Thursday, April 25, 2013

Post 2325 - Happy Birthday, Ron Roberts!

We are back home after a fun evening in Bedford.  We attended the 80th birthday celebration for Ron Roberts, for many years the voice of CJCH.

I had met Mr.  Roberts in 2012, at the funeral for Clive Schaefer.  He remembered me from then and said that he had tried to look me up.  He wants to do an interview about his long career, with me.  I'm honoured.

There were lots of people there tonight.  Patricia and J.C. Douglas and I were among the youngest people there.  I am guessing that there were lots of former radio people in attendance, but I would have no way of knowing that. 

I did meet John Cunningham and Clary Flemming.  Meeting Mr. Flemming reminded me of all the times my father and I would watch Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling on television.  I kept thinking tonight of Killer Karl Kroop and his infamous "claw" move, and how he pronounced the host's name.  "Meeeesster Flemmmming!!"

Turns out that Ron Roberts is a big jazz fan.  A short video that highlighted aspects of his career showed him with Marie Osmond, Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and Papas, and many others.   There was a signed photo of Duke Ellington thanking Roberts for his friendship.  I was able to tell JC something he didn't know: That Duke Ellington was friends with Portia White, the renowned contralto who spent time in Africville, so it would seem natural for Ellington and Roberts to meet. 

Clary Flemming and John Cunningham read many notes of support and friendship from his family, friends, and former colleagues.  I recognized a few of the names, such as Bob Oxley, Harris Sullivan and Senator Mike Duffy.  Duffy and I are practically pen pals these days. 

There was plenty of music.  Bands played 2 different versions of "All of Me".  One guy alternated between his regular singing voice and affecting Louie Armstrong in a convincing manner.  

There were two fave moments for me.  One was when a local singer named Pam Barr sang a song directed at Ron Roberts.  As she finished she sat next to him and hugged him.   The other was when Ron Roberts himself sang parts of a famous jazz song.  At 80, he still has the pipes. 

All too soon, the evening was over.  We said good night to Mr. Roberts.  I gave him my phone number and told him to call me when he was feeling better.  Patricia posed with him for a couple of pictures, and we drove home.

I knew few people there this evening, but I wouldn't have traded it for anything.  We had a blast.  We are so glad we went.  It is obvious that Ron Roberts is deeply respected and loved by lots of people.  I hope that I can do that interview with him, and soon.  The man has some fascinating stories to tell.

Oh, a few bits of radio news.  Look for some major changes at Lite 92.9 in the next few weeks.  Jamie Paterson will be moving over to Afternoon Drive while his wife remains in mornings and will be joined by Chris Lawrence, who's leaving Energy 103.  This opens up a spot at Energy 103, and Colin McInnes may get that job.  He is late of K-Rock in New Minas.  I have also heard some information regarding a well known local jock who is not feeling well.  I have heard some of the details and they are not pretty.  I wish him a speedy recovery. 

But you didn't hear any of this stuff from me.  No.  Not at all.

See you tomorrow.


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