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One of the most creative historians of funk, jazz and R&B music today is the inimitable Howard Burchette. Not only a radio personality, Howard is an artistic philanthropist who donates countless hours to the preservation of indigenous music and the legacy of those who create it. For years, The Funk Show has entertained many of the most influential international recording artists: Ben E. King, Freda Payne, The Commodores and other great performers have dawned the MIC and shared compelling musical experiences with Howard and legions of radio listeners. Since the inception of his career on WNCU FM’s award-winning “Saturday Evening Show,” Howard has remained committed to the artists who’ve shared tasteful ear-candy with the world through their timeless music. The Funk Show is informative and musical, showcasing the great classics that we all love to listen and groove to. He’s hosted sold-out concerts and music festivals featuring world-class performances, and he serves as a knowledgeable conduit to performers and fans. The Funk Show plans a national presence and will capitalize on the enormous interest in funk and other music forms. Howard’s public appeal is exceptional. A national music publicist said: “Burchette is one of the kindest people I’ve met in radio; he’s respected by industry insiders and artists.” For years to come, Howard will continue to present to the public the music that defined a generation of aficionados – FUNK!

By Phil Brown

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My History                               

I grew up listening to New York City radio personalities. The DJs at that time were entertaining and some used the art of rhyming during their broadcast. I would listen to the "Soul of Sunrise Show" hosted by Eddie O'Jay on WLIB AM every morning before I went to school. After I returned home from school I would listen to WBLS FM and all of their evening personalities, especially Frankie Crocker and Vy Higginsen. This was between 1968 and 1975, the renaissance period of Soul Music. Back then I would stand in from of a mirror and mimic my favorite radio jocks. One day in 1968 my parents asked me if I would like to go with them to see Joe Tex who was performing at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. I said sure. I really did not know much about Joe Tex, but I wanted to go and see what the excitement was all about. We sat up front during the show. The band was hot, the audience was electrified and Joe was a master performer. He sang, danced and told jokes entertaining the audience. The ending was a 15 or 20 minute version of his big hit that year "Skinny Legs and All". This also included bringing girls up on the stage from the audience for a skinny legs contest. For an 11 year old boy, this was a great night! It changed my life.

From that, we began to frequent the world famous Apollo Theater, the Mecca of Soul Music. From 1968 until 1975 I saw all of the groups like The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Lynn Collins, The JB’s, Bobby Byrd, Stevie Wonder, Freda Payne, Black Ivory, The Five Stairsteps, Ike & Tina Turner, The Chairmen of the Board, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Electric Express, Jimmy Briscoe & the Little Beavers, The Detroit Emeralds, Kool & The Gang, Brenda & the Tabulations, Patti Labelle & the Blue Bells, The Dramatics, Bobby Womack, Peaches & Herb, The Intruders, The Chi-lites, Tryone Davis, The Detroit Emeralds, Clarence Carter, The Lost Generation, The O’Jays, The Main Ingredient, Blinky, The Fuzz, Screaming Jay Hawkins, The Four Tops, The Supremes, plus many more and too many to mention here. Also many of my favorite radio personalities were the MC's of the shows. One in particular was Sad Sam. I started a hobby at this time, which was to collect everything that I could find about the artists that I saw at the Apollo Theater. I continue to do this to this very day, which includes LP's, 45's, 8 tracks, CD's and souvenir publicity photographs.

I began broadcasting on the air in 1996 as an understudy for Jazz jock Larry Thomas on 90.7 WNCU FM. The show was called Evening Jazz with Larry Thomas. The format was Mainstream Jazz, playing mostly the classics. Less than a year later, I was given my own show on Saturday evenings from 9 PM until midnight. It was called Saturday Evening Jazz. I followed the show Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz and Jazz with Bob Parlocha followed me. My format was mainstream Jazz while I played the classics during the first two sets which included Dizzy Gillespie, Thelionus Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus etc. I also played current music during most of my show by new and vintage Jazz artists. The most popular part of the show was my Latin Jazz / Afro Cuban set. This was where I received most of my phone calls. My theme song was "I'm In The Mood For Love" by King Pleasure. It had been the theme song of my childhood idol Frankie Crocker of WBLS FM.

In 2003, I was awarded "Best Jazz Announcer" from 90.7 FM WNCU. That was a real honor for me. That same year I began broadcasting The Funk Show.