Lain's Log

I Hear Voices! - (SIRIUSLY!!)

September 16/11.

In a galaxy, long, long ago, I started to hear voices. (Yep! Out to lunch from Day ONE!) - Radio voices. The first I remember was my DAD's. Rex Loring. I was almost four years old.

This is my Dad, at CHEX in Peterborough, (where my parents first met), around 1948. (cute, eh??) - No WONDER Mum fell for him!
Ai Carumba!

Everyone has told me the famous story, time & time again, about him having a British accent, and then, working hard to LOSE that crisp, upper crust sound, to "Canadianize" his voice so he could get a job as a CBC Toronto radio announcer. He did it and remained there on the air, both radio and TV, for decades. - (FYI - He is now 85, living in Oakville and still has a fabulous speaking voice)!

Here's a sample of my Dad's voice-over narration from old CBC archives.

A shot of Dad with my sister, Carrie, taken on September 3rd.

And another fun one, also from September 3rd, at his grandson, Lee's baseball tournament. High five!!

Yes, Dad left our household when I was just three weeks shy of turning 4, but I still remember that phenomenal voice! Affected me for life.

After he departed, I recall hearing stories about some of his "pals", like,
Lorne Greene (best known as "Ben Cartwright" on TV's Bonanza - 1959-1973),

but also dubbed "The Voice of Canada," after he was assigned as principal newsreader on the CBC National News. Dad often spoke of Lorne, telling me about how he had founded Toronto's Academy of Radio Arts - (originally called the Lorne Greene School of Broadcasting).

I also heard a lot about William Shatner ("Captain Kirk" on Star Trek). Dad knew him well. Bill was trained as a classical Shakespearean actor and performed at the Stratford Festival.

Shatner's voice is legendary. No matter what he does - radio, theatre, TV, film, (or even reciting Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds!) - his speech pattern is so distinctive.

And the late great Leslie Nielsen.

I recall both my parents telling me stories about his incredible talent and fab voice. According to legend, he appeared in almost 50 live programs in 1950 alone!

After my Mum found herself alone, she got a job as a copy writer at CFRB radio in Toronto for 26 years (1960-1986). She worked with so many talented and memorable announcers including Wally Crouter, Gordon Sinclair, Bill Deegan, Earl Warren, Fred Napoli, Phil MacKellar, and on and on. As a kid, I used to drop by the station frequently to see Mum and often met the announcers and newsmen, all with golden voices. The same thing happened when I'd visit Dad at CBC or the good old Celebrity Club and run into the likes of Bruce Marsh (who did all those gooey Kraft commercials!), and became friends with our family for years.

Is it any wonder, I decided I wanted to enter the world of radio myself?
After a year at Seneca College in the radio/TV course, I landed a summer job as a Good News reporter at CFRB and got training from all the experienced news folks there.

What a job that was! (This old ad really makes me laugh and brings back memories of the Good News team!!)

After graduating from Seneca, I found myself hired at age 20 at CFTR radio (now 680 News) as the City Hall reporter. There, I had the chance to work with so many talented young newscasters/reporters including Larry Silver, Ben Steinfeld, Jeff Ansell, Arlene Bynon, Rayfield White, Robert Holiday ("The Chief"), Mike Katrycz, Terry Scott, Mike Robbins, Roger Ward, Marvin Piuti, (aka J. Michael Phillips - be still my heart!), Cory Galbraith, John Wilson, Clint Nickerson, Ted Bird, John Hinnen, Dana Lewis, Randy Stevens, Austin Delaney, Rob Davidson (at 'FI), and countless others. Loved every minute working there with this talented team.

Not to mention all those incredible jocks! - Jim Brady, Bobby Day, Dan Williamson, Bill Hayes, Paul Godfrey, Gerry Forbes, Gary Bell ("The Space Cowboy!"), Mike Marshall, Mike Cooper, Tom Rivers, John "Records" Landecker, Bob Saint - (world's greatest hugger), and George Hamberger (boy, did I ever have a crush on HIM!!) - I thought I'd died and gone to heaven being surrounded by this wide array of fantastic voices. Every day was exciting! I always wanted to sound like Evelyn Macko with her deep, husky tone. Never DID manage it, but I tried!

I ended up marrying a newsman - Sam Bornstein of CKEY. He was the City Hall reporter there and later became Queen's Park Bureau Chief. To this day, he has a great voice!

A few weeks ago, Sam brought home a surprise for me! SIRIUS radio! Hey Now! For years, I used to love to listen to Howard Stern, but when he joined SIRIUS, I couldn't hear him anymore. Now, after five years or so, Howard is back in my life, and boy do I need him!

At a time when I've been through so much heavy emotional upheaval, Howard and his whack pack sure help sweep it away, at least for a while. I adore his voice, but mostly I just like the laughter he brings my way. I listen at home, and often bring the SIRIUS contraption into my car so I can also hear him while driving.

SIRIUS offers The Official Howard Stern channel, as well as the Stern Show West Coast Replay channel. They boast that the Stern show shuffle searches over 25,000 hours of airtime and brings old shows to the audience, randomly. It's amazing the stuff you can hear!

More recently, I became addicted to Newstalk 1010 (CFRB). My faves are Mike Bullard and Jim Richards.

Mike Bullard - Beyond the Mic

Mike has an edge to his voice and he is just so damn funny. His promos say, "All we ask is that you put up with him for an hour!" Wish it could be longer! He's great.

As for Jim,

Jim Richards (1-4 p.m. weekdays) Whether it's "The Showgram", "The Daytime Friendly", "The Feel-Good Edition" "The Three Hours of Love," - I don't care - it's all good!!

there's just something about his voice! It's fast-paced, down-to-earth, hints of sarcasm flying all over the place, so much humour, and when he laughs, wow. But I think I like it best when he sings! (which he does often). SOOOOOOOO funny. And "The Crossover" he does with Bullard every day just can't be beat! Hysterical.

And finally, let's see. Who is my favourite newscaster of all time? That's easy. Dave Agar. (NEWSTALK 1010). From the moment I first heard him on the air in 1975, I knew he was brilliant. Later, I got to work with him when I was a Good News reporter, watch him in action, and for a time, was his girlfriend. (So ya, I guess I'm a little biased), but not really. Not only is he a gifted writer, but his delivery is pure perfection and in my opinion, he can't be matched by anyone. Check him out weekday mornings at 6, 7, 8 and 9. He's won every award imaginable, his voice is smooth, authoritative and infinitely listenable. His colleague, Mike Stafford, wrote of him in 2008, "He's the best guy in this country - with mad skillz!" That is for sure.

It also happens to be his birthday today. Happy Birthday Dave! Hope it's a great year for you. I'll be listening!

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At February 5, 2012 at 5:01 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi hope you are recovering. It was sad to read your web post -- All the best --- You were always very nice as I recall. I would not worry about Ms. Mako├Ęs voice - You had a diverse career -- Gordon Sivell (CFTR) 1981 -

At February 5, 2012 at 12:28 p.m. , Anonymous Elaine Loring said...

Hello Gord!
How great to hear from you! CFTR is right up there when it comes to happy memories for me! LOVED working there, learning so much and meeting so many talented people - including you!

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the discovery of the breast lump. Since then, have survived tests, surgery and radiation. But still more to come. Another MRI a week from today and possibly another biopsy. Am trying to get my weight up, as it's dropped to 93! (I used to be 120!)

At any rate, taking a voice-over class now which has been a blast. Trying to "reinvent myself" a bit! Maybe one of these days, will attempt to get back into some area of the biz.

Take care!

At March 14, 2012 at 10:24 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Elaine: Hope you are ok.
Long time huh?
Rayfield White ( Sanford Ray Rayfield )


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