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RIP September 21, 1928 - May 07, 2009
Al "Pappy" Jordan - CKWX Vancouver 1951; production director CJOR Vancouver to 1954 and host Theme for Teens program CJOR 1953-54; CKOK Penticton 1954-56; helped launch CHBC-TV Kelowna 1957-59; ‘Good Guy’ / morning host C-FUN Vancouver 1960s; production CJOR 1970s; one of Vancouver’s best commercial voices.
1953 There was a radio show for Vancouver teens in 1953 called “Theme for Teens,” an hour-long show on CJOR hosted by Al Jordan. Jordan played the standard hits of the day and invited listeners down to the studio to take part in the show. He also accepted phone calls. I got enough nerve one day to call him and impersonate actor James Stewart. Stewart was in town at the time and I thought it would be great fun to phone Jordan's radio show and spoof him. I must have done a convincing job because Jordan put me on the air and thought I really was James Stewart. I forget how the dialogue went but I do remember it was brief and I hung up quickly. It was a few weeks before I could work up nerve enough to call his program again. This time I called in the voice of actor Peter Lorre. This time it clicked with Jordan that someone was doing impressions and he stopped me midway through my call and asked who I was. I identified myself and he invited me down to the show. Prior to this I had been collecting every magazine available on recording artists and deejays and decided to create an interesting "show business" name for myself. There were two reasons: one, to create a name people would remember and two, to hide my identity from my school pals if and when I ever made it behind a microphone. I chose “Red” Robinson because of my hair—and it's significant that the initials were also the initials of the new music form. I visited the Al Jordan Show after school one day and stayed on to join in the fun each afternoon. I created a daily skit called “Rod Gat,” a parody on the then current Mike Hammer books. The mail this skit drew was unbelievable, and all the while Jordan was taking time to show me the ropes in radio. He eventually allowed me to take over the controls and engineer his program for him. From Red Robinson.(http://www.vancouverhistory.ca/)
1954 Al Jordan was a young broadcaster not much older than Robinson. He allowed Red to write scripts for the show. Jordan called the gangly teenager a “natural”. Rock and Roll had not really arrived yet with teenagers dancing to rhythm and blues at their sock hops. But that was going to change with the “new music” - black based rhythms call rock-a-billy. Al moved on in the summer of ’54 heading to the sunshine of Penticton to work for a new station CKOK owned by Maurice P. Finnerty. Jordan’s replacement was Rod Hume who didn’t last long to the luck of Robinson. Red had just returned from a visit to his pal in the Peach city when Hume failed to show for a shift right after Armistice Day. Waters said: “Well Red, here’s your chance. Show me.” (www.bcradiohistory.com)
1955 “I was visiting Al Jordan in Penticton in the winter of 1955 and your Dad was working there at the time doing morning news. He had a wonderful sense of humor, as I recall.” (Red Robinson talking to Lisa Urist daughter of Bjorn Bjornson)
1956-1959 Unclear as to what Al Jordan was up to but he was young, bright and ambitious. The owners of CKOV and CKOK started CHBC-TV in Kelowna and Al was part of the start-up but it appears his fondness for television waned and he was attracted back to radio in Vancouver.
“Al once told me he was doing TV back east.. I'm sure he said CHCH .in the 50s and got fired by the manager because he refused to date his daughter. But I don't see any reference to him working there. It's a funny story but I didn't think he made it up. He also mentioned he was on CHAN in the early days. I think he said he was doing a game show but wasn't really suited for it.” Jim Bennie, CKWX
1960 By mid-summer the station settled in on the name "C-FUNTASTIC FIFTY". It would remain as such for many years. C-FUN, largely due to Dave McCormick's efforts, had established itself as Vancouver's new hit parade station and gave us the radio personalities, known then as the "Swingin' Men At 1410", which included Al Jordan, Brian Lord, ‘Frosty Forst’, and Jerry Landa. (Top40Radio) 1970’s – 1980’s After life as a morning jock – Al moved into production and voice work – clearly one of Vancouver’s best known voices. He did much national work as well. The date of his exit from radio is unknown. For a man widely known and respected, there is very little information on Al to be found.
Al gone but never forgotten.
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Al Jordan died on 7th May, 2009. .
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