People Of WFIT
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
Jazz on the Beach is a show that can best be described as "straight ahead" or "mainstream", which means a combination of traditional, small group or big band swing, be-bop ,west coast, etc. It plays some current, or reissued recordings, some broadcast jazz shows of long ago, and some vocals. You might ask "does it swing?" Host Jack Simpson always hopes so!! Jazz on the Beach plays every Thursday night from 7 to 10 p.m.