RIP Skip Prokop, Lighthouse Drummer and Former Colleague at CFNY

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 (left) with the late Don Berns at a CFNY Spirit of Radio Reunion

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.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

6 thoughts on “RIP Skip Prokop, Lighthouse Drummer and Former Colleague at CFNY

  • August 31, 2017 at 9:01 am
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    I had the privilege of working with Skip at CJBK/BX93 in London. “Hey man” he will be missed.

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  • August 31, 2017 at 1:20 pm
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    Sad news – always enjoyed his work. Would be nice if we returned to something similar to those days and the Spirit of Radio.

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  • September 1, 2017 at 8:28 am
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    I had a brief conversation with Skip between sets, when he was the drummer for The Paupers. Interesting guy, great drummer. I saw The Paupers many times, and Lighthouse only once, but they both are still in regular rotation on my iPhone.

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  • September 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm
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    What the FORK, does CFNY stand for? You think we all know what you know? Wake up.
    Always reveal initials for their meaning!

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    • September 1, 2017 at 8:27 pm
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      Er, it’s a well-known Toronto radio station established in 1977. Even if you didn’t know that, reading the article would have made it obvious.

      Reply
  • October 30, 2017 at 10:11 pm
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    I was a regular listener to Skip’s radio show. If memory serves me well, it was a two hour program that started at 10 pm, but later got shortened to an hour show at 11 pm. Perhaps my memory is off.

    While it was pretty much a Christian rock show, he did occasionally play tracks outside the rock genre. He gave me my first exposure to the gospel group 5 Blind Boys of Alabama, now known as the Blind Boys of Alabama. I currently have two tickets (for me and my father) to see them live in concert this coming December.

    One of the groups Skip played was Elim Hall, who basically played a mash up style of early U2 and The Police. I also heard Brent Bambury play them on CBC’s Brave New Waves, describing them as underrated (the only full blown Christian rock band I heard on that program), but heard Skip play it first.

    Reply

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