The world of broadcasting and entertainment in Canada lost three giants this past week.
Topping the list was Alan Thicke who hailed from Kirkland Lake in northern Ontario. He was only 69, and he died while playing hockey with his son in Los Angeles. It’s difficult to quickly rattle off all of Alan’s achievements, because he did absolutely everything, which is typical of Canadians who have been successful in Tinseltown.
Most notable was his seven year run on a popular sitcom called Growing Pains. Because of that show, Alan Thicke joined the likes of Ozzie Nelson and Robert Young, as a much-loved TV Dad, and what a great legacy.
In east central Saskatchewan, roughly 1300 people live in a great town called Wadena. One of the guys who grew up there and made his living behind a microphone was Bob Washington. He passed away at the age of 82, and he leaves behind a legion of fans and friends.
In addition to working as a DJ and program director in Saskatoon and Winnipeg, ‘Wash’ was the ‘voice of K-Tel’. His voice was heard in a many countries, touting the products of the Kives boys. We’re talking about unforgettable items like the Miracle Brush and the Pattie Stacker, and hundreds of greatest hits collections, for only $4.99 – tape or cassette $6.99.
At CKRC in Winnipeg, which disappeared a long time ago, Bob Washington worked with another guy from Wadena, Borys Peter Kozak. Not far away lived the Wallin family, and their daughter Pam who still sits in the Senate in Ottawa. Must have been something in the water, eh?
From Weyburn, the radio world received another legend named John Badham. He died of cancer at the age of 79. John was a great sports announcer, and he enjoyed the distinction of being the radio voice of the Roughriders from 1959 until 1969. They managed to win their first Grey Cup in 66, thanks to the George and Ronnie show, and John Badham.
Why oh why do so many of the good people leave without saying goodbye in December. It’s just not fair.
I’m Roger Currie
Photo by Mark Sullivan