As part of the 45th Annual JUNO Awards held in Calgary this year of 2016, radio disc jockey and musical director Rosalie Trombley is to receive the prestigious Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. This honour is bestowed annually on an individual felt to have made a tremendous impact on the Canadian music industry. Trombley began her illustrious career during Canada’s centennial (1967) at AM Top 40 station CKLW in Windsor, Ontario as a switchboard operator, but it was not long before this “girl with the golden ear” became a powerful force by discovering songs and artists that became smash hits. From the station’s strategic location, its strong 50,000 Watt signal beamed into Detroit which became the U.S. gateway for the Canadian invasion. She broke 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.
Beyond that, Rosalie’s ears, long before other directors’, selected international songs often from then unknown artists that appealed to the masses, and she turned them into big hits: She is credited with breaking Bob Seger, Kiss, Alice Cooper, The O’Jays, Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, Parliament–Funkadelic, Queen, and Aerosmith into the Top 40 CHR charts. In fact, Detroit’s Bob Seger immortalized Trombley in his 1973 song “Rosalie”. It was Trombley who persuaded Elton John to release “Bennie and The Jets” as a single, because she instinctively knew it had tremendous potential.
In the words of CARAS, ” 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 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.”