The ‘real’ Roy Hennessy


CKOK Penticton circa 1962; CHQM Vancouver circa 1963; evenings/morning drive CKLG Vancouver 1964-79; took BCIT training during this period, and played a part in signing off CKLG-FM and signing on CFOX Vancouver 1979.


From the time the Beatles era dawned to the twilight of the disco years, Roy Hennessy was one of the best know DJ’s on the west coast. When he arrived at LG, Beatlemania was in full flight - what better time for a deejay to make his mark. And Hennessy did so, entertaining for 15 years at 730 AM, first as a nighttime jock and then as a popular morning man.


He served as Vice – President & General Manager of CFRB, Toronto, CISS/CHFM, Calgary, CKY / CITI FM, Winnipeg after leaving the west coast.


In March 2005, Mr. Hennessy was recognized for his contribution to the broadcasting industry as the recipient of the first annual “Presidents Award” by the Ontario Association of Broadcasters. He is now President - Director of Marketing/PR with Hennessy and Bray Communications, an advertising company specializing in electronic and alternative media.


The unexpected death of Lloyd Moffat early in the year, left his son Randall with eight radio stations across Western Canada, which he began changing to Top 40 programming.  In the spring he hired former
midday WABC New York DJ, Sam Holman to set up the format for CKLG.  Holman installed the WABC format with news every 15 minutes, a tight play list and PAMS jingles calling it “Lion Radio”.  The DJs were called the “Top Cats”.  The attempt was under-funded and un-researched.  An evening talk show continued to be aired and some “middle-of-the-road” DJs still were under contract.

On Saturday August 22 the Beatles played at Empire Stadium.  They were booked into Vancouver’s Georgia Hotel and CKLG obtained exclusive broadcast rights.  That was used as the launch pad for a full-time contemporary hit station on August 24.  Roy was hired from Vancouver’s “quality music” station CHQM to do 6–9 p.m. and also got to interview the Beatles.

In July, Hennessy was in
Los Angeles for the launch of KHJ as “Boss Radio”.  He passed the information back to program director Frank Callaghan, who also flew to L.A. to check out the new sound.  The following month, CKLG “Boss Radio” debuted.  Within six weeks, it had scooped up many of the listeners from Top 40 rival CFUN.

“Real” Roy Hennessy who was instrumental in launching the Boss Radio format, moved to morning drive. 


"These were the mid 70's now, and well, Keith James and Greg Haroldson and I we liked our herb, so Keith being the gentleman he is offers Haraldson and I a refreshment and I don't mean booze cause it's only 9:15 in the morning.


Just about the time the monster RV is filled to reduced vision level with the sweet smoke of our pleasure, who the hell is knocking on the door but MD 'Real Roy' Hennessy and GM Don Hamilton.


Now both these gents are VERY STRAIGHT individuals.


Without batting an eye Keith flings open the door and waves them in.


What a very strange time the next 15 minutes were.


Haraldson and I are cowering on the couch palming a doobie while James, Hennessy and Hamilton conduct business, all without the least recognition of what is really going on here.


Roy and Don finally left wearing much bigger smiles than they arrived with and a slightly far away look in their eyes.


I think at that point in the proceedings I regained bladder control and the three of us burst into the wildest laugh til you cry fit I can ever remember." - Dan Williamson




"Then another group of radio, newspaper, and rock magazine reporters sit down and rap with Elton John.  By this time I don't feel much like doing an interview, though the flacks keep asking me if Rick McGrath and I would. So we sit down and wait and wait.


Roy Hennessey, uniformed in a flame-colored Harry Belafonte shirt and black pants, strolls over to where we're sitting. He says hello to me. He ignores McGrath. McGrath turns to me and J.B. Shayne and says, "Do you think we should tell him that Halloween isn't till October?" Hennessey walks away."  1971 Mike Quigley


Hennessy replies to this story: It was the ugliest shirt I think I ever owned...   The first Mrs. Hennessy bought it for me... What they didn't mention was that I also was built like a pumpkin in those days...and the shirt REALLY made the gut stick out.


I wore the same outfit to MC Tom Jones in the Agrodome…..  the women threw

their panties at Tom and Fat Jokes at me!!!.... I remember the Elton event..  but I don't remember who I talked to ...      Ahhh the memories....good and bad.





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