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Radio pioneer becomes first Canadian inducted into U.S. Radio Hall of Fame


Windsor radio pioneer Rosalie Trombley was posthumously inducted into the U.S. Radio Hall of Fame this week.

The legendary music director now has the unique distinction of being the only Canadian out of 325 inductees, so far.

“Rosalie was really a groundbreaking, trendsetting music touch point making kind of individual,” said Kraig Kitchin, chairmen of the Radio Hall of Fame. “Her ability to select songs and to pick music that later became big hits not only on CKLW, but also on hundreds of radio stations in the United States is very evident.”

Trombley was music director at “The Big 8” CKLW-AM from 1968 to 1984. At the time, she was one of the few female music directors in Top 40.

“It was still in the emerging format,” Kitchin explained. “She was a trendsetter in the way that she was able to hear songs in a way that she knew radio audiences would want to hear them over and over again and at high frequency.”

Kitchin continued, “When artists like Bob Seger write songs about her, that's a significant indication she really, really has good relationship with music artists.”

Rosalie Trombley with Bob Seger

Tromblay was thought of as the number one music director in the U.S. during her tenure. She introduced numerous artists such as Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, and Bob Seger, who later wrote a song about her entitled "Rosalie.”

Trombley is credited with significantly helping artists and music groups including Elton John, Earth, Wind and Fire, Ted Nugent and The Guess Who.

“She was a Canadian resident. She made her living with Canadian radio stations, but her influence was really felt not only in that southern part of Canada, that Windsor, Ontario area that included areas like Hamilton and Sarnia but also throughout all of Southeast Michigan, where her influence really was very, very apparent,” Kitchin said.

He noted Trombley is also being inducted alongside musician James Brown.

In a statement to CTV News, Rosalie’s son Tim Trombley, who is also director of entertainment at Caesars Windsor said, “I am incredibly grateful my mother, Rosalie Trombley, will be honoured by the Radio Hall of Fame. My family and I look forward to celebrating our mother’s legacy and memory at the Induction Ceremony and thank the Nominating Committee for this opportunity to recognize our mom, who was a true legend in the history of AM Top 40 in North America.”

Rosalie Trombley passed away Nov. 23, 2021. Top Stories

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