Where Detroit Radio Plays On
THE WINNER! SCOTT REGEN CALLS CHRISTINE SCHUMACHER * WKNR * 11/1966
WE TURN THE SPOTLIGHT ON . . .
By DEBBIE TOSOIAN
I’m not going to tell you what she’s like but I’m going to tell you what she did! About a month and a half ago, she entered the WKNR Scott Regen‘s ‘Record A Record With The Supremes’ contest. Well, she won, went to Motown Studios, she recorded, “Mother You, Smother You.” It is a hit now and is it ever great.
If you haven’t heard it yet, tune to WKNR, 1300 on your radio, between 7 and 9 at night. What do you know, we got a star in our school.
THE (WILSON) SPOTLIGHT January 27, 1967
A Word on Christine Schumacher, Wilson Jr. High
By JIM FELICIANO
I was much intrigued when I came across the above (Wilson Junior High School) feature, a Marilyn V. Harris posted (May 15) and shared with the Wilson Jr. High School Group, on Facebook, in which I am currently a member.
I attended Wilson Junior High School, located on Lane Street Southwest Detroit, from 1966 thru 1968 and, I still recall when Christine Schumacher was a student there as well, during the years she attended there.
But it was Christine’s kindest pleasantries, her intelligence, her infectious wit she shared, we still remember. Not shy at all for conversation, it was her smile which ultimately captured the hearts of many of students and that of the entire Wilson faculty when she was there.
Having seen her untold numerous times and at many different school functions and occasions during those years, this article personally rekindled this certain memory of Christine Schumacher, while I was at Wilson in 1967. Christine was a blind student who commuted to Wilson from her home in NW Detroit, many miles away, to attend our school’s specialized classes for students with special needs, when this ‘Spotlight’ issue went to print at the time.
But I still remember the excitement felt throughout the entire school, congratulatory words expressed, conveyed to her by students and teachers alike, when word spread Christine Schumacher, a 13 year-old Wilson student — one of us mind you — became the winner of the ‘Record A Record With The Supremes‘ contest with Motown Records. It was a contest WKNR and Keener 13 deejay Scott Regen sponsored exclusively during his nightly shows hours (7-10 PM), November of 1966.
In recent days it was confirmed by a gentleman in the Wilson group, while her address is unknown, Christine Schumacher is alive and well (at 62-years of age) living in the city of Dearborn today. It was said also she became a school teacher, having worked with impaired students in the years having passed since.
In view of the recent Wilson Junior High School thread regarding Christine Schumacher on Facebook (May 15), and, as a member of the Wilson group as well, I posted my response to the group, there, on June 5:
“To all my Wilson Junior High Facebook friends, here — I will have something special on Christine Schumacher, Scott Regen, WKNR featured on my website, soon, on Motor City Radio Flashbacks. It’s all related to the WKNR “Record A Record With The Supremes,” a contest the station held which she won in November, 1966 on the Scott Regen Show on Keener 13!”
To my former Woodrow Wilson Junior High School alumnus, here it is.
Today, enjoy these special Christine Schumacher memories, her Scottie Regen ‘Motown’ moment we heard on “Keener 13″ as students attending Wilson Jr. High — with Christine — in Southwest Detroit a long time ago, 1966.
Photo credit: The above B/W photograph of Christine Schumacher is courtesy of Steve Schram and Scott Westerman, Keener 13.com. Used by permission. Thank you, Scott and Steve!
MCRFB Note: Above Christine Schumacher photos were re-imaged by mcrfb.com.
Photo credit: Wilson Jr. High, below: Susan Ellis Miles).
FOUR GENTS * Soul Sister * (WKNR) HBR Records (1966)
SCOTTIE’S RECORD DEDICATION TO CHRISTINE SCHUMACHER . . . JUST FOR FUN!
“Soul Sister,” by the Four Gents, was the record Scottie Regen dedicated to Christine Schumacher, after calling her live on his show informing her she was the winner of his WKNR ‘Record A Record With The Supremes’ contest in November, 1966.
MEMORIES OF THE BIG 8 — Big Jim Edwards — PART 3
DEMISE OF A GIANT: “ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END”
By JIM DAVIS
(MCRFB Note: Before you start — did you miss PART 2? Please go here) –
I was anchoring AM drive. In the fall of 1969, Pulse was released. Morning Drive scored a 23.0 share of the 12+ audience beating the incumbent J.P. McCarthy on WJR. Despite the differences between Arbitron and Pulse, the audience share has never been duplicated. Of course, now there are far more competing stations and, music listenership is way more fragmented than in the Top 40 days when all Americans were beating on the same drum. None the less, those stripes have given me “bragging rights” for 40+ years.
All good things must come to an end —
Strike One: RKO General had purchased Western Ontario Broadcasters (CKLW AM/FM/TV) in 1956. After the Canadian Radio Television Committee (CRTC) tightened rules on foreign ownership of radio and TV stations allowing no more than 20% foreign ownership, RKO General was forced to sell off the Windsor group in 1970. CKLW-AM-FM and TV had their licenses renewed only until September 1, 1970.
They had until that time to conform to the new rules as their petition for exemption from the foreign ownership rules was denied. CKLW was sold to Baton Broadcasting in a “fire sale” that brought only $3M for the highly successful station. The end was near.
Paul Drew left for San Francisco as Ted Atkins moved on to KHJ in LA. Frank Brodie (Marshall) was named PD. Those of us who had spent considerable time with the company were given options to join other RKO stations. I was offered a transfer to 6-9M at WOR-FM in New York City. This had particular appeal since my parents lived in Manhattan. My last day at CKLW was June 21st, 1970.
The Big 8 was the 7th most listened to radio station in North America, according to the U.S. Arbitron ratings service. Almost two and a half million persons tuned to CKLW every week. This was the largest audience in the station’s history (to date).
Strike Two: But the CRTC was not through with it’s “chopping block” for the Big 8. The Board of Broadcast Governors was a Canadian arms-length government agency created in 1958 to regulate television and radio broadcasting. The BBG had “funny” rules (to us Americans) like no requirement for a “legal ID.” The top of the hour Johnny Mann acapella jingle sang “CKLW – The Motor City.” However, the BBG was replaced by the much stricter Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1968.
The CRTC made it clear that they did not like that CKLW focused on an American audience. Following an extensive public hearing process organized by the CRTC, the Canadian Content rule (Can Con) was adopted in 1971, “to define and identify Canadian content in pieces of music for the purposes of increasing exposure of Canadian music on Canadian radio through content regulations governing a percentage (25%) of airplay to be devoted to Canadian music.”
The Big 8 utilized every trick in the book to get around the rules; they, edited down the Canadian pieces to 1 minute or less in length, they looked for “relatives” of popular groups or mixing engineers who may have had Canadian roots. But, ultimately, there was only so much of Anne Murray, Gordon Lightfoot and The Guess Who that American audiences were willing to tolerate. The ratings plummeted.
Strike Three: RKO was recognized as the owner of some of the most influential radio stations in the world. RKO General also became known for the longest licensing dispute in broadcasting history. The troubles started in the mid 60’s in Los Angeles when a competing applicant for KHJ Television accused General Tire of conditioning its dealings with certain vendors on the basis that they would in turn buy advertising time on RKO General Stations. Arrangements of this type, known as “reciprocal trade practices,” are considered to be anticompetitive.
The Commission gave RKO a conditional renewal of its TV licenses in LA and Boston. Then, in 1977, General Tire admitted to an eye-popping litany of corporate misconduct, including bribery of foreign officials and having a political slush fund. Since convicted felons cannot be licensees, in February 1983, the FCC began a concerted effort to force RKO out of broadcasting once and for all. Ultimately, by 1991, RKO General was out of the entertainment business. It was game over for the largest independent broadcast chain in America.
However, I think a saying I’ve quoted for years is appropriate: “God gives us memory so that we can smell the roses in December.” – Jim Davis
P.S. Jim, thanks for your website and your personal contributions for helping to keep the Detroit radio memories alive. (J.D.)
A MCRFB Note: Jim Edwards, CKLW
Motor City Radio Flashbacks recently heard from Jim Davis (July 9, 2015), the former Big 8 jock formerly known as ‘Big Jim’ Edwards on CKLW. A special ‘THANK YOU’ goes out to Jim Davis for sharing his Big 8 recollections with us — today — exclusively here on MCRFB.COM. This is the THIRD and is the LAST installment of a three part CKLW series, as authored, by Jim Davis.
Missed Part 2? It’s over HERE.
Jim Davis, thanks again for sharing your CKLW memories, exclusively here, only on Motor City Radio Flashbacks.
I WANNA TESTIFY * The Parliaments * WKNR (No. 01) 07/24/67
WORDS * The Monkees * WKNR (No. 02) 07/24/67
SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL * The Soul Brothers Six * WKNR (No. 06) 07/24/67
I’M SO GLAD * The Scott Richard Case * WKNR (No. 09) 07/24/67
THE RIVER IS WIDE * The Forum * WKNR (No. 10) 07/24/67
OUT AND ABOUT * Boyce & Hart * WKNR (No. 15) 07/24/67
HARLEM SHUFFLE * The Fabulous Pack * WKNR (No. 21) 07/24/67
A MCRFB VIEWING TIP: To fully appreciate this WKNR July 24, 1967 chart feature click on image 2x and open to second window. Click image anytime to return to NORMAL image size.
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MCRFB has every song selection on this WKNR playlist archived in it’s music library. All SEVEN featured song titles randomly were selected for your listening enjoyment here.