Lo­cal son kee­ping dad’s ra­dio le­ga­cy alive

Paul Reid Ch­rist­mas Show most re­ques­ted

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Mike Reid re­mem­bers well how his fa­ther, Paul Reid, would pre­pare each year to re­cord his fa­mous Ch­rist­mas Show.

It was an an­nual thing and he usual­ly star­ted to wor­ry about it in Oc­to­ber,” Mike Reid, a Saint-La­zare re­sident, re­cal­led.

At the peak of his ca­reer the ra­dio an­noun­cer with the deep, smooth voice was fea­tu­red in Time ma­ga­zine, did voice work on se­ve­ral Na­tio­nal Film Board of Ca­na­da do­cu­men­ta­ries, was as­ked to be the main voice for a Ca­li­for­nia ba­sed do­cu­men­ta­ry house (which he de­cli­ned), and was in demand in se­ve­ral mar­kets. He in­tro­du­ced an ear­ly ver­sion of the ico­nic Ch­rist­mas Show while wor­king as an an­noun­cer for CHML ra­dio« in Ha­mil­ton, On­ta­rio, where he’d crea­ted a niche rea­ding poe­try on the air as part of his show, Night­cap.

In 1964 Reid was en­ti­ced to move his fa­mi­ly to Mon­treal and CJAD, one of the top three AM sta­tions at the time.

His show, Paul Reid’s Won­der­ful World of Mu­sic, be­came a ra­tings suc­cess and lis­te­ners fur­ther em­bra­ced Reid when he played the Beatles song, Mi­chelle, ten times in a row to ce­le­brate the birth of his daugh­ter of the same name.

It was al­so in Mon­treal that Reid’s Ch­rist­mas Show was per­fec­ted. “He usual­ly did a live three-hour show on Dec. 1 that was re­cor­ded,” Mike Reid said, and while the show in­clu­ded a few pre­re­cor­ded pieces to give his dad a break, most of it was live.

The show fea­tures Reid’s smooth, mea­su­red voice rea­ding clas­sic sto­ries such as the ori­gins of Silent Night, or Charles Taz­well’s chil­dren’s sto­ry, The Lit­tlest An­gel.

“It’s ti­me­less sto­ries well told,” Reid said of the show. “It crosses all ra­cial and re­li­gious back­grounds be­cause eve­ry religion has the same ba­sis: be good to each other.”

Reid says the no­to­rious­ly cut­throat ra­dio bu­si­ness took a toll on his dad, who mo­ved back to Ha­mil­ton, Ont., for a time amid crea­tive dif­fe­rences with his CJAD boss. Reid even­tual­ly came back to Mon­treal, though poor health dog­ged him and wea­ke­ned his ico­nic voice. Reid pas­sed away in Ja­nua­ry 1983.

Le­ga­cy lives on

Mike Reid, who owns the rights to all of his fa­ther’s works, says his mo­ther pro­ba­bly left them to him be­cause he was the best sui­ted to pre­serve them.

Fol­lo­wing in his dad’s foots­teps to some de­gree, Reid, who owns his own West Is­land Au­dio Vi­deo stu­dio, does a month­ly stint on CJAD A.M. ra­dio where he ela­bo­rates on emer­ging tech­no­lo­gies.

He has pains­ta­kin­gly re­mas­te­red hun­dreds of hours of his fa­ther’s work, rai­sing more than $40,000 for chil­dren’s cha­ri­ties through their sales during the past 13 years.

He al­so ma­nages a web­site de­di­ca­ted to Paul Reid’s work where samples of the re­cor­ded ver­sions of the fa­mous show can be heard or pur­cha­sed. And though the au­dience that once em­bra­ced the smooth voi­ced an­noun­cer is aging, Reid says the ti­me­less­ness of his Ch­rist­mas show will ne­ver go out of style. “The show is still the most re­ques­ted one for the sta­tion so that says so­me­thing, and for us his show will al­ways be the best part of Ch­rist­mas.”

The CJAD Paul Reid Ch­rist­mas Show will air this Sa­tur­day, Dec. 21, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., Dec. 24 from 9 p.m. to mid­night, and Dec. 25 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. To learn more, go to www.paul­reid­christ­mas.com, or contact Mike Reid at 514 782-3000.

The Reid fa­mi­ly get­ting

rea­dy for Ch­rist­mas.

COUR­TE­SY OF MIKE REID PHO­TOS

Paul Reid in a 1967 CJAD pu­bli­ci­ty pho­to ta­ken on the roof­top of the Moun­tain St. stu­dios.

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