Benefit turns tables for Jeff Styles
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.