Holger Petersen holds the title for the longest-running current host at CKUA. In 2019, he celebrated his 50th anniversary with his show, Natch’l Blues.
When he started hosting at CKUA in 1969, he was a 19-year-old broadcasting student at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). A precocious kid, at the time he was already a band manager and music journalist.
Broadcaster, writer, manager, producer, record label owner, folk fest founder … there are few facets of music Holger hasn’t explored.
In addition to Natch’l Blues, he has hosted two other CKUA shows: an interview program called HP Sauce and a live-performance program called Acme Sausage Company Program.
He was 25 years old when he launched his record label, Stony Plain Records. As a record producer, Holger has worked with artists Ian Tyson, Harry Manx, Maria Muldaur, Duke Robillard and Eric Bibb. His work has won 10 Juno Awards and six Grammy nominations.
Holger’s record collection has more pieces than he can count. It hasn’t slowed down his acquisition. “I love collecting vinyl albums and visit used records stores wherever I travel,” he says. “I especially love tracking down signed albums, books, memorabilia etc.”
Holger has also won a host of awards for his contributions to the music scene. These include membership in the Order of Canada for contributions to Canadian culture, Media Person of the Year at the National Maple Blues Awards, Best Public Radio Broadcaster from the Blues Music Association in Memphis (the first time a non-American received that recognition). In 2019, Holger was inducted into the Folk DJ Hall of Fame.
Canada’s longest-running blues program has been on the air since 1969. Natch’l Blues is the quintessential destination for the serious blues fan or the curious newcomer. Presented every week by Canada’s blues emissary, Holger Petersen, head of Stony Plain Records and long-time CKUA host, the program is a collection of the best music of the genre and interviews with the greatest names in blues. Most of the music that he programs comes from his own collection, and he’s constantly finding out more about regional styles along with obscure artists and labels.