Chuck Haddix | KCUR

Chuck Haddix

Host, The Fish Fry

In 1984, Chuck Haddix aka Chuck Haddock joined the staff of KCUR as a jazz producer. The next year, he began producing the Fish Fry.

He is also the director of the Marr Sound Archives, a collection of 350,000 historic sound recordings housed in the Miller Nichols Library at the University of Missouri--Kansas City.  Haddix also teaches Kansas City jazz history at the Kansas City Art Institute. 

Over the years, Haddix has contributed to a wide variety of theatrical, recording, video and film projects including “Cronkite Remembers” a biography of Walter Cronkite, Robert Altman's “Kansas City” and Merchant-Ivory's “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge.”  His articles have appeared in Down Beat and Living Blues Magazine.  He is the coauthor of  Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop–A History for Oxford University Press and author of Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker for the University of Illinois Press.

Ways to Connect

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

Trumpeter Hermon Mehari, 31, is a Missouri native, who’s now based in Paris.

In 2010, Mehari graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance where, as a student, he earned early acclaim as one of the founders of Diverse. The jazz group released two CDs, and toured the U.S. and Europe. 

Mehari released his own debut album, "Bleu," in 2017. He spoke with Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix about his career and his ties to Kansas City: 

MR King Images

Kansas City songwriter Amanda Fish has just proclaimed herself "Free." That's the title song on her newly released sophomore album, after 2015's "Down in the Dirt."

The record reflects Fish's literal and philosophical growth. The older sister of another Kansas City singer, Samantha Fish (who has a few more records to her credit), Amanda started playing music at 18 but set that aside to earn a living. By age 25, she was working as a security guard and unhappy, so she quit to go into music full time.

Lonny Quattlebaum

Kansas City blues and soul singer Danielle Nicole has a new release, her second solo album, called "Cry No More." For this latest recording, Nicole said she trusted herself and took some chances. She wrote nine of the 14 tracks, including a song about her late father, "Bobby." 

Before she fronted her own band, Nicole sang and played bass in Trampled Under Foot, a blues trio with her brothers, Kris and Nick Schnebelen. 

Kansas City trumpeter and tap dancer Lonnie McFadden has been performing since he was in grade school.

He's known as half of the act called The McFadden Brothers; Lonnie and his brother Ronald play music, sing and tap dance — carrying on a family tradition started by their father, dancer and performer Smilin' Jimmy McFadden.  

Courtesy Mark Montgomery

For three decades, Kansas City singer/songwriter Mark Montgomery has played guitar, bass, and harmonica in blues and jazz bands — and he's also a beekeeper

Montgomery spoke with Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix about his latest album, the first on his own Love Honey label, called "Difficult Man."

A. Hagerman Photography

Blues musician Patrick Recob has played with lots of touring bands, and recorded with some of them, over the last 25 years. And, for nearly a decade, he was the bassist for Lee McBee and The Confessors. 

Last month marked the release of Recob's debut solo album. Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix talked to Recob about the new release called Perpetual Luau

CHUCK HADDIX: "Well, how did the luau theme come in?"

Clint Ashlock

The Hammond B-3 organ is one of the most recognizable sounds in American music. Kansas City musician Chris Hazelton plays that instrument on his new record, Soul Jazz Fridays, recorded live with his band Boogaloo 7, at the Green Lady Lounge.

Hazelton spoke with the Fish Fry about the history of soul jazz music in Kansas City.

Clarke Wyatt

Musicians Betse Ellis and Clarke Wyatt started playing as Betse & Clarke, a fiddle and banjo duo, in late 2014. Their latest album is called River Still Rise.

courtesy: Andy Collier

In late July, blues band Levee Town released its first recording in five years. Guitarist and vocalist Brandon Hudspeth has been with Levee Town since the beginning.

A transplant from Oklahoma, Hudspeth moved to the Kansas City area when he was 19. He played in bands, such as The MO City Jumpers, before co-founding The Cobalt Project — and some of the members of that group went on to create Levee Town. 

Though he's known for his blues playing, Hudspeth also has jazz chops.

Dawayne Gilley

Singer Linda Shell has long been described as the "Queen of Kansas City Blues." This weekend, Shell will be crowned Queen, and her husband, K.C. Kelsey Hill, will be King, when the Kansas City Kansas Street Blues Festival returns after a six-year hiatus

Courtesy Ida McBeth

The American Jazz Museum celebrates two Kansas City musical acts this weekend with Lifetime Achievement Awards for the McFadden Brothers and Ida McBeth.

McBeth's musical memories go all the way back to when she was five years old at church, singing the solo on a song called “It’s In My Heart.”

Paul Andrews Photography

For the past six years, Victor & Penny — aka Jeff Freling and Erin McGrane — have traveled the country performing original music, as well as jazz and pop standards. Starting as a duo, playing tight harmonies on guitar and ukulele, they’re now backed by their Loose Change Orchestra.

Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix talked to Victor & Penny about their latest album, Electricity, and the creative process:

Paul Andrews

Folk Alliance International kicks off its annual conference —and a new Music Fair — Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo. The five-day event is expected to draw nearly 3,000 musicians from around the world. 

Local folk performers will also be in the spotlight, such as Kasey Rausch. The singer-songwriter's latest full-length album, her third, is called Guitar in Hand. It's her first CD since 2007. 

E.C. Boldridge / Marr Sound Archives / UMKC

On Tuesday's Central Standard, Chuck Haddix, who hosts the public radio party known as the Fish Fry, joined a panel of guests in the studio to talk about the changing landscape for music collectors.

The consensus: Vinyl isn't going anywhere. If anything, it's seeing a revival, in the Kansas City area and elsewhere.

courtesy Maria the Mexican

The band Maria the Mexican describes its sound as Americana soul and Mexicana groove. Sisters Maria and Tess Cuevas got their start in Mariachi Estrella, an all-female mariachi band founded by their grandmother, the late Teresa Cuevas. In 2011, they branched out to form Maria the Mexican, with guitarist Garrett Nordstrom.

courtest of the artist

Jazz pianist and bandleader Tim Whitmer has gained a reputation for building on jazz traditions, as well as performing original compositions. Whitmer is a mainstay at jazz clubs, but he also plays in local churches.

Whitmer spoke to Chuck Haddix, who hosts the KCUR music program, The Fish Fry on Friday and Saturday nights.

Interview Highlights: Tim Whitmer

On merging the sacred and the secular

Courtesy of the artist

Roots and R&B singer/songwriter Kelley Hunt says when she first started singing, her grandmother, a gospel singer, gave her this advice: "Don’t sing it, if you don’t mean it."

Hunt was born in Kansas City, Mo. and grew up in Emporia, Kan. She told Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix that her parents always had music playing in the house, including jazz, blues, R&B and Motown.

1st Hour

Iconic funk and soul singer Marva Whitney will be buried Saturday in Kansas City. She died two weeks ago at the age of 68, just six years after the passing of James Brown, who catapulted her to national stardom.

Jeffrey Harvey / KCUR

There's a brick building at 31st and Gillham, which has stood for more than eight decades. Most of the time it's been known as the El Torreon, but for three years in the early '70s, it was transformed into the Cowtown Ballroom.

Kansas City, MO – Listen to the extended interview in the Fish Fry archives

Michael Byars / KCUR

Cedric Burnside, grandson of the legendary R.L. Burnside, son of drummer great Calvin Jackson, is widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world. Bluesman Lightnin' Malcolm is one of the leading younger generation artists on the scene today.

Kansas City, Mo – North Mississippi Hill Country blues artists Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm joined us on The Fish Fry for a chat about their new CD "2 Man Wrecking Crew" and the influence of Cedric's grandfather, the great R.L. Burnside.

KCUR's Chuck Haddix welcomed funk singer Marva Whitney to The Fish Fry, where she talked about her start in Kansas City Kansas and working with the late great James Brown.

Historian Chuck Haddix is the co-author with Frank Driggs of Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop: A History. Here, Haddix talks about how McShann will be remembered.

Blues musician Gregory "DC" Bellamy grew up on Chicago's West Side, but he's made Kansas City his home for the past several years.

Vocalist Myra Taylor is a veteran of the original Kansas City swing sound and started out singing and dancing in the early 1930s on 18th and Vine. Throughout her long career, she's shared the stage with Jay McShann, Sarah Vaughan, Nat "King" Cole, and many others. Taylor continues to perform in her hometown often as part of the quartet known as the Wild Women of Kansas City. Myra Taylor turns 89 on Friday, February 24.