Jazz Medley 11/7/2010
Host Ray Smith brings you an hour of jazz featuring music by Bob Crosby, Teddy Powell, Chick Webb, Young Tuxedo Brass Band, and many others.
Featuring Muggsy Spanier and Red Nichols 10/31/2010
Jazz Medley 10/24/2010
Jazz Medley 10/17/2010
Jazz Medley 8/1/2010
Featuring B. A. Rolfe 7/25/10
Comment on This Program
Jeffrey commented on Jazz Decades on 04.10.12
Could you tell me who the vocalist is on "Wish Upon A Star" by Will Bradley that played on Sundays show?
victoria commented on Jazz Decades on 01.13.12
thank you for creating Jazz Decades. I am a huge fan of swing bands and big bands. Please, please, please continue to offer this program!
Cristina commented on Jazz Decades on 03.30.11
I discovered this fantastic program while recovering from a major bicycle accident about a year and a half ago. It continues to help me relax, and smile. Ray knew everything about the fabulous jazz decades. I love the stories that he tells, with all the details, and personal touches that make one feel connected to the music. Thank you for streaming this great show that has become the soundtrack to cooking, computer work, and relaxing around the house.
Sonny commented on Jazz Decades on 01.25.11
Re WGBH/Jazz 24/7 Jazz Decades broadcasts Stumbled on this station on my Internet Radio. What a TREAT! 24/7 broadcasts of Ray Smiths classic Jazz Decades series. Over the decades, I only caught a few of these shows when they were originally broadcast. Now, listening to what I missed, makes me realize what a truly great production this show was. And, I cant get over how great the SOUND on the recordings are. Its obvious what a labor of love this show was for Ray, and its wonderful that these treasures are being made available 24/7 by WGBH. I hope they keep it going for many years to come. Its an oasis in an otherwise declining amount of culture on radio ESPECIALLY Jazz!
Donald commented on Jazz Decades on 12.09.10
I was saddened at first to hear of the passing of Ray Smith. However after that moment of sadness pass I then realized that Ray is now with all the great performers from his jazz decades. I will continue to listen to his program, enjoying all the wonderful information, history and most of all the wonderful music he so enjoyed and shared with his listeners
Gerald commented on Jazz Decades on 08.22.10
I have not heard Rays great radio voice for many years. I lived in Boston until 1975, we moved and I could no longer get WGBH on the radio. I was fourteen then. I live in Wisconsin, now. On a recent Sunday night I was feeling a bit nostalgic for some Jazz music, remebered the show could not remeber the show name or Rays name. So I thought I would do some googling and came across the Jazz Decades online. I was delighted and many memories came flooding back. I was later saddened when I realized Ray had passed away. In any case I am glad that his many Jazz Decades shows are continuing online in some form. Terrific music and a terrific voice and man.
Chris commented on Jazz Decades on 04.25.10
Ray Smith. I had hoped he would join us at our wedding. Not just for the instant class and my desire to meet the legend in person, but who else would be guaranteed to both entertain and get along with every guest? Im so sorry for Rays family and all who will miss him. He was so special that its likely Im not unique in that he is the only celebrity whose loss I have mourned. Rays email responses over the years made it clear how truly kind and humane he was—as generous as he was passionate and knowledgeable about his music. In an often too fastpaced life, his was the only hour in 168 of guaranteed solace and joy. On the lake in NH, in the Florida keys, on the Boston roof, in the car or anywhere else, Sunday evening was always for his broadcast. And it always will be. Ray, if there indeed is an "up there" then I know you made it. If you get the chance, on June 19 take a look down to Key Westwell be thinking of you! Rays contributions and passion will live on. Ill continue to brag about him to anyone who will listen. And I know for certain that my children will enjoy the same tradition that I, my wife and so many others have enjoyed and on which we have relied. I was hooked from the very first listening Sunday 78 will always belong to Rays Jazz Decades
Eric commented on Jazz Decades on 04.18.10
For years Ray and The Jazz Decades have been my Sunday night tradition, sixty minutes to treasure. Rays knowledge of music, his taste, his insights, his warmth, and, most of all, his love of the music were wonderful. I will miss him very, very much.
Christine commented on Jazz Decades on 04.05.10
I was listening to Decades yesterday evening, Easter Sunday, and thinking I must make a point to tune in every week, not just occasionally, because Ray is such a gem and Ill never hear the like anywhere ever. I left the room briefly and when I came in I heard them playing Whatll I Do, and I froze, I knew exactly what that meant. Ill miss him terribly. Im grateful for his archives, and hope programming the "sweet" jazz of these decades can continue for another 35 years. For me, the magic was the combination of radio visits with this fine man and his music.
Stephen commented on Jazz Decades on 03.27.10
It has now been a month since Rays passing, and I am still trying to make the adjustment. If ever there was a person who deserved a PhD in Jazz knowledge, it was Ray. His was not academic fluff it was the stuff of life, of musical skill, of the ups and downs of life and battles with John Barleycorn. He made it seem so simply and uniform, so we could ignore most of the terrible things that happened to Jazz in the 1940s and thereafter. Will there ever again be someone who knows so much about old jazz? Other people write books to give them a chance at eternity. Ray Smith has left us a massive collection of recordings that can stand as his eternal contribution, so we all can keep listening, listening on .....
John commented on Jazz Decades on 03.21.10
Ive been listening to Ray since 1980. I remember hearing his millenial show and somehow thought (hoped) he was immortal. But all good things must pass. Im grateful to WGBH for continuing to air his broadcastsagain I hope in perpetuity.
Wayne commented on Jazz Decades on 03.15.10
I first heard Ray while flipping the channels on the way to a Sunday night gig in 1985 and was immediately "in school" and have been there nearly every Sunday evening since. That was what brought me to become a gbh member. The education has helped me become a better player and listener as well as bringing immense enjoyment. Rays graciousness and gentlemanly demeanor has also been inspiring and I am a better person for following his example. "Precordially yours...."
Patricia commented on Jazz Decades on 03.14.10
I moved to Mass. just five years ago and was delighted to find Rays program. My English mum had an old collection of 78s from the 30s and my favorite was Nagasaki played and sung by Nat Gonnella and his Georgians. I tried to find it in iTunes but it was not there so I emailed Ray and asked if he could play it, saying I wasnt sure whether that band was up to his standards. He very soon wrote back and told me that it was a good band and he was going to feature it on a future program and gave me the date. He said hed be sure to play Nagasaki. Well, my mum died years ago and it had been 50 years since I had heard it so it was a joyful and teary experience to hear it again! I wrote thanking Ray and said "may you live for ever." Dear Ray, the first program GBH played after we hear the sad news that you had left us there was a Glen Miller piece and I did fox trot all around my living room to celebrate your life, wonderful spirit and all the joy you have given me!
Richard commented on Jazz Decades on 03.13.10
Ive been listening to Ray for 32 years and his passing came as quite a shock. I guess we take the treasures in life for granted. Recording his show has been a Sunday ritual for me for years. I now have his friendly folksy voice and wonderful music to listen but there will be no more! Ray was a generous man. I once emailed him to say I had heard the Original Prague Syncopated Orchestra on the bridge in Prague but couldnt find their recordings. He not only played their music on his program the Next Sunday but sent me a cd of their music !! Ray must have taken some heat from the jazz purists for playing pop and sweet music of the 20s and 30s but I commend him for it. It opened up a whole new treasure of melody, history, and sentiment for us listeners. Ray was such an important figure in jazz in this country for so many years that wgbh should consider some kind of memorial concert or event where people could get together, enjoy the music, and remember. Wherever you are, Ray, Ill be tuning in Sunday at 7 to hear you spinning some more music for us. Thank you and may you rest in peace.
Anne commented on Jazz Decades on 03.12.10
One of my most enduring memories of my father was his love of Big Band music. He was an accountant who would often bring work home with him from the office. He would complete it in the evenings after dinner, working mainly in our fairly spartan basement using the family ping pong table as his workspace. As he worked in this somewhat dreary place, he always was playing music from the 30s Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, you name it. I got to know every song from those great bands thanks to him. A few nights before my father died I was sitting watch at his bedside at the nursing home. He was only 75 but suffered from Alzheimers disease and at this stage, he was no longer conscious. I went out into a cold, rainy December night feeling that my father was gone forever, knowing that I could no longer speak to him and thank him for all the things he had taught me. When my car started, I heard Rays voice on the radio and he said, "We will now go to a live performance by Glenn Millers Band recorded at a ballroom in New York." Ray voice and the familiar Big Band sounds made me feel that my father was with me at that moment, and that he always would be. Thanks Ray for a great career, a great show, and happy memories of my wonderful Dad.
Dorothy commented on Jazz Decades on 03.11.10
The highlight of every Sunday for me was the 700 p.m. hour of Jazz Decades with Ray Smith. He was the genius of all Jazz through the ages.
ed commented on Jazz Decades on 03.10.10
Every Sunday evening at 11 pm I looked forward to Ray and the Jazz Decades via the local jazz station KCSM here in the SF Bay Area. I loved Rays unique Smithian erudition and I learned so much from Ray about the music and musIcians of the jazz decades. Ray truly enriched my life in a very real and personal way and he did so because of his own unique ability to transmit his love of the music through the radio. Ray brought a musical world to vivid life for me each Sunday and so it is with great sadness that I came across the news of his passing. Ray Made a jazzistic dent in my life and consciousness and I shall miss him for very selfish musical reasons.
Patricia commented on Jazz Decades on 03.09.10
I have been listening to Rays show since I was a kid in the 80s. At first I liked it because it was the music of my grandparents, and it reminded me of them dancing in the living room. Thirty years later I have hundreds of pounds of my own 78s in the basement. Thanks for all the information and inspiration. You will be greatly missed, Ray.
Chuck commented on Jazz Decades on 03.09.10
In my senior year of High School in 1958, some my band friends told me about a new radio show that featured old time jazz. I tuned in and was hooked. I listened every week after graduation. I used to think how cool it would be to meet Ray Smith in person. Finally, sometime in the early 1960s, I was invited to join Fred Reynold’s Goodtime Jazz Band, for which Ray Smith was the drummer. Ray and I became friends and played many gigs together. In 1982, I received a call from Tex Wyndham, who was forming a band to play at jazz festivals. My Friend, Ray Smith, had given him my name. Ray was the drummer. In 1985, Ray invited me to be in the band he was forming, which he was to call The Paramount Jazz Band of Boston and was to play jazz festivals. This was like going to college. I learned so much from Ray in those years. We had many long conversations on our airplane trips and solved most of the world’s problems in the process. Ray and I kept in touch after he retired to South Carolina and I took over managing the band. He wanted to know every detail about out adventures on the jazz festival circuit and how “his boys” were doing. We still marvel at the knowledge Ray had, not only about jazz, but about movies, movie scores, baseball and investing. He and my wife, Peg, would have long conversations about mutual funds and the stock market. In my estimation, Ray was instrumental in making New England a hotspot of Traditional Jazz Musicians. His radio program exposed the music to many young musicians who became great “Trad Jazz” musicians. We will all miss him very much.
Hans commented on Jazz Decades on 03.08.10
I was introduced to Ray Smith and his wonderful show in middle school in the 1990s. My dad is a jazz devotee and hed play the Jazz Decades in the car on our way home from weekends on Cape Cod (where our family had a ramshackle little cottage that we spent many weekends sprucing up). A 14yearold boy doesnt have much use for jazz, but even so I realized that we found something special in that hour on Sunday evenings. Before long, Ray had become my favorite host, his program the standard against which Id measure everything else on the radio. I listened to the show all the way into adulthood, now from my own living room. Ray, thank you for sharing your knowledge about and enthusiasm for this music. You and your show will be impossible to replace, but I will cherish the memories forevermore.
Suzan commented on Jazz Decades on 03.08.10
Ray Smith was an absolute treasure who will be truly missed, Thank you WGBH for continuing to broadcast his show and for bringing him into our homes each week for so many years.
Jim commented on Jazz Decades on 03.08.10
Moved from Southern California to Concord in 1972 and missed Ray live in Concord but part of my life since 1980 over WGBH and live at the Colonial Inn, Sticky Wicket and Holiday Inn Marlboro. A fine man. Hope WGBH keeps the web site momentos and on air recordings. We know hes still swinging.
Pam commented on Jazz Decades on 03.07.10
Ray, you will be sorely missed... Jazz Decades was the highlight of my early Sunday evenings, as you gave me a personal insight to an era that was before my time, but dear to my heart. A class act thats going to be hard to replace!! Thank you , Ray...
Susan commented on Jazz Decades on 03.07.10
For years Ray Smiths show has been appointment radio for me. The music and his commentary were something to look forward to through the seasons and through the years. Ill miss him.
Woody commented on Jazz Decades on 03.07.10
I grew up with my Dads music always playing in the background in our house Big Band Jazz. My sibilings and I loved it, first because it was so much a part of our father, then for its own sake. Moving to Massachusetts in the late 80s, my wife and I soon found Ray Smiths Jazz Decades, and, of course, loved it. For decades, that show has been part of what we do on Sunday evening. Ray and Dad were alike in their love of the music, and they would have enjoyed each other, Im sure just like Ray, Dad could always tell you something about the band or musician I often told Dad about the show, and even began to record a series of shows on cassette. Unfortunately, Dad died unexpectedly in 2004, and among many sadnesses is that I never completed and gave him any recordings of Rays show. And now Ray himself is gone. My wife and I will continue to tune in and relish all that Ray offered from his archives and depth of experience, so much appreciated and enjoyed in this household. We are grateful.
S commented on Jazz Decades on 03.07.10
apologises Mai Cramer
S commented on Jazz Decades on 03.07.10
Ray Smith, Jazz Decades Mai Kramer, Blues After Hours two reasons to listen to the radio.
JEFFREY commented on Jazz Decades on 03.07.10
Needing an FM stereo component on a budget, I assembled a Heathkit in the late 1970s. Turned it on and the first thing I heard was Rays show on a Sunday evening. He was playing railroad theme selections interspersed with tracks from the Iron Horse Rambles. Just the thing to make a train nut into an instant jazz fan. Well miss him.
Derick commented on Jazz Decades on 03.07.10
One hour a week what a treat this has been my favorite for so many years. Thanks Ray!
Andres commented on Jazz Decades on 03.07.10
One may have an intellectual appreciation for the adage "all things must pass", and yet this is one of those situations that tests your mettle to accept what must be. Im sadly reminded of the departure of another GBH radio great, Robert J Lurtsema. Ray has shown us the way lets keep the music playing.
Bob commented on Jazz Decades on 03.06.10
Im very sory to read of Rays passing. I listened to his Jazz Decades for many years, but my best memories of Ray come form the Early 70s when I was fortunate to play with him in various trad. jazz bands in the Boston area. Ray was not only a competent and tasteful drummer, but a great bandmate and a worthy mentor to many of us who were young trad jazz players at the time. Ray was always good company, on and off the bandstand and of course on WGBH. He will be sorely missed and warmly remembered.
James commented on Jazz Decades on 03.05.10
I never met Mr. Ray Smith, however, each time I heard a show it would allow me to visit my own Dad, also named Ray who passed away last year at 87 as well. Dad loved the music of his era could whistle or sing about all of them. As Dad worked in the garage, we learned his songs from the old box radios. Every time I heard Ray Smiths program, it brought me back to being 9 yrs old hanging out with my own Dad in the garage. May they whistle together in heaven finally find Flat Foot Floogey. God Bless them both.
Steve commented on Jazz Decades on 03.05.10
I spoke to Ray a few times between sets at The Sticky Wicket in Hopkinton, MA. years ago. He was very proud of his following and humbly boasted that his show frequently drew more listener responses than the "Big Shots" at the station. What a wealth of knowledge and what a great guy.
Barbara commented on Jazz Decades on 03.05.10
This wonderful, caring man would vist our house a few times every year as I was growing up. And every time he came, I would beg him to play my Dads piano. He would always accomodate me. He could make that old Steinway rock like crazy! I would give him my sheet music of a tune I was trying to learn, but he couldnt read a note! Id kind of hum it to him and he would just start playing, I was in awe of his abilities from the time I was seven years old. This man, my Uncle Ray, was ever so nice to me and my four sisters. He will always hold a special place in our hearts. I am going to miss, him but i will always have my memories. My heart goes out to his wife, Aunt Mal, and my cousins, Pris, Doug and Andrea. Well all miss Uncle Ray.
Andrew commented on Jazz Decades on 03.05.10
I was listening to Ray this past Sunday while driving home and heard the sad news. I have enjoyed his great program over the years and learned alot about the music and era Ray loved so much. A huge amount of information and knowledge and what a great collection! We will miss you but you will live on thru your show.
Jonathan commented on Jazz Decades on 03.05.10
I *loved* listening to Ray and what he played. I came just to enjoy, but at the same time he taught me about the music, who made it, and its era. His was truly one of the great programs...not just coming out of Boston, but in all radio, ever.
Ray commented on Jazz Decades on 03.05.10
I have had the honor of working with Ray Smith since 1982 and was lucky enough to be his engineer for the last decade. Through Ray and The Jazz Decades I learned Jazz and the musicians who performed it. It was an education. Over the years Ray and I became close friends and we supported each other through the ups and downs of life. Week in and week out it was always a joy to hear his optimistic voice on the other end of the phone. Ray was characteristically upbeat and forward looking. Never one to dwell on the negative aspects of life. As part of our work together we talked about the routine logistical aspects of producing and recording the The Jazz Decades but then discussion would always turn to our families and our plans for the future. Ray was devoted to his wife, Marilyn and extremely proud of his children. It was always family first and The Jazz Decades a close second. He had his priorities straight. Ray was also reluctant to take credit or make himself more important than the music because he was a humble man. In a business full of egos, he was the genuine article. Never searching out the spotlight. His focus was the music and the performers who made it. I really liked that about him. I think I will miss that the most. It is a rare thing to work with such a good man and for so long. I will miss him terribly. Goodbye my friend.
Miles commented on Jazz Decades on 03.04.10
We will miss Ray. Sunday nights The Jazz Decades has for many years been a ritual. What a great teacher he was, and what music we hear. Much of the music would have been forgotten except for Ray. All those wonderful vintage recordings and spectacular and unexpected performances. The way Ray could make connections between musicians and styles from all over the jazz decades. There are no more like him and with the national attention span reduced to 5 minutes, its unlikely there ever will be
Sally commented on Jazz Decades on 03.04.10
There is only one radio or TV program whose time I hold sacred from 7 to 8 p.m. on Sunday nights I will not make plans to be away from a radio nor answer the phone if I am at home, and all my friends and family know not to try to reach me then. Thats when Ray Smith and the Jazz Decades is on WGBH. As long as you continue to rebroadcast his programs, I will listen in. I feel as though I have lost a dear friend, a warm and extremely knowledgeable teacher who has deeply enriched my understanding and appreciation of the nuances of the music I love. In the past I had always dreaded Sunday nights, either because I had school assignments or tests to study for or work projects that were unfinished, and I would feel a dark foreboding all evening. That changed after I started listening to Ray on Sunday nights and found myself looking forward to his warm personality and stimulating comments and finding afterwards that I was energized and enthusiastic about getting on with whatever project I had ahead of me. I trust that will continue as I hear the rebroadcasts. In the meantime, I mourn him as I would a close friend. To his wife and family and close colleagues, I send my warmest sympathy.
Andrew commented on Jazz Decades on 03.04.10
I also have listened to Ray for many, many years. With the "new" GBH and the elimination of the Sat. night blues programming and daily classical features, he was one of the few reasons I continued to tune in. Please keep his material coming, it is creative and unique, something sadly missing from much of your new news and talk copycat schedule.
Steve commented on Jazz Decades on 03.03.10
I was just starting to play traditional jazz in 198384 when a fellow enthusiast introduced me to Rays program. Over the next couple of years I met Ray on a few gigs, and was delighted and honored to be invited to be a part of his Paramount Jazz Band of Boston. Over the years since 1994 many of us have moved around the country, but weve still had the great pleasure of getting together a few times to play again with Ray. And even here in Seattle Ive often been able to listen to his Jazz Decades, thanks to WGBH making it available as an Internet stream. Ill miss Rays love and enthusiasm for the music. Ill miss his fatherly interest in our family and professional lives as well as our musical interests. Ill miss his great stories. Most of all, Ill miss the hope that we might get together to play just one more time.
Courtney commented on Jazz Decades on 03.03.10
I was absolutely devastated to learn of the news that I had hoped would never come. My husband and I are younger in years but both love the music of Rays era. We love to tune in on Sunday night and enjoy Rays gentle manner, wealth of knowledge, and his passion for incredible jazz. Whether we were curled up inside in the middle of winter or watching the sunset from the back deck, Ray was our favorite Sunday night companion. Thank you Ray for bringing you warm voice and spirit into our home and lives.
Charl commented on Jazz Decades on 03.03.10
I am touched by all the wonderful comments about Ray Smith. I also cried when the announcement came during Sunday nights broadcast. I felt like I had lost a dear friend. Certainly a friend bringing to my ears the wonderful sounds to be found so few other places. And, like others, I loved his preparation, his wonderful knowledge and his delivery. At first, I thought, "it wont be the same listening to him after he is gone." But, then thought, "thats what he did. He played the music of people who are gone. I can and will listen, WGBH, keep on playing!" For those of you who love the music you might try streaming http//jazzandblues.org/programming/listen/stream/ on Sat and Sun mornings from 9 am to noon (Kjazz, Cal State, Long Beach). On the air is another wonderful oldtimer, called Chuck Cecil, and his program that also goes back decades called "The Swingin Years".
Marcelle commented on Jazz Decades on 03.03.10
I first heard Ray Smith in 1968 on WKOX, and started going to the different venues and jazz bands he recommended, Bill Batten Riverside Jazz Band at the Mail Coach Grill, Black Eagle Jazz Band at Passim’s in Harvard Square. His passion for Traditional Jazz soon became my obsession. It still is, 42 years later – 19 of them at the Sticky Wicket. It’s been a great life. I will continue to listen to Ray on the radio and my tapes, but will really miss his counseling and encouragement.
Stephen commented on Jazz Decades on 03.03.10
I wonder about what was the special kind of quiet magic that Ray gave us on Sunday nights. I think it was his almost total lack of irritability that made the show and made the man. For all the struggles we have in daily life and on computers and their web sites (including this one) it is just such a wonder to hear his voice and the gentle passion of his enthusiasm for old time jazz.
David commented on Jazz Decades on 03.03.10
I started listening to Ray Smiths Jazz Decades only recently but I loved it! I appreciated that Ray was a respectable and lovable senior with a wealth of knowledge. Listening to Ray was a wonderful, relaxing experience because his tender voice and old fashioned manner was comforting. I am saddened by Rays passing and will miss being able to listen to new Jazz Decades programmes. David Philip Greenwood, Manchester, England
Jay commented on Jazz Decades on 03.02.10
My wife and I are very sad, because after listening to Ray for many years, we had the opportunity, through a mutual friend, to actually call Ray on the phone, and had very graciously been invited to go visit his home in SC. One thing led to another, as it always will, and the great Ray Smith died before we were able to go see him. I think we will always regret this, and I must say in the words of Benjamin Franklin, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today , what a shame. We were able to attend a Paramount Jazz Band concert a couple of years ago, and we can confirm that Ray was just as sharp on the drums at 85 as when he was 20. Dear Ray, you are sorely missed.
john commented on Jazz Decades on 03.02.10
Ray, thanks for your valued service in WWII. You were a part of the greatest generation. I first caught Ray on WKOX about 1968 while working on a Model A. What a treat to have music playing that dated back to when the car was new. This show was a regular part of my life until I moved out of range but was able to catch it streaming. Not much stood in the way and I hung on every word and note. Thank goodness I have a lot of tapes of my favorite tunes. Ray was always so gracious and ready to answer just about any question all the way along in his jazz career. He was just a pleasure to have known. He sure had a way with words and he made up plenty when the need arose. At one point I was a newlywed and introduced my wife to Ray as my friend. We sure had a howl over that. I cant thank Ray enough for nurturing my interest in music in general and jazz in particular. Ray will be greatly missed. Play on!
Carl commented on Jazz Decades on 03.02.10
I came across Jazz Decades by accident a few years ago, and since have made it a point to tune in on Sunday evenings. Ray made the show interesting with his knowledge and information and he did so in a very pleasant way. One time he played some music by Bobby Hackett. I was surprized to hear it because my father served in the Army during WWII with his brother, talked about going to see him play in New York. Anyway it was good to hear the music, it brought me back to a time that I never knew firsthand, but in a way wish I did if only for the music. God Bless you Ray, you are missed already.
Ederlore commented on Jazz Decades on 03.01.10
My sincere condolences to his family, friends, and fans for their loss but I think Ray has gone to a wonderful place...hanging out with all the jazz greats! I couldnt think of a more perfect heaven than that! Thank you Ray for all the wonderful music you brought us.
Erica commented on Jazz Decades on 03.01.10
I listened to Ray Smith since the start of his program in 1972. My husband and I always had dinner listening to Ray. Sundays will never be the same without him. Is there going to be a public memorial service? Or at least an obituary in a local paper? Erica
Philip commented on Jazz Decades on 03.01.10
Last night after listening on KCSM in the SF Bay area to Mal Sharp just brfore the Jazz Decades was to start the announcement of Ray Smiths passing came. Even though Ray lived more than the three score and ten alloted us it brought tears to my eyes. He will be missed. Phil
Catherine commented on Jazz Decades on 03.01.10
I am so sad to hear that Ray Smith has passed away. He was like an old friend in our house, and his voice is one of my earliest memories (I listened sitting on my dads lap each Sunday night).
mel commented on Jazz Decades on 03.01.10
Ray Smith was a mentor, a masterful educator and a music therapist for me . His Jazz Decades programs are always the radio highlight of the week for me. His class , dignity and modesty glowed through his talents as a broadcaster and producer. I do hope the archives of his shows will continue to be broadcast for many years to come for the benefit of all mankind to learn from and enjoy. My Sunday nights on KCSM on the San Francisco peninsula would feel very empty without his show . Please find a way to keep him going for us. Mel 03/01
Chris commented on Jazz Decades on 03.01.10
I first heard Ray when I was 12 years old. I was just starting to love the music and to play the trumpet. About 2 years ago, I started writing him on occasion through email. I sent him a CD of a rare Benny Goodman cylinder recording. He was a joy to listen to and I know the world has been all the more richer because he was in it. All of us who love Ray Smith will greatly miss this warm, funny, and gentle man. To quote from a Berlin song "what will I do when youre far away." Thank you Ray Recordially Chris
David commented on Jazz Decades on 03.01.10
Ray Smith was a dear friend and musical colleague. I started listening to The Jazz Decades on WKOX/Framingham as a Jr. High student getting into jazz and learning the trumpet. Ray always enjoyed telling the story of my requests to the show. We later wound up working traditional jazz gigs in the area. The Sunday night spot of The Jazz Decades was always sacred to me and I will continue to listen.My thoughts and prayers go out to Marilyn and Rays family. Dave.
Peter commented on Jazz Decades on 03.01.10
I was tremendously sad to learn of Rays passing. Traditional Jazz was music that I had just discovered, and Rays show was my introduction and my guide. I have never before set aside time to tune into a weekly broadcast, but every Sunday for the past several years I have been excited to listen to Jazz Decades. Thank you Ray. Im sure somewhere there is a great Jam session going on, and Ray is drumming! Peter
Leslie commented on Jazz Decades on 03.01.10
I had never been a fan of ragtime or early jazz, but I have listened to, in fact, gone out of my way to listen to, Ray Smiths Jazz Decades for decades of my own life. Every program revealed to me that this was something to cherish, and I felt fuller, wiser and richer after every listen – as if I had been taken on a magical, floating boat to a place where only few have access. I cannot even recall when or where I was living when I first heard Rays show, but I was immediately struck by his knowledge, sincerity and the passion of his presentation. There are times, places, situations, and people that/who touch one’s life in a way that feels rare and privileged, and that one knows will never come again in their own, or anyone else’s, lifetime. From the first moment that I heard his program, I knew that Ray Smith was giving us an amazing gift, and I held onto every word and sound – like listening to the stories of the last surviving Civil War veteran. What a pleasure it has been to hear his living voice with all of its creative energy and firsthand tales, and what a treasure it is to have his archives.
David commented on Jazz Decades on 03.01.10
Ray Smith was treasure to the greater Boston area. What a unique show and what a unique talent he had for presenting the history of jazz! I am very sad that he is gone. The music of that era should live on forever and, even though Ray is gone, I hope WGBH will keep rebroadcasting his shows for years to come.
Alison commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
Flags at half mast for Ray Smith, a great scholar of and advocate for classic jazz. Ray was a feature of our Sunday evenings for ... Decades. We learned a lot, and loved every minute of it. Thanks, Ray for all the great times and great music. To Rays family our condolences, and many thanks for sharing. We loved him!
Harriet commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
For nearly thirty years on Sunday evenings at 700 Ray Smith stepped into our living room. My late husband, Albert would set up a tape and add another chapter to our library of Jazz Decades programs. Rays stories and toetapping music kept us company as we did woodworking, gardened, played Scrabble, traveled, baked cookies, or just relaxed. I have shared Jazz Decades tapes with hundreds of elders in nursing homes during singalongs and exercise programs. When Albert had heart surgery in 1984 Ray Smith went along to help with healing and again during the last days of Alberts life in 2007 we listened to Jazz Decades and shared memories of Wingy, Mugsy, The Hot Chocolates, The Duke, Charlie, Benny, Roy, Louis, Ray, and those Jug Band and Black Eagle folks. Ray Smith IS a National Treasure. Please continue his wonderful programs and keep him a part of WGBH for Jazz Decades to come. Though I write with a sad heart the joyous and enduring memories of Ray Smith will continue to be a part of my life. What a lovely man!
Ron commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
I too started listening to Ray when he was on WKOX. I also would make the hourlong drive to Concord to see him in Bill Battens band at the Mail Coach Restaurant. If it werent for Ray, I probably wouldnt be playing Dixieland/Traditional Jazz today. I hope GBH starts with the earliest of Rays shows that they have and play them to the last one and then start again and again. They have nothing else like Rays show. We have nothing else like Rays show. It is devastating.
David commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
I was quite saddened to learn of Ray Smiths death. I listened for years. It was my favorite show. His love for the music made me love it too. I recorded many hours of his programs, so it can continue for a while. Blessings to you Ray Smith. May the angels greet you on your Way.
John commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
Like everyone, I was stunned to hear of Rays passing. Ray Thank you for your passion and hard work in bringing us week after week musical joy and education. Thank you for carrying the torch for the great beauty and mystery of jazz from the 20s and 30s. I trust that there is a "Jazz Heaven" where Bix, Benny, Fletcher, Duke, Luis, Louis, and the rest are waiting to receive you with open arms. John K. Bristol, RI
Don commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
We salute Ray Smith who eptimised what WGBH was but is no more, good music with intelligent and knowledgeable commentary. The Jazz Decades was a listening treat for us since our move to the Boston area in 1985. My great regret was not saying hello to Ray, who we had seen performing with the Paramount Jazz band some months earlier, when he was standing outside Symphony Hall prior to his introducing the Preservation Jazz band at a Celebrity Series event some years ago. Don Linda
John commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
This has been my favorite radio show since I moved to Boston in 1992. Please post some podcasts to iTunes so that we may listen to Rays wonderful show well into the future.
Richard commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
Ray Smith has been our constant companion since my 33 year old daughter and I discovered him when she was three! It always seemed as if he was talking to us personally, we loved him Thanks, Ray!
Douglas commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
When Rays program began in 1972, I resented his intrusion into WGBHs classical music programming, which was my passion. By 1987, I was a regular listener, having gradually assimilated some of the musical forms and trends he sought to illuminate in his carefullystructured and widelyranging programs. In recent years, his shows have illustrated his sheer joy in sharing this music with his listeners and fans. Ray has been a cultural treasure in this community. All of us who came to know him through his program mourn his passing. Thank you, Ray.
Linda commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
I feel very sad. Ray Smiths music was the inspiration for the music played at my wedding reception in 1980. All of the women in the bridal party wore vintage dresses. I listen to him every Sunday night that I can, enjoying his selections, sense of humor, and comfortable attitude. I will enjoy the archives, but will miss his show immensely.
Edward commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
Oh man, Rays gone. He was like an old, comfortable friend every Sunday night. Be cool Ray, so long... Youll always be remembered. ed
Paulette commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
I love this show. It is my favorite radio show. Ray Smith knew the music so well and his warm personality really came through. Hearing his commentary has been a source of comfort since my parents passed away in 2006 and 2007. They loved this music very much. Every Sunday, 7pm has been a special time to stop and listen to this wonderful music and Mr. Ray Smith. Thank you and God bless!
Mimi commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
As others have said, Ive been listening to Ray Smith for more years than I care to remember...tears came to my eyes when I heard the news. He will be SO missed may he be jamming with Billy Dooley and George Brunis (whose name he always mispronounced!) for the angels...
Dale commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
Rays voice on Sundays at 7 PM was a lifeline for us especially on the Cape in the campground, rainy or clear, in candlelight, we imbibed his wonderful commentaries, his great breadth of knowledge about jazz and his choice of music all superb! We are very very sad he is gone, but hope his passing was soft and mellow and as sweet as he was. We hope to continue hear all the lovely sounds he leaves us and hope that his spirit continues to cheer his family as it will us. Luisa Joe in Boston
Julie commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
I am truly saddened to hear this news. I cant help but know that whenever I will hear or read of names such as Jack Teagarden, Bix, or King Oliver that Ray Smith will always come to my mind. His knowledge of such great jazz notables was astounding and I will truly miss his stories and poetic soft spoken delivery. He will be missed. Rest in peace Ray.
michael commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
Ray Smith is so deeply inbedded in my musical conscience that I can not think of Jazz without his voice first popping into my head. It has always meant a wonderful experience in listening. He made a huge impact on me. My heart is with his family and always will be. michael
tom commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
Ray has been such a big part of my life on Sunday nights for so many years. His music, his warming voice and his witty commentary all made for a wonderful program. Ill miss him dearly tom
Peter commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
I will miss Ray. I have been listening to the Jazz Decades for so many years I cant even remember when I started to tune in. It has always been a reason for me to be near a radio at 7 pm on a Sunday night. Many friends of miine have teased me about this but I felt that Ray was special and he wouldnt always be around for me to receive his a dosage of his vast and encyclopedic knowledge of the jazz decades.
Julie commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
I had just tuned into WGBH to hear Ray and the Jazz Decades as we do every Sunday, when I heard the sad news of Rays death and burst into to tears. My husband and I absolutely adore Rayhe has been a part of our lives for many years as we eat our Sunday dinners and then do our getting ready for work chores with Jazz Decades always a beloved part of our night. We will miss Ray very much. Ray was obviously a brilliant authority on jazz and his love of jazz was so infectious and joyous that we too would be excited to learn and listen to whatever Ray was featuring that Sunday. Well, I just want to thank Ray for all the wonderful music he has brought into our lives and I hope he listening to his favorite records right now. I hope WGHB keeps Ray Smith on for many years.
Robert commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
Losing Ray is like losing a beloved member of the family. My wife and I began listening to his show back when it was broadcast on WKOX in Framingham and recorded (on cassete tape) every weekly show and listened to them over and over again in our car before recording new shows over the old ones. We also caught his bands at the Sticky Wicket and at the old Shoppers World in Framingham. I lost my wife five years ago but continue to tune in every Sunday evening. Thanks Ray! Rest In Peace. Bob LHeureux, Southborough, MA
Don commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
I am truly desolated by Rays passing. Although I am a baby boomer, I have always had a special fondness for traditional jazz. I first encountered Rays program when I was a student in 1972. It was his first year on WGBH, but even then it seemed as though the program had been going forever. I have been a listener ever since, except for brief periods when I was away from a station that carried the program. Ray had an encyclopedic knowledge of early jazz and swing, much of it acquired first hand, combined with a modesty and sincerity that made the listener eager to learn more. I cant begin to list the musicians and bandleaders to whom I was first introduced by Ray. Although I will continue to listen to the program for as long as WGBH continues to broadcast it, it will always be with a tinge of sadness that we will be hearing recordings and not the "live remote" from Beaufort. Thank you, Ray, for everything.
Ron commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
We are fortunate to have had so generous a portion of Ray and his music. He will be greatly missed, and never forgotten.
William commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
I love this show, its the only place I can hear real jazz. May this show play forever, in the airwaves of the internet. His encyclopedic knowledge of jazz was incredible.
Fiona commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
My whole family turns in every Sunday night to hear Ray Smiths wonderful program and he has made jazz fans of all of us. PLEASE continue to run all 1900 plus shows in rotation for the indefinite future. Thank you to Ray for giving us the best that radio can be.
Peter commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
Sunday nights wont be the same without Rayespecially hot summer ones with Jazz Decades on in the background. Thank you, Ray, for sharing your passion for jazz and for leaving us this great legacy of music.
John commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
Thank you for all the Jazz!!! Rest in Peace!!!
Doug commented on Jazz Decades on 02.28.10
On behalf of our family, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those loyal listeners of the Jazz Decades that have expressed their condolences on my father’s passing. After his family, music was his greatest pleasure and he loved being able to share it with you. Because of your support for our dad’s radio show, it brought him 50 years of happiness and friendships. We are very grateful for that. We also want to thank WGBH for the many years of a special partnership and friendship with our dad. Doug Smith
Peter commented on Jazz Decades on 02.17.10
Ive always been a big fan of Classical, Rock and Blues. Jazz never really grabbed me... until I found this show! Now I am a rabid early Jazz fan, and I look forward to your show every Sunday night. Through the web I have also infected my coworkers. Thank you Ray for introducing us to the fun side of Jazz!
Kelly commented on Jazz Decades on 11.14.09
Its crazy how much I love this show. I listen to the stream from my desk at work, and whatever kind of day it is, Jazz Decades makes it better. (And some days need a lot of help.) Great music, great comments. Thanks, Ray!