Growing up listening to Toronto radio was amazing. This is why I fell in love with the craft at an early age. I had so many great personalities to learn from. The creativity of Tom Rivers. The humour of Mike Cooper. The news writing of Dick Smyth. The talents of Jesse and Gene, Larry Solloway and Walter Crouter. By my mid-teens, I got bored of music radio. Maybe I was just mature for my age, maybe I just needed something new. I sought out talk radio. I gave CFRB a try. I found greats like Crouter, Mike Stafford and John Oakley.
Then I found a whole new personality one weekend, surfing the AM dial. He wasn’t just something new. He was something else. He was Reiner Schwarz. He was doing an afternoon show on TALK640. I ended up making sure I would tune in every weekend. He made radio an event, again. He made me excited to listen. He made me love radio.
We lost Reiner last week. He was born in 1948, and died a local radio icon. Every station he hit during his colourful run in Toronto, he left his name engraved in the microphone. From his FM free-form radio at CHUM in the 70s, to being the boss at the The Spirit of Radio, CFNY, to stints at Jazz-FM, and most recently, CIUT Radio. He was innovative, with a revolutionary mind for the business.
“I was blown a away with what I heard on Reiner Schwarz’s show listening at night in the dark.” recollected blogger, Javed Jafri. ” He blended the Moody Blues’ Legend of a Mind with a track from a spoken word album and his own voice and it was like entering a magical world”
Entering a magical world was the best way to sum up the adventure you’d go on when you listened to Reiner. A magic carpet ride filled with ideas, humour, stories and music. The carpet ride came to an end when Reiner took the solo trip up to the stars. He left us with memories, and thought, and how to make the world a better, colourful place.
Thanks for the years of conversation.
Goodbye, Great Reiner.