Video never quite got this radio star. One of the mainstays of Toronto over the decades, Q107 is turning the big 4-0 this week. To celebrate, the station is hosting a birthday bash at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on June 2. But let’s talk briefly about their history, shall we?
Broadcasting at 107.1 FM, Q originally went live on May 22, 1977. The first tune they ever played was Scottish-born Torontonian Murray McLauchlin’s ‘Hard Rock Town‘. Although, the first official sign-on was actually with Deodato’s ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra‘. Kind of an appropriately jazzy coming-to-life tune for a new radio station, right?
The original format of the station was one of the most popular formats at the time: album rock. About 1,000 songs revolved through a playlist accessible in the control room. Meanwhile, the rest of the music collection was locked out of reach to everyone except the music director and their assistant. Fast forward a few decades and we get to the back-and-forth Q107 formatting has seen lately, switching between classic and mainstream rock in the past several years. Slogans have reflected as much – Q107 has been known as “Toronto’s Rock Station”, simply-put “Classic Rock”, and now “Great Hits & Real Classics”. That’s just the way radio moves!
You might remember that Q107 was one the first (alongside CHOM in Montreal) Canadian station to air Howard Stern’s syndicated radio show. That lasted between 1997 and 2001, but maybe some of the Q107 mainstays may ring a bell: John Derringer, Andy Frost, Jesse Dylan & Gene Valaitis, Kim Mitchell, Jeff Woods, Brother Jake Edwards, and many more graced the airwaves. And how about that CHUM FM rivalry in the late 80s? SCUM FM, anyone? SCREW 107?
There’s plenty more history to be heard in Q107’s 40 year past, so be sure to tune in to the station as they celebrate their birthday week. And that birthday bash we mentioned? Dwayne Gretzky will be playing and a $10,000 grand prize will be given away, so don’t forget to check that out, too. And one last fun fact before you go: Q107’s callsign, CILQ-FM, was originally chosen for its similarity to the word ‘silk’. Pretty smooth, hunh.