Series: The Radio – 560 CFOS AM

And here we are at the final day of my little survey of 5 local radio stations.

I was saying earlier that I may have saved the toughest one for last – 560 CFOS AM (The Oldies You Want, The Information You Need). Why would this be the toughest? It’s an oldies station. It’ll either be the greatest nostalgia trip ever, for me, it could make me indifferent, or it’ll just make me cringe. Tough? Um, yes? Haha I guess we’ll find out.

I remember the old CFOS building, a little brick thing up on the highway. When we were kids and we came up here to visit my grandparents, I remember seeing that building and thinking it was really cool. It was nestled just a bit back from the road and, back then, they still maintained the grounds. It just looked like a cool place to have a radio station, and I liked the idea of that little building being able to broadcast. I’m sure I imagined them communicating with the whole country, the world, and probably aliens from outer space. Ah, kids.

I also remember an old joke, where locals used to say CFOS stood for Can’t Find Owen Sound. Maybe they still do, but I haven’t heard it in the 9 years we’ve lived here.

Anyway, that building is still there, but it’s just sitting there unused now. It’ll probably sit in disrepair until it reaches some certain age and then becomes a heritage site and then it’ll get all fixed up and maybe turned into a local radio museum. At least, that would be something I would do for it. Which may sound weird coming from a guy who can’t stand the radio, but that sort of history is important to the area. C’mon Grey Roots Museum, buy the thing!

[It should be noted here that I don’t know who owns the thing right now, maybe the museum already does].

I worked at a plumbing and electrical supply place, here in town, for a while. They always had this station on. Why this one over any of the others was never explained to me. Anyway, they have this thing called Dial-A-Deal, a phone-in show that turns the whole listening area into a big yard sale. Wanna sell your tchotchke? Call in, leave your number, and just about anyone can call you to buy it! And come to your house to get it! Gah. This is both the greatest and scariest thing ever. I mean, if you need snow tires (and don’t wanna go to one of the million places around here that sell tires) and prefer to buy used tires from someone off the street you’ve never met, you could probably get what you need. But there’s a whole lotta crap on here too. Real crap. It’s actually pretty spectacular. Never know what you’ll hear on Dial-A-Deal.

It’s 11 am, 16C (high of 20C expected), mostly cloudy with winds at WNW 15 km/h. The forecast is for a mix of sun and cloud (with the UV index at 7 or higher). It’s marginally interesting how all these different stations (some even owned by the same company) display different weather information on their main pages. This one, for example, is the only one I noticed to show the UV index.

Alright, here we go:

Manny Paifa is the DJ
news and sports
poll question
commercial (1: home hardware)

station id – now the DJ is announced as Robin Woods
Peter, Paul & Mary – I Dig Rock And Roll Music

station id
Jackson Browne – Tender Is The Night*

* somebody must’ve leaned on a switch – mid-song it faded out briefly and then came back up. Weird.

blather – apparently today is Chauvin Day (Chauvinism)
commercials (3: cars, dairy queen ice cream, home hardware)

station id
Zappacosta – When I Fall In Love Again

station id
Cat Stevens – Another Saturday Night (cover of Sam Cooke)

commercials (3: grey highlands tourism, home renos, beach boys tribute)
weather again

station id
Les Emmerson – Control Of Me
Roy Orbison – Crying

station id
Ian Thomas – Pilot

commercials (3: cars, paint store, chi cheemaun tours)
weather again

station id
Jackie DeShannon – Put A Little Love In Your Heart

station id
John Mellencamp – Ain’t Even Done With The Night**

commercials (4: salvation army god minute, volunteer appreciation bbq, cars, dial-a-deal)

station id
Nicolette Larson – Lotta Love***

station id
Paul Simon – Slip Sliding Away

commercials (1: cemetery decoration day service)
community funeral announcements
station id

And that’s the hour.

It’s now 12pm, time for news. It’s still 16C, with winds W 17 gust at 30 km/h. The UV index is still 7. Forcast is still a mix of sun and cloud becoming mainly sunny.

Here’s what we got:

8 times the DJs talked (9, if you count funeral guy)
11 station IDs
3 weather reports
1 poll question
1 funeral announcement spot
14 commercials
11 songs played

Dial-A-Deal was not in this hour. Bummer. I would have liked to have shared with you the items up for grabs.

In Sum:

When I think of oldies, I guess my age betrays me and I think of songs from the 50s and 60s, not so much from the 70s and 80s. We got a bit of a mix of most of it, here, and a really Lite, doctor’s office waiting room feel to it, too. I loved the Roy Orbison, but that’s a natural.

I don’t know exactly what was up with it – maybe just the online stream, maybe an issue at the station itself – but the volume of the broadcast was WILDLY varied. I never adjusted the volume on my iMac but for this hour sometimes I strained to hear it, sometimes it was normal, and sometimes it blew me backwards at full volume. One time (as noted) the sound even cut right out for a few seconds. Weird. This was the only station all week to do this. My internet connection has otherwise been fine all morning.

** In his 1977 song Burma Shave (from Foreign Affairs), Tom Waits included the lyrics “some nights my heart pounds just like thunder/I don’t know why it don’t explode”. Cool line. Of course. It’s Tom Waits. Now, on his 1980 song Ain’t Even Done With the Night (from Nothing Matters And What If It Did), which was played in this hour on CFOS, John Mellencamp included the opening lines “Well our hearts beat like thunder/I don’t know why they don’t explode.” I hope Johnny C gave credit where credit is due.

*** From Wiki: “However Larson’s recollection was that the suggestion she record “Lotta Love” originated with Neil Young with whom she had formed a personal relationship while backing him vocally on American Stars ‘n Bars: Larson – “I got that song off a tape I found lying on the floor of Neil’s car. I popped it in the tape player and commented on what a great song it was. Neil said: ‘You want it? It’s yours.'” Neil Young did in fact cut a version of “Lotta Love” himself for his Comes a Time album. Larson provided background vocals for the album but did not sing on its “Lotta Love” track, a spare version which emphasized the song’s melancholy.”

And now you know all of THAT.

Anyway. I doubt I’d tune into CFOS very often, unless I wanted bath water music to play in the background at some event I am unlikely to ever hold. But if I’m ever in the mood to buy tchotchkes, Dial-A-Deal is my go-to resource, for sure.


Posted on August 15, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Oh man. After the 4 Play was cancelled, Craig had a thing called “Tradio”. Buy and sell yard sale like you said. People selling tires and junk. It tanked…it was awful and I still bug him about it when I can.

    Seems my definition of oldies differs greatly from this station!


    • Well, at least he tried. But it’s just like yard sales. Let’s be honest: most yard sales should just arrange for a truck to take their crap to a landfill instead of wasting their time lugging it all out into the driveway and hoping someone will buy it.

      Yeah, this hour wasn’t exactly oldies as I’d imagine it either. Their web site doesn’t seem to list songs played, over the morning (at least, not that I could find) so I have no way of knowing if maybe they play more of the stuff we’re thinking of at other times.


  2. High here is 28…little cloudy/little muggy…..
    Zappacosta…??? Wow man he opened for Honeymoon Suite yrs ago(can’t give away too much info) I think that’s the last I heard of him….hahaha…..


  3. ZAPPACOSTA!! My guilty 80s pleasure. “We Should be Looooveeeerrrs” and “When I Fall In Love Agaiiiinnn” are on my iPod haha.


  4. Oldies 560! Wow. Blast from the past! When I was a kid my parents would tune into 560 on particularly snowy mornings to listen for school bus cancellations. (Dial-a-Deal…too funny!)


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