The celebrations have continued into 2020 for the host of CKUA’s Natch’l Blues; in January, at a ceremony in New Orleans, Folk Alliance International inducted Petersen into the Folk DJ Hall of Fame.
“It’s a huge honour, of course, to be inducted,” Petersen says now. “I reflect on how important CKUA has been in my life and how much opportunity and support CKUA has given me.”
It’s one thing to be notified that you’re to receive such an honour but quite another to actually be on stage before your peers, in Louisiana no less, to accept it.
“Being in New Orleans to be inducted was especially meaningful,” Petersen recalls. “It’s one of the two places where blues has its roots in America—Congo Square in New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta.
“I acknowledged that and how grateful I am for my 50 year relationship with CKUA. It was especially humbling receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award that night along with Preservation Hall, Mahalia Jackson and BeauSoleil.”
Petersen’s music knowledge, on-air warmth, and enthusiasm have been no secret to his listeners but, given the length of his career, he also possesses a rather unique perspective on our current cultural landscape. We have so many media platforms now days and Petersen has witnessed such things come and go over the past five decades.
A key to his success appears to be adaptation.
“It all comes down to honouring the music and the musicians no matter what the platform,” Petersen explains. “It’s what keeps me going and continues to inspire me. I love going to used vinyl stores in my travels, going online, or listening to my fellow announcers to discover new and old music.”
We feel so fortunate to have Petersen in our midst, as a broadcast leader and beloved part of our community. One of the reasons he belongs in any hall of fame is because he helps those following in his path with sage advice and an instructive bent to his practice.
“Feed your enthusiasm for the music,” he says, when asked for any tips he might have for a younger generation of announcers. “Respect music history and be grateful for what you do.”
Listen to Holger Petersen host Natch’l Blues on CKUA every Saturday from 3:00 to 5:00 PM MT