Tootall Retires After 40 Years at CHOM.
Updated: Sep 11, 2020
He said what we were all thinking: "It's a retirement it's not a boot in the back." More often than not it's a company decision rather than a personal one to step away. This time it is the latter. After 40 years of working at Montreal's legendary CHOM 97.7, Tootall will be doing what he considered doing a year ago, before management politely asked for one more year.
It's not just the radio shows he will be remembered for, but his tireless efforts at promoting Canadian music. The annual L'Esprit competition had a great run for many years and bands like the Respectables, Jonas & the Massive Attraction, Mobile and Slaves on Dope can trace their roots to that competition. Jason Rockman was a member of Slaves on Dope and took to Facebook live to salute Tootall:
Tootall also interviewed just about every Canadian band before they were signed to a major record label. That includes the Tragically Hip, Moist, and Our Lady Peace. The station has always been scrutinized for the songs it plays, and the songs it doesn't play; such are the dynamics of a radio market where French is the dominant language but English music is more in demand. There's also additional legal regs beyond the well known 35% Canadian Content quota.
I had the chance to work with Tootall twice. The first time in 1992 when I was an overnight DJ, and the second when I returned as Assistant Program Director in 2002. Standard Radio had just purchased CHOM from CHUM ltd., and what ensued were a bunch of nasty firings and layoffs. (Tootall made mention of that difficult time in leaving Greene Avenue altogether)
Tootall's last show will be on Friday September 29th, 2017.