Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ross Gentile; Radio Broacaster Became a Big Voice for Jazz in St. Louis

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ross Gentile; Radio Broacaster Became a Big Voice for Jazz in St. Louis

Article excerpt

Ross Gentile was a popular radio broadcaster here who died last week at age 60. He was 15 when he and his sister pooled allowances to buy a rock n roll recording Big Girls Dont Cry by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Their father didnt approve of rock music. He threw the album in the trash.

By then, Mr. Gentile had decided that his future would be in radio. And, in the long run, his fathers love of jazz won out.

Mr. Gentile pronounced Gentiley went on to become the longtime host of the Standards in Jazz show on WSIE radio at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He promoted the work of local musicians, sometimes until they became best-sellers.

Nationally, his show became a magnet for visiting jazz musicians in town to play concerts.

He was our champion, singer-guitarist and swing musician John Pizzarelli said Tuesday from a studio outside of Brooklyn, New York, where he was recording his latest album.

Ross Kenton Gentile of Glen Carbon died Saturday (Feb. 23, 2013) at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Ill. He was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2009 and was awaiting tests and a kidney donor match when he died, his family said.

Pizzarelli issued an album called, P.S. Mr. Cole in Japan during the 1990s. He credits Mr. Gentile with playing the recording on his show until it became popular enough to release in the U.S.

Rick Haydon, director of jazz studies at SIUE, credits Mr. Gentile with promoting Haydons 2006 recording Just Friends to reach No. 15 on the Top 100 Jazz hits.

Mr. Gentile played singer Ann Hampton Callaways entire album To Ella With Love when she released it in 1996.

He knew music and was devoted to helping people like me, the new kids on the block at the time, who were still trying to find our place, she said.

Mr. Gentile was reared in Caseyville, graduating from Collinsville High School in 1970. His mother was a grocery checker and his father was a meter reader for Laclede Gas Co., who played trumpet for local jazz combos. …

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