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Jul
10
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CHOM DJ Tootall To Sign Off After 40 Years On Montreal Radio
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Katherine Wilton, Montreal Gazette

After 40 years at CHOM 97.7 FM., the popular DJ known as Tootall will spin his last disc at the end of September.

Tootall, one of Montreal’s best-loved and longest-serving disc jockeys, will retire on Sept. 29, the station’s owners announced on Wednesday.

“Forty years into the game and his passion for music and his curiosity about new sounds, styles, and bands remain unmatched,” said Picard, CHOM’s music director.

The CHOM broadcaster, whose real name is Robert Wagenaar, has been a longtime promoter of young Canadian artists and local talent in the Montreal music scene.

He hosted the Made in Canada show for years, which promoted Canadian bands. His Electric Brunch and Electric Lunch segments helped keep classic rock alive in the city and the L’Esprit competition provided local groups with sought after recording time in local studios.

Jason Rockman, the lead singer with the metal band Slaves on Dope, said Tootall has been instrumental in launching the careers of numerous bands in Montreal and across Canada through initiatives like CHOM’s L’Esprit contest.

“If it wasn’t for guys like Tootall, we would never have gotten the chance to perform on bigger stages and to a bigger audience,” said Jackman, whose band won the L’Esprit contest in 1994.

“Every year, hundreds of bands would send in demo tapes and the dream was to win the contest and get on CHOM one day.”

Wagenaar is coy about his age and his height. When he was asked about his height, Wagenaar, would reply “Too tall.” The nickname stuck and stayed with him throughout his radio career.

Tootall was born in the Netherlands and grew up in Regina, where he developed a love of music and radio.

He took a break from spinning discs in 2013 to deal with some health issues, but returned to the station soon after. Tootall hosts the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. slot at CHOM.

Martin Spalding, a vice-president at Bell Media-Quebec, said Tootall would be hard to replace.

“His well-deserved retirement marks the end of an incredible career; his voice, knowledge and influence will be missed,” Spalding said.

Rockman, who is also a DJ at CHOM, said he is trying to carry on Tootall’s legacy by promoting new talent on his evening show at the station. “I’m the guy that the new bands come in and see and I learned that from Tootall,” he said.

Tootall got ordained five years ago so he could marry Rockman and his wife.

“He means a lot to me,” Rockman said. “I’m glad he is finally taking time for himself after giving so many years to everyone. I wish him nothing but the best and we are going to have a great send off for him. He is rock ‘n’roll in this city.”

Tootall was not available for an interview on Wednesday.



  1. Thanks tootall for everything you done for rock and roll ….we will all miss you ……Serge

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