WCDB Jazz Host Celebrates 30 Years

His voice has been a staple on the radio airwaves for the past 30 years. Celebrating a milestone during what is also known as Jazz Appreciation Month, in this Capital Region Close Up, Karen Tararache introduces us to Bill McCann.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Bill McCann hosted his first Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz at WCDB as a student at UAlbany back in April of 1985.

"I don't feel different now. I'm fifty now but I don't really feel like I'm 50," McCann said.  

Exposed to the world of jazz at a young age, he found a home and what he refers to as his weekly therapy session. Sitting here, every Saturday from 8am to noon, for the past three decades.  

For song selection, McCann explained, "I want it to be all impromptu all spontaneous I want it to be what I want to hear right then."

"He has his style of playing records and promoting records and it's just fun," said Thomas Bellino, the Planet Arts managing director.

WAMC Jazz radio host Tim Coakley said, "He has a lot of knowledge and a tremendous amount of music."

Friends and those who appreciate that "swing" sound in the Capital District have tuned into 90.9 over the years, but online streaming has carried his voice into homes across the globe.

"We had a guy send us an email saying, hey I'm listening from Panama, our dean moved to Singapore, he wrote that he was listening there," McCann said.

While being an attorney Monday through Friday keeps the food on the table, this is what continues to feed his soul.

Bellino said, "There would be this void in the music scene in Albany if he stopped doing it." 

"The students out in the halls said you're getting it interviewed, oh yeah thirty years, they said it'd be great if you had another thirty. I go well, I'd be eighty if I could sign up for thirty more I'd take it in a heartbeat," McCann laughed.

Coakley added, "Well let's have another thirty. He's always told me he'd love to have his own radio station, do 24-hour jazz shows."

For more information on jazz events in Albany click here.

Spectrum customers get full access
to all our video, including our live stream.