Byron MacGregor

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Byron MacGregor
Born Gary Lachlan Mack
(1948-03-03)March 3, 1948
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Died January 3, 1995(1995-01-03) (aged 46)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Nationality Canadian Held dual Canadian/American citizenships
Ethnicity Scottish
Occupation News director, News presenter, Radio personality, Television personality, recording artist
Years active 1967–1995
Known for His spoken word recording of "The Americans"

Byron MacGregor (March 3, 1948 – January 3, 1995)[1] was a Canadian news anchor and news director.

Career[edit]

Born Gary Lachlan Mack in Calgary, Alberta, by the age of nineteen he became the youngest news director at the AM radio station, CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, which also served Detroit, Michigan as well as Toledo and Cleveland in Ohio and covered twenty eight states and six provinces. This was during its "Big 8/20·20 News" period, and also around the time RKO General was forced to sell the station, due to a change in Canadian ownership rules that prohibited foreign firms from controlling Canadian licensed stations.[2]

In 1973, he read a Toronto newspaper editorial written by Gordon Sinclair of CFRB in Toronto, a commentary about America. MacGregor then read the patriotic commentary on CKLW Radio as part of a public affairs program; and, due to the huge response he was asked to record "The Americans" with "America the Beautiful" performed by The Detroit Symphony Orchestra as the background music. Both MacGregor and Sinclair released recorded versions of the commentary. MacGregor's version of the record (released on Westbound Records) became a bigger hit than Sinclair's in the United States, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of February 9, 1974.[3] In Canada, MacGregor's version hit #1, while Sinclair's hit #24. His recording has sold over three and a half million copies,[4] and all of his proceeds have been donated to the American Red Cross. MacGregor was honored with the "National Americanism Award".

MacGregor was known for his deep voice and high-energy announcing style at CKLW; and for writing copy in a manner that was compared to that of sensational tabloid newspapers. He later made the transition to a more traditional anchoring and interviewing style when he moved to WWJ Newsradio 950, the CBS Radio all-news station in Detroit, where he served as both morning and afternoon drive anchor during his thirteen-year occupancy. MacGregor also became the first newsman in Detroit to simultaneously anchor prime-time newscasts on both radio (WWJ) and television (WKBD-TV 50).

By the mid 1980s MacGregor held dual citizenships in Canada and the United States. He died on January 3, 1995. His funeral took place at the McCabe Funeral Home in Farmington Hills, Michigan and at the Shrine of the Little Flower Catholic Church in Royal Oak, Michigan.[5] He was 46 years old and left his wife of nineteen years, Jo-Jo Shutty-MacGregor. She was the first female helicopter news and traffic reporter in North America, and today works for WWJ and WOMC and the Metro News Networks. MacGregor was also survived by his sister, Leilani Harvie, by his Mother, Murdena MacGregor Mack, and by his brother, Hudson Mack, who is currently news anchor at CIVI-TV in Victoria, British Columbia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thedeadrockstarsclub.com Accessed April 2010
  2. ^ CKLW's 20/20 News Team on YouTube
  3. ^ Joel Whitburn, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. 7th Edition, 2000
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 331. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  5. ^ The Classic CKLW Page - Memoirs of Byron's Funeral