Saturday, April 30, 2016

Post 3252 - Happy Birthday to Brian Phillips


I had a quiet day. Or, at least, it was a quiet day after we got back from Costco. My goodness, that place is crowded on a Saturday morning. We were so tired after that trip that we needed a nap when we got back here.

Tonight, I showered and shaved again. I decided to put in a fresh razor blade in my safety razor. I still got a really good shave tonight, but thought that two months of yeoman effort was enough. I will see if the new blade gives me an even closer shave, the next time I choose to shave, probably Monday night.

Today is tax day in Canada. Well, because it fell on a Saturday, it's been postponed until Monday, May 2nd. I actually owe a few dollars this year, so I am not going to pay it until Monday. I can pay via the internet this year, so I am hoping that, even though they won't get the $ for a day or two, they will see that it was "sent" on May 2nd, thereby not dinging me for interest.

Today is also legendary broadcaster Brian Phillips' birthday. There was a big party for him at the Lion's Head Tavern on Young Street tonight. If I had known about it, and perceived I was welcome, I might have gone to the party, as Wayne Harrett did. Deb Smith and Paula Breckon both drove down from New Brunswick for the event, not a short drive, so that is a measure of their respect for Philly.

I started listening to Brian Phillips around 1978. I hated listening to the Valley radio, so I started moving down the dial, alighting on 920 CJCH. I knew about Brian Phillips because he was the host of the Atlantic Lottery live broadcast on Wednesday nights. I later realized that it was the same guy who was the radio host in Halifax and wondered how he could physically do two jobs like that, especially since one of them was in Moncton.

Brian's show was just risqué enough to keep me coming back, day after day. Before long, I realized that this Dave Wright guy was the host of a call-in show, and on my sick days at school, I tried to listen in. (One time, in the late summer of 1980, Richard Sanders of WKRP in Cincinnati fame, was in Halifax for some reason and was interviewed by Dave Wright on the Hotline. He invited people to write him, so I did, and I still have the letter Sanders sent me.) I was in high school during that period, junior high school to be exact. Listening to the radio was about the only form of entertainment I could afford, and got me through more than a few hard times. I have not been grateful enough to the radio jocks and the stations that got me through that time in my life, So, thank you, Brian.

I finished high school, and went to Acadia University for my degree. The car I drove only had an AM radio in it, so I listened to CJCH as much as I possibly could. I remember sitting in my car more than a few times, listening to CJ, while I was studying. I never said I wasn't weird.

I moved to Halifax in 1988 and began what I laughingly refer to as my career in my chosen industry. I got my first job, and I still remember listening to CJ one morning when Brian asked listeners to call in and win some prize or other, as long as the listener's name was Beverly. Shaving cream on my face, I dove for the phone and frantically stabbed the buttons. I couldn't get through. Not until later did I realize that Brian likely would not have believed that Beverly was my actual name. It's just as well.

I stuck with CJCH, and Brian, through thick and thin. I did not move over to SUN FM when he did, though. Sorry about that, sir. I was addicted to the news talk format at CJCH back then, and I still wish that News 95.7 would drop all that dumb ass sports content and have more talk shows about more topics. But I digress.

After Labour Day in 2002, and until December of 2007, Brian was back where he belong, at CJCH, and I was there every day. The music format at CJ was agreeable to me, Brian was in top form, and things were good. Then, of course, in May of 2008, CJCH jumped over to FM and became The Bounce. Brian's not had a regular radio gig since then, and we're all the poorer for it.

I wish we lived in a society that valued the contributions of older folks more. It is all about the youth market, and because of it, there is not much place for older radio broadcasters like Brian any more. Don Connolly keeps hanging on, but I think that CBC's listeners would revolt if he retired on anything other than his own terms. Rick Howe is past 60 and will likely call it a day in a few years, if not sooner. Some broadcasters are past 50, but not many. Most of them are much, much younger.

I still hear Brian doing some commercials, though. When there is something going at the former Exhibition Park, or the Forum, he's there telling me about it.

Happy birthday, Brian Phillips. May you have many more, sir.

See you tomorrow.



Wayne Harrett said...

Hi Bev.....for the record, I just didn't showed up at the gathering...I was kindly invited, which I'm very grateful for! Cheers!

Jon Archibald said...

I recall Brian Phillips from my first couple years in uni in Halifax, in the early eighties. He was the morning man at a time of AM top 40 pop and rock format, which I miss.
I too grew up with AVR, Hal Sprall, Jordie Morgan (who did a decent fri evening top hits show) and all, being from Kingston and Berwick as I was. If not CJCH or CFBC there was WPTR in Albany which came in great most evenings thanks to AM skip phenomenon or something.
Nice post, Bev.
Jon Archibald