CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess) Ken Nordine, whose sultry voice soothed radio listeners as he hosted Chicago’s “Word Jazz” for more than 40 years, died today at age 98, according to son Ken Nordine Jr.
“Word Jazz,” which began at Chicago radio station WBBM and inspired by Nordine’s series of albums of the same name, grew into a weekly radio show on WBEZ in the 1970s. The radio station’s Steve Edwards described the show as a “delicious buffet of sound portraits, mind-altering moodscapes and irregular riffs.”
The show began as “Nordine Now,” which was engineered by legendary producer Bruce Swedien.
Nordine did voice-over work for several movies and television commercials and was the voice coach for Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.”
In 1990, he was approached by Jerry Garcia to anchor the New Year’s Eve radio broadcast of The Grateful Dead’s show in Oakland, Calif. That led to an album, Devout Catalyst, released on the Grateful Dead’s label in 1991. In 2007, he was a performer at the David Bowie-curated “High Line Festival” in New York. He also recorded with Bowie and Tom Waits.
For more than 50 years, Nordine’s voice welcomed moviegoers to Chicago’s International Film Festival.