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PLAYJim Jackson, CKLW Windsor-Detroit, 1971 (30:56)

. . . Five O' Clock at the Big Eight - Four O' Clock in Detroit . . .

[Description by Bill Tash]

It's nearly unbelievable this recording was made over 30 years ago! It's all here — the incredibly clean AM sound of the format influenced by Bill Drake and Gene Chenault, before the Canadian government forced all radio stations under their control to broadcast "Canadian content". This was a Canadian border station that geared all its broadcasts to the Detroit, Michigan audience. Since Detroit was one of the few major cities that refused to go along with the Daylight Savings Time scheme, the CKLW jocks frequently had to announce the time twice.
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Then there's the outstandingly high technical quality of the transmission, which was insisted upon by the owners of the station (CKLW used to "double-roll" everything, to maintain instant backup capability).

The flawless delivery by Jim Jackson creates a question: Whatever happened to Jim Jackson? Jim Jackson worked at CKLW from 1970 to 1972, mostly doing late-evenings. I did find a reference to a "Jim Jackson" who was at WVNA radio in Muscle Shoals (Tuscumbia), Alabama in 1966, but I have been unable to verify if it was the same person.

I am uncertain of the exact record-date of this aircheck, but I would tag it about the last week of May or the first week of June, 1971. I remember there was a nasty afternoon thunderstorm going on in Detroit while I was taping this, and you can even hear what I'm convinced is CK's transmitter tower taking a lightning hit, about 2:41 on this recording. Of course, the CKLW transmitter barely hiccuped.

It was always fascinating to me how a radio station located in Ontario, Canada could consistently beat the local ratings of every radio station in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio! CKLW The Big 8 was the sound of success!


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