September 22, 2023
Music News

So This Online Magazine Called Me Up to Talk…

…and here was the result. This is from

I grew up listening to the sound of legendary broadcaster, music historian, and writer Alan Cross on what was once CFNY in the mid 1980s, and this certainly had a part in sculpting who I am today as a lover of music. I was always eager to tune in daily to hear the intriguing underground stories of the indie music scene as new wave and punk rock emerged as dominant forms of popular music. The cadence in his voice lured me in to listen and learn about the rebellious and wild lives of so many musicians, and I almost felt as though he was personally introducing me to these people each day.

Today, almost thirty years later, I was honoured to be introduced to Alan so that I could pose a few questions of my own and get a glimpse of who he is, as well as gain insight into his spectacular career.

You have been in the radio business for a very long time now. How did you land your first job in 1980? Has music always been your calling?

My grandmother gave me a transistor radio for my sixth birthday. I never asked for it, nor did my parents say that I wanted one. I didn’t. I wanted more Hot Wheels cars. But once I turned it on and began hearing voices and music from stations other than what my parents allowed from the radio on the kitchen counter or in the car, I was hooked.

Some years later, my uncle, who moonlighted servicing jukeboxes, gave me a box of old worn-out records. That was the real beginning of my music collection.

After a while, my goal became to be a news person: an anchor, reporter, correspondent, a serious journalist. That ambition landed me my first job at a brand new radio station in Selkirk, Manitoba. Yes, I had to play records, but I also got to read news and sports. I thought I was in heaven. (By the way, I got that job after harassing the owner. I was working at a grocery store at the time and I’d hit him up every Friday at 5:15 when he came to buy milk. I was working the dairy section at the time.)

It goes on for a while

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.

Alan Cross has 37091 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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