I’ve Got Mail: One Buddy Leads To Another

The other day, when mentioning mail and new buddies, I forgot to tell you about Russ. He found his way to DevraDoWrite via a link on Doug Ramsey’s Rifftides blog, which he discovered from reading the Paul Desmond piece at Jerry Jazz Musician. In today’s world where many of use wear multiple hats, it’s not a big surprise (albeit a very pleasant one) to find that we knew one another indirectly.

…in one of those ‘small world’ coincidences; I know of you through my experience as a jazz concert producer. From 1986 to 1992 I produced a summer Jazz series in Mt Gretna, a small mountain resort town in Central Pennsylvania. During those six years I featured, among others, Joe Williams and Jim Hall. Thus, I recognized you from the publicity materials for Jim & Joe.

Back then, I was a publicist for lots of great jazz folks, Joe, Jim, Carmen McRae, Eddie Harris, and Thad Jones, to name just a few.
Russ continues:

In another coincidence, in 1980 I became one of the founders of a regional jazz society, the Central PA Friends of Jazz. One of our regular performers in the early days was Harrisburg resident J.J. Wiggins. In more recent time the Friends of Jazz staged a Father’s Day performance by Gerald and J.J. Wiggins at the annual Central PA Jazz Festival. In fact, I recorded the concert for the local public radio station.

By the way, the juvenile jazz group with which J.J. Wiggins got his start was the Craig Hundley Trio, not Huntley. I recall seeing the group several times when they appeared with Johnny Carson. Here’s a link to the cover art for the album they recorded.

Russ mentions Wig and J.J. because he noticed my bio of Gerald Wiggins, here. He’s the first to have noticed my mistake (even Wig did not catch it), and now I’ve corrected it.

By day, Russ is webmaster for WITF, but recently he has resurrected his weekly radio show via Internet. He explains:

I became a part of the local jazz community through my work as a jazz disc jockey. I produced a weekly show entitled “My Favorite Things” from 1970 to 1992. In 1990 I took over the jazz feature writing slot with the Harrisburg daily newspaper. The writing gig fell victim to the changing economics at the newspaper. Last month, for reasons which still escape me, I decided to revive the radio show online…

So check out My Favorite Things, that’s the name of my new good buddy’s show.