Big Al’s Dance Party – Memories, Music & Mayhem
About the Host: Big Al, began his broadcasting journey at the tender age of 10. It was a cold and snowy afternoon in Edmonton, Alberta, and Allan’s father was putting the finishing touches on the construction of CMBR RADIO (Make Believe Radio). It consisted of a studio in the den and a speaker in the kitchen. It was the sounds emanating from that 6″ speaker that only a mother could love. In the “theatre of his own mind” Allan was the greatest DJ, news, sports and weather announcer to ever hit the airwaves.
His first real live gig was on KGVO, Missoula, Mont., where Allan hosted the first live Jazz show ever in the state of Montana. “Al Comes Lately” was a big hit… only problem was most of the listeners were the employees of the sponsors, The Hall Tree Men’s Clothing Store. In between Dizzy and Ella, Allan was pushing India Madras shirts. After graduating from the University of Montana, Allan found his way back to Vancouver, Canada where he toiled as a social worker, teacher, professional fund raiser and businessman. But always yearning to re-kindle his passion for radio and Jazz..
In 1995 he resurrected that little boy from radio Edmonton and became “Big Al” — hosting the most popular live radio show in Vancouver. “Big Al’s Dance Party was born, and the theme was …memories, music, mayhem or comedy, records and fun! The ratings at AM 1040 went through the roof… and for two years he was the toast of Saturday night. Big Al and his motley crew of characters… Cuzzin Freddy, Marvelous Mindy and Rockin Rob took you back to the golden music of the 40′s and 50′s, and Big Band. Throw in the Doowop Gal and Mickey the Music Man and his collection of 10,000 78′ records from the 30′s and you had a very unique show!
A little known fact, Al along with Michael Dickinson, Tom Sponarski, and Leon Geyser- all Big Brothers, were the original owners that acquired the CRTC license to operate CISL 650 in Richmond (South Fraser Broadcasting) in 1980. Allan was one of the first to host an internet radio show on the Dowco (DEN) Radio Network at it’s Burnaby studios in 1997.
About the Show: Big Al’s Dance Party will make it’s triumphant return to the airwaves with 2 years of archived shows including a rare 20th birthday celebration with Burnaby’s own Michael Buble. Plus many more great memories and interviews with Jazz greats from the Blue Note in New York City and a show co-hosted with Canada’s own Lorraine Foster and June Katz.