Stuck In The 60s

- jim Young

“By the way, you can use the radio anytime you want. No extra charge. It works good too. Listen.” - 1050 CHUM

I graduated from Warnica Public School in Painswick in 1965. Or did I just “pass”? Potato, potahto. The point is, I was growing up and heading to high school.

Following the tradition that my paternal Grandfather had started with my older cousins and sisters, he

bought me a Sony Transistor Radio as a graduation gift.

I was first exposed to CHUM Radio, which was broadcasting the latest hits of the day from their studios on Yonge Street in Toronto, on my sisters’ radios. But now I had my very own transistor radio to listen to whenever and wherever I wanted. I felt like I was the coolest teen in the world.

In fact, I felt like I had discovered CHUM Radio.

I remember going to visit my Grandmother who we called Gaga, when she lived on Onslow Crescent in Toronto.

I was totally shocked one day when I walked into Gaga’s kitchen to discover her kitchen radio was tuned to 1050 CHUM. 

CHUM Charts 1963 & 1965
"YOU listen to CHUM?" I asked in disbelief. I thought there was an age requirement for listening to CHUM and had believed that only hip, young teens like myself were allowed to tune into 1050 on the dial.

What was an old fuddy duddy like my Gaga doing listening to the music on CHUM? (editor’s note: I would later discover Gaga never was and never did become an old fuddy duddy.)

"Oh yes," Gaga replied. "Perry loves listening to the music on CHUM and always sings along with it".

Perry?! Even Perry was listening to and enjoying CHUM?

Perry was Gaga's canary. He was named after Perry Como which was the music that I thought was much more age appropriate music for grandmothers to be listening to.

Gaga also told me that she used to call into CHUM Studios in an attempt to win one of the many prizes CHUM used to give away on the radio. Her favourite CHUM disc jockey was Jungle Jay Nelson.

So there we were, a 13 year old and a 60 year old, both enjoying hits like, “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass, “Get Off My Cloud” by the Rolling Stones and “Do You Believe In Magic” by the Lovin’ Spoonful.

My Gaga had pretty good taste which is probably why I was her favourite grandchild.

As I was writing this article I stopped to wonder what kind of music I was listening to when I was 60. That would have been 2013. I just googled the top 10 hits of 2013 and there wasn’t even one song I recognized and only 3 recording artists that I had even heard of.

Nope, when I was 60, I was listening to songs like “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass, “Get Off My Cloud” by the Rolling Stones and “Do You Believe In Magic” by the Lovin’ Spoonful because, unlike My Gaga, I am an old fuddy duddy.

If you gotta be stuck somewhere… the 60s is a pretty good place to be stuck.

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