipeg’s version of Walter Cronkite. Over 44 years, he was the newsman everyone relied on. I had my best chats with him while we were both in the staff lounge, and he was making one of his ever present cups of tea.
Nelson Williams was my ever-present news man for many years on the evening show. He had a great sense of humor and always kept me in a good mood. And Roger Currie was another newsman that has become a Winnipeg institution and we still keep in touch. He still does Currie’s Corner on CJNU in Winnipeg.
Allan Willoughby had a great sense of humor, sometimes corny and often sardonic. He did the afternoon show, the Homeward Hustle. He was also our music director, meaning he got to choose the records (remember them?) that we could play. I remember having a long and unsuccessful argument with Allan about the song “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” Try as I might, I could not convince him that the it was the same song that Ray Price and Gladys Knight had each recorded, albeit with different arrangements.
CJOB People Tribute Video
If you want to enjoy some of the early days of CJOB people, check out this video. The You Tube video is labeled as a 1966 tribute, but it actually contains material well into the 1970’s.