Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Randy Spencer retires from southwestern Alberta news beat after 45 years

Jessica Harrington and Randy Spencer

Toni Lucas
- Mountain Radio News Director Randy Spencer is retiring,  giving up his chair to acting News Director and DJ Jessica Harrington. Spencer has been working in news for 45 years at two locations. He first started working at CJOC Lethbridge in television in 1971. Spencer moved to the Crowsnest Pass to work for the radio station in 1973.  It was owned by CJOC at the time.  He has been there ever since.

"I got tired of doing television news," said Spencer about his career change in '73. "So many people thought that television was a glamorous job, but it's not that glamorous." At the time he did the evening news for television at 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm. When an open in the radio station occurred, he took the leap, and never looked back. He has worked for a variety of companies, as the ownership of the radio station has changed hands many times over the years.  The name of ownership may have changed but he has been at the same location for 43 years. In that time he has updated his listeners on local, regional, national and world news.

Mountain is going through some 'real' changes. They are in the process of rebranding to 'Real Country', starting on November 7, the day Jessica started covering the news.

Spencer said he enjoyed his work very much. "It's fun, telling people what is happening. If you get the five W's, you have a story. You get all that, you have a story." He remembers the teletype machine clattering in the background as he was reporting. "Oh, it's changed, it is all on computers now."

Jessica Harrington got into radio two years ago, and has been working at the radio station since September, 2015. "It's something I am passionate about, conversation. So it's a good fit. Working in the news and still carrying on her work as an announcer has its challenges. "It's a challenge right now to switch the news-to-announcer brain. It's a very different set of skills."

Harrington recognizes she has a way to go yet. "I got big shoes to fill, I want to do right by Randy, to make sure I am a suitable replacement. That's my biggest concern right now. Following up with the legacy he carved."

Randy Spencer will be leaving the radio station at the end of December and plans to spend more time with his wife Kathy and their grandchildren.

When Randy Spencer started his Crowsnest Pass radio career: 1973 headlines and facts

(compiled from various Wikipedia pages)
  • Liberal Pierre Elliott Trudeau was in his fifth year as Canada's Prime Minister
  • The Progressive Conservative Party was in power for the first time in Alberta (after the 1971 Alberta general election), under the leadership of Premier Lougheed, with 49 of the available 75 seats in the Legislature. ending 36 years of Social Credit Party dominance in the province. Alberta New Democratic Party leader Grant Notley was the only NDP member to win a seat.The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass was still in the future. Coleman, Blairmore, Bellevue, and Hillcrest were still individual municipalities.
  • Social Credit's Leighton Buckwell was the MLA for the (now former) electoral district of Macleod, which at that time included Municipal District of Foothills No. 31, Municipal District of Willow Creek No. 26, Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9, Municipal District of Ranchland No. 66, Vulcan County, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, and Kananaskis Improvement District. 
  • Richard Nixon began the year as U.S. President.  By the end of the year the Watergate scandal forced him out of office, to be replaced by Gerald Ford.
  • All In the Family (CBS) was the top rated television program in the United States for 1972/73.
  • December 31, 1972 - Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve debuts.
  • January 1 - Sergei Kourdakov, 21, KGB agent, was found dead in his motel room in Running Springs, California, killed by a gunshot to the head.
  • January 3 - George Steinbrenner III buys New York Yankees from CBS for $12 million
  • January 5 – American rock band Aerosmith releases their debut album.
  • January 14 - "Aloha from Hawaii", an Elvis Presley concert, becomes the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer.
  • January 15 - Citing progress in peace negotiations, U.S. President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.
  • Paul and Linda McCartney are fined £100 for growing cannabis 
  • January 20 - U.S. President Richard Nixon is inaugurated for his second term.
  • January 22 - The U.S. Supreme Court overturns state bans on abortion.
  • January 22 - George Foreman defeats Joe Frazier to win the heavyweight world boxing championship.
  • January 25 - The Irish Stardust runs aground north of Vancouver Island, causing a large oil spill.
  • January 26 – Edward G. Robinson, American actor, dies.
  • January 28 - Ron Howard appears on M*A*S*H in "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet". 
  • February 3 - Dr. Hook's "Cover of "Rolling Stone"" enters Top 40 and peaks at #6.
  • February 5 - Work begins on the construction of the CN Tower in Toronto.
  • February 5 - Funeral for LC William Nolde, last US soldier killed in Vietnam War.
  • February 28 - Canadian hockey player Eric Lindros is born.
  • February 27 - American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
  • March 1 - Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon is released in the U.S.
  • March 1 - Charlotte's Web, the animated movie based on the children's book, is released.
  • March 2 - John Percy Page, 8th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, dies.
  • March 16 - The Shah of Iran and Consortium members agree to nationalize all assets immediately in return for an assured 20-year supply of Iranian oil 
  • March 23 - Watergate scandal starts to unfold.
  • March 23 - U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
  • March 26 - Sir Noël Coward, English composer and playwright, dies.
  • March 26 - "The Young and the Restless" debuts on CBS.
  • April 2 - Montreal announces Canada's first lottery to help pay for the 1976 Summer Olympics.
  • April 3 - Pioneer 11 is launched on a mission to study the Solar System.
  • April 3 - The first handheld mobile phone call is made by Martin Cooper of Motorola in New York City.
  • April 8 - Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist, dies.
  • April 17 - The Eagles release the first single "Tequila Sunrise" from their second album "Desperado"
  • April 30 - Paul McCartney releases "Red Rose Speedway" including "My Love" 
  • May 10 - The Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup 4 games to 2 over the Chicago Blackhawks. Canadien Yvan Cournoyer was voted MVP.
  • May 10 - The New York Knicks defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, 102–93 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to win the NBA title.
  • May 10 - Bruce Lee collapses in Golden Harvest studios in Hong Kong and is rushed to Hong Kong Baptist Hospital where doctors diagnose him with cerebral edema.
  • May 14 - Skylab is launched.
  • May 23 – Royal Canadian Mounted Police celebrate 100 year anniversary.
  • May 25 - Skylab 2 (Pete Conrad, Paul Weitz, Joseph Kerwin) is launched on a mission to repair damage to the recently launched Skylab space station.
  • June 1 - German model Heidi Klum is born.
  • June 1 - Paul McCartney and Wings release "Live and Let Die" 
  • June 4 – A patent for the ATM is granted.
  • June 9 - 105th Belmont: Ron Turcotte aboard Secretariat wins in 2:24, becoming the 1st Triple Crown winner in 25 years 
  • June 14 - U.S. President Richard Nixon administration imposes 60-day economy-wide price freeze, superseding Special Rule No. 1 for oil companies 
  • June 17 - 1st du Maurier Golf Classic (La Canadienne): Jocelyne Bourassa 
  • June 18 - Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev visits the US and President Nixon.
  • June 30 – A very long total solar eclipse occurs. During the entire 2nd millennium, only 7 total solar eclipses exceeded 7 minutes of totality.
  • July 1 - The United States Drug Enforcement Administration is founded.
  • July 2 - Betty Grable, American actress, dies. 
  • July 16 - Former Canadian teen idol Alex Trebek hosts "The Wizard of Odds", his first U.S. show for NBC.
  • July 21 - Atlanta Braves' Hank Aaron hits Ken Brett's fastball for his 700th home run.
  • July 22 - Canadian/American musician Rufus Wainwright is born.
  • July 23 - U.S. President Richard Nixon refuses to release Watergate tapes of conversations in the White House relevant to the Watergate investigation.
  • July 23 - Eddie Rickenbacker, American World War I flying ace and race car driver, dies.
  • July 25 - Louis St. Laurent, politician and 12th Prime Minister of Canada, dies.
  • August 2 - "American Graffiti" directed by George Lucas and starring Richard Dreyfuss and Ron Howard premieres at the Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland.
  • August 6 - American actress Asia Carrera is born.
  • August 14 - U.S. ends secret bombing of Cambodia.
  • August 21 - Sergey Brin, Russian-born American entrepreneur and co-founder of Google, is born.
  • August 22 - Henry Kissinger succeeds William Rogers as U.S. Minister of Foreign affairs.
  • August 28 - "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple goes gold.
  • September 2 - J.R.R. Tolkien, British writer, dies.
  • September 15 – Betty White makes her first appearance as Sue Ann Nivens in The Mary Tyler Moore Show's fourth season opener, "The Lars Affair".
  • September 20 - The Battle of the Sexes: Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in a televised tennis match at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The global television audience in 36 countries is estimated at 90 million.
  • September 20 - Jim Croce, American songwriter, dies. 
  • September 27 - Soyuz 12 is launched.
  • October 3 - Canadian actress Neve Campbell is born.
  • October 6 - The Yom Kippur War begins.
  • October 10 - Spiro T. Agnew resigns as Vice President of the United States.
  • October 16 - Israeli tanks under General Sharon move through Suez Canal.
  •  October 16 - Gene Krupa, American jazz drummer, dies.
  • October 17 - An OPEC oil embargo against several countries supporting Israel triggers the 1973 energy crisis.  This is a boon for Alberta but hurts central Canada.
  • October 18 - Walt Kelly, American cartoonist (Pogo), dies.
  • October 24 - John Lennon sues US government to admit FBI is tapping his phone.
  • October 25 - The Yom Kippur War ends.
  • November 4 - The Netherlands experiences the first Car Free Sunday caused by the 1973 oil crisis. Highways are deserted and are solely used by cyclists and roller skaters.
  • November 7 - The Congress of the United States overrides President Richard Nixon's veto of the War Powers Resolution, which limits presidential power to wage war without congressional approval.
  • November 11 - Egypt and Israel sign a United States-sponsored cease-fire accord.
  • November 13 - A jury refuses to convict Montreal's  Henry Morgentaler for performing abortions.
  • November 16 - NASA launches Skylab 4 from Cape Canaveral, Florida on an 84-day mission.
  • November 16 - U.S. President Richard Nixon signs the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act into law, authorizing the construction of the Alaska Pipeline.
  • November 17 - Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, U.S. President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors "I am not a crook."
  • November 22 – Cassie Campbell, Canadian ice hockey forward and CBC commentator, is born.
  • November 27 - The United States Senate votes 92–3 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States.
  • December 1 - Jack Nicklaus becomes 1st golfer to earn $2M in a year.
  • December 1 - Papua New Guinea gains self-government from Australia.
  • December 3 - Pioneer 10 sends back the first close-up images of Jupiter.
  • December 6 - The United States House of Representatives votes 387–35 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States; he is sworn in the same day.
  • December 7 - Canada sells its first CANDU Reactor to South Korea.
  • December 9 - first radio broadcast on CBC by The Royal Canadian Air Farce.
  • December 15 - The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
  • December 15 - Pirates of Caribbean ride opens at Disneyland. 
  • December 19 - After reading a news item that said the federal government had fallen behind in getting bids to supply toilet tissue, Johnny Carson inadvertently triggers an unprecedented three-week panic when he announces, on The Tonight Show, that there is an acute shortage of toilet paper in the U.S.
  • December 20 – Spanish prime minister Luis Carrero Blanco is assassinated in Madrid by the separatist organization ETA.
  • December 16 - O.J. Simpson becomes 1st NFLer to rush 2,000 yard in a season 
  • December 20 - Montreal Canadien Henri Richard scores his 1,000th NHL point 
  • Decemper 21 - Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, US & USSR meet in Geneva to discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict 
  • December 25 - The ARPANET crashes when a programming bug causes all ARPANET traffic to be routed through the server at Harvard University, causing the server to freeze. 
  • December 25 - "The Sting" directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford premieres in Los Angeles and New York (Best Picture 1974) 
  • December 26 - Horror film "The Exorcist" starring Linda Blair and rated X, premieres - 1st horror film to be nominated for Best Picture 
  • December 26 - 2 Skylab 3 astronauts walk in space for a record 7 hours 
  • December 28 - The Endangered Species Act is passed in the United States.
  • December 28 - Seth Meyers, American actor and comedian, is born.
  • December 30 - 1st picture of a comet from space (Comet Kohoutek-Skylab)
Billboard year-End top 10 singles of 1973
  1. "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" - Tony Orlando and Dawn
  2. "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" - Jim Croce
  3. "Killing Me Softly with His Song" - Roberta Flack
  4. "Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye
  5. "My Love" - Paul McCartney & Wings
  6. "Why Me" - Kris Kristofferson
  7. "Crocodile Rock" - Elton John
  8. "Will It Go Round in Circles" - Billy Preston
  9. "You're So Vain" - Carly Simon
  10. "Touch Me in the Morning" - Diana Ross
1073 automobile prices from :

AMC Javelin AMX: $3,191
Audi 100 Coupe: $3,695
Buick Luxus Hardtop Coupe: $3,718
Chevrolet Camaro Z/28: $3,470
Chevrolet Impala Custom Coupe: $3,836
Chevrolet Monte Carlo Landau: $3,806
Dodge Challenger with 340: $3,192
Dodge Charger Special Edition: $3,375
Dodge Polara Hardtop Coupe: $3,752
Fiat 124 Sport Coupe: $3,674
Ford Maverick Grabber: $2,541
Ford Mustang Mach 1: $3,088
Honda Civic Hatchback: $2,250
Mazda RX-2 Coupe: $3,495
Mercury (Ford) Capri V6: $3,261
Mercury Cougar XR-7: $3,679
Mercury Montego MX Wagon: $3,417
MGB: $3,925
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Coupe: $3,323
Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser Wagon: $3,788
Opel Manta: $2,850
Plymouth ‘Cuda: $3,120
Plymouth Duster 340: $2,822
Plymouth Fury III Hardtop Coupe: $3,883
Plymouth Satellite Sebring: $3,109
Pontiac Catalina Hardtop Coupe: $3,869
Pontiac Firebird Formula: $3,276
Pontiac LeMans GTO: $3,494
Triumph TR6: $3,275
Saab 99L: $3,845

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