In 1964, a huge slice of my childhood ended when Michele Finney left the CBC kid’s program Razzle Dazzle. I had been a fan of hers from her earliest days there (1960-61). In fact, we used to correspond regularly.
While still living in Windermere in 1962, I got hold of a Toronto phone directory and using a little bit of logic, worked out which Finney listing was under her father’s name. (For those interested, I deduced that the listing in the same WAlnut 7 area as the CBC studios would be it.) One Saturday, I rang the number: a woman answered; I asked to speak to Michele; she said, “Just a minute,” and went and got her! We had a short chat. She claimed to know who I was from our correspondence (I’ll bet she says that to all the boys). Thereafter, I called her about once a month for the next year.
One of my greatest treasures was a photograph of her interviewing the Beatles at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. She’d addressed it to me and signed it on the back. I no longer have any idea of the whereabouts of that photo, but I found a copy on the internet recently.
I believe it was in 1965 that Michele returned to Razzle Dazzle for a guest appearance. I had been visiting a school friend (in Barrie) after classes and happened to see the program. As the shows were performed live in those days, I immediately rang the CBC studios in Toronto at the end, and asked to speak to Michele Finney. I was immediately put through to her and we had another of our little chats. That was the last time we spoke on the telephone.
For the next few years, we continued to keep in contact, even after I moved to Vancouver and she was in Canada, after moving back from California to Toronto. But as with all relationships, time passed and connections get lost.
Years ago, I read a magazine article in Macleans in which Michele was interviewed, and she commented on the fact that she had had correspondence with some fans over the years. I like to think that one of those fans she was referring to was me. If you happen to read this Michele, Chris says “Hi.”
Dec 2016: Michele and I have reconnected on Facebook.
Michele Finney found my blog page about her on Wikinut and left a comment there on my 65th birthday, 9 Feb 2015..
Wow, what a delightful memory (Michelle Finney)! Thanks for this walk back to the good old days. I always wondered what happened to her after Razzle Dazzle. What is she doing now? Hard to believe she’s (I figure) 67 by now! Where did the time go? 😉
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Thanks for the comment. Apart from one movie (in the late 80’s) there are no entries on the IMDB listings, so your guess is as good as mine. Googling her name might yield the odd family reference, but other than her comment on my Wikinut page (now closed), I have had no contact. I still love her Irish beauty, ‘though.
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Michelle was a classmate of mine at Rosedale when I spent six months in Toronto in the seventh grade. It’s been a long time since I heard her name, what a gas. It was fun having her in class then seeing her on tv.
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Hey Chris and Hi! That’s my little photo of Michelle you have up there! Sooo coool!! *Thumbs UP*!
Michelle and I were penpals for years (throughout her Razzle years) until she moved to the States.
Back in the 80’s I was in touch with her when in Toronto….she gave me directions on how to catch the subway to meet up with her, but so unfortunatley it clashed with the convention activities I was attending and it wasn’t to be. 😦
I was in touch with her briefly via her hubby on FB (before she signed up for FB)
and exhanged warm greetings! Plan to definitely reconnect.
So wonderful that she is so lovingly remembered….I most certainly do and always treasured our ”girlie talks” in many many letters over the years.
Take care, Betty
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I had a similarly signed photo from Michele during those year: it was lovely to see it on the Internet. We are still friends after all these years (more than 50 now). I’m pleased to know you, too.
I also have that same picture! The reason i went looking for Michele today was that i read about the death of Albert Finney. I thought he might have been her father but there was no mention of her. Was she not on another show after Razzle Dazzle? With Peter Kastner?
Yes, she moved over to that after Razzle Dazzle, it was called “Time of Your Life” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk8_8gweMyc
Michele and Albert Finney are not (directly) related.
After Razzle Dazzle, I remember a show with Michele Finney. Each episode started with her riding a bike through the forest, coming to a deserted house. She goes in then, I think, she finds books, perhaps dusts them off to find a title, then that launches the episode. While she is riding the bike, the background music is a tune later (?) made popular by Chuck Mangione. I remember all this, but can’t for the life of me remember the name of the show. Loved watching it as a boy.
I don’t remember that one. I was in high school by then, so didn’t watch TV much.
It was a summer replacement in the Razzle Dazzle slot, and the tune was “Take Five,” a jazz hit written by Paul Desmond and performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet.
our fathers both worked at the cbc and i remember going on picnics with Michele in the late 1950s, i always knew her as Mickey and she sent me one of her photos signed love mickey later on.We lost touch when my family moved to Vancouver.
Michele and her husband now live near Owen Sound in Ontario after many years of living in California.
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I am sure Michele never moved to Alberta. My recollection is that after we met in 1965 she returned to Los Angeles where her parents had relocated. I joined her there soon thereafter, we eloped in Encinitas Mexico and remarried later at The Little Brown Church in Van Nuys California. We returned to Toronto after a wild year in LA and settled back in to my Mother’s home in my old bedroom. I became a rock promoter and we got our own apartment and soon thereafter had our daughter Courtney. The story goes on but not for here. I am delighted to hear though of a fan being able to reconnect after so many years. That’s what makes fandom so special.
Thanks for commenting. It is possible that my memory is faulty about where she was located in Canada. The Macleans’ story may not have been specific enough to know for sure. But I am grateful for your knowledge, here. You would have been the first husband of three, Lucky you, eh?
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