In conversation with: Professor Jeffy

In conversation with: Professor Jeffy

Hitting the digital airwaves live from the ‘Cosmic Conservatory’ in Pittsburgh, PA every Monday night, Professor Jeffy brings both an inspirational story and a crate-digger’s dreamland of classic tracks. 

A retired attorney and lifelong music collector, Jeff has survived two bouts with cancer and is now battling a third (which he explained is why he’s currently short on hair). Having gotten a bit stir crazy between cancer treatments and the COVID lockdown, Jeff has turned to Blast Radio as a way to pass that the time and get in touch with his extensive music collection. 

Make sure to follow Professor Jeffy ( or ‘heyjeffyboy’ in the app) to catch his weekly Monday broadcast, which has a different theme from week to week.

Also – this is a family affair! Follow Jeff’s son Liftgate who turned him onto Blast Radio ( or 'liftgateproductions' in the app) to catch a ‘morning coffee’ broadcast where he spins an entire record while drinking his morning coffee. 

Do you have a fond memory of the radio you’d like to share? 

I didn’t have a stereo (had to play my few records on my parents’ console in the living room when they weren’t home), but I had a little Panasonic AM-FM radio in my bedroom and I was able get an album rock station out of Buffalo if I balanced it on top of the lamp next to my bed. This worked great until our exchange student used the light with the radio on top and melted the entire back of the radio. My mother took it to a local guy who fixed stuff in his basement and he got it up and running again, but it still looked pretty bad.

If you could see any artist (dead or alive) in concert, who would it be? 

I would have liked to have been in Toronto when “The Quintet” (Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach) recorded Live at Massey Hall. One of the greatest assemblages of jazz talent ever!

How would you describe your broadcasts? 

First, I am only playing records and CDs from my collection or that I can borrow. Second, although I have more jazz in my collection than anything else, I love a wide variety of music and try to reflect that in my shows. Finally, each show has a theme - music by women artists, Latin music, 60s music, etc. - which lets me dig deeper into the music and share what I have learned with my listeners.

Which product do you use to broadcast? What is your setup?  

I have a turntable, CD player, and mic plugged into a Behringer XENYX 802 mixer, which feeds the signal to Blast Box. I also have a line out to my stereo receiver so I can listen through speakers in addition to phones. Everything is set up in the Cosmic Conservatory, which was my son’s bedroom and features a great mural of St. George and the Dragon.

What steps do you take to prepare for a broadcast?

Once I have a theme for a show, I start searching through my collection for appropriate artists/songs. I often take a trip to the Carnegie Library, which has a vast CD collection, or ask my son to pull some records from his collection that fit the bill. Once I have a list of candidates, I narrow it to around 20 artists (for a two hour show) then sit down at the turntable and figure out which songs I’m going to play. I usually do this a few days before a broadcast so I can send out some texts and Instagram posts to my listeners.

What is your favorite broadcast you made to date and why?

I have enjoyed them all, but am getting more comfortable over time. I really liked the Latin show I did for July 4.  One of my friends suggested it and I was able to lay my hands on a great variety of music.