At 1 a.m. Saturday morning, Larry Martin will sign off WUSF for good. He will be ending a 15-year run as host of the jazz-themed radio show “Jazz Legacy.” The show airs Friday nights from 11 to 1 a.m. and features classic jazz as well as big band music.
“(I’ve enjoyed) the opportunity to share my love and knowledge of classic jazz with the audience,” Martin said of his time on the air.
“Larry has brought the authority of someone who knows the early years of jazz and the passion he’s had for it all his life,” said Bob Seymour, jazz director for WUSF. “Along with that, he has the ability to communicate that enthusiasm and a genuine, likeable presence on air.”
Nothing lasts forever, though.
“After 15 years and at age 76, I just got tired of doing it,” Martin said.
He has been teaching and will continue to teach courses at the USF School for Continuing Education on topics ranging from jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton to a historical survey of blues music.
“I will be presenting a seminar on classic jazz to the Learning in Retirement audience this coming fall,” said Martin. “I have been doing seminars like this for the past 11 years.”
Martin also said he looks forward to being able to “listen to jazz records for my own enjoyment instead of auditioning for the program.”
His family is another thing he plans to focus on in his retirement.
“Jazz Legacy” originally started in the mid-1980s, and Martin started hosting in 1990.
“In hosting this show so well for so long, Larry really created a legacy of his own,” Seymour said in a press release.
Though Martin was not the only host of “Jazz Legacy,” he has come to personify the show and it does not look like WUSF will find a substitute host.
“I hope they replace it with another jazz program of equal excellence,” said junior Billy Klerk.
“There’s no replacing what Larry has done for all these years, but in that time slot will be the two best nationally broadcast live-jazz performance programs,” said Seymour.
Martin learned to love jazz music at an early age while growing up in Chicago. He even traveled the country performing jazz music in his younger years.
After spending most of an average coed’s lifespan as a disc jockey, Martin had some simple and concise advice to offer aspiring DJs.
“Know your music.”