Jazz Straight Ahead
John Tegler, the producer and host of Jazz Straight Ahead on WEAA. 88.9 FM in Baltimore has been a broadcaster since the age of 16 when he began on WPEN in Philadelphia, John now produces, hosts and syndicates Jazz Straight Ahead heard in Baltimore on Wednesday nights from 8 pm until midnight. The show is about to celebrate its 27th anniversary on the air.
John Tegler began his association with the music/jazz world as a teenager working jobs with various combos and eventually as the drummer with Lou Dennison’s Big Band in Philadelphia. This association came naturally. His father sang in the chorus of the Metropolitan Opera and he had one uncle who played with the original Woody Herman Band among others. Another, a physician, promoted jazz concerts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Mr. Tegler eventually spent the better part of thirteen years with a number of name bands and jazz combos including those of Tex Beneke, Ralph Marteri, Claude Thornhill, Count Basie, Flip Phillips, Ritchie Kamuca and Irving Ashby as well as others.
As a broadcaster and writer, he has worked with a great many well known artists from the jazz world including people like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Mel Torme, Steve Allen, Nat Cole, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Lou Donaldson, George Shearing, Billie Holiday, Joe Williams, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Harry James, Woody Herman, the Four Freshmen, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Junior Mance, Jimmy Heath, Mulgrew Miller, Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Eric Alexander, Mike LeDonne and many, many others.
In addition to working in radio, television and the theater, John has produced and directed several documentary films. He has written many magazine pieces on jazz and is the writer, producer and narrator of a series of jazz and big band tribute concerts. He has also been the creator of and served on the committees for several jazz concerts over the years.
Questions for John Tegler
1. What is your favorite food? Meat and potatoes or pasta
2. Where did you grow up? Suburban Philadelphia
3. What do you like most about working in radio? Radio appeals to me because of the fact that it was once called "the theater of the mind" where people must used their minds and imagination.
4. What is your favorite book/books? I am an avid reader, primarily of history and biography.
5. Top five favorite artists of all time? If you are speaking of jazz, my top favorite artists include Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme and Joe Williams.
6. Favorite live performance attended? Too many to narrow it down to!
7. Vinyl, CD, or MP3? I favor vinyl and/or CD, both of which I have large collections of.