While he may not be jumping up and down in a radio booth throwing records on turntables, Tony Pavick is once again pumping out radio in the form of a weekly hour-long show from his home in Hope.
It’s been 20 years since radio was broadcast from Hope – former radio personality and now fire chief Tom DeSorcy confirmed that CKGO, Hope’s AM radio station, closed its doors in 2000. And while Pavick isn’t starting a new radio station, he’s broadcasting for an hour each week from Hope to the world via shortwave radio.
Shortwave, a band in between the AM and FM band, Pavick explained, was utilized right up until the 1990s by countries wanting to spread their news, propaganda and cultural content. Living in the U.S., Pavick got his first taste of Canada while listening to Radio Canada International on a shortwave radio his parents bought him in the late 1960s.
Since the end of the Cold War, Pavick explains, countries have turned their radio equipment over to different groups. One of those is Channel 292 at the University of Twente, where he broadcasts at a rate of 15 Euro for an hour of radio time. Those without the ability to pick up shortwave can listen to Pavick’s show online at websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/?tune=6070am.
The show starts with radio static, followed by the sound of a pop being opened and poured. Then Pavick comes in with “from the town of Hope in super natural British Columbia, in Canada, I’m Tony and this is Pop Shop Radio.”
Pavick plays a wide range of pop music, for example his first show included a Czech language version of Heart of Glass recorded when Czechoslovakia was still a nation, and a 2006 Groovefinder remix of Nina Simone’s Ain’t Got No.
He draws inspiration from a time when you could hear, on a top 40 station, a line-up featuring Jefferson Airplane, followed by Johnny Cash and then the The Beatles. “There was a great variety of music played on the same station,” he said. “Popular music wasn’t just rock n’ roll, it was rock and pop and country and just a whole variety of things. So that’s where the idea for it being called the Pop Shop came about.”
Pavick doesn’t keep it a secret where he finds some of the more obscure plays. He uses music website 45cat.com, an extensive online music archive.
Having experienced the golden days of radio when records were actually spun, Pavick puts his show together using his collection of vinyl records as well as songs loaded on the computer.
He arranges it all using a program called RadioDJ, then uses his home studio’s mic and mixing board to insert his own words. Growing up at a time when the likes of Wolfman Jack, Dick Clark and Murray the K were on the air and when radio DJs were huge personalities, Pavick inserts small slices of his own personality into his show.
Pop Shop has been broadcasting since Sept.9, but Pavick is already planning way ahead. His twelfth show, airing at the end of November, will be a nostalgia trip for those who love Canadian radio – he’s collected the jingles from the top 40 stations in Canada, including B.C. stations CFUN and CKLG.
“Every fourth show is something special,” Pavick said.
Show number eight is set to be the ‘no hit radio’ show, where the albums of massive music stars that were complete flops will be unearthed. Pavick has Queen’s Keep Yourself Alive and David Bowie’s Be My Wife, among others cued up for this show.
Pavick first tried his hand at making radio in high school, followed by a radio gig in college that he calls his “fun job until I got honest work.” Besides another brief stint in radio in 1988, he hasn’t been in radio since.
“It was a real rush, I told some friends of mine that I felt like I was 18 years old again,” he said of being back at it 30 odd years later. “Even though it’s not live, you don’t want to stop, you want to do it and do it all in one take. As if it was live and on the air.”
Pavick is also using Pop Shop Radio to promote the town he has lived in since 2014. Many European tourists pass through Hope, and Pavick has already had listeners reach out to him from Belgium, Germany, Russia and the Ukraine. When he gets further along in the show, Pavick plans to insert some Hope trivia.
Anyone wanting to connect with Pavick about the show can email email@example.com. The show airs Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Pacific time, a more complete schedule can be found at popshopradio.ca.
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