Hollywood is not genearlly the first thing that comes to mind when we think “radio”, nor is Bollywood… so why on earth would I create a post on “Montréwood” Radio? (In this instance, I’m referring to Franco-pop hit-music radio – not talk radio – we’ll leave talk radio for another post). There are a couple of short answers. One is that hit-music radio personalities in Montréal have definitely have become multi-platform celebrities in their own right – and are often cross-featured on television and sometimes in movies. Another reason is that Franco-pop hit-music radio in Montréal plays a major role in the rise and promotion of Franco-pop music. Major decisions are being made regarding who gets air time – and that can mean make-it-or-break-it for many up and coming artists.
(Franco-pop is a term for French pop music. It can be used in the same way as Canto-pop describes Hong Kong Cantonese music or Mando-pop for Mainland China pop music).
Despite having one of the busiest subway and passenger train systems in North America, Montréal, like other cities across Canada and North America, is still very much a car-commuting city. It’s vastly spread-out with millions of people in the metropolitan regions. Commuters will often spend an hour or more in traffic each way, driving to and from work. Commuters sometimes spend more time listening to radio personalities than their own families – making radio personalities some of the best known names in town. Some radio stations have also developed daily short comedy skits and programs which attract tens of thousands of listeners (one in particular attracts over 100,000 listeners and I’ve heard there has been more than one vehicle accident caused by commuters laughing hysterically in their cars). The funniest aspect of such programming, apart from the hilarity of the jokes or skits themselves, is looking out your car window and watching everyone else in the cars around you also busting a gut at the same jokes, while still trying to drive in a straight line !! It’s become a cultural tradition and part of the cultural make-up of Montréal and Québec.
There are several Franco-pop hit-music stations in Montréal, and most have affiliate stations in other cities around Québec, and in the Ottawa area.
The subjects of some of the prior blogs, in addition to their television fame, are also well-known radio personalities; Véronique Cloutier, Jean-René Dufort, Ron Fournier, and Normand Brathwaite (are you starting to see how Québec pop-culture it all starts to mesh and come together now to form an interwoven cultural block?).
Some of the more popular stations are:
- NRJ, 94,3
- CKOI, 96,9
- Rythme FM, 105,7
- Rouge FM, 107,3
All of the above stations’ websites offer online live streaming, and a daily countdown (or décompte in French) of the top 10 or 25 songs (along with the ability to listen to excerpts and purchase tracks online). That way you will always be in the know for what’s the hottest of the hot in Franco-pop.
NRJ (pronounced Énergie, meaning “energy”)
- Website: (Click HERE)
- NRJ daily top 10 French songs, with ability to listen to excerpts: (Click HERE)
- Daily comedy duo featured between songs: Les Grandes Gueules (Click HERE)
- Daily comedy skits: Les 2 minutes du people (by François Pérusse) – This 2-minute skit, running now for almost 25 years, has become a cultural institution of Québec comedy! It’s a Montréal-created sketch, broadcast on stations across Québec. But it has become so big that it’s now broadcast daily on the radio in Switzerland, France and Belgium – making its creator and main voice, François Pérusse, an international star. It’s available for download as a free podcast. (I’ve even had to pull over to the side of the road once because it has made me laugh so hard). Click HERE for the latest skits.
CKOI (pronounced C’est quoi)
- Website: (Click HERE):
- CKOI daily top 25 French songs, with ability to listen to excerpts: (Click HERE)
- Daily comedy skits and jokes: Debout les comiques (Click HERE)
- Website: (Click here) Website: (Click HERE)
Bonne écoute !!