Ben­e­fit turns ta­bles for Jeff Styles

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - INSINDE - Con­tact Barry Courter at bcourter@times­freep­ or 423-757-6354.

Typ­i­cally, when a bunch of peo­ple put to­gether a fundraiser for some­body, that per­son has ei­ther done some­thing re­ally good or they’ve found them­selves in a re­ally tough spot. I’d say it’s fair to say both sit­u­a­tions ap­ply to ra­dio per­son­al­ity Jeff Styles.

Let me pref­ace this by say­ing I first met Jeff in 1985, I think, while I was a broad­cast jour­nal­ism stu­dent at UTC. He was the news re­porter for a news sta­tion in town called WZRA. As part of one of the classes, a few of us stu­dents were able to do some re­ports that ac­tu­ally aired on the sta­tion. Jeff was al­ways very gra­cious with his time with me, and we be­came friends.

Years later, he would have me on his ra­dio show to do a few record re­views, and more re­cently, I spent a half hour or so with him on his show on WGOW talk­ing about lo­cal en­ter­tain­ment.

He’s no longer at the sta­tion, and I won’t go into the why of it, but I do want to men­tion that sev­eral folks who have ei­ther en­joyed his work in ra­dio over the last al­most 30 years, been helped by him or ben­e­fited by us­ing his ra­dio plat­form to pro­mote a cause or event have put to­gether a fundraiser for him tonight at Song­birds South.

Jeff has, no doubt, pro­moted hun­dreds of such fundrais­ers over the years, and many of the peo­ple who have been a part of those events ei­ther as the or­ga­niz­ers, per­form­ers or re­cip­i­ents of the help are try­ing to re­turn the fa­vor. Barry Courter Called “Ami­gos de el Jeffe,” the event is from 6 to 10:45 p.m. It will fea­ture the Power Play­ers Show Band, The Ten­nessee Trem­blers, Roger Alan Wade, Sexy Beast, Voodoo Slim and spe­cial guest Mabus Jack­son. There is no charge to get in, but ob­vi­ously do­na­tions will be ac­cepted.

Any­one who has lis­tened to his ra­dio shows knows that Jeff is pas­sion­ate about mu­sic. He’s also been a pretty tire­less pro­moter of lo­cal mu­sic, both in ad­vo­cat­ing for lo­cal bands and in work­ing to im­prove the lo­cal scene in gen­eral.

He de­serves a good deal of the credit for bring­ing many of the newer acts like Wide­spread Panic, Dark Star Or­ches­tra and the Flam­ing Lips to the River­bend Fes­ti­val — if for no other rea­son than get­ting the con­ver­sa­tion started there about open­ing up the lineup.

Love him or hate him, he has been stead­fast as long as I have known him about pro­mot­ing lo­cal and buck­ing the trends when it came to us­ing his voice to ad­vo­cate for oth­ers.

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