Dec. 4th, 2018
This year marks 40 years on air with CKUA for Cam Hayden, host of Friday Night Blues Party. However, the path from the town of Brooks to Friday nights on air had a few twists and turns along it.
With that in mind, our music library technician Arianne Smith-Piquette went digging through our archives and hard drives to find some of the photographic memories of Cam’s history at CKUA. Have a peek at the changing roles (and changing facial hair) that Cam has had since he started.
“Born ridin’ a Hog in Brooks, Alberta,” Cam got started in radio almost right away. He ran his high school station for three years before graduating to campus radio at CJSW in Calgary.
Finding radio way more interesting than university, he dropped out of U of C and enrolled in the radio program at SAIT. A fresh grad in 1978, Cam joined up with CKUA. Here, he’s pictured with Paul Hann a year later.
His first gig with the station was as a classical announcer. But as Cam proved over the past four decades, he’s got a wide reach of musical interests and has knowledge of many genres.
“He can in fact program anything,” says Ken Regan, the station’s former GM. “He’s done classical and mixed format at CKUA and has a vast knowledge of all genres, including jazz.”
Cam Hayden Fast Fact: He really likes to stand near the back for group photos.
Always in the back.
In 2001, Cam took a sharp turn down a different path. He gave up his full-time job at the station, deciding to host one show — Friday Night Blues Party — and focus his attention on growing the Edmonton International Blues Festival, which he has helped start a few years before.
Nearly 20 years later, Friday Night Blues Party is still going strong. And the Edmonton Blues Festival has become one of the country’s premiere blues festivals. Last year, the Toronto Blues Society crowned him “Blues Booster of the Year” because of his work with the festival and other projects.