[JPL] WMUB's "Mama Jazz" Dies

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Mon Nov 28 21:16:27 EST 2011

Former WMUB-FM jazz host Phyllis "Mama Jazz" Campbell,  one of the most 
popular personalities on the Miami University station, died Saturday in 
Eaton, Ohio. She was 89.

Mama Jazz was a WMUB-FM host for 29 years. She started as in 1979 doing 
a two-hour weekly show that grew into a four-hour, five-days-a-week show 
in 1984. The show ended in 2008, when WMUB-FM dropped jazz in favor of 
evening news and talk (before the station was sold in 2009 to Cincinnati 
Public Radio). WMUB-FM had been playing reruns since December 2006, when 
at age 85 she stopped doing original broadcasts due chronic obstructive 
pulmonary disease (which impedes air flow) and emphysema.

Here's a link to our 2003 profile of Mama Jazz.

"Everyone had a story and aspecial memory of Mama. Once you heard that 
voice, you could never forget it," recalled Cleve Callison, former 
WMUB-FM general manager, in a comment to the Miami University News and 
Public Information Office.

"She was feisty as all get-out, passionately devoted to jazz and 
unabashedly loyal to her legions of fans. I can't think of anyone I've 
met in radio who has seen that kind of devotion doubled back so much as 
the lady simply known everywhere as Mama.  The song running through my 
head right now is 'Hello Central, Give Me Mama Jazz,' an adaptation of 
the classic 'Dr. Jazz' by Dave Greer and his band, one of Mama's 
favorite groups."

Campbell also worked in other capacities at Miami from 1967 until she 
retired in 1994, first in the personnel and guidance department  and 
later as secretary to the dean of the graduate school, according to the 
university. She was at Miami University 60 hours a week between her day 
job and radio shift, the university said.

She  graduated from Miami-Jacobs Junior College of Business in 1941 and 
attended Miami University. Prior to joining the staff at Miami, she was 
a bookkeeper for Ashman Heating Company in Eaton.

Miami's announcement today said Mama Jazz was commended by the G.H.B. 
(George H. Buck) Jazz Foundation in New Orleans in 1993 for preserving 
the music of New Orleans jazz musician George Lewis "and his living 
pioneers of New Orleans jazz," by locating lost masters and having them 
digitally transferred to compact discs. Buck said:  "You turned your 
back on the commercial promotion department of so called jazz labels, 
and decided to give the art form, the true art form, a chance to be 
heard by the public. As a result southern Ohio has been a much richer 
place to live and work."

Campbell  is survived by, her husband William, sons; Perry of Alabama 
and William "Corky" of Columbus; daughters Jane Campbell Gordon of Eaton 
and Gail Campbell of Oxford; a brother, grandchildren and other family 
members. Barnes Funeral Home in Eaton says services will be held at the 
convenience of the family at a later date.

Dr. Jazz
Dr. Jazz Operations
24270 Eastwood
Oak Park, MI  48237
(248) 542-7888
SKYPE:  drjazz99

More information about the jazzproglist mailing list