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As Bob Perkins signs off at WRTI, a broadcasting legend looks ahead

Bob Perkins at a Juneteenth celebration hosted by the Temple University Libraries on June 16, 2022.
Joseph V. Labolito
Temple University
Bob Perkins at the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection's 2022 Juneteenth celebration at Temple University.

After more than 25 years at WRTI, and his retirement from full-time broadcasting in 2022, Bob Perkins is signing off the air this week. His last Sunday Jazz Brunch will be April 2, and he's looking toward new platforms, as he shares here. Join us in celebrating "BP with the GM" — a fitting role model as we kick off Jazz Appreciation Month!


Almost one year ago, I stopped hosting my five-night-a-week jazz program on WRTI and went into semi-retirement, because of advancing high mileage on my odometer (89 years at last count), and a few health issues. I then began just hosting a jazz program on Sunday mornings.

During my time off, I discovered another mode of communicating, called podcasting. I like it, because it gives me another way of communicating my other media engagements as a former radio newsman, editorial writer, and newspaper columnist.

I’ve met a great number of people in my 58 years in the media, and this independent podcast will focus on some of my work in the areas mentioned, and on people I’ve met in the entertainment industry, like Nancy Wilson, Johnny Hartman, Billy Eckstine, Mercer Ellington; and political figures, radio, and TV personalities. As a newsman and editorialist, I received two invitations to the White House for Presidential conferences.

A major thanks to WRTI for supporting my 25 years with the station. Among the awards that I hold dear is the inclusion on the Philadelphia Walk of Fame. To disturb the ground and install the plaque costs “a petty penny” as the elders would say — and WRTI footed the bill for the installation. Thus I was installed on the famed “Walk” along with the legends of music in Philadelphia.

So thanks again to WRTI. Now I’m on the road to another era of communication. Stay tuned for BP and his upcoming podcast!

Stay Tuned with Bob Perkins is a narrative-driven podcast featuring stories about music, culture, and history — often entwined with the life and times of Bob Perkins himself. In addition to his stories, BP will share interviews with notable figures in jazz and beyond. 

The debut season, comprised of 11 episodes, launches on March 29. Episodes will be released each Wednesday on the official website and wherever you get your podcasts.

Also known as "BP with the GM," (translation: "Bob Perkins with the Good Music"), Mr. Perkins has been in the broadcasting industry for more than five decades as an on-air host, and is now commonly referred to as a Philadelphia jazz radio legend.