Bob Parlocha’s “Black Master” Series

Jayn Pettingill | May 30th, 2020

This summer KCSM is airing Bob Parlocha’s “In the Spotlight: Black Masters.” This series was created by Bob for the commercial jazz station that once filled the Bay Area’s air waves: KJAZ 92.7FM.

Originally aired in 1982 on KJAZ, these programs have not been heard anywhere since. It is with great thanks to the Parlocha family, who have digitized the original recordings from reel-to-reel and have made them available to KCSM, that we are able to now hear them once again.

The programs, for their focus on one particular artist and their music, illustrate the history of the music, and the very tragic and complicated history in the United States of racial injustice. Bob’s commentary is thoughtful and to the point, never losing sight of the music’s wondrous development and the players who truly lifted the bandstand, making great art and great sacrifices.

The Black Masters, in total, is 38 hours of programming featuring a Black master: their life, their work, and their influences. KJAZ broadcast one hour each week. Some artists were featured for 3 weeks, some for four and a handful for five. We start the series with John Coltrane on June 6 and this particular segment will run for five weeks. 9PM-10PM, Saturday nights on KCSM 91.1 FM is the place to be!

5 Responses to “Bob Parlocha’s “Black Master” Series”

  1. John Spallone says:

    This sounds like a winner. Bob Parlocha had a insider’s perspective about the music, informed by his experience in presenting it, as well as having playing it himself. His “graveyard shift” programming (on the KJAZ cable service, and his syndicated programs) was a major part of the soundtrack of many insomniac nights, as well as a master course in the history of the music. Of course, he also introduced listeners to musicians who were less heralded than the masters, and up and coming jazz talent. I’ll be looking forward to the series. Many thanks to the Parlocha family for compiling this series.

  2. Dana Thomas says:

    Please make this a podcast, so we can hear the ones we missed, and we can listen over and over again. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would pay for a subscription. We soooo miss Parlocha. Thank you!

    • Jayn Pettingill says:

      We’re looking into it. Thank you for listening, we’re also enjoying hearing Bob again and are grateful to the Parlocha family for gifting us his reels of this great series!

  3. Ananda Brady says:

    Hi, Ananda Brady here with radio station With thanks to Jayn Pettingill at kcsm I was able to make contact with Bob’s wife Pam Parlocha. On our first and only meeting she presented me with all 36 reels of the Black Masters series which I have now digitized and am presently airing on Mondays 10:00 to midnight at Also I am archiving my shows on the above mixcloud address. The entire series will be made available sometime in the uncertain future, please contact station kwmr to express any interest in that. Thanks again Jayn, you have made all this possible!

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