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For Gary Walker's 40th anniversary at WBGO, a chorus of appreciation

Gary Walker
David Antoine
Gary Walker on Aug. 17, 2011, at WBGO's new transmitter at Four Times Square.

Gary Walker had his first shift on the air at WBGO on Friday, June 11, 1982. It was a milestone in a legendary broadcasting career, and the beginning of a deep association.

Since that day 40 years ago, Gary has served Newark Public Radio in so many ways — notably as the voice of Morning Jazz, now known as Daybreak. Listeners in the New York and New Jersey area, and around the world, count on starting their day with Gary — for his passionate knowledge of the music, his exuberant wit, and his good company.

As Music Director at WBGO, Gary has also helped define the sound of the station for many years. And he's interviewed countless artists in our studio and onstage, from Branford Marsalis to Bettye LaVette. But who knows Gary better than his fellow jazz evangelists, on the air and behind the scenes at WBGO? Here are a handful of capsule tributes and stories, produced by Corey Goldberg. We love you, Gary!

Dorthaan Kirk — 2020 NEA Jazz Master, and a founder of Newark Public Radio.

Dorthaan Kirk on Gary Walker at 40

Michael Bourne, who started on the air at WBGO just two years after Gary.

Michael Bourne on Gary Walker at 40

Doug Doyle, News Director, Morning News Anchor.

Doug Doyle on Gary Walker at 40
Gary Walker
WBGO's Gary Walker, winner of the Marian McPartland-Willis Conover Award for Career Achievement in Broadcasting.

Monifa Brown, host of Saturday Evening Jazz.

Monifa Brown on Gary Walker at 40

Brian Delp, host of Drive Time.

Brian Delp on Gary Walker at 40

Rob Crocker, host of Lights Out Weekend.

Rob Crocker on Gary Walker at 40
Gary Walker WBGO at 25
Gary Walker pictured in 2004, when WBGO was celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Stevan Smith, Chief Content Officer of WBGO.

Stevan Smith on Gary Walker at 40

Nicole Sweeney, host of Lights Out.

Nicole Sweeney on Gary Walker at 40

Stevan A. Williams, CEO and President of WBGO.

Steven A. Williams on Gary Walker at 40