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Bob Porter

the late Bob Porter

Former Host, Portraits in Blue, Saturday Morning Function and Swing Party

Bob Porter, who died on April 10, 2021, was a steadfast presence on the air at WBGO for more than 40 years. His voice continues to be heard through repeat broadcasts of Portraits in Blue, his flagship blues program; Saturday Morning Function, a mix of classic soul and rhythm and blues; and Swing Party, featuring music from the swing era.

Porter was honored with the 1986 WC Handy award for Keeping the Blues Alive in public radio. In 1992, he was honored with the Nick Bishop Award for Outstanding Service by the New Jersey Jazz Society. In 1994, he was given the Blues Heaven Award for outstanding service to the Blues community by Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation. He was one of the emcees of the Chicago Blues Festival from 1990-2007. He has served seven different terms on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation. In 2003, he was given the Community Service Award by the Bergen County New Jersey Chapter of the NAACP. He was honored by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2007 with Marian McPartland-Willis Conover Award for Excellence in Jazz Broadcasting. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2009.

Porter was a member of the GRAMMY national screening committee for Jazz, Folk and Blues for many years. He had five Grammy nominations, and won twice: best liner notes for The Complete Charlie Parker on Savoy in 1980 and Re-issue producer for Atlantic Rhythm & Blues - Best Historical Reissue in 1986. Porter has produced more than 175 albums of jazz and blues involving artists as diverse as Big Joe Turner, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Gene Ammons, Arthur Prysock and Illinois Jacquet. He has served as a re-issue producer for Savoy Records 1975 - 1980, and Atlantic Records from 1986 to 1991 producing more than 200 re-issues of Jazz and Blues.

Porter was a guest lecturer at the Detroit Jazz Festival, 2010-2016. He wrote for JazzTimes Magazine, DownBeat, Jazz Journal (London) and Cash Box, among many others. He contributed to label discographies of Prestige Records, Savoy Records and Clef/Verve Records, and authored the chapter titled “The Blues in Jazz” for the Oxford University Press Companion to Jazz. And he wrote liner notes for more than three hundred albums of jazz and blues. His book, “Soul Jazz” was published in 2016 by Xlibris Press.