Jack Simpson, host of 'Jazz on the Beach', began his radio career in 1967. Since then, 'Jazz on the Beach' has been heard on nine stations in Brevard and Orlando. Born in Blackburn, England and raised in Leeds, Jack’s love of jazz began early on and he spent his free time listening to American swing and jazz tunes on the radio. At 18 he was inducted into the RAF and was trained at the Royal Technical College in wireless mechanics.
Jack came to the US in 1947 and began working with RCA in the Bronx. He soon met his future wife Lorraine. In 1958 Jack was promoted to manager of RCA’s Cape Radio Communications and they were transferred to Florida. With Lorraine’s urging and inspiration Jack debuted his radio show with the theme song Enchanted Lady on WKRT-FM in Cocoa. 'Jazz on the Beach' holds the honor of the longest running jazz radio show in Central Florida and today can be heard on both WFIT and WUCF.
Over the past 40 years, both Jack and Lorraine have been active in community fundraisers, raising money for many worthy causes: disadvantaged children, the food bank, jazz scholarships and much more. Jack has been instrumental in putting together and hosting a plethora of jazz concerts and festivals. He has had the good fortune to meet and interview many of the jazz legends: Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Dave Brubeck and Gerry Mulligan to name a few.
Jack Simpson has been a source of education, entertainment and inspiration to hundreds of people over the past 40 years. His warmth, style, wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the music and artists has made him a role model and mentor to many broadcasters who have emulated his on-air skill and professionalism. Jack’s dedication to jazz and his on-air duties are unparalleled and on the rare occasions that he asks someone to sit-in for him that is exactly what they do, sit-in not substitute. There is no substitute for Jack Simpson!
A legend in his own time - we are so fortunate and grateful to have Jack Simpson on WFIT and a great advocate for jazz in Central Florida.
On the web: www.spacecoastjazzsociety.com
Born: Somewhere south of the border
Type of show: A non-markovian permutation of musical selections
Years on the Space Coast: 22
Favorite musicians/artists/albums: It really depends on my mood at the time. Anything that sounds unlike anything that came before it is probably high on my list at one time or another.
On the Web: http://www.lacking.org
Born: Detroit, Michigan
Type of show: Classic blues, early R & B, roots of rock’n roll, best of new blues and requests.
Favorite artists: Bill Doggett, Louis Jordan, T-Bone Walker, Muddy, Wolf, Little Willie John, 5 Royales, Shorty Long, Fats Domino, Ray Charles and many more!
His radio career began in 1991 with Another Unconventional Sunday Morning (AUSM), a three-hour innovative show blending esoteric folk/rock with new and emerging singer/songwriters. The show still airs on WFIT – a public radio station in Melbourne, Florida – and was nationally syndicated in 1998 as FM Odyssey. The premier special “A Tribute to Laura Nyro” aired on 90 stations across the country. His audience has grown steadily ever since with further career retrospective interviews with legends such as Judy Collins, David Crosby, and Denny Doherty (Mamas and Papas).
Compassion, knowledge, and a wry sense of humor have garnered Fred interviews with some of the greatest names in the music industry including Billy Joel, Jim Capaldi, Alvin Lee, Ian Anderson, Jeff Beck, Janis Ian, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul & Mary, The Moody Blues, Tom Paxton, Gordon Lightfoot, Annie Haslam, Dan Fogelberg, Steely Dan, and many others. Fred’s passion and dedication to music are evident the moment he begins to speak. Perhaps it’s his honesty and respect that allows the artist to feel comfortable when talking with him. The resulting interviews prove to be insightful, informative, and compelling.
Fred’s experience and talent make him a formidable spokesperson in the music industry, thus carving a niche for himself in a highly competitive and creative field. Seventeen years in radio have earned him the respect of his contemporaries and of the artists whose talents he so keenly observes.
Continually striving to create quality programming that conveys the inspiration and fulfillment that music has brought him all his life, Fred is a master at reaching into the soul of the artist’s music and bringing it into the light for the world to see. In the end, the true beauty of his craft is reflected in making his audience feel like they are at home with the artists who have enriched their lives.
What speaks in volumes to Fred’s skill at interviewing, format and production of radio specials – are the words of artists, program managers and other radio personalities. The following excerpts tell the story.
On the Web: http://www.fmodyssey.com
The music you listen to is the soundtrack of your life.
- Tom Bayes
Born: Falls Church, VA
Type of show: Blues
Years living on the Space Coast: 24 years
Favorite musicians/artists: I like them all
Favorite albums: West Side Soul, Magic Sun, Roscoe Gordon, anything...
On the Web: http://www.saturdayblues.com/
Born: Naples, Italy
Type of show: Eclectic, acoustic and electronic music (primarily instrumental) with world influences.
Years living on the Space Coast: 21 yrs
Favorite artists: M. C. Escher and Dali
Born: Cincinnati, Ohio
Type of show: Middle-of-the-road modern and contemporary jazz.
Years living on the Space Coast: 14
Early music influence: Wolf Man Jack
Favorite artists: Lee Konitz, Paul Desmond, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Garry Mulligan.
Born: Charlotte, NC
Type of show: The show is inspired by the sun, the sand and the surf!
Years living on the Space Coast: 8 years
Favorite musicians/artists: Dick Dale, Chuck Berry, Johnny Burnette, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, The Ventures, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Duane Eddy, Hank Marvin, Albert King, Bobby Fuller, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, James Brown...
Favorite albums: Duane Eddy "Have Twangy Guitar, Will Travel", Johnny Burnette Trio "Greatest Hits", Dick Dale "King Of Surf Guitar", Albert King "Live Wire-Blues Power", Stevie Ray Vaughan "Texas Flood", Ventures "Hits", B.B. King "Live At Cooke County Jail"...
Additional information: "Big Surf Show-Dawn Patrol" playing tunes inspired by the sun, the sand, the surf! Tunes to get you stoked to wax the board, hit the beach... Go Get Wet!!! Get your weekend rolling like a strong cup of Costa Rican coffee right here on WFIT!"....
The Danny Morris Band performs regularly in around Florida and the South East. In 2010, the band performed for the troops in Kuwait and Iraq. Danny is also a Certified Flight Instructor CFII at Merritt Island airport (KCOI).
On the Web: http://www.dannymorrisband.com/
I’m a third-generation Miamian whose “day job” is management consulting and communications for large scientific research programs run by federal agencies in Washington, DC. I’ve lived on the Space Coast since 1989 and commute a few days a month to my office in DC. I have a wide range of interests, and the show feeds my habit. But the really great thing about hosting the show has been the huge number of interesting people I’ve been able to meet from all walks of life. I didn’t think about that, going in, but it has turned out to be the most rewarding part of the job!
Born: Miami, FL
Type of show: Anything but politics
Years living on the Space Coast: 21 years
On the Web: http://www.americanvarietyradio.com/
Through music we can change the world, one person at a time.
Born: Charleston, South Carolina
Type of show: World music
Years living on the Space Coast: 23 years
Favorite musicians/artists: too many
Favorite albums: too many