WRVR Jazz NY – Black History Month

In recognition of Black History Month, remembering Martin Luther King’s historic appearance at Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 which was covered by WRVR radio.

Article from the New Yorker recalls King’s anti-war speech.

Martin Luther King Jr’s searing anti-war speech fifty years later

MLK-Beyond-Vietnam-Riverside-Church-April-4-1967

Audio of the full speech:


Also, sharing an interesting article from 1978 that fills in additional history about WRVR’s transition from Riverside’s classic jazz, to Sonderling’s jazz hybrid format. Not everyone was a fan of the change.

Archived copy of the article can be found here:

New York Magazine Jan 16, 1978

 

 

WRVR New York – Hour of Jazz 10-23-2019

Well, I’ve come to the last of my canned content. Enjoy an hour of jazz, courtesy of Joe Bev, Mr. ‘RVR:


WRVR 106.7 FM, commercial Jazz station in New York City, 1970s

Les Davis – WRVR Host

Playlist:

Michael Franks – B’wana, He No Home
Tom Scott – Appolonia (Foxtrata)
Weather Report – Barbary Coast
Lenny White – Chicken Fried Steak
Ahmad Jamal – Dolphin Dance
Herbie Hancock – Dolphin Dance
Miles Davis – Stuff
Return to Forever – The Musician
Pat Metheny Group – Every Summer Night
The Brecker Brothers – Splonge

This old radio broadcast is uploaded for educational purposes only. The original copyright holders should get any monetization for this tiny piece of New York Jazz history.

WRVR New York – Hour of Jazz 10-18-2019

Hour of Jazz featuring jazz giants, courtesy of Joe Bev:


WRVR 106.7 FM, commercial Jazz station in New York City, 1970’s

G. Keith Alexander – WRVR Host

Playlist:

Miles DavisSeven Steps To Heaven
New York Jazz LoungeYou Are the Sunshine of My Life

Commercials

Weather Report – Young and Fine
Chick Corea – Friends
New York Jazz Lounge – Night and Day
John Coltrane – But Not For Me
The Cannonball Adderley Quintet – Work Song
New York Jazz Lounge – Work Song
Ramsey Lewis – Do What You Wanna
Lee Morgan – The Rumproller

This old radio broadcast is uploaded for educational purposes only. The original copyright holders should get any monetization for this tiny piece of New York Jazz history.

WRVR New York – Hour of Jazz 10-8-2019

Another hour of jazz, featuring some Brazilian flair, courtesy of Joe Bev.


WRVR 106.7 FM, commercial Jazz station in New York City, 1970s

G. Keith Alexander – WRVR Host

Playlist:

Duke Ellington – Take the’A’ Train

Commercials

Thelonius Monk – It Don’t Mean a Thing
Antonio Carlos Jobim – Wave
Herbie Hancock – Chameleon
The Modern Jazz Quartet – Blues in B Flat
Chick Corea and Gary Butron – Eleanor Rigby
The Jazz Crusaders – Eleanor Rigby
Antonio Carlos Jobim – The Red Blouse

This old radio broadcast is uploaded for educational purposes only. The original copyright holders should get any monetization for this tiny piece of New York Jazz history.

WRVR New York – Hour of Jazz 10-3-2019

The New York Mets fired their manager Mickey Callaway after a season of promise and disappointment. As we look to the future, let’s celebrate with some of my old WRVR jazz favorites courtesy of Joe Bev.


WRVR 106.7 FM, commercial Jazz station in New York City, 1970’s

G. Keith Alexander – WRVR Host

Commercials

Playlist:

Return to Forever – 500 Miles High
Weather Report – Herandnu
Gil Scott Heron and Brian Jackson – Summer of ’42
Michael Franks – Popsicle Toes
The Brecker Brothers – A Creature of Many Faces
Lambert, Hendricks and Ross – Moanin’
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – Moanin’
Eddie Jefferson – Jeanine
Al Jarreau – Mornin’
The Jazz Crusaders – Young Rabbits
Donald Byrd – Places and Spaces

This old radio broadcast is uploading for educational purposes only. The original copyright holders should get any monetization for this tiny piece of New York Jazz history.

WRVR New York – Hour of Jazz 9-24-2019

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Miracle Mets, who on this night in 1969 clinched the NL Eastern Division title, with some throwback ‘RVR sounds courtesy of Joe Bev.


WRVR 106.7 FM, commercial Jazz station in New York City, circa 1970s
Les Davis – WRVR Host
1978 Air Check (first 10 minutes)

Playlist:

Gil Scott Heron – The Bottle
Weather Report – River People
Steely Dan – Do It Again
Michael Franks – Chain Reaction
The Crusaders – Chain Reaction
Grover Washington Jr. – Mister Magic
Lonnie Liston Smith – It’s Changed
Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves the Sunshine
George Benson – Breezin’
Maynard Ferguson – Mister Mellow

This old radio broadcast is uploading for educational purposes only. The original copyright holders should get any monetization for this tiny piece of New York Jazz history.

WRVR New York – Hour of Latin Jazz

Recreating the Sunday Salsa Show, courtesy of Joe Bev:


WRVR 106.7 FM, commercial Jazz station in New York City, 1970s

Roger Dawson – WRVR Host

Playlist:

Chico O’Farrill – Havana Blues
Commercials
Tito Puente – Oye Como Va
Willie Bobo – Spanish Grease
Tito Puente – Take Five
Chick Corea – Armando’s Rhumba
Return to Forever – Spain
Dexter Gordon – Blue Bosa
Mongo Santamaria – Afro Blue
Oscar Brown Jr. – Afro Blue
The Louie Ramirez Latin Jazz Ensemble – Mambo For Cal
Cal Tjader and Eddie Palmieri – Picadillo

This old radio broadcast is uploaded for educational purposes only. The original copyright holders should get any monetization for this tiny piece of New York Jazz history.

 

 

WRVR New York – Hour of Jazz

Courtesy of Joe Bev, and hosted by the legendary Les Davis, an eclectic hour of ‘RVR style programming. Your comments are welcome.


WRVR 106.7 FM, commercial Jazz station in New York City, circa 1970’s

Les Davis – WRVR Host

Playlist:

The Crusaders – Put It Where You Want It
Weather Report – Teen Town
Michael Franks – When the Cookie Jar is Empty
Gil Scott Heron – Lady Day and John Coltrane
Bobbi Humphrey – Harlem River Drive
The Brecker Brothers – Some Skunk Funk
Bob James – Westchester Lady
Donald Byrd – (Falling Like) Dominos
Oscar Peterson – I’ve Never Been in Love Before
Herbie Hancock – Dolphin Dance

Commercials

Compiled by Joe Bev.
Enjoy!

This old radio broadcast is uploading for educational purposes only. The original copyright holders should get any monetization for this tiny piece of New York Jazz history.

WRVR Jazz NY – Joe Bev

There are fans, and then there are FANS, and Joe Bevilacqua, or Joe Bev for short, is a huge fan of the old New York jazz station. Joe has combined 10 hours of music from his collection with air checks featuring on-air personalities and period commercials to recreate the WRVR listener experience. Let us know what you think…


Here is the playlist, along with Joe’s disclaimer:

WRVR 106.7 FM, commercial Jazz station in New York City, circa 1978
G. Keith Alexander – WRVR Host

Commercials

Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil
John Klemmer – Touch
Tom Scott – Dirty Old Man
Count Basie – The Kid From Red Bank
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Só Danço Samba
Spyro Gyra – Morning Dance
Al Jarreau – Spain (I Can Recall)
Sonny Rollins – St. Thomas
The Manhattan Transfer – Shaker Song
Spyro Gyra – Shaker Song
Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 – Mas Que Nada
Oscar Brown Jr. – Dat Dere
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – Dat Dere

Compiled by Joe Bev.
Enjoy!

This old radio broadcast is uploading for educational purposes only. The original copyright holders should get any monetization for tiny piece of New York Jazz history.

WRVR Jazz Radio New York

There are music historians who profess that Jazz is America’s only native art form. They will get no argument from me. To understand the state of Jazz in America today, I’ll recount a story I read a few years ago in a local newspaper.
The f.y.e. (For Your Entertainment) store in a nearby mall received complaints that adult videos were being openly displayed on shelves where they could be easily viewed by minors or other customers who might be offended by their content. The solution? Move them next to the Jazz section, because, as the manger explained, “Hardly anybody ever goes back there.” The sad thing was that the statement was true. How can it be that there is not one 24-hour Jazz station in New York City? It has not always been so. Once upon a time there was a shining beacon of Jazz in New York that went by the call letters WRVR.
The station had a history deeply rooted in the community surrounding Riverside Church in upper Manhattan, where it broadcast hard-core Jazz for over 17 years, before moving to Woodside, Queens and updating its format to include more crossover styles of Jazz and jazz-related music. The philosophy was that the new format would appeal to a larger audience while exposing them to more traditional styles of Jazz.
For those of us who became fans of the station, we were  immensely loyal, but the hybrid never grew the audience needed to make the station financially viable, so without warning, at 12:00 P.M. on September 8, 1980 Jazz station WRVR became country station WKHK. Like every other fan, my car and home radios were locked into WRVR, so when they mysteriously disappeared, I desperately twisted and turned the dial trying to figure out WTF was going on. The station was deluged with calls from irate listeners. WKHK which went by the name Kick-FM, sure felt like a kick in the ass to the abandoned fans of WRVR.
The departure left a huge void for Jazz fans. For several years WJAZ in Stamford, CT broadcast Jazz 24 hours, frequently hosted by bassist Rick Petrone. WBGO in Newark, NJ  is still broadcasting and comes closest in style and mission to the Riverside Church broadcasts. The emergence of the smooth jazz format brought CD101.9 to the New York market and its playlist was representative of some of the crossover artists you might find on WRVR during the years they broadcast out of Woodside, but it lacked the personality and edge of my beloved station and was a bit too formulaic for my taste. However, if you were a fan, and miss the station, it’s now available streaming here:
Smooth Jazz CD101.9
To get a flavor of the WRVR sound, you can search for audio clips or clones on the various streaming services. Here is a sample playlist:
4828705333_8d1ba1e32d_b
As great as the music was, the deejays at WRVR were a big part of the emotional connection with the New York audience. The names at the bottom of the program list, Herschel, G. Keith Alexander, Batt Johnson, and especially the signature voice of the station, Les Davis, were true characters. They were funny, dedicated to the music, and genuinely loved their work and their listeners.
I still hold out hope for the resurgence of Jazz as popular music in America, and for an environment to spawn the WRVR for future generations of Jazz fans.

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