Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Really Red!

This building is on Hastings Street. There is an empty lot on the one side and then Vernon Apartments. Vernon Apartments was built in 1920 and people I have talked with think this building was built at the same time. This is how 1180 East Hastings looked a few months ago.

Monday we talked about Red Robinson from 1953 to 1963. When we left, Red had gotten married and was program director for C-FUN radio station - a position he held until 1968 when he left to become operations manager at CJOR. If you remember from Monday, this is where it all started for a sixteen-year- old Red Robinson in 1954.

Red is credited with being the first DJ in Canada to regularly play rock 'n roll. He was also the first to play Elvis Presley records and he MC-ed the Elvis concert at Vancouver's Empire Stadium in 1957. Seven years later,  Robinson was the MC for the Beatles show at the Empire.

From 1963 to 1966, Red also hosted a TV show on CBC-TV entitled Let's Go (also known as Music Hop) where he introduced viewers to Canadian rockers such as Terry Jacks, Randy Bachman, The Collectors and so many more.

In 1971, he returned to CKWX as a morning show host. Red also hosted a coast-to-coast trivia show on CBC-TV called Trivia Challenge in 1979 and '80. The show inspired a group of contestants to create the game Trivial Pursuit.

Red hosted the morning show at CKWX until 1983 - racking up a station record of twelve years - then from 1985 to 1993, he was heard as host of Reunion, a cross-country oldies show.

In collaboration with Peggy Hodgins, he authored a book about the history of rock 'n roll in Canada. In 1980, he hosted and produced the Gavin Report Convention. This was the first time the prestigious event had ever been held outside of the USA.

However, the entertainment field wasn't the only arena that Red Robinson shined in. In 1969, he founded Trend Advertising (it later became Palmer Jarvis Advertising). The first client this new advertising agent had was McDonald's Restaurants of Canada. Red was the first to appear in a McDonald's TV commercial and was the company's first agent.

Another advertising venture that Red was part of was Vriak Robinson Advertising. It was a fourteen year partnership with Stephan Vriak that led to one of the biggest advertising agencies in Vancouver. In 1987, Vriak Robinson Advertising merged with Hayhurst Communications Ltd and became Vriak Robinson Hayhurst Communications Ltd.

For Expo 86, Robinson presented the 'Legends of Rock 'n Roll' and brought forty-one rock 'n roll giants to the Expo Theatre. Among those were Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Righteous Brothers. It was a 13-week series, which is unprecedented for bringing together so many Hall of Fame stars to one venue.

In 1989, Red returned to TV as host of Red's Classic Theatre on Bellingham's KVOS-TV. The show was a long running one, lasting until 2001.

Robinson has met and worked with many major personalities. His recorded interviews top 650 performers! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland recognized Red Robinson in 1994 and elected him as a pioneer disc jockey. There are only three such honours bestowed on Canadians and 90 overall. In 1997, Red was inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2000.

Are you ready? The next six photos are of the renovated 1180 East Hastings! Someone has done a great job!

It was in 1993 that Red started to build his top-rated morning show on 650 CISL/Vancouver and although he 'retired' in 2001, Robinson continued to broadcast his show Sunday mornings.

I have more to tell you on Mr. Red Robinson and I will do so on Friday. Until then, I hope you find the beauty around you.

On a literary note, I have reduced the price on the eBook versions of Mystique Rising and The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story.

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