Thursday, February 14, 2013


A pleasant surprise greeted my ears while waiting for the return ferry to Portugal Cove from Bell Island.

I missed the ferry by three cars and am waiting for the next one. While waiting in my vehicle , I chanced on 93.9 FM – Radio Bell Island.

It brought me back to my early days working in radio in Grand Bank and Marystown. In particular the old format at CHCM that included much more local music.  

 The local talent in this region is incredible. The stories and rich traditions of sailing, fishing, mining are told through music. Songs about the sea, the ferry service and tradional Irish tunes fill the car - making this wait a little more pleasant.

My memories of hosting the Showboat Show and the Sunday request show at CHCM illicit fond emotions.  Fun songs about the Blackbird, smuggling alcohol (alchie) past the RCMP,  Fishing schooners and fooling mainland RCMP officers into believing Moose was not stolen sheep were on heavy rotation.

There were many local songs that told the story of tragedies like the loss of the Marion and the Ocean Ranger, hard work and southwest winds and resettlement.

I would field requests from communities stretching from Placentia down the South Coast as far as Burgeo. The opportunity to hear the beautiful, pristine accents from little isolated outports intrigued me. Long before call display, I was able to tell where some one was calling from the way they pronounced words, dropped letters or added them. I still love the variety of dialects, something that future generations will probably only get to hear at The Rooms.

Thumbs up for 93.9. 

A great community venture.

Thanks for the memories.

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