Retired Hamilton broadcaster Nevin Grant’s death Wednesday is mourned by many in the industry who remember him with great fondness born out of his humanity and consummate professionalism.
The face of CKOC for 37 years, Grant graduated from Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts program and started as a copywriter at the Hamilton AM in 1968. He was set to be inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in September where he was to have received the Allan Waters Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dubbed ‘The Hitmaker’, Grant mentored an extraordinary cast of broadcasters who went on to illustrious radio careers — DJs such as Roger Ashby, Ronald J. Morey, Gord James, Dave Charles, Brent Sleighthom, Bob Steele, Mike Jaycock, Peter Jaycock, Bob Bratina and Rock ‘N’ Ray Michaels.
In retirement, Grant authored a memoir, Growing up with the Hits!: Reliving The Best Time of Your Life – 1955-1989. He was also actively involved in a great number of community organizations, including the East Hamilton Optimists Club, and his mentoring affiliation with Mohawk College earned him a 1989 award of merit from the Board of Governors.
He was also at an earlier age a musician performing in a Carnaby-stylized Brit-pop band that could be found in a few dancehalls in his area and continued playing the piano well into retirement on a casual basis.
His death May 6 in Hamilton was announced by Heather Grant, his wife of more than 50 years. He died peacefully in his hospital bed in the comfort care ward, losing his battle against Parkinsons. He was 80 years of age.