Wednesday, December 02, 2009

vintage monthly detroit ad of the day

Vintage Ad #666: 1978 International Walk for Mankind (Sponsored by CKLW) - resized

While Project Concern is still functioning, it should also be noted that none of the chains thanked at the bottom of the ad currently operate in the Detroit area:

I have no idea what Quick-Pik was.

***

The July 1978 issue of Monthly Detroit reported on the “un-Americanization of CKLW,” as the "Big 8" was rebuked by the CRTC for not making enough of an effort to provide the proper amount of Canadian content to Windsorites. According to writer Judy Gerstel, “you have to understand right from the beginning when you’re talking about CKLW that it is a Windsor radio station licensed by the Canadian government and in Canada success, if not exactly illegal, is at least undesirable.” During the station’s license renewal, the CRTC expected the station “to develop plans to contribute more effectively and significantly to the development of local and regional creative musical talent.” Station manager (and American) Herb McCord indicated the station was making arrangements with the Pine Knob music venue to broadcast Canadian bands in concert. CKLW also considered building a recording studio in Windsor, though recent changes in immigration laws that made it more difficult for musicians to cross the border threatened to scuttle that idea—besides, McCord sounded unsure if the studio would “make twelve superstars from Chatham, Ontario.” He also felt that the CanCon regulations had helped destroy the careers of some Canadian acts, as the station felt obligated to play crap to meet their quota.
Everybody makes bad records, but if Rod Stewart makes a bad record, it never gets played [Ed note: oh really…]. You play three other cuts on the album. As a result the average youngster grows up thinking Rod Stewart only makes hits. But the Canadian content law has assured that Canadian non-hits will be played, again and again. CKLW has damaged the careers of certain Canadian acts, there’s no question about it.
One may quibble with McCord’s next statement: “There has not been a major new artist, with the possible exception of Dan Hill, to emerge in Canada within the last 8 years.”

Ouch.

The station, which was one of the most influential top 40 stations on both sides of the border during the 1960s and 1970s, continued to battle with the CRTC over the next decade. Staffers felt the regulator had it in for CKLW because the station refused to kowtow to its demands and because officials failed to grasp the role the station played in the Detroit market. As Michael McNamara, whose documentary Radio Revolution: The Rise and Fall of the Big 8 covered the station’s glory days, noted in an interview with The Walrus, “CKLW was in a blue-collar city and it reflected rock ‘n’ roll. It was loud, brash, working class. The men and women running the CRTC were upper-middle-class central Canadians, many of them from Quebec. None understood, let alone liked, commercial pop radio.” CRTC brass felt the station focused too much on the American market (it was claimed at one point its signal could be heard in 23 states) and needed to repatriate itself. Other regulatory prejudices, such as a preference for keeping top 40 formats on AM, scuttled several proposed format changes on both bands for CKLW.

Source: Monthly Detroit, July 1978 - JB

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