Wolfman Hurley

Years and years and years ago, I was a fanatical radio listener like most kids.  The two most popular radio stations for us were CKLW and CFTR.  I recall listening to the Wolfman Jack show one night and he encouraged people to call in and leave a message.  It was an 800 number so what the hey.  It would be nice to chat with him.  As you can imagine, he didn’t answer his own phone but an intern did.  The intern took the message and promised to pass it along.  Yeah, right.


Years later, radio has certainly changed.  Most radio for me today comes courtesy of satellite radio or through the Galaxie channels on BellTV.  The quality is certainly so much better and, there are oldies stations that let you listen to the classics of rock and roll from earlier years.

Recently, Stephen Hurley blogged about an article that one of his colleagues had passed along to him.  It was a list of “13 Great Songs Every Canadian Kid Should Know”.  I looked through the list and nodded my head to most of them.  There were a few that I’d never heard of but that’s OK, I guess.  Stephen went on to ask readers what their summer road trip playlist would include.  That’s easy for me – I just leave the radio on the E Street Channel but I was fixated on the original list of 13 songs.  For me, there were so many titles that were missing!

So, I sent in a reply listing 13 more (not necessarily disagreeing with choices like Neil Young’s Heart of Gold) but some of the great songs that I’ve enjoyed.  As it turns out, Stephen read the reply and thought that he would roll it into a #ds106radio playlist.  How cool is that?  I couldn’t see Wolfman Jack letting me make suggestions for a one hour show!  But, Wolfman Hurley was up to the task.  Now, I have most of the songs I suggested on vinyl but I need to refoam my speakers so having it played on a radio show was totally cool.

What was even more impressive was that Stephen and I have only actually met once face to face.  It was at EdCampWR and I managed to con he and Andy Forgrave into doing an impromptu session about #ds106radio.  There was a real passion for the platform that came though in the session so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that he would take this on as a challenge.  I also figured that if he was good enough to put together a show, the least I could do was listen to it.  With my pathetic internet connection, you’ve got to realize what a challenge that was.  In the entire hour, I don’t think I was able to listen to one song in its entirety without buffering.

Plus, what if you gave a party and nobody came?  I just had to listen so that he at least had an audience.  We weren’t alone; @digitalnative dropped by at least on Twitter to find out what was going one!  Twitter was also a wonderful platform.  Stephen and I were able to chat back and forth while the music and buffering was happening.  There’s a lot behind some of these songs.  I shared that there was more to the Maritime Sailor’s Cathedral than just a reference in a Gordon Lightfoot song.  Stephen came back with a wonderful story about a personal connection to the incident.

As I write this post, I think of other great songs that could have made the list.  “Snowbird” from Anne Murray, “Diana” from Paul Anka, Celine Dion, Guy Lombardo, Rush, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Major Hoople’s Boarding House, and so much more.  There’s room for so much more.

In this day and age, what Canadian Kid shouldn’t be aware of The Wilkinson’s “Nobody Died”?

There is so much that could have been included.  Why don’t you drop by Stephen’s blog and add some more?  Maybe we could coax him into a reprise?

The songs I shared were:

  • “Signs” – Five Man Electrical Band
  • “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” – Gordon Lightfoot
  • “Runnin’ Back to Saskatoon” – The Guess Who – what the heck, throw in “American Woman”, “These Eyes”, “No Time”
  • “My Own Way to Rock” – Burton Cummings
  • “Down By the Henry Moore” – Murray McLauchlin
  • “Side of a Bullet” – Nickelback
  • “Honey, I’m Home” – Shania Twain
  • “Hats Off (To the Stranger)” – Lighthouse
  • “Takin’ Care of Business” – Randy Bachman
  • “Rock n’ Roll is a Vicious Game” – April Wine

But for the moment, Wolfman Hurley did a wonderful job on the above.  As he put together the show, he managed to track down some versions of the songs that I’d never heard before it was great.

In conclusion, this could have made the list as easily as any of the above but it seems appropriate to include it here as a way of thanking Stephen for a great internet radio hour.

6 thoughts on “Wolfman Hurley

  1. What a great post! As a radio junkie, and former university radio host, I really related to this (and I ALWAYS want to make my own list – besides, nobody’s got “Barrett’s Privateers” on there yet!). Thanks, Doug and Wolfman Hurley!


  2. Doug, thanks for the shout out in this post. It was great to connect with you on this. I appreciated your comment on my original post, and was thrilled to be able to use your submission to reconnect with #ds106radio!

    The Wolfman reference is cool; I grew up listening to Wolfman Jack in various contexts and I remember when he was brought on to host the Sunday night Oldies program on CHUM AM. Of course, i remember the American Graffitti cameos and his time on T.V’s Midnight Special!

    My condolences on your internet connection…we have to do something about that!!!


  3. I never knew about CHUM until I moved to Toronto. CFTR’s signal would reach Huron County but not CHUM. Once I landed in Toronto, I think it was CHUM-FM exclusively. It’s pretty impressive when you think of the impact that an individual like Wolfman Jack had on the industry and on media. What a unique voice.


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