Biography

Pioneer

Glover, Elwood

(1915-1990)

Elwood Glover believed no one could claim a serious career in radio unless they started in a small way at a small station.

He was raised in Moose Jaw, Sask., and that’s where his long broadcasting career started. He played saxophone in a high-school orchestra which in 1932 had a weekly half-hour radio show on radio station CHAB. He went to university but two years into his arts course was invited by CHAB manager Sid Boyling to audition. In June, 1936, he joined the announcing staff. .

He also operated the control room, sold advertising time, wrote copy and “performed one hundred and one other jobs that kept me hopping twelve hours a day”, he said back in the 1940s. It was at CHAB that he developed the easygoing style that characterized his career.

The CBC asked him to do some special event broadcasts and in 1938 he was hired by CBC Radio in Toronto as one of six announce staff. During the Second World War, he was chief announcer.

Elwood was best known for his interview shows. He hosted an afternoon drive-time show on CBC Toronto called At Ease With Elwood Glover and a half-hour show called Luncheon Date. In 1963, the CBC experimented with a TV simulcast of the show on CBLT Toronto. It ran from noon to 12:30, was interrupted by a soap opera, then ran again from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. It was a series of interviews with writers, performers or other celebrities, conducted in Elwood Glover’s laid-back style.

In l970 the show expanded to 90 minutes and went national. Now it was performed before a live audience and got its own musical trio and a weekly satirical look at the news by Al Boliska; but in 1971 it again became a 60-minute show. Occasionally it travelled – to Expo ’67 in Montreal, to the U.K. to record interviews that were used later, and to Klondike Days in Edmonton.

In 1973, Elwood lost part of his hearing. Two years later he asked to leave Luncheon Date and conducted his last show on June 27, 1975. He estimated he had interviewed about 11,500 guests on the show.

A few months after his last Luncheon Date show, Elwood quit the CBC and went to work for radio station CKEY Toronto. He freelanced for several radio stations but was forced to slow down following a heart operation in the early 1980s and retired in 1984.

He wrote a memoir, Elwood Glover’s Luncheon Dates, published in 1975.

Written by Jerry Fairbridge - April, 2003

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