J. Michael Wilson (1968-71)
CHUM Archives/Doug Thompson
CHUM got two for the price of one when J. Michael Wilson joined the station in 1968.
Not only did they get the quick-witted Wilson, they also got his sidekick - Rodney the Rodent.
Rodney wasn't real of course. He was a product of the imagination of Wilson, who had come over from WKNR "Keener 13" in Dearborn, Michigan. But he was a big part of Wilson's afternoon drive show at CHUM for two-and-a-half years beginning in August of 1968.
Long-time CHUM program Warren Cosford remembers Wilson and his furry friend:
"Unusual guy. He had a character on his show called Rodney Rodent. It was actually Michael speeded up. During the record, he'd record his rodent bit. Then the Op would insert a "capstan enlarger" which would play it back at a faster speed a la The Chipmunks. Most of the bits had Michael talking to Rodney live (which was, of course, himself recorded earlier). Quite an 'art' considering that literally all of the bits ran over the intro to records and in those days there were very few 'sweeps'. Only the best Ops could work with Michael."
Wilson and Rodney left CHUM for a weekend gig at rival CKFH in early 1971. Later that same year he also jocked in the southern Ontario/western New York market at WGR Buffalo.
Wilson, whose resume includes top stations like KOMA Oklahoma City, WMEX Boston and WWDC Washington, D.C., was at last word a professional cyclist who won four medals at the Ohio Senior Olympics in 2002 and qualified for the National Senior Olympics the following year.
Dale Patterson, Rock Radio Scrapbook
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