Radio: September 29, 2017
Helen Borgers started her tenure at KKJZ (88.1 FM) long before it WAS KKJZ. Before it was even owned by the Cal State Long Beach Foundation. The station was KLON and it was owned by Long Beach City College when Borgers joined in 1979. Such an expert on jazz and blues, Borgers earned the reputation among many as a jazz educator.
She managed to stay on board for almost 40 years until she was let go from the jazz station last June. Cost cutting, I believe, but that is not the point.
In being let go, she lost her medical insurance coverage and her replacement policy apparently is not as good as the old. Soon after her layoff, she became ill; while she awaits lifesaving surgery which cannot be performed until her health stabilizes, her medical bills and -- due to not being able to work, living expenses -- have piled up. She’s already gone through her savings and is looking at huge bills in the future.
The jazz community that she supported for so long has stepped up to support her, and has put together a benefit concert to be held this Sunday, October 1st at the Orange County Musicians Union Local 7, 2050 South Main Street in Santa Ana. Proceeds will go to help pay for Borgers mounting bills.
Still subject to change as more musicians are added to the list of performers, here are some of the artists scheduled to perform:
• The Tom Kubis Big Band
• Ernie Andrews
• Barbara Morrison
• Christian Jacob
• Richard Simon
• Dewey Erney
• Mongorama (led by Jose Rizo ... perhaps with Pancho Sanchez)
• Sal Cracchiolo with Melanie Jackson
• Dewey Erney
• Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band
So many artists have joined the fundraiser concert that the time has been extended. Originally scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m., the concert at press time was already pushing past 7 p.m.
A freewill donation will be taken at the door, and you can donate using cash, checks or credit cards. For details you can write to Ken Poston, General Manager of jazz-formatted KSDS/San Diego, who is organizing the event. Reach him at email@example.com.
Don Barrett reported at his LARadio.Com that Art Laboe has -- as of last weekend -- broken a Guinness World Records for “longest career as a radio presenter/dj (male).”
The legendary DJ launched his 75th year on the air, which began on September 23, 1943 at KSAN/San Francisco. The young 92 year old is credited with saving the original KRLA (1110 AM) back in the mid 1970s by creating a hybrid current-oldies format that attracted listeners from East Los Angeles to Palos Verdes and all parts in between. He also launched the Oldies But Goodies album series and ... well, suffice to say his accomplishments would fill this entire column.
Laboe is one of the few DJs who can connect with multiple generations at once. Now heard on 11 stations in three states, he can be found locally on KDAY (93.5 FM) Sunday nights from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight.