800 on the AM Dial – The Big 8

CKLW was a Top 40 radio station based in Windsor, Ontario during the 1960s and 1970s that was easily heard in Toledo, Ohio. By 1978, “CKLW’s popularity was overshadowed by FM radio’s album oriented rock format and it became the station you listened to if you only had an AM radio in your old car.”

Top 100 of 1971

The ’80s, The End

According to the CKLW Wikipedia page:

CKLW evolved during the late 1970s into an Adult Top 40 direction. The station’s music softened to the point where, by 1982, it gave no airtime to harder-rocking songs like Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”, and jingles were initially phased out, with new jingles and a new slogan being introduced in 1979.

The final death knell for the Big 8 came in October 1984, when the station fired 79 staffers (including most of the remaining announcers and Rosalie Trombley), closed its American sales office in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan, and announced that it would soon change format to Al Ham’s “Music of Your Life” format of Jazz standards and big-band music and go completely automated.

The “Big 8” was finally laid to rest on Tuesday, January 1, 1985.

CKLW was sold in 1993.

Former CKLW facilities. Image by Tim Tyler (1998)
Former CKLW facilities. Image by Tim Tyler (1998)