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‘She changed my life’: Legendary Canadian singer in Windsor to honour friend Rosalie Trombley

Burton Cummings credits former Big 8 CKLW music director Rosalie Trombley with jump starting the iconic Canadian band The Guess Who.

The band enjoyed international success and Cummings told the gathering during the unveiling of a statue in Tombley’s honour Sunday they “made it” because of her.

“We travelled all over the world and I wouldn't have had that luxury had Rosalie Trombley not launched our first record,” he said.

Cummings remarked there was life before the hit song "These Eyes" and life since "These Eyes.”

“I wouldn't have a wall full of beautiful gold records at home if it weren't for Rosalie Trombley. I will never forget her,” he said.

She will never be forgotten.

A statue was unveiled commemorating her impact on radio and the music industry.

A statue of Rosalie Trombley, former Big 8 CKLW music director was unveiled Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. (AM800 CKLW)

“Outstanding,” said Trombley’s daughter Diane Lauzon. “It's special. She's captured her perfectly.”

And many agree artist Donna Mayne got it right.

“I’ve talked to neighbours and co-workers.” Mayne said. “My sister worked for her back in the day. She meant a lot to so many people that it was important I get it right.”

Former Big 8 traffic reporter Jo-Jo MacGregor said the statue is a wonderful tribute.

“Rosalie was just a wonderful mentor,” said MacGregor. “Any female. It could have been a secretary. A hit line girl. It didn't matter. She was always there for you.

The sculpture is located directly across from Caesars Windsor. Ten feet away is an interpretive panel with a QR code on it which brings people to a website celebrating the life of “The Girl with The Golden Ear” as she was known.

Trombley's memory is also being celebrated with a display at the Chimczuk Museum. Chris Renaud, senior account manager at HCA Mindbox, researched, designed and installed the room which features artifacts and mementos.

“Fascinating way to tell the story but great pride in working with the family and telling the story on her behalf,” Renaud said.

Mayor Drew Dilkens worked in the same building well after Trombley did but brushed across her legacy during his time in radio.

“I recall opening the door once and Sarah McLachlan walked in,” he said. “Sarah McLachlan said this is where Rosalie used to work. She knew the power of Rosalie.”

In a male dominated industry in the late 60s and early 70s Trombley made inroads launching the careers of many including Bob Seger, Alice Cooper and even helped Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” gain momentum.

Lauzon once told Billboard the song was not meant to be a single but eventually went on to hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 after being added to the rotation.

“It was right for us to honour her today,” Dilkens said.

Mayne feels it was important for the city to make Trombley the first woman honoured with a statue.

“She played an important role in our culture and our youth and future generations,” she said. “It was a good fit." Top Stories

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