Everyone has a story about how and when Jazz grabbed them. Here is Rich's:
By dumb luck the first radio station he was hired by, while still in college, played Jazz and Standards.
Even luckier, the station was staffed by some very hip WWII era guys (sadly, all gone now), more than happy to share their knowledge of both broadcasting and, more importantly, Jazz and Great American Songbook. Thank God he had an open mind (and a thick skin, being the youngest guy on staff by at least 25 years).
With their guidance, and a killer record library, Rich was immersed in Louis, Trane, Miles, Sarah, Ella, Brubeck, Benny Goodman, Sinatra, Ray, Carmen and many others, in his late teens and early 20s.
Back then, many of the giants were still alive and comp tickets were plentiful. Imagine seeing Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall before your 20th birthday, Sarah Vaughan and Mr. B at Lincoln Center, or getting to meet and talk with Dizzy Gillespie after one of his appearances….It makes for a good foundation to build a nice career as a Jazz Radio Presenter.
And, all these years later, Rich is delighted to be at the Greatest Jazz Radio Station in the World - WBGO...always coming at it from a fan’s point of view, with a great appreciation for the music, the people making the music and the hippest Jazz Listenership anywhere.