Hey this is Rick Murray Hunter. Thanks for spending some time visiting HouseoftheHits.com.
A bit about me – I’m from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My name is a hybrid of my legal surname (Murray) and my professional broadcasting surname (Hunter) so people who know me by either are covered.
I developed an interest in rock & roll music at a young age when my mom had me listening to Elvis Presley‘s earliest records and watching him perform on the Milton Berle and Ed Sullivan shows. And my passion for Top 40 music continued to grow through the early 60’s, then Beatlemania and The British Invasion and so on.
Then came a chance meeting with a new 10th grade classmate, who was not only into following hit music and buying records, but also had a keen interest in radio broadcasting. Not long after, I too was hooked on radio.
Fortunately I’ve parlayed that into a lifelong career – first in Canada, and then the United States. And it’s been great, doing what I did in my room at home as a teenager – playing records, but getting paid!! Plus, no heavy lifting is involved! (BTW, that new high school chum was Roger Ashby, who has a highly successful radio career as the long-time morning show host on Toronto’s CHUM-FM. And we’ve remained good friends to this day).
Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune and honor of introducing concerts by or meeting a wide array of great artists from the Top 40 rock & roll era; Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra), Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits), Billy Joel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Peter Frampton, Ronnie Spector (The Ronettes), Buck Owens, Little Richard, Flo & Eddie (The Turtles), Jack Scott (early Canadian rockabilly star), Maurice Gibb (The Bee Gees), Jan & Dean, Rick Nelson, Martha Reeves (The Vandellas), Fats Domino (along with his music director David Bartholomew), Gerry Marsden (The Pacemakers), The Searchers, Burton Cummings (The Guess Who), Mitch Ryder (Detroit Wheels), Gary Lewis (The Playboys), John Phillips (The Mamas And The Papas), Gary Brooker (Procol Harum), Scott McKenzie, Elaine “Spanky” MacFarlane (Our Gang) and more.
I also had the great experience of doing my radio show live from the beautiful broadcast studio at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame & Museum in Cleveland, OH.
But without question, my biggest musical thrill was seeing The Beatles. It was on August 17th, 1966 at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, the evening show at 8:30. And I still have the actual ticket stub (as displayed).
Note the price – $5.50 for 30 minutes of sustained pure pandemonium! It was their 9th last stop on the ’66 North American tour, and unknown at the time, 12 days later on August 29th, the tour finale at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park would be The Beatles last ever live touring performance. (Although some consider the impromptu Apple Records rooftop concert in London on January 30, 1969 to be their official last live performance)
Again, thanks for stopping by – and I hope you enjoy the website! Please leave feedback using the ‘Reach Out’ link above!
1969: I began in radio full-time as a studio producer (a.k.a. board operator) at legendary Canadian Top 40 AM station 1050 CHUM / Toronto. I like to call it ‘University of CHUM’ because I was observing some of the very best disc jockeys on the planet executing their business in such a professional way on a daily basis. It gave me valuable insight into the high skill set required of major market air personalities, and that osmosis-like self transformation is what ultimately led to my big switch to the other side of the glass.
1976: After a brief learning curve as a ‘jock’ at a Kingston, Ontario radio station, I returned to the country’s largest radio market, where for 6 years I was a music host at the top-rated Top 40 AM powerhouse (and direct competitor with CHUM for the huge 18-34 listening audience) 680 CFTR / Toronto, with their 1,000,000+ weekly listeners.
1987: Unexpectedly, my career brought me to the first of several major markets in the United States; first to the Dick Clark-owned Unistar Radio Network / Los Angeles (subsequently part of the L.A. based Westwood One Radio Networks). Broadcasting from their Sunset Boulevard studios in the heart of Hollywood on 24/7 satellite-delivered The Oldies Channel, I was heard live nationwide on 120+ affiliate Oldies stations.
P.S. I’d like to add, that although I will always be grateful for my experiences in Canadian radio, the ability to work in the U.S. broadcast industry – with its much greater number of big cities and stations – fortunately provided employment opportunities which undoubtedly extended my on-air career by at least ten years – maybe more.
While in SoCal, I also worked at legendary AM-dial Country Music station KLAC / Los Angeles, performing various on-air duties which included doing the penultimate country show on the station before a new ownership group changed music formats – and fired the entire air staff!
2000: Joined CBS Radio as an air personality at Classic Hits WOMC / Detroit.
2009: Transferred within CBS Radio to the sunshine of West Central Florida and Classic Hits WRBQ (Q105) / Tampa Bay.
2013: Left CBS Radio.
2014: Based on a couple of weekend specialty shows I did while with CBS – The Hall of Fame Show and Top 20 Countdown with Rick Hunter, at WOMC and Q105 respectively – I launched the Facebook All-Music page TopTwentyCountdown, which subsequently morphed into the HouseoftheHits All-Music Blog.
April 28, 2015: Established HouseoftheHits Inc.
July 15, 2015: Launched the website HouseoftheHits.com from where the HOTH All-Music Blog now originates.