John Worthington Hagerman began his broadcasting career in 1946 as the junior announcer at CFQC in Saskatoon. He arrived at CKUA three years later, when it was a small radio station operated by Alberta Government Telephones (AGT.)
John started on-air in 1949 and by 1955 had moved through roles of chief announcer, program director, and finally into the General Manager’s chair. He led the station into the 1970’s, then became an executive officer with the newly created ACCESS Network, of which CKUA was the radio arm.
It was in 1974 that John first filled in on The Old-disc Jockey program. “The then-host left Edmonton,” he says. “Initially – even though I was GM - I was the temporary fill-in while the station looked for a permanent host but that permanent host just never materialized and I had a permanent hobby!” That’s when he dropped his surname and became simply John Worthington as the old records spun each week.
John had been long retired when he was asked to return to CKUA to take over temporarily as general manager after CKUA returned to the airwaves in 1997. He had maintained his hobby each week and continued producing new programs untill he marked his 60th anniversary in broadcasting in May, 2009. Then he began rebroadcasting earlier recorded programs until his passing at 92 in August 2019.
John enjoyed continuing to share his musical discoveries with listeners. “Records and the big bands have always been one of my interests, going back to my teen years,” he said. “Now long retired and into my 90s, I still love the old music and the old records but, most of all, I love being the Old-disc Jockey!” It was John’s fondest wish that CKUA replay his programs “as long as listeners enjoyed them.”
In honour of our dear friend and mentor, CKUA is proud to have renamed our Main Control studio the 'John Worthington Hagerman Studio'.
Celebrating John's 70th anniversary with CKUA
The Old-disc Jockey
The Old-disc Jockey celebrates the swing bands recorded between the late 1920s and the 1950s, presented by the enthusiastic, encyclopaedic and entertaining John Worthington, himself a radio deejay of the latter part of that era.
You’ll hear a grand balance of original vocal and instrumental big-band music, the mandatory-obligatory record by Duke Ellington (whom John called the real fountainhead of it all) and some of the familiar hits of the era. But you’ll also hear many less well-known treasures showcasing the style of the bandleader, or the skill of a particular sideman in the band.
The Old Disc Jockey
The Old Disc Jockey