Latest NewsLegendary DJ Dick Williams signs off at 83

Legendary DJ Dick Williams signs off at 83

Legendary disc jockey Dick Williams, who had a radio career spanning more than six decades and is credited as one of the first DJs in North America to spin The Beatles, has passed away. He was 83.

Williams, who eventually earned the nickname “The Tall One,” got his start in broadcasting at age 16 in Kitchener. From there, he went to WSAI Cincinnati, while attending university, and by age 19 was doing mornings in San Diego. A program director stint in Sacramento at KROI followed, and then KEWB Oakland, before Williams returned to Canada and CFPL London in the summer of 1960 to host an evening teenage rock n’ roll show. A CBC affiliate at the time, he would come back on after the 11 p.m. news with the program, Journey Into Melody. He also hosted CFPL-TV programs like Hootenany and Wing Ding.

Following a format change at the station in 1967, Williams formed a production company that offered pre-produced and customized radio contests to stations across the country, before CFPL hired him back in 1972 as part of the station’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Williams returned to weekends, and took a detour writing for an ad agency, when he got a call from CJBK-AM London station owner Rick Richardson to take over afternoon drive. He went on to host mornings at CHLO and then middays at Q97.5 – which became EZ Rock (CKQM-FM) – where he stayed for roughly 15 years.

In semi-retirement, he split his time between Port Stanley, ON and Key West, FL, taking on voiceover work and running online station Southernmost Radio, featuring hits of the ’70s and ’80s, and “Trop Rock.”

With the help of his son D.J., an account manager with Corus Entertainment in London (whose mother is incidentally former Channel 98 music librarian Debbie Dennis), Williams returned to the CFPL airwaves in 2021 as the host of weekend program, Dick Williams’ Solid Gold Rock and Roll, which he continued to host up until his passing.

Dick and D.J. Williams joined Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast upon Dick’s return to CFPL in 2021. Listen to that episode here:

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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