Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mark Dailey's death and the Big 8

The untimely death of Citytv’s Mark Dailey – the booming voice of Toronto’s great upstart television network – brings to mind an occasion several years ago when Dailey was in Windsor.....Dailey, who hosted the 11 pm Citytv news and also was the well-recognized voice of “Citytv everywhere” died at 57 of kidney cancer which had spread to his lungs.....Dailey has a strong connection to Windsor-Detroit. That’s because he used to be a reporter with CKLW radio in the heyday of the famous Big 8 and its more infamous 20/20 news. For those who don’t know – and I can only commiserate in your loss – 20/20 News was like nothing else you have ever heard on radio or may ever hear. It was tabloid journalism in highly-charged few-second bites, rapid-fire reporting and announcing, much of it about the gory crime that rocked the streets of the Motor City then as now.....Dailey covered those stories for the station in the early 1970s before moving up the highway to CHUM in Toronto and later to Citytv.....Dailey, a native of Youngstown Ohio, returned to Windsor in 2004 for the premiere of a documentary that captured CKLW back in its day, Michael McNamara’s Radio Revolution: The Rise and Fall of the Big 8 (Markham Street Films). For anyone who grew up in Windsor Detroit during the late Sixties and early Seventies CKLW was the station to listen to. At a booming 50,000 watts it could be heard over a large swath of the Midwest and eastern United States. The station famously broke numerous artists’ songs – including those by Elton John, Alice Cooper and Bob Seger - and has been credited by Motown artists as being the “blackest white” radio station ever. But 20/20 News – heard at 20 minutes before and after each hour – was something else. Radio Revolution not only is a terrific return to that era – showing everything from teens cruising Woodward to the 1967 riots – but a “what are they doing now” update with interviews with many of the jocks and newsman, including Dailey, who were household names at the time....So if you haven’t seen it, please do so. Not only is Radio Revolution a great nostalgia piece about the Big 8 but it captures the essence of what it was like growing up in the twin motor cities during that unique period of cultural excitement and turbulence.

No comments:

Post a Comment