Four years ago this month, both the world of jazz, and I lost a good friend.
Bill Boynton was the host and flamekeeper of jazz from noon to 6PM every Sunday on WVAS, a public radio station on the campus of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. Bill was the most jovial guy I ever knew, with a laugh that could be described as “howling”. He was also one of the most conversant people I knew – on ANY subject.
I would often go over to hang out with Bill in the studio on Sunday afternoons, many times to take him some new music to check out. Whenever I’d go, I’d have to plan to spend at least 30 minutes there. We might start out talking jazz, moving from there to sports, to politics to computer technology and eventually some hilariously, bad B-movies that he wanted me to check out. You can’t do all that in an hour, that was at LEAST two hours.
Bill was addicted to NPR (National Public Radio) to a great degree than me. The hours we spent (laughing) about some segment on Car Talk or A Prairie Home Companion were too numerous to count. I remember once asking Bill if he had heard a Celtic band on radio show that aired on the station on Friday nights and he replied, “Yeah, man. Weren’t they jammin’?” You don’t meet many people you can connect with on most anything.
It’s too long and involved a story for this session, but Bill had a indirect role in my moving to Montgomery. The city does not feel the same without his presence. He made Montgomery a little bit brighter. This city misses, Jazz misses, and I miss Bill Boynton.
We dedicate the re-dedication of The Jazz Page to our late, great friend.