According to the Globe and Mail's sports historian, Dick
Beddoes, the first hockey broadcast was on February 8th, 1923,
when Norman Albert provided the play by play from the Toronto
arena. Pete Parker is credited as the world's second hockey
Hewitt founded his hockey dynasty on March 22 of that same
year. By 1933, Saturday night games were being broadcast by 20
stations coast to coast, sponsored by General Motors. Of note is
the fact that these stations were not CBC affiliates. They were
Because his name is so synonymous with hockey, the rest of Foster Hewitt's career has been largely forgotten. Hewitt began his career by working as a journalist for his father Bill on the sports desk of the Toronto Star. When the paper opened its own radio station, CFCA, Hewitt slipped naturally into broadcasting, and doing the play-by-play for hockey games was just one of his chores. The fact that he was paid $150 per week for freelancing during the depression is an indication of his good reputation. Hockey became the most popular radio program during the '40's and '50's, but the sponsor felt that the program couldn't hold its audience between periods, so they included dance music from the Silver Slipper in Toronto. Later, they produced drama sketches during intermission. Eventually, they hit upon The Hot Stove League in which Elmer Ferguson, Wes Knight, and Court Benson discussed the game. In the 1930's, the #3-Star Selection, which was inspired by #3-Star Gasoline.
For years, Charles Jennings would introduce Foster Hewitt, and Hewitt would say: "Hello, Canada, and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland." Later, the popular theme music was introduced.
The CBC also aired public service announcements during the broadcasts. Two of the most memorable included such admonitions as: "Train time is any time," and "See to it that you never, never, never smoke in bed."
Tip: click on Foster's name above, read his movie credits, and then click on Show More, below his birth and death date, to see more facts about him.