“Sit back, relax, and let’s swing together.” With those words Larry Smith would open his nightly jazz show on WBEZ. Smith passed away last weekend. He had a long-standing and close relationship with WBEZ, spending more than 20 years at the station, but his passion was jazz.
Although a musician himself, as a DJ his instruments were his charming personality, deep knowledge of jazz, terrific wit, and his distinctive voice. Those qualities endeared him to jazz fans old and new. They also attracted the attention of some of the jazz greats, as Smith hosted top jazz artists from Count Basie to Miles Davis.
One of the greats who knew Larry Smith well is WBEZ’s Richard Steele. Steele joined Eight Forty-Eight’s Alison Cuddy to remember Larry Smith.