Local radio legend Cal George dies
Dear Editor: I was surprised to find out recently that Penticton radio legend Cal George passed away this summer. That made me sad.
I didn’t see a big splashy obituary or feature story anywhere in the local media. That made me sadder. So I thought I’d do one myself — a personal tribute.
I was lucky enough to work with Cal through most of the 1980s. His wisdom and advice left a big imprint on me. But let’s step back.
In Penticton in the 60s and 70s we all remember hearing Cal’s big baritone voice on good old CKOK Radio 8. The first time I met “The Silver Fox”, as I called him later in life, was while I was working on a Grade 7 school project at the radio station. He had to be just about the tallest man this 11-year-old had ever seen!
Before coming here in 1967, he was a big deal in Vancouver on CJOR and CKWX in the 40s and 50s. He and his wonderful wife Bernie were the toast of West Coast society. He made his mark mostly as a game show host and emcee. Jim Robson, famous CKNW sportscaster, admitted he lifted his signature “Hello to all the shut-ins” line from Cal back in the day.
Maurice Finnerty convinced Cal to retire in Penticton and eventually he became the morning man on CKOK, a post he would go on to hold for more than 10 years, including all of the 70s. Cal held the record for having the corniest jokes on the planet and reminding us “The Laurie Bower Singers are waiting in the hall to come in and do their next song”.
His morning show included “The March Around The Breakfast Table” and the “Have A Hap-haphappy birthday. May you live to be… a hundred and three!” theme for the birthday show. Cal fell seven years short of that mark. He was 96. He was a great guy. A real gentleman. He will be missed.
Find out more about Cal George’s extraordinary life from these links: http://redrobinson.com/cal-george-signs-off/ https://www.pugetsoundradio.com/2017/09/06/ giant-vancouvers-40-50s-radio-cal-george-died/ Kyle Anderson