Red Robinson (right, with pal Bruce Allen) will say goodbye to six decades in broadcasting with a radio show on Aug. 27. (photo: submitted)

So long, Red: Broadcaster Robinson to sign off with a special radio show this month

AM station that employs the local rock ‘n’ roll icon is going all-sports in September

Local broadcasting icon Red Robinson will say goodbye to the radio biz during a special four-hour show later this month.

Robinson will close his six-decade career in broadcasting on Sunday, Aug. 27 starting at noon, on the CISL 650 “oldies” station that has employed him in recent years.

The station will switch to an all-sports format in September, prompting Robinson’s departure from the radio business.

The so-long show will feature special guests Pat O’Day, a Seattle radio legend, and Bruce Allen, the brash talent manager. They’ll help Red celebrate with a mix of music, memories and fun.

Although Robinson is quitting the radio biz, he’ll continue to entertain at redrobinson.com and other online channels.

Robinson’s autobiography, The Last Deejay, was released by Harbour Publishing in 2016.

Earlier this year, in an interview with the Now-Leader, Robinson said he learned the meaning of courage from his son Jeff, who silently struggled with the pain of Crohn’s disease.

Jeff Robinson was 33 years old when the gastrointestinal disease claimed his life more than a decade ago.

In May, the West Fine Art Show paid tribute to Jeff with a memorial display at the annual event, held at Cloverdale Fairgrounds during the rodeo and country fair.

Red Robinson and his wife, Carole, have been backers of the foundation for many years, in honour of their departed son.

“Jeff had Crohn’s since he was 10,” Robinson said. “It’s a dozen years ago now since he died. You don’t want to lose a kid, I’ll tell you that. It never leaves me, it’s sad.”

READ MORE: Broadcaster Red Robinson’s son to be remembered at West Fine Art Show, from March 2017

In 1957, Robinson was a high-school teen who found his voice as one of the first DJs in Vancouver to play rock ‘n’ roll records.

His Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-worthy story was told in “Red Rock Diner,” a musical that has played in Surrey several times, most recently in the fall of 2015 in an Arts Club on Tour production.

Back in 1998, the original production of the musical starred a young crooner named Michael Bublé when the show toured to Surrey Arts Centre and other theatres in the region.

“I remember him well in that original production, and he was great,” Robinson said in the fall of 2015.

“I went with the show to Toronto and the guy who played the Elvis-like character (Val) was Michael.”

Later, when Bruce Allen sought Robinson’s opinion about whether he should manage Bublé’s music career, the broadcaster was firm and convincing.

“So I’m in Bruce’s office and (producers) Paul Anka and David Foster are on a conference call,” Robinson recalled. “So I tell them, ‘When Bublé played ‘Red Rock Diner,’ all the girls at the stage door were yelling for Michael – like, does that tell you something?’ And at the other end of the phone, Anka says, ‘God, that brings back memories,’” Robinson said with a laugh. “I can’t take credit for Bruce signing him, but he did believe me that I thought this kid was a star. Bruce said it wasn’t his kind of music, but I told him it would be. He signed Michael (to an artist-management contract) and the rest is history.”

READ MORE: Red Robinson: ‘Today they don’t allow (DJs) to be nutty and stupid like we were,’ from October 2015

The hit musical was written by Dean Regan, who roamed the hallways of King Edward high school with Robinson in the mid-1950s.

“I hadn’t seen him in years but he said he wanted to write a musical about me and those days,” Robinson said of his mid-1990s conversation with Regan. “So he wrote it, and we talked many times about those days, what happened, all the stories.

“But yes, it’s flattering as hell, and when I hear some of the corny lines I used, I turn red in places other than my hair,” he added with a laugh. “But that’s just how it was, and you gotta do it accurately.”

tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Just Posted

Surrey Board of Trade fears SkyTrain expansion will impede other transit needs

‘We need transit improvements in all of Surrey,’ Anita Huberman says

Public hearing set for two Surrey modular housing projects for homeless

Surrey council set to vote Monday on projects in Guildford, Whalley

North Delta Secondary teacher up for B.C. education award

Prabhjot Grewal is up for a Premier’s Award for Excellence in Education in the Outstanding New Teacher category

Publication ban lifted on transgender complainant’s name in Surrey waxing dispute

Jessica Yaniv filed 13 discrimination claims against salons, one in Surrey, based on gender identity

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

Most Read