Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll

On this episode, we’ve improvised a sampling of jazz hits that used to be an important part of the playlists of rock and roll radio stations.


Prior to the mid-1970s, top 40 formats often included a wider spectrum of music than they do now. Back then you could hear rockabilly, easy listening, country, rhythm and blues, pop, Broadway show tunes, and jazz on the same station. That was long before radio, satellite, and Internet streaming rock music stations splintered into more narrowly focused formats such as hard rock, soft rock, classic rock, oldies, album oriented rock, urban contemporary, soul, hip-hop, dance, country and western, classic country, lite jazz, and so on.


Many of the jazz hits played on top 40 radio stations were cover versions of then-current rock songs, and then there were rock and pop hits that were cover versions of jazz originals. And we’ll cover some of them, too.

Featured artists include: Eddie Heywood, Errol Garner, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Don Shirley Trio, Vince Guaraldi Trio, Sidney Bechet All Stars, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman Group, Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Hirt, Johnny Smith, Cannonball Adderly, Hugh Masekela, Mel Torme, Herb Alpert, Chuck Mangione, Ramsey Lewis, Wes Montgomery, Deodato, and Herbie Mann, among many others.

So, stay tuned for all that jazz. We’ll hit the high notes here.