Hot Air on CBC Radio One in British Columbia recently turned 65 years old, making it the longest running show on the CBC, and perhaps the longest running jazz show anywhere in the world.
The passion for the music started with one man, Bob Smith (1920-1989), when he turned on the Hot Air microphone for the first time in 1947. The music was still undergoing all kinds of changes. The swing era had just officially run its course, and bebop was about to give way to the birth of cool jazz. Clubs were springing up around towns filled with hipsters, wanting to take in the best of local and visiting jazz artists.
Smith had unprecedented access to the stars of jazz, including Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Mancini, Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis and Lena Horne. Here’s an exclusive interview segment from 1962.
[audio link here]
Smith is interviewing Edward "Duke" Ellington when Billy Strayhorn just happens to walk into the scene.
When Smith retired from Hot Air in 1982, the show was hosted by a string of CBC personalities including Harvey Dawes, Bruno Cimolai, Gordon Hunt, Paul Grant and current host, Margaret Gallagher.
Gallagher is helping organize a special concert to be held at the CBC Production Centre in Vancouver on June 22. Here’s how she describes the event: “It’s going to be a celebration from B.C. and beyond that spans seven decades with top notch musicians who represent both B.C.’s great history of jazz and where the music is headed."
The music director for the Hot Air 65th concert is multi-instrumentalist and band leader Ross Taggart, who has assembled a who’s who of locals including trumpeter Brad Turner, vocalist Joani Taylor, sax players Campbell Ryga and Evan Arntzen, bass player Darren Radtke, pianist Sharon Minemoto, drummer Craig Scott and guitarist Oliver Gannon.
It promises to be an amazing show and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.
Hot Air 65th concert details:
Friday, June 22, 5:30 p.m. show (doors at 5 p.m.).
CBC Production Centre, 700 Hamilton St., Vancouver, B.C.
Admission is free. Seating is first come, first seated or you can get your name on the guest list for assured seating by emailing email@example.com.
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on Jun 14, 2012