Home > time tunnel > 1960s
1960s:  The Golden Age of Top 40


Feb. 22: CKNW 980 increases its power to 10,000 watts day/5,000 watts night.

March 7: KARI 550 signs on the air from Blaine, Washington with a religious format.  The BBG did not allow religious radio stations until 1993, except the 2 in Newfoundland that were religious stations before Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949.

March 10: CFUN 1410 switches to a "Top 40" format. 

  Aug. 10: CHQM FM 103.5 signs on the air with an easy listening format.  It is western Canada’s first full power FM station.  It started broadcasting in STEREO on Nov. 4, 1961.
CHQM FM station history. 
  Wikipedia history.

 CJAV 1240 Pt. Alberni increases its daytime power from 250 to 1000 watts. CJAV station history. 

Oct. 31 at 4:45 pm: CHAN TV CHANNEL 8 VANCOUVER signs on as Vancouver’s first independent TV station.  Within 2 years it would move from it’s small studios on Seymour Street in downtown Vancouver to Lake City in Burnaby.  In a year it would become a member of the brand new CTV TELEVISION NETWORK.    In 1968, the very popular “News Hour” started from 6-7 pm nightly.  Over the next 17 years as it built over 100 rebroadcast transmitters throughout the province, it became known as BCTV.  CHAN TV history.
  Wikipedia history.


  CJOR 600 increases its power to 10,000 watts.

June 28: CBUT signs on its first rebroadcast transmitter at Courtenay on channel 9.  A special welcome program was telecast at 7 pm.  It is known as CBUT-1.


Aug. 20: CFVR 1240 signed on as Abbottsford’s first radio station mainly as a rebroadcaster of  CHWK Chilliwack. Power was 250 watts.   CFVR started out with its own morning show and the rest of the day's programming was from Chilliwack. For more information click here.


Jan. 19: CJJC 850 signs on as a country music station in Langley with 1000 watts founded by Joe Chesney.   CJJC history.

Sept. 10: CFWB 1490 Campbell River signs on the air with 250 watts.  CFWB station history.

 March 1: CHQM introduces a non-stop background music service called "Q Music".  It is operated on a sub-carrier of CHQM FM.  It became the first such service in Canada.  It was heard in supermarkets, apartments, hotels, offices and elevators where it became known as "elevator music."

Cablevision companies started wiring the Lower Mainland for cable TV.  The Lower Mainland was divided up into 8 different cable companies.  Vancouver, Richmond and South Burnaby were served by Vancouver Cablevision.  Western Cablevision served New Westminster, Surrey and Langley.  It took over 10 years to lay cable throughout the area.  Its attraction was quality reception of American stations.  Here is the early cable TV line-up:  The listings in “Italics” are for Western Cablevision if different from Vancouver Cablevision.

Cable    To receive
2    CBU FM Vancouver
3    CBUT (2) Vancouver   (CBC)
4    KOMO (4) Seattle    (ABC)
5    KING (5) Seattle    (NBC)
6    CHEK (6) Victoria    (CBC/CTV)
7    KIRO (7) Seattle    (CBS)
8    CKLG FM Vancouver  (starting in 1965)
      CHAN (8) Vancouver    (CTV)
9    24 hour Community Announcements
10    Community Announcements
11    CHAN (8) Vancouver  (CTV)
      KTNT (11) Tacoma      Ind.
12    CHQM FM Vancouver
13    KVOS (12) Bellingham (CBS)

Aug. 22: The Beatles concert (all 29 minutes of it) was broadcast live on CKNW and CFUN.  The popularity of the Beatles and the other artists that were part of the ”British Invasion” helped revive a sagging “Top 40” format. CKLG images from 1967 & 1968:      CKLG 730 would drop its easy listening to become Vancouver’s most popular Top 40 station over the next 16 years.  CFUN would constantly rival CKLG in the ratings race and DJs would move back and forth between the 2 stations.  The decline of the Top 40 format and the increasing popularity of FM Stereo would end this ratings race in the early 1980s. 

CFAX 810 moves to AM 1070.

 CJVI 900 Victoria increases its power to 10,000 watts.

Oct. 1: CKAY 1500 Duncan signs on the air with 1000 watts of power day/night. CKAY station history. 

Oct. 15: CKLG FM 99.3 signs on in Vancouver with easy listening, orchestra concerts and movie and Broadway soundtrack recordings.  Power was 100,000 watts.  CKLG FM (1964-79)/C-FOX history.
  Wikipedia history.

Nov. 8: CBU FM 105.7 begins daily regular programming separate from CBU AM.  It’s programming consists of mainly recorded classical music and BBC programs. CBU FM station history. 

1965 March 13: CHQM FM 103.5 increases its power from 20,000 to 100,000 watts and moves its transmitter from Grouse Mountain to Mt. Seymour. 

March 20 6 pm: CKDA FM becomes CFMS 98.5 and starts broadcasting independently from CKDA.  Its broadcast day is noon-midnight 7 days a week.

 March 26: CKNW 980 increases its power to 50,000 watts.

May 13: CBUT-2 launches in Chilliwack on channel 3.  Its transmitter is at Lookout Ridge.  Power 600 watts/video, 300 watts/audio.

  Sept. 1:  CBC and CTV start broadcasting in colour.  


KCTS 9 (PBS) Seattle started being carried on channel 9 on cable from 4 pm-approx. 11 pm (channel 9’s full broadcast day) with the community announcements (see 1963).  KCTS’ schedule would expand to over 15 hours/day in 1971.  KCTS started broadcasting educational programming in Seattle in 1954.

 March 1: CHQB 1280 Powell River signedon the air owned by Sunshine Coast Broadcasting Company.
CHQB station history. 

 CFAX 1070 Victoria increased its power to 10,000 watts.

Sept. 18: CFUN 1410 drops it’s Top 40 format for an easy listening format called the “Sound of Music”.  It's last weekly #1 song is "The Letter" by the Box Tops. In 2 years it would change it’s call letters to CKVN  (VN: Vancouver News) and become Vancouver’s first all news radio station.   It would also offer talk shows, a brief stint as a big band format and after all these experiments with different formats failed, returned to Top 40 in March 1970, with Terry David Mulligan, Fred Latremouille, and JB Shayne.
FM AIRCHECK:  At this point in time, FM Radio was in it’s early years and broadcasters saw FM as a cheap way of bringing continuous music usually as an automated radio station.  FM radio stations that could be received in Vancouver at this time were:  KVGM 92.9 Bellingham, CFMS 98.5 Victoria, CKLG FM 99.3 Vancouver, CHQM FM 103.5 Vancouver, KERI FM 104.3 Bellingham and CBU FM 105.7 Vancouver. All these radio stations offered easy listening music with 10- 24 hours/week of jazz and 10-24 hours/week of classical music.

NEW Feb. 26: Oct. 7 11:15 pm: The Variety Club launched its first telethon on CHAN TV Ch. 8 & CHEK TV Ch. 6.  The program was all live from the Queen Elizabeth Playhouse.

Dec. 1 5 pm:  CBUF FM 97.7 Power: 100,000 watts. CBUF FM station history.
  Wikipedia history.

At this time, CKLG FM 99.3 started experimenting with rock music late at night.  In 1968 this format would expand into the evening hours and on March 16 CKLG FM started playing album tracks from rock, folk and popular albums from 10 am-2 am daily and continuing its obligation to play classical music from 6-10 am.


July 1: C-FUN 1410 changes its call letters to CKVN.  VN=Voice of  News.  C-FUN would gets its call letters back Sept. 30, 1973.

Forward to 1970.