Indeed, Perkins has always heralded and supported Philadelphia jazz players, bolstering the local jazz scene and appearing regularly as a lecturer and concert emcee. (Recently, he gave talks on Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, and Miles Davis to accompany related musical performances. In addition, he has emceed the Cape May Jazz Festival and other regional events.) Philly Jazz owes a great deal to Perkins, who has been in jazz radio for over thirty years, and in his current slot at WRTI-FM for more than a decade. And now Bob can be heard on the internet worldwide at wrti.org, so readers anywhere can tune in.
Before he ventured into full-time jazz broadcasting, Perkins was for many years News and Editorial Director at the Philadelphia radio station WDAS, and as an African-American, he helped make inroads into the local political scene that helped the Civil Rights and Equality cause through his advocacy of discussion of issues rather than personalities. More than a jazz disc jockey, Perkins has had radio in his blood from the time he was a child. Appropriately, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia for his work.
AAJ: Since you're always spinning the "good music" on your show, what do you personally listen to on your car radio or at home?
BP: Actually, I very seldom listen music at home. I like the feeling of sharing with an audience, so it's something of a revelation to both myself and the audience, and we're both surprised at the same time, and hopefully delighted by what I play.