John Spragge (1958-68)

“It’s time to hear John Spragge, when he serenades his girls, the time never drags. Hear the housewives hit parade on C-H-U-M 10-50 Toronto.” (CHUM jingle circa 1962)

1960's Pillsbury Chef John Spragge (The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson)

John Spragge was CHUM’s ‘housewives DJ’, the man who always entertained ‘his gals’. One of his most popular features was the daily, inspirational “Something To Think About”. With an orchestral version of “The Sound of Music” in the background, John would pass on to his listeners thoughts of wisdom, advice, a poem or a remembrance and even an occasional recipe. “Something To Think About” became an important daily part of the John Spragge show and many listeners requested printed copies of their favourites.

In the late 1950’s, John Spragge was a broadcasting student at Ryerson when the opportunity arose to work part time for CHUM. In fact, he was in the middle of an exam when he was called out of class and told CHUM needed him ‘right away’.

John didn’t waste any time getting to the station and was soon a full-time CHUM staffer, first handling newscasts and weekend shifts for “Holiday with CHUM’, then replacing original DJ Harvey Dobbs in mid mornings.

John Spragge arrives at Thornhill in his walk for Crippled Children (note the population of Thornhill), 1959 (CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson)

Spragge spent ten years on-air at CHUM, first following Al Boliska and then Jay Nelson. He was one quarter of the the stations’ in-house singing? group, the CHUMmingbirds. In 1966, he also was named Public Service Director.

John "Commodore" Spragge dancing a jaunty jig, 1967 (The CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson)

John left CHUM in 1968 for an executive position at the Radio Sales Bureau (later re-named the Radio Marketing Bureau), then Standard Broadcast Sales, followed by 13 years as Program Director at CFRB.

John Spragge passed away at the age of 71 on December 16th, 2008.

Doug Thompson

CHUM Archives

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