I Used To Have A Radio Show

Saturday, August 13, 2011

RIP Ted Tevan

Montreal has lost another radio legend. I’ve been looking at some of the obits that have already been posted about Ted Tevan. If anything is clear by the words of others, it is how he influenced an entire generation of future media personalities.

The Ted Tevan era was a great one for Montreal English radio. I can only go back as far as the 1980s, but even then there was an abundance of personality-driven entertaining radio in Montreal. And Ted Tevan epitomized the word personality. He was a showman above all else. You tuned in knowing you were going to be entertained.

Years before there was such a thing as sports radio, CFCF Radio was a sports powerhouse as the home of the Expos and Habs. And coming on after the night games was Ted Tevan and his cast of regular callers and crew. Tevan was a master of the ad lib. When he got started, he could just go on and on… His interaction with the callers was also special. His trademark phrases, commercials and sound effects are forever part of Montreal radio history. You just don’t hear that kind of thing today - because for the most part, radio people aren’t given that kind of creative freedom anymore.

George Balcan, Gord Sinclair, Ted Blackman and now Ted Tevan. Who are their 2011 equivalents? Aaron Rand and Mitch Melnick seem to be the last of the “old school” that are left. I don’t think there is anything on Montreal radio today that will be looked back at years from now with the same fondness as the stuff we had back in the 1970s and 80s. I don’t say that to in any way put down this generation of radio people. Times have changed.

For all his radio presence, Ted Tevan appeared to be a very private individual. There are surprisingly few photos of him that are widely available. The bigger shame though is how it is nearly impossible to come across old sound checks of his CFCF-era shows. Of course, his style didn’t please everyone. That is likely because they just didn’t get the whole premise of his program. It was more than just a sports show. Ted Tevan called it “The game of life”. Cue Neil Diamond…

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