Yo to all .. with thanks for John Donahue’s phone call alerting me to the site .. lotsa interesting stuff (read ‘memories and memorabilia’) here, and, yes, I have some photos that I shall scan, along with some further names and notes that I shall forward .. in the meantime, all best, eh ..
CKCO 1959-1971, and fill-ins after that!
Not sure who I should thank but this stuff is incredible!!! We moved here from Sudbury in ’64 and KW has been home since then. I love anything to do with the history of this area, always looking for pictures or articles and as usual, stumbled upon the CKCO info surfing the net.
Thank you so much for , as my wife says, “Another Trip Down Memory Frickin’ Lane”!!
Best Regards, Harvey “Frenchy” Bellefeuille
P.S. – My brother Rick owns Twin-City Trophies , my Dad retired from the Separate School Board and I did my growing up in Downtown Waterloo, right across from Harmony Lunch.
Many years ago (the early 1960s), when I was a youngster living in Brantford, I used to cycle home to catch the Big Al Show, with the Three Stooges, Daffy, Elmer Fudd, and all the rest of the characters on Channel 13. In those days we only got 6 of the 12 available TV stations. Many times over the years I’ve thought back to those wonderful simplistic days, though in the meantime travelling much of the world and doing a lot of different things.
Yesterday, sitting in my office in London, England, I keyed in a few things on the Internet, and noticed that Big Al was actually Elwood Jones. From pictures I saw of his convertible, he seems to have been quite the character. Do you have a biography of him, showing the years he was Big Al, and what happened to him? When did he pass on? Watching him on CKCO seems like only yesterday — when it was actually more than 45 years ago! I don’t know what TV stations there are now, but the TV stations we used to receive were CBS, ABC and NBC, all from Buffalo, CHCH from Hamilton, CBC from Toronto, and CKCO from Kitchener. Big Al’s TV period would have overlapped with sitting there in Brantford watching Walter Cronkite report from Dallas in November 1963. Memories so ingrained that they never go away. I can forget where I was a month ago, but memories of half a century ago are very much alive!!
16 St Anns Villas
London W11 4RS
P.S. Looking on the Internet brought back other people from CKCO, such as the newsman from 1957 to the 1980s (Gary McLaren?). I can remember him as a young man with a thin face and dark hair. Haven’t thought of him in years. Elaine Calley’s TV show on CHCH (Calling Calley?) came to mind the other day. I used to work the night shift at Massey-Ferguson’s foundry in Brantford in the early 1970s, earning money for law school. I wonder what happened to all of the wonderful people who used to be on TV in southern Ontario. (I remember reading about a decade ago that Chuck Healy on WBEN in Buffalo, who headed the Saturday bowling show, passed on.) When you are a youngster, you somehow think that these people will never get old!
I remember live wrestling at the King Street studio in the late 50’s, early 60’s.
My father would take me to watch, I was approximately 7 to 11 years old.
I was ecstatic to finally find a website for CKCO. In 1971/2 our high school I.D.C.I. won the chance to appear on Canadian Bandstand. It is one memory I will never forget. I would love to find out about getting footage/photo’s, my children would get a real hoot and it would be an amazing time capsule. Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact date but I can remember what I wore, retro flashback; red plaid plazzaro pants, amber long sleeved unisex ribbed shirt and Wedgies! To this day I still have the album I won “Uriah Heap – Magicians Birthday” in a spotlight dance contest. Oh and very long hair!
I look forward to seeing the guest book grow as people search out memories from the past.
It seems like light years ago yet the memories live on. I recall rushing home during lunch hour to catch Big Al’s Ranch Party and the Flintstone’s after school. The theme song from Dodo the Kid from Outer Space is imbedded in my head forever, and flashing the middle finger as an audience member on Bowling for Dollars and later seeing it aired on CKCO Television is still considered a personal highlight of rebellious behaviour to this day! I also miss shopping at the Hiway Market!
This is a fantastic site. I left Kitchener for the Navy in October 1984 and this brings back great memories. I was on Big Al’s Saturday jamboree many years ago (I think that was what it was called). I remember running home for lunch from Forest Hill School and watching him and the cartoons. I also remember the red jackets the news guys wore. Better styles now but it is still good to see Dave Macdonald doing the weather.
I watch Canada AM regularly and it is good to see Jeff there and I still remember him, Bill Inkol and Wayne Kooyman doing the sports.
Petty Officer First Class Ken Voelzing
Growing up in the 50’s, my favourite programme was hosted by Big Al then each time I would get up to the Kitchener area (I live in Raleigh, N.C. and teach at N. C. State University) I would watch the news as much as I could. Oh those jackets people wore! Please continue to add pictures to your site.
Thanks for the memories.
I have just spent the last few days reminiscing about my wonderful (musical) times with Pat. He was such an amazing pianist – from the early days at CKCO with Elaine Cole, Betty Thompson and countless others. It brought me back to the summer I spent performing in Muskoka in 1978 when I would sit with my six month old son David – watching Horoscope Dollars with Johnny Walters and his dedicated side kick – Pat! “Two More, Two More!” Those two cracked me up! Such fun times and wonderful memories.
It sure is fun to look back and to know that I was once a small part of CKCO’s history.
Cathy Menard – jazz singer/bee/bear
As a young fellow I remember sending in my birthday announcement to big Al to read on air, then your name was entered into a draw for a conestoga chuck wagon much like the ckco horse and wagon in the call letters.
I won one of those wagons, I wish I still had it today
I was wondering if you would have a picture of the wagon and horses, I love to have one if you do .
In 1967 I was the features and fashion writer at the Kitchener-Waterloo Record and a member of the swont Press Club. Because of the “revolution” in the music and fashion world, the club decided that its next big shindig would be more modern and I was roped in by Frances Denney (my editor) to put together some entertainment to go with the pigs’ ears. (I loved it. I probably would have begged to do it.)
There was a fellow with a mod clothing store in waterloo, Ross Litwiller, whom I hired to put on a fashion show. He also knew some people who were doing body painting. So to advertise this upcoming event, I went on the Elaine Cole show with a motley gang of hairdressers, dress designers, and a girl in a bikini, who was body painted on Elaine’s show and which – I was told – was a first in that people generally appeared on Elaine’s show dressed.
That episode had a huge viewership and we sold out tickets to the event PDQ.
Not only did I find the picture, I found the letter that went with it that ought to give you a bit of a laugh.
I remember, and always shall, the day I was acting as the Boom man! I was working as an Engineering secretary under Paul Turchen (pardon the spelling of his name). Nevertheless I did as most of us tried to do, that was to broaden our experiences in all areas of television. So from time to time I’d slip in and do Audio control in the morning and then I promoted myself to Boom operator.
This memorable day I was “booming” for Elaine Cole, on the Elaine Cole Show when someone came out of News during an intermission and told all of us that “President Kennedy had been assassinated “.
In shock and speechless, we all went on and did the show and the guests that day were valiant under the circumstances.
Regards to all and thanks for creating my treasured memories of our great CKCO station and family.
I stumbled across your web site last night and nosed around a bit.
I was pleased to see a few pictures of my old friend Dennis Connolly. I sang in the church choir at St. Mark’s for 14 years with Dennis.
He was a fine man and had a fine voice. I told him many times that he could have made a living with his voice, but of course he was too humble to admit that it may have been true.
As a life-long resident of Kitchener I remember a lot of what I saw on various pages. Two of my most vivid memories were watching hockey on the old black and white (where’s the puck? Is that the puck or is it snow?), and watching The Flying Doctor.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I’ll be back to take a better look when I get a chance.
Hi, Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Some 43 years ago a friend and I approached Big Al after one of his shows and asked if we could do book reports on his show … he looked at me and said we will see. A couple of weeks later I approached him again and said ok let’s try it but you better read the books.
My friend and I stumble through it on Fridays … eventually we were tired of ready and was let off the hook, shortly after that the Kitchener Library started doing the book reports … we were so proud that we started the ball rolling but were even more grateful that we were done all that reading.
Thanks to Big Al etc.
There was a time I walked into a room and was the youngest one present. Now just the reverse is true. Thank you for the memories and moments of reflection, on all the wonderful people I had the opportunity to work with at one time or another. It was a good time. Just how good I can only appreciate now. The next generation of broadcasters can only imagine!
Thanks for the great work….so many memories ….so many great people…..I was so happy to be a small part of CKCO and its many talented people…… I have some photos you may be interested…….. one of the original Tree House crew…..
I worked in broadcasting for almost 30 years, and with every station I worked in from Sault Ste Marie to eventually Toronto, you come across individuals, whom, if you could put in one newsroom, it would have no equal and I’m happy to say there would be several from CKCO. From 1976 to 1981 I had the pleasure to work with some real pros and some real characters in the CKCO newsroom. Gary McLaren as an assignment editor taught me about what makes a good news story…. fairness, accuracy and balance. The late Jim Mercer was a superior cameraman with a great eye and a nose for news and he knew more places outside of KW that served coffee and cherry pie than anyone I know. Bruce Johnston has more integrity than any news reporter I have met. Bill Inkol could take a sports story from the Globe and Mail and read it out of the paper live every morning and make it sound like it was written for broadcast. (Bill seldom rewrote news copy, it interfered with his morning coffee!) There were many in that newsroom during that five years like myself who went on to bigger things in major markets such as Paul Brent, Paul DeCorcy, John Jackson, John Johnston, Paul Freer, Kelly Crowe, Dave Gerry, Leslie Jones, Jeff Hutchinson to name just a few.
We were given the freedom to experiment, expand our horizons and if we got too far afield, Gary McLaren would reign you in and tell you how to improve…it provided a firm foundation for your broadcast future. You were also allowed to let your sense of humour show at least once a year during the Christmas party film. I once placed dry ice in the coffee cups in the cafeteria, and when Milly poured in the coffee, they foamed like a scene from the Adam’s Family…it was the only time they allowed me to produce the party film. It was a great ride, red jackets and all, thanks for the memories!
Thanks for this site! I came upon this as I was looking for more BG material of Denis Faucon for a memorial site I run for shooters, sorry to see familiar names to add.
Coming out of Humber College’s Creative Cinematography course, in 1978, my first job (part time) was at CKCO. It was in the old building that I met Peter Ferguson. My first shoot was with a Bell & Howell 70 spring wind camera. I was sent on my own to cover a contracts talk meeting at Goodrich. A notepad and a B&H, 100′ of film. The receptionist at the front desk directed me to the meeting room. I entered a large room that had a lot of chairs, empty except for a long table at the front with some people around it. I took a seat, pretty well alone in this cavernous room. The people at the front wre arguing, I started taking notes..not knowing what was going on. I pulled the B&H up, wound and began to shoot. The B&H was known as a stealth camera, the loud whirring attracted the table peoples attention. One person came, asked who I was. I told him…his eyes went a little wide and he said “Son, this is a closed private meeting..you have to leave”. I was escorted out the building. I thought I was in trouble back in the newsroom. Ron Johnston, Gary McLaren and others laughed, it was a gag, no one thought I’d get in. Goodrich called to complain..so started my colourful career as a news shooter.At CKCO, many more experiences with a lot of good,fun people.
Only a few there I guess remember the film room floods!
what ever happened to george hewitt star of open roads series 1980’s at ckco tv?
Just happened on the site. Sad seeing so many familiar names “in memory”. I retired from CBC Vancouver in ’97, and after many fine years in Banff, am now living in Victoria. Cheers to old friends !
I just came across this memorial to my brother Mike. Thank you for such kind words. I know how much he loved working at CKCO.
A good friend of mines’ dad did a guest apperance on Romper Room. … Dr. Weber, to talk to the kids about muscles. I would love to find out if there is archived episodes and where i can ge t a copy. If anyone could help point me in the right direction. I would be eternally grateful.
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