Monday, March 09, 2020

CKXM 100 and the CBS Radio Mystery Theater

Today it's 100.3 The Bear, but from 1979 to 1988 it was my favourite radio station, CKXM 100. I listened to it in my bedroom on an old, rectangular, wood-panelled radio with analog dials and switches and a glowing green tuner. I liked the station for its selection of light pop; I still remember hearing my favourite Elton John song, "I'm Still Standing," on that radio while tuned to CKXM.

While I liked the music, the real reason CKXM was my favourite was because they broadcast the CBS Radio Mystery Theater, memorably hosted by E.G. Marshall. "Come in...welcome...I'm E.G. Marshall." Much like Rod Serling on The Twilight Zone, Marshall introduced tales of weird, macabre madness with wry, pithy commentary. Perhaps most interesting, CBS Radio Mystery Theater wasn't a rebroadcast relic of the past; it was a new program, broadcast from 1974 to 1982. Because we didn't move to Alberta until 1980, I only had access to the last couple of seasons, but what an impression they left each night as I listened before bed.

CBS Radio Mystery Theater and CKXM led me to discover the pleasures of old-time radio; I sought it out wherever I could find it. Back then, that meant saving my allowance to buy the occasional old-time radio compilation cassettes at one of Leduc's record stores. I still have those cassettes!

Nowadays, old-time radio is available via satellite and on YouTube. It's easier than ever to enjoy the format...the trouble is finding the time. As ever...

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