Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bye Jurgen

Many people know Jurgen Gothe from his 23-year stint on CBC Radio 2's DiskDrive.  I worked with him before that, when he was a relatively unknown programer and voice on CHQM-FM in the late 1970s.

℅ Vancouver Radio Museum -

CHQM was at the time the premiere Easy Listening station in Vancouver, and FM radio was still finding its feet with diverse and eclectic stations and listeners. Jurgen programmed the 9pm-midnight FM Opera segment on QM-FM every Sunday. Hope I'm not letting the cat out of the bag to say that Jurgen was not actually in studio from 9pm to midnight every Sunday - that was me. A UBC student paid $4/hour in a quiet radio studio with a set of albums and a tape. The tape had Jurgen's mellifluous voice, describing the opera selected for that evening, and several voice segments to be played while I flipped the record over the other side (remember those - two sided records!). It was a great shift for a student, especially for someone inexperienced with Opera - After managing some technical stuff for a few minutes, I then had 20 minutes of unbroken listening through fantastic studio speakers, while I did some math homework.  Heard some good operas too.

CHQM was a great employer for me during my years at UBC. The operations director Terry Higgs, arranged one summer for everyone to take their holidays in sequence, with me filling in while they were away, giving me a chance to do lots of radio station jobs, from erasing and dubbing tapes, to recording and editing commercials, especially on their new Neve-equipped studio.

CBC long-timer David Grierson was also a CHQM grad before he moved to Vancouver Island. David handed the reins of his show Vancouver Live to me and to John Dritmanis where we carried on the tradition of recording new musicians performing and bringing them to a wider audience. 

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