William P. Gottlieb/The Library of Congress
Billy Taylor, c. 1947. William P. Gottlieb/The Library of Congress
When the late great pianist and jazz ambassador Dr. Billy Taylor died in late 2010, he was months away from turning 90. He meant an awful lot to us jazz folk here in public media — it's quite possible none of us would be here without his pioneering radio and TV broadcasts — and NPR staffers (past and present) certainly remember him as a great colleague.
Taylor would have been 90 on Sunday. So our public radio colleagues at WBGO have premiered a new half-hour documentary, put together by the Jazz Video Guy, at their blog. Billy Taylor: A Life In Jazz features clips of the good doctor with Duke Ellington, Willie "The Lion" Smith and Ella Fitzgerald, among others. And WBGO also compiled audio from two of Taylor's visits to the station. Check it out at wbgo.org/billytaylor. [WBGO Blog: Billy Taylor 90th Birthday]