SUBMITTED BY: John Penney, WRCJ
RELATIONSHIP TO ED: Former co-workers at WDET
My on-air debut at WDET was sitting in for [Ed] for a week, we worked together a lot over the years, I danced at his wedding.
One trait Ed and I share is that when on-air we like the monitors turned up to 11. Walk past the studio in 6001 Cass when Ed’s on and the door and window are rattling. I was working in Studio B one night when Ed was on. Went to the Little Boy’s room, and when I came out I could hear the music – loud. It was a post-bop version of a standard – for the life of me can’t remember which one. As I turned the corner by reception and looked down the corridor, there was Ed, with the studio door propped open, music blaring…he was dancing, and singing along – not scatting, singing the lyric. With that huge Ed Love smile on his face. It’s a priceless memory that has stayed with me over the decades.
Another timely one: First year the Detroit Jazz Fest asked me to record pre-show credits roll for the Chase Stage. I was standing backstage on opening night, waiting to hear it. But when it began it was Ed. I hadn’t seen him for a couple of years and had been wondering about him, and freaked in a good way. I found Chris Collins and excitedly asked, “Is Ed Here?” He laughed and said no. He had butt-dialed Ed and Ed returned the call. Ed sounded great, and on the spur of the moment, Chris asked him if he’d record a pre-roll. It sounded great, was so wonderful to hear his voice! Of all the faces and voices associated with the Fest, Ed is at the top of the list.
A third: I moved from Buffalo to Detroit as the sales and promo rep for an independent record distributor in 1984. I’d had the same gig in Buffalo and also hosted jazz on WBFO. WJZZ’s Dorian Pastor was one of my best phone friends, a relationship forged when I was NPD for Amherst Records promoting Spyro Gyra. I was excited about meeting Dorian and listening to WJZZ, maybe getting a gig there. But my brother David, who had been in Detroit for a few years as a curator at the DIA told me, “Oh no, if you want to hear jazz you have to listen to “Love, Ed Love” on WDET. Dorian became my first best friend in Detroit and introduced me to so many and I so miss him. But he lamented the programming compromises he was forced to make in the hopes of making WJZZ a viable commercial station. As an indy repping so many jazz labels, Ed became my first call. He demanded promos be sent to his home rather than the station because he needed to listen to them first. I totally got it, had no problem with it…Which goes to say I had a couple of years of a phone relationship with Ed before we met face to face. And then my debut on WDET…see above.