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The couple moved to Kingston in 1969 and stayed. Hired by co owner John Birmingham, Thompson began a decades long affiliation with the station, working as a DJ, trainer, program director and sales representative. Except for a five year stint with CKWS, his career has been entrenched at CKLC.
He was crazy busy, but like most people in radio, he was scraping by. And by then, he and Lise had a family, two girls, Chantal and Natalie.
"I filled in for a guy over his lunch and had country stars drop in, people like Skeeter Davis, Porter Wagoner. Not Dolly. I wish Dolly had stopped in."
"I'm retiring, the station is retiring. It's the end of an era," admitted the affable radio host who began his career in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1962.
lived in this city for any length of time has a) been to a wedding, b) attended a Christmas party or c) gone to a dance where the music was handled by Jack Thompson Associates DJ service.
It was the end of an era for both the man and the music.
"It's been very successful," Thompson admits. "Over the years, I've had 35 to 40 people, many of them radio DJs, work for me." Right now, he oversees a staff of 10.
In those days, you got to pick whatever you wanted to play, he says. And he liked Elvis, the Four Seasons and Chubby Checkers. Marie. It was in North Bay that he went on a blind date with a Francophone and Cupid struck. He and Lise married in 1967.
"But they could find whatever they wanted on another station. There are lots of other stations that play current music."
In the early days, his job involved a bit of everything, from the morning show to phone ins and, for a period, a country show.
'Gentleman of the airwaves' hangs up headset
time for him to sign off. Not that he won't be busy. With a recording studio at his home, he's got plenty of work producing commercials for radio and TV.
"People told me they loved the old music. It was music they could understand," he says. Admittedly, some didn't like it.
DJs often did high school record hops and, Thompson saw a way to help pay the bills: a DJ business.
The AM station is going the way of the dodo bird and Thompson says it's Adidas Long Sleeve Shirt Womens
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Plus, he and Lise, who is taking early retirement from her administrator's job at Queen's University, are happy to be Purple Adidas Hoodie travelling. As cruise co ordinators with Service Guaranteed Travel, they accompany tourists on a "No Fly" trip that buses the groups to New York City and then to the cruise ship and on to the Caribbean.
"A true gentleman of the airwaves," as Jim Elyot, a colleague and resident DJ, commented.
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"We just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary," Thompson says, beaming.
"You didn't make money in radio," he admits. "You did whatever you could to make a few extra bucks."
Thompson signed off Nov. 2 his 65th birthday from the all time favourites CKLC AM station. An open house at the Princess Street office in the old Alcan site saw a steady stream of fans who wanted to pay tribute to a man who is synonymous with radio in the Limestone City.
As was the response from locals about the all time favourites format that came out five years ago after the Team, an all sports format, was scrapped.
For Thompson, it was sign off time from his early morning day job, and, for the station, time to pull the plug on the crooners like Bing Crosby, Perry Como Nat King Cole and razzle dazzle warblers like Theresa Brewer and Rosemary Clooney.
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