It was a very good year


Jonathan Schwartz, my favorite disc jockey ever, signed off for the last time today. His internet radio station, The Jonathan Station, will continue, but Schwartz himself won't be doing any more new programs. He is 82 years old.

The finale was not announced in advance, and the decision to wrap it up may have been made at the last minute. But we listeners felt it coming, as the last few months' shows have sounded like a bit of a struggle.

To step away from the microphone must be really tough for Schwartz. He's done AM, FM, satellite, commercial, public radio, you name it. He worked five days a week, and would have gone seven days a week if they'd let him, into his late 70s.

At some point, I'll have to sit down and write a legitimate essay about the guy. He is a brilliantly colorful character of so many dimensions. But most importantly, Schwartz has brought tons of new music to my ears, on and off, for more than 50 years. And reinforced so much of the timeless stuff. For example, because of his influence, any number of standard songs from the "American Songbook" are second nature to me now. They come on, I sing along. And the performers of whom I otherwise would never have heard! There are dozens.

The Schwartz retirement comes in the same month that we learned of Tony Bennett's illness. From here on out, music lovers, I think we're on our own.

But we are still in good company. John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey, two spritely middle-aged folks, are still spinning discs of that kind and talking about them, with great knowledge and affection. We can call their show home and branch out from there.

But for today, farewell to Schwartz, and many, many thanks.

Comments

  1. Scott Muni, Vin Scelsa, Pete Fornatale, Carol Miller and Alison Steele all complemented Jonathon on 102.7. My Rock 'n Roll education foundation. Coincidentally the last four digits of my cell number are 1027.

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