Bobby Jackson, the talented and engaging host of The Roots of Smooth airing on WAER Mondays at 8 PM died on December 9, 2013 in Cleveland, OH. He was 57 years old.
Bobby was an award-winning veteran broadcaster and a personal friend and colleague. His career spanned over 25 years and included stints as announcer/music director/program director at WCLK in Atlanta and WCPN in Cleveland. He was passionate about jazz and that passion was evident daily during his shows. He made an effort to connect with his audience to draw them in so that he could share his vast knowledge of Jazz and its roots in African American music.
I last met with Bobby two years ago here in Syracuse. He was tagging along with his wife who was in town to attend a conference and he actually thought it would be cool to make a trip to Syracuse. In fact, he made it a priority to have me drive him over to the Carrier Dome. I had no idea that he was fan of SU Basketball. During lunch, we spoke some about his program, The Roots of Smooth, and our days as music directors in public radio, but the conversation mostly centered around the joys of fatherhood. He was immensely proud of his son Xavier and it showed in his smile with every story he told.
His absence leaves a void in the jazz world and we are not sure at this point what program we are going to put in place of The Roots of Smooth though we have a few options available to us. That's the easy part. The impossible task is finding another jazz ambassador with the energy and spirit of Bobby Jackson and I just don't think that can be done. If you want to learn more about Bobby, read the article from JazzTimes. Check back with us here in the weeks to come for updates on Monday night programming.