"Radio Caroline – it seemed half a world away, yet vaguely exciting...."
Ex-Caroline DJ bares his soul in the name of offshore radio – Page 2

Top of the Pops
I was fired from CKFH on my birthday of November 23, 1969 because of an American programme director hired by the station to improve ratings. He fired 10 Canadian guys and hired 10 American guys. I was the tenth guy he fired. He was the eleventh to go. They offered me my job back, but my pride had been hurt and also I was having some success as a freelance performer – acting, singing and performing comedy. I had met some people through a mutual friend I had made at the radio station. The next thing you know I have a recording contract with RCA! One thing leads to another, and soon I'm in the studio recording some of my favorite songs from my days on Caroline. Lo and behold, I have a hit record with Manfred Mann's, Day Time, Night Time on A and M records. Then they release my version of Cat Stevens' The First Cut Is The Deepest and it goes to number 1 in Canada. Next, my take on Zoot Money's Big Time Operator is a hit and goes to number 1 in South Africa!

Day Time, Night Time made #51 in the Billboard US charts, First Cut made #70 and Big Time Operator #81. All this is happening so fast in 1973 and the head of A and M in Canada is hungry for a big smash in the US, so he decides to start choosing my material. To keep him off my back, I recorded Junior Campbell's Hallelujah Freedom, even though I did not feel comfortable with my rendition. Meanwhile, I am trying to get him to release another song I have in the can that I really believe in – You're No Good. He refuses to release it and it becomes a GIANT for Linda Ronstadt. Needless to say that was the end of a beautiful friendship!

Right: Big Time Operator - or was this a failed audition for the Bay City Rollers?

In the meantime, I had been signed to do a weekly CBC-TV show coast-to-coast in Canada called "Music Machine". That show ran for 2 seasons with me as the host and featured some of the top recording acts in Canada at the time. Boy, what a career I was having! Along came our first child, a son, Christian, and it was then I decided I would rather be a success as a father than as a rock star. I decided to fade behind the scenes and attempt to make a living announcing and singing radio and TV commercials and jingles. It's a profession that has been very good to me. I still get a kick from hearing myself on the air and Joe Public has no idea who it is!

Cathy and I also have a daughter, Laura and she seems to be following in the old man's footsteps. At 24, she had her own local TV show every afternoon and worked at a local radio station doing the traffic reports. Now 25, Laura has moved on to being morning news anchor at CKVR TV in Barrie. Our son is 27 and the manager of 'Silks' a very upmarket restaurant at Horseshoe Valley Resort. Cathy teaches Grade 1 at a school in Bradford (5 and 6-year-olds).



1971 Ebenezer (RCA)
1972 Daytime, Night-Time (A & M)
1973 First Cut Is The Deepest (A & M)
1973 Big Time Operator (A & M)
1974 Forever And Ever (Baby I'm Gonna Be Yours) (A & M)
1974 Hallelujah Freedom (A & M)
1982 I Can't Wait Too Long (Freedom)


1973 The First Cut (A & M)
1981 Variations (Freedom)

(Right: Radio station CKFH publicity picture)

Every so often they drag me out of the mothballs to do an Oldies Salute such as the one I did in Ottawa at the Parliament Buildings, live on TV, to celebrate Canada Day on July 1st 2000.
Once again, I experienced a feeling of terror as they told me, "There are 110,000 people in the audience tonight and they are gonna love ya!"

Keefers, you're a hero!
Very many thanks for answering all the knee-probing questions and for wrestling with your scanner to supply us with photos

– Mary and Chris.

Kontented Keefers!

My Dear Chris & Mary, I had absolutely no idea what you had in mind when you mentioned the Full Monty! My Lord, you must have spent hours putting that all together. It's incredible! You really did a wonderful job what with all the snaps et al. I really cannot thank you enough for all the effort and time you must have spent. Hopefully, some of the other old boys will see it, get jealous, and let you do them. It would really be great to read more about their lives.
Have you had much feedback? Has it been favourable? Has anyone seen it? So many questions, so little time.
Thanks again for everything, KEEFERS.

Yes, it was hard work – but fun too – and yes, we have had favourable feedback! We'll also be delighted to hear from any of those 'jealous old boys'!

If you have a high-speed or permanent Internet connection, or don't mind downloading a 1.8MB file, you can watch one minute's-worth of Keefers singing his hit, 'Daytime, Night-Time' on Canada Day – from which the above stills are taken. You will need an up-to-date version of RealPlayer to see it. Download Keefers' movie here.

Hear Keefers in action in 1970 on Canadian station CKFH, on archive site: