Chuck Haddix, Curator of the Marr Sound Archives and host of KCUR’s “Fish Fry” music program received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Award in recognition of his work in preserving African American culture and music, as a part of William Jewell College’s 39th annual Northland Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The Clay County African American Legacy co-sponsored the event on Monday, January 16, 2023.
Haddix has long been a lover of jazz and a prominent researcher of Kansas City jazz and its history. Haddix’s work within the Marr Sound Archives has enabled the people of Kansas City, and the world, to better appreciate jazz, and the role jazz music played in shaping Kansas City culture. Haddix, author of “Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker,” was instrumental in curating and facilitating both the physical and digital exhibit versions of “Saxophone Supreme: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker.” Haddix is one of the leading scholars of Charlie Parker’s legacy and specializes in Parker’s time in Kansas City and his influence on jazz and the larger world of music.
Haddix, known on air as Chuck Haddock – like the fish – began producing and hosting “Fish Fry” on KCUR in 1986, showcasing blues, R&B, soul, zydeco, and jazz. The MLK Service Award recognizes Chuck’s contributions of showcasing and educating his radio listeners on Black music in these genres. The show airs Fridays and Saturdays from 8pm to midnight.
Haddix’s work helps keep the jazz traditions that informed Kansas City culture in the public consciousness. He teaches Kansas City jazz history at the Kansas City Art Institute and co-authored “Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop–A History.” Haddix’s work fosters a sense of community through the cultural touchstones that history has provided. His work on air and in the Libraries provides that rich context and a myriad of resources for current musicians, historians, and fans alike, as well as introducing jazz, jazz history, and other musical genres and performers to new audiences. Haddix’s work has been utilized to further those legacies, reaching ever-wider audiences. Thank you, Chuck, for your service in bringing KC jazz history to the forefront and for the educational entertainment you’ve brought to so many listeners over the years.