(Walt) Grealis founded RPM Magazine in 1964, on the advice of (Stan) Klees, who was also a contributor. Devoted to reporting on Canadian record companies and Canadian radio charts, the weekly trade periodical was the only publication of its kind at the time, becoming the loudest defender of Canadian releases when their homegrown industry supporters were few.
“That was why I talked Walt into starting RPM,” says Klees. “We had a friend from Buffalo, NY come up—George “Hound Dog” Lorenz—who was a famous DJ, and he said ‘You need an East-West dialogue in Canada as opposed to a North-South dialogue, and what you need is a trade paper, like Mike Turntable,’ which was his publication. We walked away from that thinking, ‘Could we actually start something like that?’ So Walt started with a single sheet just to see what would happen, and it started to take off.”
Grealis, a former Mountie with little interest in music, reluctantly entered the record business, years later to be joined by Klees, who, as a friend, taught him the ropes of the industry.
“He hated record people because all they talked about was the record business,” Klees says. “He wasn’t interested at all. When he started RPM all he had written were police reports, so those were his only skills in writing.”
But Grealis learned quickly and, in the early days, he often wrote the whole publication…
–Excerpted from the feature story, Stan Klees: The man behind CanCon and why it had to happen by Julijana Capone, NMC Amplify