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Back 40 Radio


February 2022 – Ron is absolutely delighted and proud to announce that beginning at the end of February, 2022, the “Back 40 Collective” will be revived. Joining Ron as regular hosts will be vetern programmers and “Saturday Morning” hosts Pat Moore and Al Surmachynski. Beginning on February 26th, Al will host the show, followed by Pat at the end of March and onward. Ron will continue hosting three weeks out of four.

The Back 40 is an hour-long program of traditional country, western and bluegrass music broadcast every Saturday at noon on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. In can also be heard on the internet, at Currently, it is the only program in Ottawa of its kind, and the only one that regularly features interviews with Bluegrass artists from across North America (see below). Tired of the monotony of today’s commercial country music? Head for the Back 40 Saturdays at noon for a slice of 80 years of classic country music!

This year (2022) marks Ron’s 29th year as the Back 40 Radio host – one of over 100 CKCU programs broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  It began broadcasting in March 1990 and was hosted by the Back 40 Collective of founders, the late Bill Grant, Doug Torrance and Dave de Jongh. Joined in April 1993 by Ron Moores, the show eventually fell to Ron’s care, when Doug and Dave headed for points west. Since taking over in late 1993, Ron has retained the original format of old-tyme, country, western and bluegrass music and added such new features as:

 Regular Features:

  • The Easter and Christmas Gospel Shows
  • For lovers on Valentine’s Day
  • Christmas in the Valley
  • Year in Review and Preview at year’s end
  • Bluegrass Unlimited/Bluegrass Now: “Top 15 Bluegrass Albums” (quarterly)
  • New Releases and Discoveries, from local, regional, national and international artists.
  • Special Profiles and Features

Ron brings diverse programming and insight into what lay behind the scenes of country music and its artists. The Back 40 profiles artists who play the rich diversity of country music – from yesterday’s “hillbilly” to today’s “alternative” – music you won’t find on commercial radio. You’ll follow their careers and listen to the songs that made them famous. From the rollicking old-timey string band sounds of Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers during the 1920’s and 30’s, to the brash contemporary “alternative” country of Fred Eaglesmith – you’ll hear a new artist or feature every week on the Back 40.


Ron attends many summer music festivals and events in the CKCU listening area and further afield such as the Central Canada Blue Grass Awards in Huntsville, Ontario, and the International Blue Grass Music Awards in Raleigh, North Carolina. He interviews established bands as well as up-and-coming new groups, both local and international. Artists also call in from across North America. These interviews are featured throughout the year, providing interesting insights into the people and inspirations behind the music. Over the past twenty-two years, Ron’s guests have included many artists from the Ottawa Valley, North America and abroad.

Special Promotional Broadcasts

Every year, Ron previews a number of music festivals and special events throughout the Ottawa Valley. These include:

  • Palmer Rapids Twin Festivals (with promoter Al Schutt)
  • Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame Awards
  • South Grenville Bluegrass Festival in Spencerville, Ontario

Guest Hosts

Ron needs the summer weekends to attend festivals and interview the performers. While he is away, many talented guest hosts fill in and bring listeners their unique flavour to the Back 40. These include CKCU FM hosts Ray Harris (Friday Nite Truck Stop), Tonya Price (Friends with Benefits) and Renny Godier (Roots & Rythms & Renny’s Riot) and techno-wizard par excellence Dale Pinkerton and former CHUO Cajun music program host Claude Lachaine.