Jurgen Gothe's most memorable CBC on-air moments relived

It was Jurgen Gothe's genuine, quirky character that largely made DiscDrive so popular for more than two decades.

Jurgen Gothe's knowledge and absurd flights of fancy made DiscDrive accessible to all

Jurgen Gothe (CBC Still Photo Collection)

When beloved CBC host Jurgen Gothe passed away this year after a long illness, tributes poured in from fans and colleagues who fondly remember the long-time DiscDrive host's insatiable passion for music, food and wine.

During his time at CBC, Gothe quickly gained a reputation for his encyclopaedic knowledge of recordings, his wacky humour and his fun personality.

Unlike most radio programs, DiscDrive was not scripted. Gothe had a standard sign-on, but after that, everything he said on the air was just whatever popped into his head.

It was that genuine, quirky character, and Gothe's ability to tell stories (many of which were made-up) that largely made DiscDrive so popular for more than two decades.

To celebrate Gothe's memory, here are some of his most memorable — and whimsical — moments on the air.

1. On the Mozart divertimento

Classical music can come across as elitist. Gothe had a way of injecting whimsy to make classical music accessible, such as this set-up for a divertimento by Mozart.

According to Gothe, the term divertimento originated in Salzburg, where there were giant mint plantations right across the city. 

2. On the CBC's stash of hammocks

If you were stewing in the afternoon traffic, Gothe had a way of soothing your nerves with his absurd flights of fancy — like that time he told listeners about a "little known aspect of life at the CBC" that involved a stash of hammocks.

3. On the "tappity-tap" element

For a short period in the 1990s, musicologists with strange names and exotic academic pedigrees from around the world were getting almost as much attention as the composers and performers.

Gothe just had to make fun by discussing the scholarly work of a made-up musicologist named Hussein Blätterteich. 

4. On the "Collection of Great Canine Suction Songs"

Gothe was a great supporter of Canadian musicians, but even guitarist Don Ross couldn't escape Gothe's onslaught of humour when he played Ross's Hoover the Musical Dog and mused about other songs that could go in the "Collection of Great Canine Suction Songs." 

5. On LP records vs. CDs

Gothe was a huge music collector, having amassed so many recordings over the years on vinyl and CD that he said he could not possibly listen to everything in a normal person's life span. Here he is, discussing the merits of the LP. 


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