I spent ten years doing radio with my dear friend, Marty Galin. We were co-hosts and producers for a very quirky show called, Marty & Avrum: The Food Guys.
The show was not your regular run-of-the-mill restaurant and food show. Not at all. In truth, Marty and I were anything but food aficionados and in the big picture, knew very little about the inner workings of a restaurant, let alone good food and how to make it.
So, what did we know?
What Marty and I really knew was people. He and I, until this day, love human behavior, especially if it’s funny, and we delight in discovering a compelling story about a person which is moving and happy. Marty often seemed to latch onto the tragic narrative as well.
So, doing a podcast together made a lot of sense. After all, the two of us had been like Siamese twins, attached at the mouth, for over a decade through our shows on Toronto stations, CFRB and Talk 640. Similarly, we did a stint on a local music station, CHFI, as well as producing and starring in three television shows.
Interviewing Marty Galin on HatRadio!
Normally, I conduct an interview on HatRadio! in my condominium in northern Toronto. Since Marty has some medical issues, we decided to do the show in his apartment, downtown. This caused several challenges in terms of equipment set up, but once the microphones were hot it didn’t make a difference where we were, because Marty & Avrum were back.
Imagine having a cousin or other family member you haven’t seen in many years who reconnects with you in your hometown, and the moment you do it’s as if no time had passed and you connect like it was yesterday – well that’s how it was with Marty and I. I started things off by introducing the show in dynamic terms, stating how incredibly special it was for Marty and me to be back together after a ten-year hiatus, even if just for this podcast. We then began to schmooze. And we began to laugh and poke fun at each other as we used to. The old shtick came back, some real cornball jokes and vaudevillian humor.
While the beginning of the show was luke-warmish in terms of our flow of information, soon enough the two of us began to fly, just like the old days. Memories just flowed out of us. We tossed back and forth names of chefs whom we had interviewed like Marc Thuet, formerly of Centro’s; Marc McEwen, formerly of North 44; Susur Lee who we castigated for refusing to come on our show and Michael Stadlander of Eigensen Farms, where he slaughters his own meat and serves up very expensive meals to exclusive guests.
After we covered the chefs and cooks, Marty, a self-professed chef, who really is not, took us down the road of the thematic nature of our radio shows such as: the wedding we conducted on-air, as well as the bris (circumcision). Of course, there was always something make-shift about these shows (no child was circumcised in the producing of the show), but they were a gas, and the discussion of course, always led to food. And food was aplenty.
Marty was never afraid to ask guests to bring lots and lots of it, so that a feast would follow the two or three-hour shows. And know that, the food I speak of was some of the finest in the country, and perhaps the world. As an example, we feasted on calamari from Yoso’s, steaks from Ruth Chris’s Steakhouse, and red beet risotto and fall off- the- bone Lamb Ribs from Masimo Capra’s Mistura Restaurant (he is no longer one of the owners). And we also enjoyed wonderfully tasty breakfasts from greasy spoons, and lunches from eateries specializing in salads and sandwiches. Life was glorious.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention every show had a musical guest. We had lots of local singer/songwriters who were extraordinarily talented, including a bagpipe player. The musicians were so often appreciative of the fact they could sing and play their songs on a well known, established, radio station. We had some international stars on Marty & Avrum, like Jose Feliciano (whom we sang ‘Light my Fire’ with), Harry Belafonte, Michael Bublé (Marty claims he had to give Michael change to get home), Engelbart Humperdinck and Jeff Healey. I loved the musical guests and respected Marty so much for his ability to secure decent musicians and singers every single show. And you’ll remember we did this for ten years. That’s a lot of talent!
Our discussion on HatRadio! seemed to cover the gamut of what Marty and I had accomplished together between 1995- 2005 on radio and television. At some point we began talking about our very popular television show, The Moveable Feast. While there is much to relate about this show, suffice it to say, The Moveable Feast was Marty’s brainstorm as most of our successes were. It lasted three years on a local television network and we had a gigantic cult following. They just seemed to eat up every show including one we did at Medieval Times (featuring me dressed in armour atop a horse), a Shabbos dinner (I picked up our hostess, an 80 year-old woman and promptly helped her throw her back out), and the show with a biker gang (a good biker gang with muscles galore but a mission statement to help people through acts of kindness). Moveable Feast was a gas and it gave Marty and I the opportunity to get out there, see our fans and have them see us. We were never really cocky – not enough money involved – but we were proud.
The cool thing about the radio and television show today, is that we often meet people who just loved what we did, the silliness and quirkiness of it, but at the same time, our sensitivity to our guests, the industry and really all peoples.
My HatRadio! podcast with Marty Galin had something no other show did. It was a moment in time when the two of us came together, schmoozed, laughed and reminisced for an hour and a half, as though no years had passed since we hosted commercial radio and television shows.
We both adored our time together and plan on doing some more shows down the road. Stay tuned.
About HatRadio! Podcast | The Show that Schmoozes
The HatRadio! podcast was created by Avrum Rosensweig. Avrum spent over a decade on commercial radio including Toronto’s CFRB and Talk 640 co-producing and co-hosting quirky and delightful food and restaurant shows with Hollywood stars and singers like Michael Bublé, prolific chefs, restauranteurs, servers and, of course, foodies from all over the world. He is also the founder of Ve’ahavata, Canada’s only Jewish humanitarian organization, a writer and a dad.
HatRadio!’s Tagline is “The show that schmoozes”. Avrum’s intention through this new and refreshing podcast is to create an environment that reflects an honest and earthy midnight talk amongst friends around a bonfire where ideas and feelings flow freely and the participants have many honest and often courageous “Aha” moments. Avrum is hoping these interviews will reflect positive human behaviour and inspire many to pursue greater goodness and kindness.
If you have any suggestions on people you feel should be interviewed or would simply like to get in touch with Avrum, please contact him at this link.
HatRadio! The show that schmoozes.