Oh my my: can anything make you happier than the songs that were on the radio when you were 14 years old?
That’s the question I’ve been asking myself on this springlike day in Queensborough, as I’ve been searching out suitable songs to share with you as part of a post that technically isn’t about music at all.
Or at least, it is about music, in that it’s about a radio disc jockey. But really this post is about a joke: a silly, long-drawn-out joke with an unexpected punchline that a long-ago fan of that radio DJ remembered all through the years – and that, thanks to the power of friendship and the internet, I am able to share with you all, including that long-ago fan, right now.
Our story begins – well, where does it begin? That’s a good question.
Does it begin with a post I did here at Meanwhile, at the Manse three years ago this month, looking back at the great songs that one used to hear on AM radio in my childhood and early teen years? (When I was living right here in the Manse in Queensborough where Raymond and I now live once again, and where those songs came to us via good old CJBQ radio out of Belleville.)
Or does it begin with a landmark followup post in October 2014 when I proudly announced that I had found and made contact with Joey Edwards – the very guy who, as CJBQ’s weekday-evening disc jockey, played many of those songs for us?
Or does it begin with a comment on that post that I received only recently, at the start of this month, from a another person with fond memories of the music and voices and stories and hijinks of Joey Edwards?
Actually I think our story begins in about 1974 in the kitchen of a home in Tweed, Ont. (which is just down the road from us here in Queensborough; Tweed is one of two villages that vie for the title of being “town” to Queensborough folks). Let me take you back to that kitchen, where a teenager named Iain is plugging away at his homework while perhaps his mum is finishing up the supper dishes and maybe his dad is reading the latest issue of the Tweed News. In the corner of the kitchen is a radio, and out of that radio come songs like Takin’ Care of Business, and Then Came You, and The Joker, and Let Me Be There, and Top of the World, and Annie’s Song, and Midnight at the Oasis, and Sundown, and… oh, I have to stop. This is just too, too good, music-wise. Let’s take a pause and listen to one of the catchiest of those 1974 hits:
Anyway. Back to that warmly lit kitchen on an early-spring evening in Tweed, a little more than 40 years ago. In between all those great the songs on the AM radio comes the voice – or more correctly, voices – of DJ Joey Edwards. Joey was great at funny voices and imitations (notably of various Beatles), and his between-song patter and jokes were easily as entertaining as the music he played. Here’s how Iain put it this month when he came across my blog post about Joey:
“That is SO COOL! Growing up in Tweed we listened to Joey Edwards doing our homework in the evening… His stories were always great – ask him if he remembers the one that ended with “tag – you’re it!” … Thx again for the memories!”
Now, my response to Iain was that I had a feeling I should remember the “You’re it!” story – but I just couldn’t quite. Since I am fortunate enough to be in contact with Joey, however, I promised Iain I’d ask him about it.
And what a response I got! First, some more memories from Joey about his CJBQ gig all those years ago:
“I am still amazed that so many people remember my little radio show. Every night at 7 p.m. as I sat in front of that CJBQ microphone, I was never thinking about how many were listening or who they were. There was only ONE question on my mind: ‘I wonder how much fun I’ll have tonight?’ I figured if I was having a blast, so were the listeners. Every night when I did my show, I was like a little kid with a new toy. Even today I am still VERY much in touch with my ‘inner child.’ Now if only I could get in touch with my ‘inner adult!‘
“But I digress … Nightly on my show I presented my ‘Joke de Jour’ which was very popular. Below is the infamous ‘YOU’RE IT’ joke … It was one of my favourites.”
Upon which Joey proceeded not only to share the text of that kooky joke, but also an audio file of him telling it. Which means that – drum roll, please – Iain and all you other Joey Edwards fans out there (including me) get to hear the story all over again, straight from the source. Without further ado…
Oh boy. I don’t even know what to say, and I bet you don’t either. Except that those were simpler times, and it makes one smile to think that that ridiculous story made kids having a go at their homework in Tweed and Madoc and Queensborough and Belleville and Trenton and Stirling and Frankford and Marmora and Picton and Ivanhoe all stop what they were doing and have a chuckle.
To be followed with another great song from that totally great era of pop music. Let’s pick one with a title appropriate to what we’re doing right now: Reelin’ in the Years. And hey: Thanks, Iain. Thanks, Joey. And, as Joey always said at the conclusion of his show (in a Liverpudlian Beatles accent): Thaynks, Muum.