Sarah Vaughn and Ed McKenzie
During the 1940s & 1950s, Ed McKenzie had established himself as THE premier radio disc jockey in Detroit and perhaps the country. Ed’s tremendous success also afforded him the opportunity to later host his own television dance party.
As the first white deejay in Detroit to delve into jazz or “race” music, McKenzie achieved wild popularity with his “Jack the Bellboy” show. Refusing to concede to any small-minded listener criticisms, McKenzie played the music he loved, regardless of the artist’s race. McKenzie was quoted as saying, “Music is music and it doesn’t matter who makes a good thing.” In doing so, Jack the Bellboy endeared himself to legions of younger fans, primarily teenagers.
Not only did he play a key role in the Detroit radio and music scene, the forward-thinking McKenzie used his tools and gifts to help bridge the gap of racial intolerance.
This collection gives the viewer a fascinating look at the jazz greats and popular entertainers that McKenzie had the pleasure of working with and introducing to the Detroit listening audience. Of particular interest are McKenzie’s handwritten anecdotes on the backs of the photos. Some are humorous, some are sad, but all are gems worth reading.
The collection images are offered via three photo albums, which mirror three distinct periods of McKenzie’s brilliant Detroit radio and television career: