[Dixielandjazz] Willis Conover's influence in Russia

Dick Baker dickbkr@goon.org
Fri, 30 Aug 2002 09:19:37 -0400

Steve Barbone wrote:
"Also, There was a Jazz Festival in Moscow (Russia) in 2001 honoring him.
Not sure if it is an annual event or not, but many Russian Jazz Musos
(and those from other former Iron Curtain countries) say his Voice of
America shows influenced them."

I made many trips to the Soviet Union in the '70s, '80s and into the '90s 
and can attest to the incredible reach of Willis Conover (with whom I 
worked at VOA in the '70s).

One Soviet jazz fan told me how he had sneaked into his attic every night 
for years to listen to -- and tape record -- Conover's shows.  Somehow the 
KGB caught on, searched his house, and confiscated all the tapes.

   Dick Baker - Falls Church, Virginia, USA