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6.21.2011

Belated Father's Day post

With all the excitement of my Mackinac weekend, I forgot to give a shout out to my dad for Father's Day, and I wanted to share a bit of him with you all...

I grew up listening to jazz every day thanks to my dad, Doug Collar, who has been collecting records since he was a little kid. He had everything; Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, the Dorsey brothers, Stan Kenton, Joe Venuti, the list goes on. He took me to see Dizzy Gillespie perform when I was about 9, then Benny Goodman a few years later. We even went to a frame store once to make a frame for his Charlie Parker print.

When I was in high school, we would have "music duels", with him playing Art Blakey to my Billy Squier. Needless to say, I tended to lose. We used to sit around on weekends catching old movies on AMC that involved jazz, such as A Song is Born with Danny Kaye, Sun Valley Serenade with John Payne, or The Benny Goodman Story with Steve Allen.

In 1980, the local public radio station had a slot open, and my dad pitched an idea for a half-hour jazz program. He got it, and has had a jazz show in one form or another ever since. He has been the host of a four-hour program for quite a while, and it currently runs as Jazz Til Midnight on Saturdays from 8-midnight on WKAR public radio in East Lansing, MI. You can stream it live on Saturdays if you feel so inclined.

Oh, and I should mention he did all of this while being first a high school English teacher and now a college professor. And getting his PhD. And coaching softball. And being a parent.

Here's a virtual secret handshake, dad, for doing such a good job. Happy Father's Day!