[JPL] Len Dobbin

Carol Sudhalter carolsudhalter at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 12 11:31:24 EDT 2009

I didn't know Len, but these profiles have given me a beautiful picture of him. Thanks to all. And particularly this last beautiful anecdote written by Steve. 

> From: steve_schwartz at wgbh.org
> To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
> Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2009 08:04:26 -0400
> Subject: [JPL] Len Dobbin
> It was last Sunday, July 5th, as I was listening to "Dobbin's Den" on-line from CKUT 
> on my computer in Boston. I forget the exact number that Len announced but he welcomed 
> everyone to his show each week by telling us what edition of the show it was. 
> It was number 1,700+. He had done over 1,700 broadcasts of "Dobbin's Den"! 
> That figures out to over 32 years! Does anyone know when Len began broadcasting?
> I heard Len preface his playing of some Helen Merrill that she was going to be in Montreal
>  the next weekend, during The Festival, at The Upstairs.
> I immediately called Len to get more details. 
> I've loved Helen' s work for years, did a radio birthday feature on her a couple of years ago, 
> somehow got a copy of the show to her and she responded with a nice note and a phone 
> call of appreciation. Her gig in Montreal would be the first time I would get to meet her in person.
> Len and I talked for a while last Sunday. We made plans to meet at the Upstairs on 
> Saturday night. That would have been last night! He told me he would be there for 
> Helen's 8:45 set. We chatted on the phone for awhile and before we hung up Len told 
> me how nice it was to hear my voice again. We met a couple of times before, 
> under similar circumstances, in Montreal during Festival but hadn't spoken in a while.
> "See you on Saturday" we said.
> I called The Upstairs right after we hung up. John, the owner, answered the phone. 
> I told him I had just heard Len play and talk about Helen's gig and could I make a 
> reservation for the second show on Saturday. "No problem. Would you and Len like to sit together?"
> I think it was last Monday when my phone rang. It was John calling to tell me that Helen had 
> come down with some flu like symptoms and was advised not to travel and her gig was being 
> cancelled. I was very sorry to get that news but thought Len and I would get together 
> somewhere else. Our plan was for us to call each other when I got to Montreal. 
> When my phone rang in my Montreal hotel room on Thursday I thought it might be Len. 
> It was, instead, my friend and fellow jazz host Tom Reney (WFCR) to break the sad news to me.
> Rest in peace, Len!
> Steve Schwartz
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