Edd ‘The WiZ’ Scorpio…grew up listening to everything from The Beatles to Marvin Gaye, Dizzy Gillespie to Bach, Operetta to Calypso.
The WiZ became involved in the music industry in the early 70’s working as a “Roadie” learning sound & light setup and operation; also learned the other side of the gig by writing contracts, riders and reviewing new music and worked with many groups such as ZON, Bond, Goddo, The Stampeders,Teenage Head, Christopher Ward, The Hopping Penguins, Liberty Silver and many others – as well as Downstage Centre Productions® and his own Ratt Fink Productions®, Antares Productions® and The Groove Line®.
About 1980, he took formal training in a recording studio to learn the art of mixing, editing, producing and programming and graduated with honours. Started spinning in a small bar that was quickly changed from roughneck to dance club – went on to spin in some of the funkiest clubs in the Toronto area – 5444, The Floating World, Jacqui’s (frequented by the famous, like Kool & The Gang founder Robert “Kool” Bell)…later on included the LGBT community at Togethers, The Barn/The Stables & Score 100.
Graduating with honours from Humber College’s Radio Broadcasting program (and later returned to teach Announcing & Production) he was immediately hired by David Mazmanian (Armedia Communications) and became the producer for CFNY FM 102.1 “The Spirit Of Radio” (and sister station CKMW AM), the only station in Canada to really break new music – famous for bringing many new artists to North American audiences (and later the wold via Satellite). Producing an average of 40 commercials & promos daily! CFNY was quite possibly more famous for their staff. Headed by the flamboyantly brilliant David (The Marsbar) Marsden and including legendary DJs/Announcers “Deadly” Hedley Jones (whose Father is a legend of Jamaican music), Don “Dr. Trance” Berns, Alan Cross (“The History Of New Music”), Ivar Hamilton (the king of Import recordings), Liz Janik & Peter Goodwin (still strong supporters of Indie Artists), The Live Earl Jive & Beverly Hills, Daddy Cool (Rhythm & Blues), Pete & Geets insane/award winning morning show, the ever smiling Scot Turner…and so many more. After CFNY was sold out to Selkirk Communications (and most of the staff left), he continued in radio for a while – including producing a talk show for controversial host Larry Solway…then went on to managing the Top Album & Single charts and writing music reviews at RPM Magazine (where he also met Graeme Boyce of Raw Energy Records fame).
Returning to the former 5444 when it was redesigned as “Images” and mixed vinyl with video through a professional VHS Hi-Fi mixing system supplied by Matsushita – the first system of it’s kind to include a computer (C64) with a graphics tablet projected onto a 10 ft. screen!
The only DJ/MC/Programmer in the world to spin an entire 24 hour Dance-A-Thon, solo (5444) – and then follow it up the next year (Images) by spinning 23 1/2 hours with one hand (after surgery to reattach two fingers on the other hand)! Some $20,000.00 was raised between the two events to aid Easter Seals.
The WiZ was also a prolific dancer and appeared in many dance clubs as a featured dancer, as well as being the first dancer invited to CITY TV’s original “Electric Circus” where he was a regular feature (and brought in many of the other well known regulars – including “WARP 1” (his brother in…feet?) – many from “The Club At Richards” in Mississauga. He also wrote, produced and performed the theme song for Electric Circus, “The EC Rap”. He was also MC/Promoter for the “Dance Kraze” roadshow featuring a number of the EC dancers.
The WiZ has also…had a stint as Stage Manager and Technical Director for the Showcase Theatre productions of “The Boyfriend” & “Bye, Bye, Birdie” (for which he also provided the voice of Ed Sullivan), produced an ambient soundtrack for the “Fantasy Forest” installation at the CNE, produced a customized (including vocals) aerobic series for “Super Fitness” and assisted in re-choreographing their classes to match, produced remixes for Canada’s #1 Punk label, Raw Energy Records, worked with Rammit Records, Current Records,“The Fabulous Harlem Road Kings” Comedy Basketball Team, involved in the creation of the Black Music Association of Canada (now the Urban Music Association of Canada), produced/edited/written for The Bridge DJ Magazine…and a few more things along the way which he may have conveniently forgotten!
The WiZ, always a tech-head, is now a Photographer & Website Architect/Host; though he still has strong ties to the spirit of music and can sometimes be found playing tribal drums & Didgeridoo. He is also a practicing Apothecary & Oshkaabewis – a journey honouring his Ancestors…
You might also catch his Pyrate alter-ego, Capt. John Swallow: Proprietor of The Pyrates Image, a founding member of The Pyrates Union and NOLA Pyrate Week…or with the Kinnikinnick Trading Company at Pow Wow and historical events.