A Look Back at 'Toast of the Nation'

Tim Owens and Steve Rathe originated New Year's Eve live jazz specials from venues on the East Coast in 1977. Within two years, they went coast to coast, adding additional time zones. In the mid 1980s, Al Pryor, Wylie Rollins and Dorthaan Kirk from a new station, WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark, New Jersey, teamed up with NPR to keep the annual "New Year's Eve Coast to Coast" going strong.

1977
Alberta Hunter
Rose "Chi Chi " Murphy at the Cookery, New York

1978
Sandy's Jazz Revival with Jay McShann, Major Holley Eddie Durham, Al Grey Jimmy Forrest, Jo Jones, Carrie Smith in Boston
Freddie Hubbard, Albert Dailey, Charles McPherson, Joe Henderson, Old & New Dreams Band & Leon Thomas at Keystone Korner, San Francisco

1979
Billy Taylor & Friends at Blues Alley, DC .. the friends were the
Ray Bryant Trio, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Harry Edison, Jimmy Rowles, Carol Sloan, Major Holley
Von Freeman Quartet, Woody Shaw Quintet at Joe Siegal's Jazz Showcase, Chicago
Art Blakey All Stars w/ Cedar Walton, George Cables, Freddie Hubbard, Curtis Fuller, Billy Harper, Airto at Keystone Korner, San Francisco

1980
Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Marcus Miller, Hal Galper at Seventh Avenue South, NY
Houston Person, Etta Jones, Shirley Scott at Dummy Georges, Detroit
Johnny Hartman, Clark Terry, Chris Woods at Rick's Café American, Chicago
Dexter Gordon, Woody Shaw, Cedar Walton, Ernie Andrews, Kenny Burrell, Billy Higgins, Buster Williams, Kirk Lightsey, Red Garland, Sonny Stitt at Keystone Korner, San Francisco

1981
Grover Washington & Pieces of a Dream in Philadelphia
Asleep at the Wheel from Texas
Chick Corea and Friends (from Chick's LA studios)

1982
Jon Hendricks and Company at Lush Life, New York
Betty Carter at Fat Tuesday's, New York
Jay McShann & Claude "Fiddler" Williams, Eddie Lockjaw Davis at Joe Siegal's Jazz Showcase, Chicago
Bobby McFerrin, Joe and Eddie Henderson, John Handy at Great American Music Hall, San Francisco

1983
Carmen McRae "Blues for Lady Day" at Blue Note, New York

1984
James Moody at Sweet Basil, New York

1985
Cassandra Wilson in Boston
Blue Note Artists at the Village Gate, New York: Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Burrell, Benny Wallace

1986
Bill Lee at WBGO
Guest vocalist: Ron Dyson
Tania Maria at WBGO
Nat Adderley at Caravan of Dreams in Fort Worth
Jack Sheldon in Los Angeles (KLON)

1987
Michel Camilo at Mikell's
Dave Valentin at Mikell's
Dirty Dozen Brass Band at New Orleans
Jay McShann in Los Angeles (KLON)

1988
Carmen McRae, pianist Patti Bown, Mel Lewis Jazz Orch at Vista Hotel, New York
Harry Connick Jr., Moore by Four at Dakota Bar & Grill, St. Paul
Andy Narell at Great Am Music Hall, SF

1989
Stanley Turrentine, Ruth Brown at Windows on the World, NY
Clark Terry and Red Holloway with guest Johnny Frigo at Jazz Showcase, Chicago
Bobby Hutcherson at Kimball's, San Francisco

1990
Nina Simone, Lionel Hampton Orch at Grand Hyatt, NY
Freddie Hubbard with Guest: Ernie Watts at Catalina's, Los Angeles

1991
Ruth Brown, Wynton Marsalis at Starlight Roof, Waldorf Astoria, NYC
Benny Green Trio, Bobby Watson & Horizon at Just Jazz, St. Louis
ReBirth Brass Band, Poncho Sanchez at Indian Wells, Calif.

1992
Marlena Shaw, Lou Rawls at Waldorf, NYC
Roy Hargrove at the Dakota, St. Paul
Jeannie & Jimmy Cheatham Sweet Baby Blues Band, Joey Defrancesco at Indian Wells, Calif.

1993
Ernestine Anderson, Count Basie Orchestra led by Frank Foster at Grand Hyatt, NY
Ellington Dynasty with Harold Ashby, Jon Webber & Reginald Robinson at Green Mill, Chicago
Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Charles Brown at Sheraton Tacoma, Wash. (KPLU)

1994
Kevin Mahogany, Illinois Jacquet & His Big Band at Grand Hyatt, New York
Charles Earland with guests Eric Alexander, Lew Soloff at Bop Shop, Chicago
Betty Carter & Her Trio at Yoshi's, Oakland, Calif.

1995
Dee Dee Bridgewater, Frank Foster & His All-Star Orchestra, with vocalist Ernestine Anderson at Grand Hyatt, NYC
Valery Ponomarev Quintet, Dianne Reeves & Her Brazilian Band at Vartan Jazz, Denver
Joshua Redman & Benny Green at Yoshi's, Oakland, Calif.

1996
Larry Goldings Trio, Tito Pointe with James Moody, guest, at Grand Hyatt, New York
Wess Anderson at Showcase Lounge, New Orleans with Nicholas Payton, Stefon Harris in the band
Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, guest Diana Krall, at Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles
Eddie Daniels & Bruce Dunlap, jazz festival in Hawaii

1997
Ernie Andrews, Jimmy Heath Big Band at Grand Hyatt
Donald Harrison at Showcase Lounge, New Orleans
TS Monk Tentet with Dianne Reeves and Nnenna Freelon at Yoshi's

1998
Cyrus Chestnut & Spirituals to Swing at Iridium
Kurt Elling & Orbert Davis, guest, at Hothouse, Chicago
Dave Frishberg, Diana Krall & Her Trio at Yoshi's

1999 - Century to Century
Billy Taylor & Guests at Kennedy Center
Mingus Millennium "Orchestra" at City Hall
Nicholas Payton Quintet, Allen Toussaint & His Orchestra at Storyville District, NOLA
Steve Turre & Sanctified Shells with Jon Faddis, Pharoah Sanders, Giovanni Hidalgo at Yoshi's

2000
Jacky Terrasson & Leon Parker at Smoke, NY
Houston Person & Etta Jones at the Jazz Showcase, Chicago
Wycliffe Gordon's quartet, and the Clayton Brothers Quintet from Vail Jazz Fest
Tolu (Justo Almario, Alex Acuna) at Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles

2001
Freddy Cole at Kennedy Center
Dr. Michael White & His Original Liberty Jazz Band at Village Vanguard
Bobby Broom Trio with Eric Alexander at Pete Miller's Steakhouse, Evanston
Dianne Reeves & Romero Lubambo at KUVO, Denver
"Maraca" & the Afro-Cuban All-Stars at Yoshi's, Oakland, Calif.

2002
Chick Corea New Trio with guest Gary Burton at Blue Note, NY
Count Basie Orchestra at Chicago Symphony Center
Taj Mahal at Yoshi's, Oakland, Calif.

2003
Lizz Wright, Cedar Walton Timeless All-Stars at Kennedy Center
Herbie Hancock Quartet at Blue Note, NY
Kurt Elling at Green Mill, Chicago, with Stefon Harris, Ed Peterson and the Lawrence Hobgood Trio
Shemieka Copeland at KUVO, Denver
Poncho Sanchez at Yoshi's, Oakland, Calif.

We apologize for any omissions. Please send corrections and improvements to jazzset@npr.org

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