Radio host defines cool on Stouffville airwaves…By Chris Shanahan

Radio host defines cool on Stouffville airwaves…By Chris Shanahan

cool whistleThey used to call him Daddy Cool and he has met and mingled with music royalty from Muddy Waters to Elvis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. Today, as a 73-year-old Stouffville grandfather, Dave Booth continues to rock the airwaves as the encyclopedic host of several popular boogie -chilling shows played weekly on the town’s community radio station, WhiStle102.7 FM.

His signature Dave’s Jukebox show is a musicologist’s delight, featuring three hours of vintage rock, blues and soul ranging from million-sellers to the obscure and almost forgotten. The killer music extending mainly from the 50s to the 70s is backed by fascinating personal tidbits of knowledge and insight reflecting the host’s vast archival memory; where and when songs were recorded and other curious facts about the disc and artist. The show is definitely a must listen, running Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and again each Wednesday from 2 to 5.

If you happen to be outside the Stouffville area and can’t pick up the local signal, visit www.whistleradio.ca and listen online. Dave also hosts Monday and Friday Night Blues shows from 11 p.m. to midnight, and has a new one-of-a-kind soul entry debuting this spring. The station’s website also features an archive of Dave’s podcasts and other shows.

I recently had the chance to see this old-school, throw-back DJ at work in the cozy confines of the WhiStle studios. It was clearly evident his passion for music and the people who make it hasn’t wavered over the past six decades or so. I watched as he recorded and re-recorded his intros and fine-tuned upcoming segments with the aid of detailed, hand-written scripts. A distinctive English-accented delivery definitely ensures this radio veteran stands out from the crowd.

Being an acclaimed radio show host is a time-consuming process and, as a station volunteer, Dave does it all for the love of music. But it’s also extremely important to him to continue spreading the word about these classic music genres to listeners young and old alike. One key thing he has learned is that an audience wants to be entertained and – as long as the quality of music and musicianship is good – then he’ll play it.

Dave grew up in Harrogate, Yorkshire, and it was there as a teenager he was fortunate to experience the explosive birth of rock and roll first hand. “It was just the first music I’d ever heard that meant something to me,” he says. “Up until that time there was no teen culture… (With rock) there was a clothing style to go with it; there was a dance to go with it. It was very exciting.”

He came to Canada in 1960 at the age of 20; the rest, as they say, is music history. He eventually became an on-air legend in Kitchener-Waterloo, where he created an alter ego – Daddy Cool – in order to separate Dave Booth from the guy spinning the blues. Daddy Cool later found stardom at CFNY, a fledgling, free-form station based out of Brampton.