Saturdays | 7 – 10 pm
John Penney was born and raised in Ithaca, New York, and began hosting and programming weekly jazz and folk music programs on student owned commercial radio station WVBR-FM at the age of 15.
In 1967 WVBR became one of the first FM radio stations in the country to program “progressive rock.” John was instrumental in the creation of the format and became one of WVBR’s most popular on-air personalities, frequently featuring live studio performances on his show. He served as Music Director beginning in 1970, and continued to program jazz, folk, and rock programs through 1971.
In 1978, at the age of 25, John became the National Promotion Director of Amherst Records in Buffalo, New York, where he was instrumental in establishing the career of the platinum selling band Spyro Gyra. He also became the most popular jazz host on public radio WBFO, as measured by Arbitron and listener donations.
In 1984 John moved to Detroit as the Michigan Regional Representative for Action, and in 1989 was hired by Warner Elektra Atlantic as a sales rep. During his 15 year career with WEA John gained a national reputation as a creative and innovative marketer, among other things designing and executing the company’s first regional catalog promotion with Wal-Mart, which was used to leverage the first national event.
John joined the air staff of public radio WDET-FM in Detroit in 1986 as host of a music variety program. John pioneered the concept of presenting “all the varieties of music” in such a way as to demonstrate the continuity between diverse musical forms by making the connection between current and historic recordings. His program became one of the most popular on the air.
John is a popular and sought after MC for live events, and for years was a fixture on stage at the Detroit Jazz Festival in Hart Plaza. He helped to create an innovative format for radio broadcasts of the festival, and served as national co-anchor for five years. John began his association with the AMRF in 2004 when Ron Harwood asked him to MC the 6th Annual Motor City Boogie Woogie and Blues Festival. He became consultant/Director in September of 2005. John is also collaborating with Ron on a book about the life and times of classic blues singer Sippie Wallace and her siblings.
Time Start Time End Artist Title Album Label
7:00:00 7:08:00 Charles Earland Thanksgiving Stomp High Note
7:08:00 7:12:00 Nat Cole Trio Frim Fram Sauce Nat King Cole Capitol
7:13:00 7:24:00 Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra w/ Isaiah Thompson Lulu’s Back In Town A Handful of Keys Blue Engine Records
7:24:00 7:32:00 The Quintet (Parker, Gillespie, Mingus, Roach) Salt Peanuts Jazz At Massey Hall Debut
7:35:00 7:42:00 Pat Martino El Hombre Formidable High Note
7:42:00 7:46:00 Thad Jones Mel Lewis Orchestra All My Yesterdays All My Yesterdays Resonance
7:46:00 7:51:00 Sheila Jordan Why Was I Born Confirmation Test of time
7:51:00 7:54:00 Charlie Parker Parker’s Mood Best of Charlie Parker Savoy
9:52:00 8:00:00 Horace Silver Quintet with Sonny Rollins Nica’s Dream Swiss Radio Dayes v40 TCM Montreaux Jazz
8:02:00 8:05:00 Fats Waller You’re Not The Only Oyster In the Stew Jazz Masters Jazz Masters
8:05:00 8:14:00 Thelonious Monk Stuffy Turkey Monk’s Time Columbia
8:14:00 8:20:00 Ray Bryant Trio Hot Turkey Hot Turkey Disques Black & Blue
8:23:00 8:30:00 Steve Davis Atmosphere Think Ahead Smoke Sessions
8:30:00 8:38:00 Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Does This Chart Make Me Look Fat Life In the Bubble Telarc
8:38:00 8:44:00 Jazmeia Hall East of the Sun Social Call Prestige
8:44:00 8:47:00 Double Six of Paris Scrapple From the Apple Les Double Six RCA
8:49:00 9:03:00 Eddie Lockjaw Davis In the Kitchen Cookbook v1 Prestige
9:04:00 9:12:00 Jazz Crusaders Young Rabbits The Festival album Pacific Jazz
9:13:00 9:16:00 Slim Gaillard Yip Roc Heresy Laughing In Rhythm Verve
9:16:00 9:20:00 Johnnie Bassett Sweet Potato Pie Bassett Hound Fedora
9:20:00 9:25:00 Kenny Burrell Chitlins Con Carne Midnight Blue Blue Note
9:26:00 9:34:00 Shorty Rogers Martians Go Home The Swinging Mr. Rogers Atlantic
9:34:00 9:44:00 Ben Webster and Oscar Peterson This Can’t Be Love Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson Verve
9:48:00 9:53:00 Clifford Brown Jordu Cliiford Brown & Max Roach Emarcy
9:51:00 9:55:00 Lambert Hendrix & Ross Home Cooking Everybody’s Boppin’ Columbia
9:55:00 9:59:00 Cab Calloway Everybody Eats When They Come to My House Are You Hep to the Jive Columbia