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Arts & Life

Ruth Rhoden Delivered "Just Jazz"

The cover of one of Ruth Rhoden's albums, autographed for KCUR station manager Patty Cahill.

Ruth Rhoden died recently, on July 8, 2010. She was a jazz icon in Kansas City.


Kansas City, MO – For many jazz lovers, their weekends weren't complete unless they listened to Ruth Rhoden, and co-host Ginny Coleman on KCUR's Just Jazz. The program ran for 23 years.

Coleman was a tall, slender woman, prone to fitted pants suits, long red nails, and a perfectly coiffed and teased, jet black up-do.

Rhoden, by contrast, was short. By the time she was doing the show, she was rather stocky. Her hair- bobbed, blond, with bangs. Her look?sweatshirts and baggy pants.

On the radio, Rhoden was recognizable by her soft, soothing voice and her jazz sensibilities that ran toward the trumpet and big band. She was both a trumpeter and vocalist herself.

Kansas City jazz musician Everett DeVan, who knew and worked with Rhoden's son for many years, told KCUR's Laura Ziegler he's the one who introduced the two radio hosts.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

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