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 7:07:00 Clifford Brown Joy Spring Clifford Brown amd Max Roach EmArcy
7:07:00 7:11:00 Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto It Might As Well Be Spring Getz Au Go Go Verve
7:11:00 7:15:00 Miles Davis It Ain’t Necessarily So Porgy & Bess Columbia
7:16:00 7:24:00 Emmet Cohen Joshua Masters Jazz Legacy Series: Ron Carter Cellar Live
7:24:00 7:31:00 Wayne Shorter Quintet Plaza Real Without A Net Blue Note
7:31:00 7:40:00 Troy Andrews Nora’s Cooking Trombone Shorty’s Swinging Gate Louisiana Red Hot
7:42:00 7:47:00 Abbey Lincoln Up Jumped Spring You Gotta Pay the Band Universal
7:47:00 7:53:00 Dr. Lonnie Smith Up Jumped Spring All In My Mind Blue Note
7:53:00 8:00:00 Christian McBride Big Band Thermo Bringin’ It Mack Avenue
8:02:00 8:07:00 Cannonball Adderley & Ernie Andrews Green Door Live Session! Capitol
8:07:00 8:13:00 Cory Weeds You and I Let’s Groove! Cellar Live
8:13:00 8:18:00 Wynton Kelly On Green Dolphin Street Kelly Blue Riverside
8:20:00 8:28:00 Gene Ammons Hittin’ the Jug Boss Tenor Prestige
8:29:00 8:32:00 Oscar Brown Jr. But I Was Cool Sin & Soul Columbia
8:32:00 8:37:00 Poncho Sanchez Chile Con Soul Chile Con Soul Concord
8:37:00 8:41:00 Kenny Burrell and Jimmy Smith Kenny’s Sound Blues Bash Verve
8:42:00 8:45:00 Toots Thielemans Bluesette The Whistler and His Guitar ABC
8:45:00 8:52:00 Thelonious Monk Green Chimneys Straight No Chaser Columbia
8:52:00 8:59:00 Benny Carter A Walkin’ Thing Jazz Giant Contemporary
9:01:00 9:10:00 Chick Corea & Steve Gadd A Spanish Song Chinese Butterfly Concord
9:10:00 9:14:00 John Pizzarelli In Memory of Elizabeth Reed Double Exposure Telarc
9:15:00 9:21:00 Pamela Samiha Wise Ode to Dorothy A New Message From the Tribe Tribe
9:21:00 9:27:00 Regina Carter I’ll Chase the Blues Away Ella: Accentuate the Positive Okeh
9:27:00 9:36:00 “Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood” Au Go Go MSMW Live Indirecto
9:37:00 9:42:00 David Potter Puppet Masterq You Already Know Summit
9:43:00 9:50:00 Hank Mobley No Room For Squares No Room For Squares Blue Note
9:50:00 9:55:00 Melvin Rhyne The Trick Bag The Legend Criss Cross
9:55:00 10:00:00 Oscar Peterson Trio This Could Be the Start of Something Night Train Verve