Larry Green, 80, on Jan. 2. Green grew up in Toronto’s multicultural Kensington Market area, studying and playing music as a jazz saxophonist in his early years. Friend Del Mott, a host at CBC, helped Green land his first radio job at CHVC Niagara Falls. Stops in Guelph, Vancouver, Penticton, Winnipeg, and Toronto followed with Green eventually hired to host afternoon drive at CHUM-FM where he was also appointed creative director for the CHUM group. Green eventually made the leap into television, hosting a music show on CITY-TV and co-hosting national CBC-TV children’s show After Four, with Jan Tennant. He later moved into the music business as marketing director for GRT Records, and then National Promotion Manager for WEA Music (Warner Bros. Elektra and Atlantic Records). Green went on to host jazz programs for CFNY-FM, JAZZ.FM91 (CJRT-FM), and CBC Radio, as well as an online show on theiceberg.com. He also did a stint in program management with Telemedia. In addition to teaching in the Humber College Broadcasting Program, he created a Learning Annex offering called “Putting Your Voice To Work,” designed to teach techniques for developing voice talent for commercials, animation and announcing.
Wilma Pelly, 83, on Dec. 28 in Calgary. Hailing from Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, Pelly’s acting career started when she answered an ad in the newspaper for extras for Haruki Kadokawa period samurai film Heaven and Earth, which was partially shot on location in Calgary in 1989. She went on to appear as Elsie Tsa Che on North of 60 for six seasons and a number of subsequent TV movies. A recurring role on the series Mixed Blessings followed in addition to playing the Native American House Keeper in the second season of Fargo (2014), outliving dozens of other characters. Her last starring role was in Rueben Martell film “Don’t Say Its Name” which is currently in post-production.
Robert Whyte, 80, on Dec. 21. Whyte’s career as a news cameraman and photographer started at CKVR-TV Barrie, before he landed a job with the CBC. His work would take him from covering former Canadian Prime Ministers John Diefenbaker and Pierre Trudeau to documenting events in Vietnam, the Middle East, the Arctic and Africa, among other destinations.
Jo-Ann Silverstein, 81, on Dec. 21 after a battle with cancer. A trailblazer for women in radio sales, Silverstein was a single mother and working as a Registered Nurse, before being recruited into radio sales. She went on to account executive roles with CKO, CFGM, CJCL, CKEY, and later CFRB where she went on to an award-winning 25-year career with the station. She semi-retired in 2009 and worked with Spike Advertising. She’d been independently consulting since 2015. Silverstein was honoured with the Radio Trailblazers’ Rosalie Award during Canadian Music Week in 2016.
Grant Hudson (Jim Reese), 76, on Dec. 16, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Reese, who grew up in Hagerstown, MD, landed his first radio job at age 15 at one of his father’s stations. He took the on-air name of Grant Hudson in 1971 upon joining the CKLW Windsor newsroom. Having only decided on using “Hudson” as his last name, the news director of the day, Byron MacGregor, yelled “Try using Brent” just as Reese went in to read the news. Having misheard him, Grant Hudson was born. He left CKLW in 1982 to serve as program director at WNOE New Orleans, before returning to Detroit and CBS. Among other stops, Reese also worked as a host on WVAM Altoona, PA; WNBC New York; WOWO Fort Wayne, IN; WFLA Tampa Bay; and WSRQ Sarasota. He was also co-owner for a time of WJRB Bradenton, FL and WTZR Virginia Beach.
Loran Fevens, 76, on Dec. 7. Fevens joined the staff at CJLS Yarmouth, NS in 1963 as an announcer and news reporter, moving over to CKEN Kentville in 1964. He spent 11 years in the Annapolis Valley, also producing recorded music for local acts as a sideline. In 1974, he joined CHTN Charlottetown, PEI at station launch. He stayed there until 1982 when he moved into an audio/video production role with Veterans Affairs Canada, but didn’t leave radio behind, also co-hosting classical music program “Osborg’s Choice” with Dr. Bernd Osborg. Later renamed “The Music Box” after Osborg’s retirement, the program aired on several community stations in Canada and the U.S. from 1984-2010. Fevens retired from Veterans Affairs and returned to Yarmouth in 2002, starting syndicated program “Sentimental Journey” – a radio show featuring music from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The show aired for 17 years on more than 20 radio stations across Canada and the U.S.