WUSF Jazz

Featured Shows

Jazz Trip @Ten
NPR Jazz Profiles
Blue Note Blue Plate Special
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  • Jazz Profiles Image
  • Air Time:
  • Sunday 8:00 - 9:00 PM
  • Get in Touch:
  • facebook.com/allnightjazz
  • Singer Nancy Wilson hosts this Gold Medal award-winning, documentary series chronicling the mjor people, places and events in jazz.
  • Host Bio – Nancy Wilson

    Nancy Wilson was born February 20, 1937 in the Chillicothe, Ohio, the first of six children born to Olden Wilson, a foundry worker, and Lillian Ryan, a maid. While Nancy sang in church choirs, she also caught the sounds of a nearby jukebox: Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington, and fellow Ohioan Little Jimmy Scott (a key influence). At an early age, she knew she would be a performer. At high school in nearby Columbus, she won a talent contest that led to hosting a local television show called Skyline Melodies.

    After a year at an area state college, she said to herself: “Look girl, if you’re ever going to be a singer, you’ve got to stop this stalling around and get out there and sing.” She soon was singing with saxophonist Rusty Bryant’s band that toured the Midwest. Along the way, she met the great Cannonball Adderley, who encouraged her to New York. Her break came when she filled in for the fabled blues / jazz singer Irene Reid. That gig brought executives from Adderley’s Capitol Records, who signed her to begin a long and fruitful relationship.

    Her first popular success was 1959’s “Guess Who I Saw Today”, which remains a favorite of ballad connoisseurs. Her 1960s Capitol albums (some, unhappily, not currently available) were arranged by the likes of Billy May, Gerald Wilson, and Oliver Nelson, and feature excellent vocal work, whether on classic standards or pop tunes of the day. Her jazz chops, though, rest on two stellar albums with masters who were also Capitol artists: pianist George Shearing (The Swingin’s Mutual) and especially Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderley. Nancy only sings on seven tracks, but delivers masterpieces ranging from R&B man Buddy Johnson’s “Save Your Love For Me”, to a tune from a minor Frank Loesser show called “Never Will I Marry”, to a haunting “The Masquerade is Over”, evoking her hero Jimmy Scott. She also had several mid-sixties popular hits, most notably the very soulful “How Glad I Am”, which won the 1964 Grammy for best rhythm and blues performance.

    Nancy died December 13, 2018 after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, Calif. She was 81.

  • « Back to All Programs
  • Jazz Profiles Image
  • Host Bio – Nancy Wilson

    Nancy Wilson was born February 20, 1937 in the Chillicothe, Ohio, the first of six children born to Olden Wilson, a foundry worker, and Lillian Ryan, a maid. While Nancy sang in church choirs, she also caught the sounds of a nearby jukebox: Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington, and fellow Ohioan Little Jimmy Scott (a key influence). At an early age, she knew she would be a performer. At high school in nearby Columbus, she won a talent contest that led to hosting a local television show called Skyline Melodies.

    After a year at an area state college, she said to herself: “Look girl, if you’re ever going to be a singer, you’ve got to stop this stalling around and get out there and sing.” She soon was singing with saxophonist Rusty Bryant’s band that toured the Midwest. Along the way, she met the great Cannonball Adderley, who encouraged her to New York. Her break came when she filled in for the fabled blues / jazz singer Irene Reid. That gig brought executives from Adderley’s Capitol Records, who signed her to begin a long and fruitful relationship.

    Her first popular success was 1959’s “Guess Who I Saw Today”, which remains a favorite of ballad connoisseurs. Her 1960s Capitol albums (some, unhappily, not currently available) were arranged by the likes of Billy May, Gerald Wilson, and Oliver Nelson, and feature excellent vocal work, whether on classic standards or pop tunes of the day. Her jazz chops, though, rest on two stellar albums with masters who were also Capitol artists: pianist George Shearing (The Swingin’s Mutual) and especially Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderley. Nancy only sings on seven tracks, but delivers masterpieces ranging from R&B man Buddy Johnson’s “Save Your Love For Me”, to a tune from a minor Frank Loesser show called “Never Will I Marry”, to a haunting “The Masquerade is Over”, evoking her hero Jimmy Scott. She also had several mid-sixties popular hits, most notably the very soulful “How Glad I Am”, which won the 1964 Grammy for best rhythm and blues performance.

    Nancy died December 13, 2018 after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, Calif. She was 81.

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