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 7:07 Clifford Brown & Max Roach Joy Spring Cklifford Brown Max Roach Verve
7:07 7:18 Spyro Gyra Shaker Song Road Scholars GRP
7:19 7:22 Fats Waller Spring Cleaning unknown RCA Victor
7:22 7:25 Planet D Nonet If It’s Good Kings of Kansas City Swing Eastlawn
7:25 7:32 Gerry Mulligan Quartete Spring Is Sprung Spring Is Sprun Philips
7:33 7:39 Houston Person Learning the Blues Rain or Shine HighNote
7:39 7:44 Herlin Riley Borders Without Lines “Perpetual Opti,isn” Mack Ave
7:44 7:50 Charles McPherson Spring Is Here The Journey Capri
7:50 7:56 Ron Carter Yes Indeed Where? OJC
7:58 8:01 Hoagy Carmichael Up A Lazy River Hoagy Sings Carmichael Pacific Jazz
8:02 8:07 Marion McPartland Oscar Peterson Falling In Love With Love Piano Jazz Jazz Alliance
8:07 8:11 Allen Harris Billie’s Bounce The Genius of Eddie Jefferson Resilience Music
8:11 8:19 Booker Ervin The In Between The In Betweem Blue Note
8:20 8:30 Grover Washington Jr. Mr. Majic Mr. Magic Kudu
8:30 8:36 Weather Report Eurydice Weather Report Columbia
8:36 8:40 Julian Lage Wordsmith Modern Lore Mack Ave
8:40 8:45 Dave McMurray Music Is Life (Live It) Music Is Life Blue Note
8:45 8:48 Dee Dee Bridgewater What A Little Moonlight Can Do Keeping Tradition Verve
8:48 8:54 Dr. Lonnie Smith Up Jumped Spring All In My Mind Blue Note
8:56 8:59 June Christy Get Happy The Best of June Christy Capitol
9:01 9:09 Ellen Rowe Octet Ain’t I A Woman Momentum Smokin’ Sleeding
9:09 9:15 Chenilles Sisters & James Dapgony’s Chicago Jazz Band Sentimwental Journey Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight? Red Dog
9:15 9:23 Airmen of Note Itsbynne Reel Global Reach USAF
9:24 9:29 Lyman Woodard Trio Hold It Eddie Jazzy Weeknights Special Uuquipleu
9:29 9:34 Catherine Russell Early In the Morning Alone Together Dot Time
9:35 9:40 David Newman Hard Times Fathead Atlantic
9:40 9:44 Art Pepper Smack Up The Best Of Contemprary
9:44 9:51 Eric Alexander The Real Thing The Real Thing HighNote
9:52 9:58 Donald Byrd Flight Time Black Byrd Blue Note