Terry Steele (1972-87)
He had a big voice and a heart to match.
One of the smoothest-sounding of all the CHUM jocks, Terry Steele was born James Stromberg on July 19, 1947 in Chester, Pennsylvania. His first radio job was in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, at $60 a week. Steele jocked at WINX Rockville, Maryland, and WNOR Norfolk, Virginia, before arriving at CHUM in 1972. He spent 15 years at CHUM, establishing himself as one of Toronto's top jocks while voicing many of the station's specials.
Steele was part of one of CHUM's most memorable promotions when he wrestled Sweet Daddy Siki in 1974. He had the honour of signing off CHUM's Top 40 era on June 6, 1986 and continued at the station during the short-lived "Favourites of Yesterday ant Todau" format. After leaving CHUM in 1987, Steele jocked at CKEY, CKFM and CJEZ in Toronto. He died August 13, 1993 after a fall in his bathtub. He was 46.
"On the air, Terry may not have been as funny as Jay Nelson, as creative as Tom Rivers, or as flashy as Scott Carpenter," long-time CHUM programmer Warren Cosford said of Steele. "In the studio on tape, he wasn't as smooth as Walter Soles and Ron Morey, or as versatile as John Rode. But Terry Steele was consistent and solid. He was the quarterback when everyday was the Super Bowl. He was "Terrible Terry, the Bear in the Airchair from the Big House on Yonge Street." Working with him made you better. He had kind of a majesty.
Scott Carpenter supplies his own memories of Steele. "He was a big guy, with a bushy beard, everyone called him "The Bear" because he was as hairy as one. He had a great sense of humour, and would break out in uncontrolled laughter at almost any ribald comment, Carpenter writes in his blog (www.patbergin.blogspot.ca). "When I met the guy he shook my hand so hard in damn near came off. He had a high energy, no-nonsense approach on the air and impeccable timing.
- Dale Patterson, Rock Radio Scrapbook
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