Richard Hadlock

KCSM 91.1 FM's Annals of Jazz host

Richard Hadlock can’t remember when jazz was not part of his life. His dad was on RCA’s free-record list during the deep depression years and as soon as little Richard could scrape a dollar together he headed for the nearest record shop, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to buy three more jazz "platters”.  By age 12 he was trying to play “Tuxedo Junction” on his metal clarinet.

Richard endured his high school years in Brazil, where he began saxophone lessons-in Portuguese-with popular Rio orchestra leader Zaccarias.

While tip-toeing through college in Philadelphia, Richard received some instruction on soprano sax from Sidney Bechet.  Upon graduation, he settled in New York City and began long-term clarinet studies with ace reedman Garvin Bushell.  His last formal teacher, in San Francisco, was Lee Konitz.

Richard has enjoyed playing with many outstanding musicians, in a wide spectrum of styles.  His partners include New Orleans pioneers Kid Ory, Pops Foster and Danny Barker, notable Chicagoans, Muggsy Spanier, Joe Sullivan and Wild Bill Davidson, singers Barbara Dane, Maxine Sullivan and Kim Nalley, pianists Ralph Sutton, Norma Teagarden, Butch Thompson, Larry Vuckovich, and Herbie Nichols. He has worked and/or recorded with Howard Alden, Grover Mitchell, Marty Grosz, Ben Goldberg, Dan Barrett, John Schott, Milt Hinton, Becky Kilgore, Dave Frishberg, Turk Murphy and the Hot Club of San Francisco, among many others.

Richard’s journalistic journey includes owning a jazz magazine, The Record Changer, and serving as jazz writer for Downbeat, Metronome, and the San Francisco Examiner.  He has written countless album notes, including an essay on Joe Sullivan, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. And yes, this is the same Richard Hadlock who wrote Jazz Masters of the Twenties, long considered a standard reference work, which still shows up in bookstores.

A near half-century broadcasting career began when Richard launched the Annals of Jazz on KJAZ in 1959.  Since then, he has logged 18 years at KQED and 20 more at KCSM.  He still opens with the same theme, “Pagin’ the Devil”.

Our Annals of Jazz host is also a teacher, mainly retired now, with years spent in a one-room Pomo reservation school and in the Berkeley, California, kindergarten/parent-nursery cosmos.  His most recent teaching gig was an adult class at Berkeley’s Jazzschool.

Richard still finds pleasure and satisfaction in constructing thematic jazz programs and presenting them on KCSM every Sunday from 7pm to 8pm.