When I first arrived at CFNY in October 1986, one of the first people I met was Skip Prokop. Back in those old FM regulation days, FM stations had to allocate a certain number of hours a day to specialty programs that featured music outside the usual format. ‘NY ran a blues show hosted by Daddy Cool, a show that featured modern classical music called “Masters and Moderns,” a jazz program Sunday evenings and Hedley Jones’ funk, soul, reggae and rap show. Amidst all that was “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.” That was Skip’s show.
Skip worked as a salesman for the station, but also did this Christian-themed rock show at 11 pm Sunday, the hour before I got on the air. Knowing that I was the rookie in the building, Skip went out of his way to make me feel welcome, filling me in on how things worked around the place. I also remember him being very quick to compliment.
“Hey, man” (the way Skip started almost every sentence) “I heard your show last night. You pick some really interesting stuff. I really enjoyed it. Keep it up, man, and you’ll go far.”
It wasn’t until later that I learned that he was the drummer for Lighthouse, one of the great Canadian bands of the 1970s. There were several times during Skip’s tenure at CFNY when we formed a station band with Skip on the drums. Naturally, he showed us up.
Skip left the station after a few years but would occasionally pop up at music industry functions. Whenever old NYers got together, one Skip story inevitably came up.
Skip Prokop died yesterday (August 30) of congestive heart failure at age 74. I’ll always remember him as someone who took me in and made me feel at home at a new job.