On his own podcast earlier this month, Nate Chinen, the director of editorial content material at WBGO, referred to as Mr. Porter “a Mount Rushmore figure when it comes to Newark public radio — someone who was on the air, really, from Day 1.”
Robert Sherwin Porter was born in Wellesley, Mass., on June 20, 1940, to David Porter, who ran the monetary advisory agency David L. Babson & Company, and Constance (Kavanaugh) Porter, a homemaker. The eldest of 4 siblings, Bob attended Whittier College in California, the place he studied English earlier than serving within the Army, stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska.
In addition to his spouse, he’s survived by his brothers, John and William Porter; a sister, Linda (Porter) Owens; a son from a earlier marriage, David Porter; two stepsons, Michael and Rick Tombari; and a granddaughter.
After his navy service, he returned to Whittier to finish his diploma. While nonetheless at school he started contributing to DownBeat journal. His articles caught the eye of Bob Weinstock, the top of Prestige, who was impressed by Mr. Porter’s erudition and supplied him a job with the label.
Mr. Porter’s ardour for the creative and cultural historical past of African-American music stretched again to its earliest identified recordings, and he was deeply educated about blues in addition to jazz.
He obtained awards from varied music societies and foundations. In addition to his two Grammys, these included a 1986 W.C. Handy Award (now often called the Blues Music Award) from the Blues Foundation and a 2003 Community Service Award from the Bergen County chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. In 2009, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.