Thursday, December 9, 2010

Radio 2 Cummings and goings

While in Toronto today I tuned into CBC Radio 2 – for about fifteen minutes, which was all that I could take. I heard the last fifteen minutes of Radio 2 Morning with Bob Mackowycz, during which I heard a song performed by Buffalo Springfield (Buffalo Springfield!) and someone named, I believe, Virginia Gore.

The song performed by Buffalo Springfield was "For what it's worth" by Stephen Stills. (“stop, hey, what’s that sound, everybody look what's going down”) and I was immediately transported back to the late 60’s, at least for several minutes. I remember the sixties, likely because I was too young to be doing drugs at the time, thus disproving the saying that if you remember the sixties, you probably weren't there. Or was that Woodstock? Perhaps both. I mention this not out of nostalgia for the 60s, however, but because I have to wonder: how does playing a song from the 60s that you can hear on any JACK FM or similarly derivative station make CBC Radio 2 more relevant to Canadians?

I thought the song by Virginia Gore was by Feist, but it wasn’t. Have you noticed that there is now a new generation of female singer/songwriters who sound like Feist, who in turn seems to have been influenced by Bjork? Just something that I’ve noticed.

Radio 2 Morning ended and I was pleased to hear that Joe Cummings is now reading the news. I was afraid that Mr. Cummings had been unceremoniously dumped from the CBC after the Arts Report was canned. Good to see you’re still there, Mr. Cummings!

I began to wonder what happened to Tom Allen. I searched the CBC web site and found that Mr. Allen is, according to the CBC web site, hosting either “Radio 2 Shift” (where he is the host) or “Shift with Tom Allen” (where he is apparently the anchor). Both programs seem to occupy the same time slot. Whichever it is, I’m happy to see that Mr. Allen is still with the CBC.

So then I looked up Mr. Cummings on the CBC web site. Apparently Mr. Cummings is the host of the “Arts Report”, which according to the CBC “provides CBC Radio Two listeners with up-to-the-minute coverage of the arts in Canada and abroad”. Who knew?

The web site goes on to say that:

With contributions from arts reporters in major centres across Canada as well as from freelancers abroad, The Arts Report covers everything from cultural politics on Parliament Hill to a new art exhibit in Vancouver to a play première in Halifax.

During its 23-year history, listeners have come to rely on The Arts Report to provide a broad-based, regionally balanced account of artistic life in Canada.

In 1993, The Arts Report won the Imperial Oil Award for Excellence in Arts Journalism, presented by the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

It would be nice if it were true, wouldn’t it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well as Buffalo Springfield had Canadian members they count as CanCon.
"For what it's worth" was a theme song (royalties paid, etc.) for a 15 minute show after the 10 pm news cast called "Five Nights a week at this time"
From CBC archives "Launched in 1967 with the title Five Nights a Week at This Time, this CBC Radio program aired hard-hitting, 15-minute documentaries. Journalists from around the world contributed political, social and satirical stories. Producers included Bob Campbell, Mark Starowicz and Mike McEwen.... "

21 clips from the show at:

What a shame that Chris Boyce doesn't dis-integrate the CBC news and give radio the importance it deserves and radio reporters and announcers the chance to make better use of their talents in creating programmes, rather than Mr. Boyce buying American swill and running repeats, repeats....