Old-school CFNY fans mourn the passing of former afternoon drive host James Scott

When I arrived at CFNY on October 3, 1986, one of the first people I encountered in the halls was James Scott. It was shortly after 1:00 and he was getting ready for his afternoon shift–The Scott Show–by beating up the pinball machine in the lunchroom. He was on that thing every chance he got–including whenever he played an especially long record, especially the 12-inch of The The’s “Perfect,” which ran nine minutes.

James–whose real name was David Marston [sic] and the stepbrother of CFNY program director David Marsden, which probably contributed to his nickname, James “Baby” Scott–was one of the most likable people on staff. He had a great sense of humour, something that always came out when he was on the air.

When Enya, the new age artist, released her first record, there was some dispute about how her name should be pronounced. Was it EN-ya or ON-ya. James declared it was the former, sometimes backselling her “Orinocco Flow” by saying “That’s Enya, as in ‘don’t get any on ya.'”

James also hosted the Sunday jazz show (a programming requirement back then) and was a formidable member of the CFNY Wankees baseball team. Good power hitter.

By the time the 90s rolled around, James had left CFNY and took gigs at other gigs around southern Ontario, including 94.9 The Rock in Oshawa. The next thing I knew he was suffering some serious health problems. In mid-July, doctors declared there was nothing more they could do and he was moved to palliative care. Four days later, on July 31, he passed away.

Before he died, David Marsden passed his email around to some people who knew James. Many who wrote him got a nice thank-you in return with the closing, “Rock On, David.” Perfect.

Read some memories posted by those who knew him here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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