Bill Smith

Grew up in Portland with rock and roll. Got a taste for the blues listening to blues-rock, Motown, and Memphis soul on the radio. When I got a dollar I went to Zayre’s or Recordland and bought a 45 (used the change for candy). First blues LP was Johnny Winter, first soul 45 was “I Heard it through the Grapevine.”

After college I moved to Chicago for a job. Got educated in the blues and saw some of the elder statesmen. Willie Dixon and Albert King used canes to get to the stage, but when they were in front of the microphone they sounded like they were 25 years old! Clubs, festivals, summertime outdoor concerts – music was everywhere!

Moved back to Portland and tuned into the Evening Sun. I responded to a WMPG survey and the next thing I knew the program director asked me if I wanted to get involved. That was 1987 and WMPG has been part of my life ever since.