Some Old Recordings Of 680 CFTR

Last Updated on: 17th February 2023, 04:27 pm

This is cool.

Somebody in the comments on a post over at Toronto Mike has dug up some old recordings of 680 CFTR. You youngsters will probably only know that as 680 News, but in it’s day it was one of the most popular music stations around.

I used to listen to it all the time. It was where I heard a lot of the music I liked, not to mention where I first got to hear unforgettable personalities like Jesse and Gene, Tom Rivers and Tarzan Dan among others.
680 CFTR Toronto

Steve Gregory on 680 CFTR. Received in Philadelphia June 13, 1983. Unusually strong signal that morning.

The thing that sticks out to me about this more than anything else is that it features a live, honest to god overnight DJ keeping you company and telling you what’s going on in the world. It was the early 1980’s so of course it would, but you just never hear that anymore. It’s sad.

CFTR Toronto – July 1986

CFTR Toronto. Toronto still had Top 40 music on am radio in 1986, when in the States, Top 40 music was gone from AM in most markets. July 1986

Still had top 40 on AM radio in 1986? Hell, we had it well into the 1990’s. Granted not as much of it, but the last one I can remember in my listening area was AM 640, which picked up the slack when CFTR went all news in 1993. I don’t think 640 went all talk until at least 1997, did it?

Oh, and this one features the old 68 second news break theme. I loved that thing.

Here are a few minutes of the aforementioned Tarzan Dan from 1990. I’m not sure, but he might have been the last truly over the top DJ, at least around here. Nobody sounds like that anymore. Not many sounded like him back then, either.

And here’s some Bob Callahan from a Commercial Free Sunday in 1988. I was always a fan of Commercial Free Sunday, even if telling me that it’s brought to me by Labatt Blue is technically a commercial.

I lost count of how many times both Dan and Bob gave out the phone number. Yet another thing missing on radio today. Made it feel so much more human and alive.

I really hope more of these show up. It’s fun listening to this stuff and remembering how things used to be.

I wonder if anybody has any old 1150 CKOC from before it became Oldies 1150. That was another station I used to enjoy quite a bit back in the day.

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  1. between 10 and 14 years of age we lived in Kitchener/Waterloo and CFTR was my favourite station. Problematic drop in evening power (I think) so I switched back to CHYM 1490 Kitchener till I went to bed.
    CHUM’s reception was good 24 hrs a day yet I never liked it as much as 680. I recall Jim Brady’s morning “song of Inspiration” which later I learned was a Python bit. Also Shannon and Red Knight I well remember. The “1000 (dollar) a day giveaway”, the “30,000 dollar contest”…
    I keep looking for more streaming (prefer downloadable) air checks from that era but so far only I have only a Jim Shannon first day 20 minute cassette from July 1973.
    Well done that you kept a record of happenings there.
    Jon Archibald

    1. The power definitely dropped off quite a bit at night. We lived about a half hour outside of Kitchener (more towards Woodstock) when I was growing up and it all but dropped off the dial most nights once they switched to evening power.

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