In Memoriam of Our Colleague and Longtime Radio Host Jack Goggin
Our colleague, longtime friend and WRCJ host Jack Goggin passed away July 24, 2023 at his home following a prolonged illness. He was 68.
Jack was a consummate professional and cinematic music aficionado, loved by countless music lovers throughout the Metro Detroit area. He will be greatly missed, not only by his family here at 90.9 and Detroit Public Television, but by all those in our community who loyally followed him throughout his time with the station.
For decades, Jack shared his love of music with Metro Detroit over the airwaves. He joined 90.9 in 2005 and became the dynamic host of the long-running Sunday evening show, Film Classics, a weekly hour-long radio program devoted to music written for motion pictures. The show consisted primarily of orchestral scores from the early ‘30s — which was the beginning of talking pictures and background scoring — to the present.
“I am so saddened by the passing of my dear friend and colleague,” said his colleague and 90.9 host Dave Wagner. “It seems as though we have always known each other, since we first met back in 1980 when WQRS (a classical music station in Detroit for more than 30 years) went to a 24-hour operation. I was hired a week after Jack, and we became good friends through various ownership changes to that station before it went silent in 1997.”
Jack approached his radio program with meticulous care, handpicking music for every show. “Jack had a huge following with his 43 yearlong radio program, Film Classics, Wagner said. “He loved being in the studio each and every week sharing his vast collection of film score recordings and, of course, his endless knowledge of every detail of every film.”
Apart from being dedicated to his program and loyal following, Jack was completely devoted to his biggest fans – his family – Gail, his wife and partner of nearly 40 years, and their daughter Elizabeth, who often visited her Dad at the station during her formative years.
Jack will be remembered as an authentic and rare radio talent, who used the microphone to personally communicate and connect with his audience. For five years, he also served as music director of 90.9 and created a unique station “sound,” which captured the hearts of thousands of WRCJ members.
Jack began his radio career at KBIA-FM at the University of Missouri. He landed a gig working for WQRS-FM, where he worked for 17 years and made a name for himself among Detroit radio listeners before joining WRCJ at the behest of Wagner.
But Jack was more than a radio personality; he was a music academic who cultivated a wide musical repertoire. Passionate about his craft and the audience he served, he showed effusive gratitude to his loyal supporters.
“Jack must have possessed a photographic memory,” said his colleague and friend Peter Whorf, host of 90.9’s Midday Music. “He could drop a surprising and detailed story on you any time – like what Beethoven wore to a premiere or Mozart’s favorite dessert. Jack was personally and intimately connected to great music – and all of us who love it. He served Detroit audiences over parts of six decades. The radio won’t be the same without him.”
“I’m very grateful for everything he taught me” said his friend and colleague Adam Hinton. “Thinking of Jack, I can’t help but recall the music he started and ended every show with, Max Steiner’s main title sequence from Since You Went Away.”
Thank you, Jack. We’ll miss you.
-The Staff of 90.9
What is Film Classics? In the words of Jack Goggin himself…
Briefly, it’s a weekly hour-long radio program devoted to music written for motion pictures. I began doing it back in the late 70’s at the old WQRS when we had scheduled a syndicated movie music show hosted by the composer David Raksin (“Laura” among other scores) which management decided not to run when it turned out the program was not free. Jerry Dellinger, our Music Director at the time, remembered that I was a fan of cinematic music, and asked me if I had enough material in my collection to do a month’s worth of programs so our Program Guide would be more or less accurate. I said, “I think so,” and wound up doing the show for about 18 years until 1997.
Later, when WRCJ came into being, Dave Wagner asked me to come on board and mentioned that if things worked out, we might be able to bring the show back here on 90.9 FM- and sure enough, that’s what happened in April of 2007. It is truly a dream come true to be able to do the program again- to be honest, I doubted that I would ever get another opportunity.
The music we play on the show consists mostly of orchestral scores from the early 30’s (the beginning of talking pictures and of background scoring) up to the present (as recently as last week’s new releases), and as I like to point out to people, Film Classics is devoted to music from the 20th and 21st centuries literally, there’s new material coming out all the time, as well as new recordings of classic scores by the old masters of the genre like Steiner, Korngold, and Herrmann.
Sometimes the show will be devoted to a single score, like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, or sometimes it will follow a theme, like “Submarine Movies.” Generally speaking, we don’t do pop soundtrack compilations or very many musicals.
The theme music for the show, heard at the beginning and end of each program, is the main title sequence from Since You Went Away by Max Steiner, which won Steiner his third Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1944.
Thanks for Listening!