Desert Island Jazz
Show All
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
  • 2003
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • George Hughes (2000)
    Mr. Hughes, who died at his San Mateo home May 12, was a charming man of far-ranging but discriminating musical tastes. One of the rock-solid programmers and announcers who made the old KJAZ radio a pleasure to listen to -- he disliked the term DJ -- Mr. Hughes was heard regularly since 1990 on KCSM (91.1 FM), where he continued that tradition of excellence.

    As the all-night guy at KJAZ in the late 1970s and early '80s, Mr. Hughes had the freedom to play some of the most challenging jazz of the day -- records by Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and other vanguard musicians -- as well as spinning discs by some of his favorite artists, among them vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, Thelonious Monk and Joe Henderson, said pianist and disc jockey Dick Conte, who worked with Mr. Hughes at both KJAZ and KCSM.

    "He was very sympathetic to the avant-garde when it was not a very popular thing do,'' Conte added. "He had excellent taste, and he was great, sweet guy.''

    Mr. Hughes grew up in San Mateo and attended Mills High School in Millbrae. As a teenager, he sometimes sneaked into the jazz clubs that once flourished in North Beach.

    Mr. Hughes served as an intelligence researcher in the U.S. Air Force from 1967 to 1971, including one year in Vietnam. He studied at the College of San Mateo before receiving a bachelor's degree in communication arts from the University of the Pacific in Stockton. That's where he began his broadcasting career, playing records on KUOP.

    His first professional gig was at Modesto's KOSO, where he played big band music and the best Rosemary Clooney and Anita O'Day records. Mr. Hughes worked various shifts at KJAZ from 1975 to 1988.

    Like other fine announcers, Mr. Hughes was fired and rehired over the years by station owner Pat Henry, who was known to pull a disc jockey off the air if he heard a record he didn't like or didn't want to hear in that time slot. Mr. Hughes' wife, Gypsy Zaboroskie, recalled that the Henry once yanked Mr. Hughes off the air for playing a Cecil Taylor record during the mellow Dinner Jazz show. But Henry knew talent, and he hired Mr. Hughes back.

    Mr. Hughes was an avid reader and an aeronautics buff. He taught broadcasting at various schools and colleges over the years, including San Francisco State University and Laney College.
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Duke Ellington Private Collection, Vol. 1: Studio Sessions, Chicago 1956 Just Scratchin' the Surface (Saja)
    # 2 Lucky Thompson Tricotism Old Reliable (Impulse)
    # 3 Woody Herman The Herd Rides Again ... in Stereo Blowin' Up a Storm (Evidence)
    # 4 Ken Nordine The Best of Word Jazz, Vol. 1 You're Getting Better (Rhino)
    # 5 Elvin Jones Merry-Go-Round Lungs (Blue Note)
    # 6 Blue Mitchell Boss Horn I Should Care (Blue Note)
    # 7 Roland Kirk, featuring Leon Thomas A Meeting of the Times Dream (Atlantic)
    # 8 Junko Onishi Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 2 Brilliant Corners (Blue Note)
    Book Edward Gibbon, "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire", or Winston Churchill, "History of the English-Speaking Peoples", or Walt Whitman, "Leaves of Grass"
    Luxury Item A refrigerator
    Castaways by date
    Chris Amberger
    23 Jun
    Gerald Beckett
    01 Sep
    Buzz Brooks
    28 Apr
    Jarrett Cherner
    16 Jun
    Kev Choice
    30 Jun
    Anat Cohen
    28 Jul
    Natalie Cressman
    10 Feb
    Hershey Felder
    07 Apr
    Mitchell Feldman
    18 Aug
    Mike Galisatus
    03 Nov
    Aaron Germain
    06 Jan
    Robin Gregory
    17 Feb
    Tamir Hendelman
    13 Oct
    Kasey Knudsen
    17 Mar
    Matthew Montfort
    26 May
    Dan Montgomery
    06 Oct
    Andrea Motis
    21 Jul
    Ray Obiedo
    10 Mar
    Jayn Pettingill
    17 Nov
    John Pizzarelli
    25 Aug
    Sandi Poindexter
    24 Mar
    Don Randi
    20 Oct
    David Rogers
    24 Feb
    Eric Whittington
    29 Sep
    George Winston
    04 Aug
    Lizz Wright
    09 Jun
    Jason Yeager
    02 Jun