Born Feb 11, 1955 in Vancouver, I grew up in Drumheller, Alberta in the back suite of my mother’s beauty shop business from 1962 to 1972.
I got my first radio job at the local Drumheller station in late 1969. I lied about my age. I was still only 14. A buddy of mine who played drums in our garage rock band was working there as a board op on weekends. The station played nothing but taped religious programming all day Sunday and while he was jockeying reel to reels Sunday mornings from to they still needed someone to do the same from to . He tipped me about the opportunity and I talked my way into a $1.25 per hour part time job one day a week. More importantly, I had a foot in the door and the privilege to hang around the radio station….and learn.
New Years 1970, a flu epidemic was decimating the station staff until finally I was one of the few men left standing. In desperation, the owner/manager, Tony Mayer, finally had to put me on the air for something other than time checks and temperature between intro-ing and extro-ing the “Back to the Bible Hour”.
I remained at CJDV for another two years working the teen rock show at night while attending High School during the day (and sleeping a lot in class). I also worked with a booking agency, booking bands into Drumheller for Saturday night dances. Another career path almost taken.
Bored with school, I dropped out to take a job doing afternoon drive in
It was my first time away from home. I shared a tacky, tiny trailer with a logger room-mate, half-drunk and half starved on 400 dollars per month and had the most carefree, joyous time of my life to that point (and maybe since).
I had been in contact with H. Hart Kirch at CJME in
In June 1973, I went home to
There was myself and another fairly new jock and Bob hadn’t decided which of us would be doing what show, so he had each of us do the morning show for a month while the other did PM drive. In the end, I was placed on afternoons which suited me perfectly. I was not a morning person in any sense of the term. Interestingly, the other contender who did wind up doing mornings at XL was Robert G. Lowe, also known as Rob Christie. He has since enjoyed a stellar career doing mornings in major markets across the country. Bob Robertson made the right choice.
In late 1973 Bob was fired and replaced by Keith James. Keith lived up to his “house cleaner” reputation. I was the second guy he sacked. I thoroughly deserved it for more than one reason.
After living on U.I. in
He wouldn’t need me until September of 1974 when the all-night show would be open. This was April and I couldn’t afford to wait. Chuck came up with a solution. He persuaded news director David Palmer to take me on as a junior/trainee news reader/writer on the all nighter until the DJ job came available. The money for this was 25 bucks more per month than I had been making doing afternoon drive in
Four months later, I had been promoted twice, was now doing afternoons in news and was now faced with a difficult choice. I could either continue as a newsman or stick with the original plan and be the new all-night DJ. I chose the latter but I’ve often wondered…what if.
Chuck had one stipulation. I had to change my name. I’d been using Gerald Thom as a newsman and it wouldn’t be respectful to the news department’s credibility of I were to continue to identify myself with that name as a Top 40 jock. After numerous meetings with Chuck McCoy and suggestions from both him and me, we finally agreed on “Jackson Casey”, the name of a
I spent two and a half very happy years at CFUN at a significantly historical and exciting time in
I remained with CFRW until early 1979 when Pat.
Pat St. John didn’t last, but I did. Through J. Bob Wood, Paul Ski, and Neil Gallagher I remained with CFUN doing everything from late evenings to afternoon drive until, finally, fifteen years later in September, 1994 I was “golden parachuted” out. CFUN was starting the slippery slide into AM talk radio and I was replaced by Dr. Laura.
I stayed in radio in
While doing this, I decided to take my shot at the voice-over and commercial field and, to that end, acquired a professional agency; Lucas Talent. They also handled movie and television actors and were quite happy and excited to discover the ACTRA membership I still held since
They said: “Hey, you know, these things are as good as gold now. As a union member we can book you into union jobs at union rates. Would you be interested in working as an extra for 20 bucks/hour or even better, a union commercial background actor at 350 bucks a nine hour day?”
Oh yeah. I could do that!
What started out as a way to make a little extra income turned into a full-time career. After a time, I moved beyond just doing extra work on into occasional acting roles and body double and stand-in for other actors.
The stand in jobs were surprisingly lucrative and by 2000 I realized I was making more money doing that than I ever did at my best year in radio!
I was offered a swing job at JR Country; turned it down, and finally did my last air shift on KISS FM in July, 2000. I haven’t been on the radio since.