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Date Posted: 11:19:55 09/23/17 Sat
Author: Ray Hoffman
Subject: Re: Pittsburgh's top morning show hosts/teams...Jazzbeauxz bio
In reply to: JM 's message, "Re: Pittsburgh's top morning show hosts/teams" on 03:33:34 07/12/17 Wed

It didn't come on as late as you might have thought, John. "Jazzbeauxz ---that's the way he spelled it, using the "z" to indicate the possessive following the letter x--- Rehearsal" replaced Dave Crantz's wonderful Charlie Chan Theatre Saturday nights at 11:30 in, I believe, the spring of 1970.

Al Collins (1919-97) was 51 when he came to Pittsburgh from Los Angeles on the invite of WTAE's Bernie Armstrong, Junior. Armstrong thought he might capture some former Cordic listeners away from Jack Bogut...especially at a time when Cordic was sending in his Sunday morning show from LA.

He had a house just up the hill from WTAE in Blackridge and after 'TAE sacked him in favor of O'Brien and Garry, in I think '73, he stayed around town on WIXZ until he could make his way back to San Francisco. He worked several years doing an overnight talk show on KGO. Then in 1981, when WNEW found some success in playing the Great American Songbook (quite different from The Music of Your Life, by the way), he came back to New York to the station that really cemented his reputation in the first place in the early 1950s. But this time around he commuted on weekends back to his home in Mill Valley, California. Also, through the '80s he did various local cable TV shows in New York. These were not anywhere near as polished as the Pittsburgh show, which after all was being done by Channel 4's studio people. But if you'd like to get at least a little sense of what Jazzbeauxz' Rehearsal was like, I have a couple of samples of the rather chaotic and totally shoestring late-1980s Manhattan version on my YouTube page. Just go to rayhoffmanonair.

By the way, during World War II, when he was just getting started, he worked for a while at WKPA in New Kensington before heading off to Chicago and Salt Lake City.

I first met him in the parking lot of Monroeville Mall, when I spotted his VW microbus (easily recognizable by the periscope on the top provided by one of his regular sponsors, Ted McWilliams Volkswagen). He also had a Porsche 356B Speedster, which originally (and briefly!) was covered in purple velvet (in honor of his Purple Grotto show on WNEW). He and I ended up being good friends over the last 29 years of his life. A great guy and one of the best broadcasters I ever heard.

By the way, a few years ago a fellow on this site from, I think, Wexford, sent me some audio from Crantz's Charlie Chan Theatre but didn't leave me his return address. If you're out there still, please get in touch via my e-mail address as I have some things for you....

--Ray Hoffman

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