Gene Parris, 82

Gene Parrish, a longtime pubradio broadcaster known for his programs on classical, jazz, opera and choral music, died Jan. 2 [2009] of lung cancer in Harbor City, Calif. . . .

Hosts walk high wires, producers hold the nets

Successful producers help talent compensate. They make a deal with their talent: “I’ll help you maneuver the everyday travails of living life, and you will go out there every night and try to give the performance of your life.”

Paths to pubradio stardom: drifting, struggling and on a beeline

Lisa A. Phillips has just started appearing in bookstores to promote her newly published Public Radio Behind the Voices (CDS Books, 334 pages), which profiles 43 national program hosts and other stars. To be ready in case she’s interviewed, Phillips has virtually memorized her book. Quick! Who had accountants for fathers? She ticks them off: Ira Glass, Michael Feldman and Bob Edwards.

Marian McPartland: still going full tilt

When the NPR-distributed program Piano Jazz had its 20th anniversary in 1999, Current Contributing Editor David Stewart wrote this profile of the program and its host. Marian McPartland is the host of the longest-running jazz program in the history of network radio. Her Piano Jazz has also enjoyed the longest run of any entertainment series on NPR. In March 1998, she celebrated her 80th birthday on stage at New York’s Town Hall. Billy Taylor, himself the host of an NPR jazz series, Billy Taylor’s Jazz from the Kennedy Center, kept up the musical action as a parade of Marian’s friends came to perform and wish her well: pianists Tommy Flanagan, Jacky Terrasson and Ray Bryant, bassists Christian McBride and Bill Crow, drummers Joe Morello, Grady Tate and Lewis Nash, and trumpeter Harry (“Sweets”) Edison, among others.