When I was growing up outside of Winnipeg, everyone my school was divided into tribes based on which of the city’s top 40 stations they liked the best. I was hardcore 1470 CFRW. Some preferred 58 CKY. And then there were those who swore by 630 CKRC.
I never listened to CKRC much–I found their processing and their song rotations too annoying (one spring, I actually mapped out with uncanny accuracy when the station would play Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke”)–but I did like their morning man, Bob Washington. Sunday morning were the best when the station broadcast “Wash & Ash Read the Funnies,” which involved Washington and his news sidekick reading the weekend comic strips from the Winnipeg Free Press in character voices. It sounds weird now, but that Sunday show was a huge hit.
Bob Washington was even more famous for doing all those overblown K-Tel TV commercials. K-Tel was born and headquartered in Winnipeg and head honcho Phil Kives tapped Wash to do the voiceovers for all their spots.
Washington must have made a good chunk of change from the dozens of spots he did. Patty Stacker. Miracle Brush. Dial-O-Matic. Record Selector. And Veg-O-Matic was such a hit that Dan Ackroyd spoofed it on SNL.
Bob Washington died December 10 at the age of 82. A full obituary can be found here.