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Roots Music Canada writer Jan Vanderhorst is now a member of the Folk DJ Hall of Fame

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Roots Music Canada writer Jan Vanderhorst is now a member of the Folk DJ Hall of Fame. And we’re doing a little happy dance here at Roots Music Canada HQ.

Honestly, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

Jan launched Just Us Folk on Brantford’s Jewel 92 FM in 1981.

At the time, the CRTC required FM stations to offer what it called “foreground programming,” programming that offered some cultural or intellectual enrichment beyond the mindless chatter of Top 40 DJs. A folk show was a perfect candidate.

It ended up outlasting those CRTC regulations, spending 39 years on commercial radio — an astonishing feat for a non-commercial music show.

James Gordon, Jan Vanderhorst (centre) and Garnet Rogers swap books on a Sunday morning. Photo by Kate Vanderhorst.

When the station cancelled it in the fall of 2020 as a result of a format change — Jan continues to work there as a producer — he immediately set the show up as a podcast.

And not only does he put together that great-sounding show for us all every week, he takes a lot of his interviews and turns them into stories, which you can read here most Saturdays on Roots Music Canada.

Except this Saturday, because we interupted that usual schedule to publish this story about Jan.

Founded in 2016, the Folk DJ Hall of Fame honours radio DJs who have made “an outstanding contribution to the preservation, promotion, and presentation of folk music, and who have demonstrated and inspired leadership in the broadcast field.”

If you’ve ever promoted a folk record, you’ll recognize every name ever inducted. They include the late KPFK FolkScene hosts Roz and Howard Larman, WFMT’s Rich Warren, WETA’s Mary Cliff and the BBC’s Bob Harris.

The Canadians on the list are — of course — Tom Coxworth of CKUA, Mike Regenstreif of CKCU (and previously CKUT), Holger Peterson of the CBC and the late Chopper McKinnon of CKCU.

Congratulations, Jan!

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