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Oral History and Research Materials: Leo Chears

Leo Chears

Leo Chears at radio station WSIE

(Photo courtesy of the Leo Chears family)

Below are articles written about Leo Chears, "The Man in the Red Vest," a longtime jazz radio broadcaster.

Leo Chears (1933 - 2006) worked at WSIE (88.7 FM), offering a popular jazz program, from 1987 until shortly before his death in 2006.
Bob Bennett, a former SIUE music student, friend, and show co-host in Chears' later years, interviewed Leo Chears in September 2000
for the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive oral history project. 

In August 2015, Terri Chears-Long generously donated a portion of her father's exceptional jazz recording collection--500 jazz music CDs,
250 selected jazz LP albums, and reel-to-reel tapes of recorded interviews that Leo Chears conducted of renowned jazz musicians--to Lovejoy Library.
The jazz CDs are currently being cataloged and will soon be available for use by the public; the LPs and reel-to-reel tapes will be added to the 
National Ragtime and Jazz Archive, maintained at Lovejoy Library, SIUE. Donations to help fund the conservation and reformatting work needed
for the historic jazz musician interview recordings are welcome. This will help further Leo Chears' rich jazz legacy. Thank you!

For more information, please contact Therese Dickman, Fine Arts Librarian.  

For additional information about Leo Chears please visit:

Updated 6/23/2016 by Therese Dickman.

E-mail comments and inquiries about the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive to Therese Dickman at or call 618-650-2695.

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