By Ross Currie (Host of Salvaged Sounds Tuesday 6:00-7:00PM)
For fifteen years, the self-described “over-aged delinquent with a penchant for uncouth recordings, cranks calls, Polish leisure suits, foul-smelling tobaccos and strong drink” has taken the listener on a tour of the oddball, taboo, absurd and always entertaining world of late-night radio. Jimmy Twilight was that man, aka James Tuohy, who hosted Jimmy Twilight’s Lonesome Lounge on Sunday night from 10:30 PM until the wee hours of the morning, since its conception in December 1998. Tuohy, the ex Zamboni driver, turned lighthouse keeper, and former lead-vocalist of country-punk band Meta Physical and the Oblivions has always had an appreciation for late-night radio and felt it was a niche that needed to be filled. “I also needed a reason to justify sleeping in a room piled to the ceiling with Robert Goulet records,” adds Tuohy. For fifteen years strong, Jimmy Twilight has refrained from judgment and explored a wide range of topics, guests and subject matter over the span of the show’s existence.
A common occurrence on the Lonesome Lounge was placing special guests at the bar, complete with broken bottle sound effects and timely and culturally relevant figures such as Todd Bertuzzi, former Premier Gordon Campbell, and John Wayne along with some notable Canadian criminals who won’t be mentioned. Teetering on the edges of the offensive and the politically correct, while still maintaining a no-holds-barred approach to subject matter and content. Jimmy Twilight’s shtick offered it’s own distinct charm, perfectly suited for the late-night listener. Notable crank calls include: Mr. Bald Nuts, a specialist from Vancouver who offered clean and discreet personal shaving services for men and calls to Large Ladies Escorts in Las Vegas. Some of the guests interviewed on the Lonesome Lounge included Hammond organist Lenny Dee, exotica legend Martin Denny, vocalist BJ Snowden and call-girl Xavier Hollander. Not too mention an unnamed stripper at the end of her career who Touhy described as having the “perfect body for radio.”
As far as music went, the Lonesome Lounge covered a large cross section of what Tuohy describes as “lounge-core”. Comprised of easy listening, exotica, 1950’s and 60’s instrumentals, crooners, singing actors and celebrities, oddball comedy records and outsider music. As for leaving the show, Tuohy now has time to pursue a lifelong dream of developing his own brand of “gluten-free edible panties for pets.” He has some regrets on leaving the Lonesome Lounge, some of which include leaving his “loyal listeners”, and “rabid Sunday night cult fan base” and never securing CTV news anchor Hudson Mack as an on-air guest. Jimmy Twilight’s brand of “uneasy listening” certainly wasn’t for everyone. Given that the radio station has a strict “no alcohol” policy and fifteen years is a long time to reflect on in such a short time. Tuohy can chalk it up to his signature catch phrase: “What a night! For fans of the show, they’ll be nursing this hangover for a while and will be left to remember the good times had in the Lonesome Lounge.