You’ve heard him on 630 CHED since the early ’70s. You’ve watched his editorials on Global Television for several years. He’s the man that is held up as the gold standard in news/journalism in our city and I don’t believe there’s an award in the business that he HASN’T won. I’m talking about Bob Layton, now in his mid 70s and nearing his fifth decade in media.
Bob has just released a new book that covers his history in broadcasting and focusing on the heyday of Top 40 630 CHED chronicling many great stories on the legends that walked the halls of the station.
It’s called Welcome to Radio – My Life in Broadcasting, So Far… and it’s a wonderful read, especially for me, as it talks about my father, the late Jerry Forbes who was the general manager of 630 CHED for 28 years. As Bob explains,
For years when I told listeners about the wild things that go on behind the scenes in radio, they said, ‘Write a book!’ so here it is.”Inside are stories you’ve not heard about highly creative people encouraged to go all out in every direction—to entertain an audience and keep life interesting for their co-workers and bosses:
- Imagine coming to work and finding an office missing.
- How about filling someone’s convertible with puffed wheat, just because you can?
- How did Jerry Forbes and Keith James Sr. guide a team like Bob McCord, Wes Montgomery, Chuck Chandler and the rest to build such a successful station?
- How did I fit in?
- Why did a police officer enter the 630 CHED newsroom, pistol at the ready?
- Why was I banned in Barrhead?
- What’s a Little Tiny Ugly?
- Why did one news announcer sound like she was having a passionate personal experience on-air?
- Want to know what it was truly like covering the Mayerthorpe tragedy?
The puffed wheat story alone is a classic as Dad and a bunch of CHED folks and friends of the station filled Dr. Larry Stern’s Olds convertible with the breakfast cereal as a practical joke. The book is filled with great memories of 630 CHED that was the “biggest radio station west of Toronto” (quote from CHUM owner Allan Waters) throughout the Top 40 era.
I asked Bob about the sub-title, “so far” and asked how long he planned on staying in broadcasting. His answer was “as long as the numbers hold up” so knowing how strong the Bruce Bowie morning show is with Bob, Bryan Hall and the rest of the support crew, I’m guessing you’ll be hearing him for many years to come.
If you can handle stories about people on the air that will make you laugh, shake your head, or cry, then this book is for you.
The cost: “$20 for charity. I am taking nothing. It’s my turn to give back.”
Bob is selling these books by offering to speak to organizations at no charge, with 30 or so minutes of hilarious stories. He just appeared at the Edmonton Broadcasters Club Spring luncheon and the talk was applauded by one and all.
He is a huge community activist and it’s no surprise to me to note that proceeds from the book will be used to benefit 630 CHED Santas Anonymous, Global Edmonton’s Give Me Shelter, and the Edmonton Police Foundation.
Welcome to Radio can also be downloaded from www.amazon.ca and if you are interested in an evening of light entertainment with the opportunity to help those in need, please contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch Bob Layton in action at:
About Marty Forbes, the author of this post
I’ve spent my entire life in media – with over 46 years as Program Director or VP/GM of top radio stations in Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary. Currently I’m ‘semi retired’ and operate a consulting company called RADIOWISE INC. I also write twice a month for the Edmonton Sun on PAGE 6 and do a great deal of work in public service including Jerry Forbes Centre; the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree; Make A Wish Northern Alberta and Santas Anonymous. I was proudly awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for Community service and a Winner in the Champions Category for FIERCE Edmonton. I spend a great deal of time down south in Arizona, on two wheels, or ‘travelling the world.’ Father of a couple of great daughters – Lauren and Rayanne – Grandfather to Liam – Husband to Kim. Follow me on Twitter @MJFORBES or Instagram mjforbes07
“Life’s more fun on two wheels!”