CFUN Studios by Brian Croft


The C-FUN studios on West Fourth Avenue.  Painting by Brian Croft.
Click here or on the image for more details on Brian's web page.

"Unlike regimented radio today, we didn't 'think tank' or sit around with department heads, or hire a consultant…the listener phone line was our consultant. Our 'format' was very loose, in fact just about non-existent! If it worked, we kept doing it!"
-Dave McCormick

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Image credit:
"The C-FUN Studios on
West 4th Avenue".
Painting by Brian Croft

In the early Fall of 1959 at Vancouver radio station CFUN, a young disc-jockey named Dave McCormick, introduced and hosted a weekday afternoon program of popular tunes called the "House of Hits". Additionally Dave hosted the Vancouver chapter of the nightly "Hi-Fi Club" sponsored by Coca-Cola. Dave also began producing his own weekly surveys, reportedly using the one-finger method on his home typewriter. The survey was called the "HI-FI FORTY". For the first few weeks the surveys were not publicly distributed, but soon a limited number were printed out on a Ditto copier, typos and all, and with Dave's hand-drawn C-FUN logo at the top. They were then issued to a limited number of Vancouver record stores.

By the the summer of 1960 CFUN had morphed into a 24-hour Pop/Rock 'N' Roll station. The first "official" C-FUN survey labeled number 1, was issued for the week of March 19, 1960. Like the earlier homemade McCormick surveys it still carried the name "HI-FI FORTY" although the surveys, which were now more professional in appearance, usually listed at least fifty, sometimes 60 songs. By mid-summer the station settled in on the name "FUNTASTIC FIFTY" (or C-FUNTASTIC FIFTY). It would remain as such for many years. CFUN, largely due to McCormick's efforts, had established itself as Vancouver's new hit parade station and in addition to Dave, gave us the radio personalities, known then as the "Swingin' Men At 1410", which included Al Jordan, Brian Lord, Frosty Forst, and Jerry Landa. On Sunday evenings Andy Laughland (pronounced LOCK-lund) would host "Comedy Night", the only time during the week that CFUN deviated from the hit parade format.

In early 1962, as competitor CKWX began phasing itself out of the "Top Forty" format, over at C-FUN Dave McCormick was preparing to leave the station for a position in Fresno, California. (Brian Lord had departed only a few months earlier, also for California.) Red Robinson left WX and moved to C-FUN that April, filling Dave's spot as Program Director. Red didn't actually move into Dave's time slot, but rather the evening slot occupied by George Morris (aka the Late Daddy 'G'), who also left the station around this time.

With Red and other new personalities coming aboard, by this time nicknamed the "Good Guys", C-FUN solidified its position for the next few years as Vancouver's Rock 'N' Roll/Pop music station. The new DJs would include, over a period of time, Buzz Leboe, Ronn "The Beard" Grimster, Tom Peacock, Fred Latremouille, Mad Mel, "Jolly" John Tanner, and Daryl 'B'.

Rival station CKLG entered the "Top Forty" format in August 1964. The two stations vied for top spot in the Rock/Pop format for several years during which time personalities moved back and forth between the two stations, although mostly from the former to the latter. Eventually CKLG gained supremacy.

Red Robinson left C-FUN in 1967 and returned to CJOR.  CFUN's last survey, by this time called the "FUN FORTY", was issued in September 1967. The station switched to easy listening music and soon began introducing "Talk" shows. Then it went to an all-news format, first under the CFUN banner, but later changed its call letters to CKVN.  In turn, when the news format failed after only a few years, CKVN went back to the Top Forty format.  In late 1972 Toronto's CHUM purchased CKVN and had the old CFUN call letters reinstated.

Jim Bower