A quick look at the past 90 years:
In July of 1926, CJRM Moose Jaw first hit the airwaves. Broadcasting with a power of 500 watts at 665 kHz, it was one of the first commercial radio stations in operation across Canada. Owned and operated by James Richardson and Sons, (the RM in CJRM stood for Richardson Merchants…) the station joined a growing network of broadcasters that provided daily grain quotes to farmers across the prairies. After a frequency flip to 880 kHz, and then a power increase and new tower located at Belle Plaine (and ANOTHER new frequency at 540 kHz) CJRM relocated studio operations to Regina. In 1939, the launch of CBK Watrous forced another frequency change to 960 kHz for the station. CJRM briefly moved down the dial to 950 kHz, before finding a tenured home at 980 kHz in 1941 as a result of the Havana Treaty. In 1943 the dial position remained the same, but CJRM officially became known as CKRM. 1947 saw a power increase from 1000 watts to 5,000. In 1971, CKRM transitioned from an eclectic and varied format to focus on News/Sports/Information and strictly Country music. In 2001, another legacy station CKCK officially went dark on the AM band. CKRM picked up the 620 kHz frequency known for it’s far-reaching signal pattern across southern Saskatchewan.
(*special thanks and acknowledgement to the Canadian Communications Foundation database)
Submit your #CKRMemories
Greetings (click to expand)
A look back...
Eric Edwards was better known as “Alberta Slim – The Yodelling Cowboy’. After riding a freight train from the family farm near Lloydminster to Regina in the Dirty 30’s, he sang his way onto a daily radio program hosted by CKCK, before moving up to CFQC Saskatoon for a stretch. Slim performed all around the prairies with his own travelling circus, including a harmonica playing elephant named Susie. His radio career saw him host his own program on CKRM from 1945-1947 before landing a Morning Show in B.C. where he hung his hat for years. He was still performing and entertaining audiences at the age of 93, before passing away in Surrey BC in 2005.
Audio: Alberta Slim “I Wanna Be A Cowboy” (clip)
Former morning man Ron “Moon” Mullin interviews Merle Haggard in advance of CKRM’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. *photo credit – National Archives
Your Brand Of Country was an album released in 1976 to mark the 50th anniversary of CKRM (and 5th anniversary as a full-time Country station). It featured recordings by Moon Mullin, Fred and Patti King, Ken Jefferson and Sheila Ann to name a few.
Ron “Moon” Mullin sings “Turn On To Country” (courtesy Sask History Online)
A reel-to-reel recording used as part of the Rider Radio broadcasts (before the all digital era)
Fred King and Moon Mullin broadcast “on-location”
CKRM (found at 980 at the time) broadcast speeches from the Co-op Refinery for “Co-op Day”. Premier Tommy Douglas can be seen on the platform. *photo courtesy Sask History Online