Media Release


Jan 19, 2016

Renowned CKLW Hitmaker and Former Radio Music Director to Receive the Prestigious Award at the 45th Annual JUNO Awards in Calgary, AB

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Toronto, ON (January 19, 2016) — The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) today announced Rosalie Trombley as the recipient of the 2016 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, which recognizes individuals who have made an impact on the Canadian music industry. Known as “the girl with the golden ear” due to her keen ability to choose hit songs and create music programming that appealed to broad audiences, Trombley was a true forerunner for women in radio between 1967 and 1993. She will be honoured at the 2016 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on Saturday, April 2 in Calgary, Alberta as part of JUNO Week festivities.

Trombley’s tenure as a music director and one of the few female executives in radio at the time stretched over twenty years. Her decision to give records exposure led to the rise in popularity of countless talented artists, while also solidifying her position as one of the most powerful forces in the industry. Trombley is particularly credited for the breakthroughs of Canadian artists into the United States, including Gordon Lightfoot’s, “If You Could Read My Mind”, The Guess Who’s “These Eyes”, Paul Anka’s “You’re Having My Baby”, Bachman Turner Overdrive’s “Taking Care of Business”, and Burton Cummings’ “Stand Tall” amongst many others.

“I am deeply moved and humbled by this tremendous honour, as the recipient of this year’s Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. The BIG 8 was a powerful force in broadcasting, with a signal that reached millions of listeners,” said Rosalie Trombley. “I will always consider myself fortunate to have played a role in such a significant era of music and proud of the exposure CKLW afforded many, now legendary and superbly talented, Canadian artists.”

“Rosalie Trombley’s remarkable intuition and influence in the Canadian music industry are extraordinary,” said Allan Reid, President & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts. “Not only did she distinguish herself as a radio trailblazer, her passion for music has heightened the careers of some of the legendary artists we know and love today. On behalf of the CARAS Board, we are very pleased to recognize Rosalie Trombley with the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award for her exceptional contributions.”

Trombley began her career at the AM Top 40 powerhouse, CKLW – The BIG 8 in Windsor, Ontario as a switchboard operator, but before long her talented ear for discovering hit songs led her to become one of the most influential individuals in radio history.

Although CKLW was based in Windsor, it programmed for the Detroit market and the station’s 50,000-watt signal beamed across the American Midwest. In addition to being the #1 rated station in Detroit for many years, the station routinely rated in the top five in multiple Midwest markets in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Having a profound understanding for the unique Windsor-Detroit market, Trombley is celebrated for playing what she believed to be ‘crossover’ hits – songs that appealed to both black and white audiences. Particularly, she persuaded Elton John to release “Bennie and The Jets” as a single, because she instinctively knew it had tremendous potential to ‘crossover’.

Recording artists, both established and aspiring, visited Trombley to promote their latest single releases, and the walls of her office were lined with gold records. Among other artists she is credited with breaking onto the Top 40 CHR charts are: Bob Seger, Kiss, Alice Cooper, The O’Jays, Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament–Funkadelic, Queen, and Aerosmith. In addition, Bob Seger immortalized Rosalie in his 1973 song “Rosalie” from his Back in ’72 album.

Notwithstanding her larger-than-life career, Trombley also raised a young family on her own and was always a strong supporter of women in the industry. Her inspirational leadership and passion for music are carried on through the Rosalie Award, an honour in her name, which recognizes innovative women in radio every year at Canadian Music Week.

For more information on the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, or to download photos of Rosalie Trombley, go to

The 45th Annual JUNO Awards and JUNO Week will be held in Calgary, Alberta, March 28 – April 3, 2016.


Premier Partners of the 2016 JUNO Awards: We acknowledge the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada and of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, Radio Starmaker Fund, Province of Alberta, the City of Calgary, Tourism Calgary, the National Music Centre and TD Bank Group.


Web Links

Official JUNO Awards website:


The JUNO Awards Twitter handle: @TheJUNOAwards



The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences/L’académie canadienne des arts et des sciences de l’enregistrement (CARAS) is a not-for-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the Canadian music industry and to contribute toward higher artistic and industry standards. The main focus of CARAS is the exploration and development of ongoing opportunities to showcase and promote Canadian artists and music through vehicles such as The JUNO Awards and other year-round initiatives. For more information on the 45th Annual JUNO Awards or The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) please visit or



For more information on CARAS and the 2016 JUNO Awards, contact:

Adrienne Kakoullis
[email protected]


Vanessa Andres
[email protected]


Jackie Koffman
[email protected]

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