Behind The Mic: Scott Gregory
When Scott Gregory made the first pilot show of All This Jazz in 2006, he used a boombox and cassette tapes. He didn’t have any audio editing equipment, but he had an idea, and Scott is one to pursue his ideas and passions with earnest.
Fresh off big-city-living in New York for the previous decade, Scott was eager to return to his hometown, start a family and work in a medium he held dear: public radio.
“When I was a kid, my parents had public radio on a lot. Every evening in the kitchen, while dinner was being made, whenever we were in the car,” Scott says. “And it was KWGS.”
But it was during his time in New York that Scott’s relationship with public radio changed.
“I really became a constant NPR listener after 9/11,” Scott describes. “I remember being, like everyone else, freaked out right after 9/11 happened and hearing the then-Poet Laureate Billy Collins read poems on Fresh Air to just kind of ground everyone.”
“[I remember thinking] ‘this is my lifeline.’”
For Scott, public radio was where he wanted to be when he returned to Tulsa with his wife, Kathy. And the seed that would grow into what Scott calls his “second act”: jazz.
Scott’s love for jazz music flourished in NYC. “Being a jazz fan living in New York is like being a Catholic and living in the Vatican. It’s all there.”
He would finish his day working in book publishing and catch a jazz show. Jazz was everywhere. If not live, there was always the radio.
“There was a great jazz radio station in New York, and I would listen a lot to that,” Scott recounts. “That's where I really started thinking, you know, I would like to try this. I would love to share music in this way.”
From that thought came All This Jazz, now in its 17th year and no longer mixed using cassette tapes and analog devices.
On- and off-the-air, Scott carries the energy of someone who kept up just fine with the New York City pulse. He answers a question by telling a story, and just when you start wondering how far he’ll wander, Scott will promptly return to the subject at hand.
It’s difficult to learn something surprising or secretive about Scott because everything that he loves and is passionate about seeps into his work.
“I will say that something that I enjoy doing that has fallen by the wayside, but I hope to get back into, is filmgoing,” Scott says, an interest that seems equally fitting to his love of radio, reading and music.
“I’ve always really enjoyed going to the movies and at one point, I wrote a column about movies,” Scott says. “I even worked at a movie theater [in high school] with one of my best friends.”
Scott inherited a love of classic films from his father and has an appetite for movies from Hollywood’s golden age, foreign films and indie movies.
“I like the ritual of getting popcorn and sitting there with your phone turned off and getting lost,” Scott pauses. “Just that in and of itself is wonderful.”
“It’s such a 20th century pleasure.” And working in radio, Scott knows all about 20th century pleasures.
When Scott isn’t geeking out about jazz, producing StudioTulsa or editing an interview for Museum Confidential, you can find him — a self-proclaimed “book freak”— juggling multiple book titles at once, spending time with his family or walking from place-to-place in moments that make Tulsa feel not all that different from the Big Apple.
If you haven’t already, make Saturday night plans with our bright-eyed jazz afficionado. All This Jazz on KWGS 89.5 FM, Saturdays at 9 p.m.