I was born ridiní a Hog in Brooks, Alberta, home of the blues! Raised in Edmonton, I moved to Calgary, where I started and ran my high-school radio station for three years, and then hosted programs on campus radio CJSW at the University of Calgary. The station was more interesting than the library, so I gave up university life and enrolled in the Television, Stage and Radio Arts program at SAIT. I graduated in 1978 and answered an ad that led me to CKUA.
Iíve worked just about every shift and programmed every type of music imaginable at CKUA. I started as a classical music announcer, worked the morning show in the early 1980s, did weekends and nights, and in the mid-1990s, found myself back on the early-morning program, Alberta Morning.
I'm a big supporter of the blues, locally, nationally and internationally. CKUA has given me the opportunity to bring blues to audiences for over 30 years, but I've also branched out. In the 1980s, I was president and talent buyer for the City Media Club, which brought in blues performers from around the world. I've written about the blues scene for Culture Shock, Vue and See magazines. I ran my own production company, which did stand-alone shows in the í90s. And I'm overjoyed by the success of Edmonton's Labatt Blues Festival, which I co-founded in 1999. In 2008, this world-class event won the "Keeping the Blues Alive" Award (recognizing it as a premiere event in the blues world) from the Blues Foundation, based in Memphis. I urge all blues fans to support your local blues scene, wherever you are.
Iím also a motorcycle enthusiast, riding since 1971. Iíve owned dozens of motorcycles; I now have two, a 1971 Norton Commando and a 1990 Harley Davidson Low Rider.
2012 Lifetime Achievement Award
Calgary Blues Music Association
2008†† Edmontonís Labatt Blues Festival (Co-producer Cam Hayden)
Keeping the Blues Alive: Festival Award
The Blues Foundation
by Mike Janzen
Saturdays at 7pm
Top Spin This Week: Mark Berube - Russian Dolls