Paul Rumsey is founder of KJAZZ Radio UK he has an extensive entertainment industry background from his time in Los Angeles where he produced and hosted local radio and TV shows among other activities. Rumsey was born in Orange, Orange County, California but grew up in Alton England. He is the son of an American Father and English Mother. Since the late 80’s Rumsey has followed two career streams the entertainment industry, which until he started KJAZZ UK he had retired from and an ongoing IT career, including co-authoring a book on Disaster Avoidance for small business which was published in Oct 2015.
As a teenager Rumsey volunteered during his summer holidays from school to work as a music teacher for the Elizabeth Johnson Organization where he taught approximately 40 exchange students from Yugoslavia, Italy, France and Germany. He also worked for the Alton Archaeological society working on local site excavations.
Rumsey has a fondness for nature and became a member of the Hampshire and IOW Naturalist Trust as a boy. He used to keep slow worms, nurse sick hedgehogs and had a rather odd fungus collection and did a show and tell at school with a dead rat which he had in a shoe box.
As a teenager Rumsey started DJ-ing at local small clubs being kinda shy he found this was a great icebreaker with the girls. Upon leaving college he built a successful local Disco business (thanks to a friend we shall call Roger) and pursued a broadcasting career with Radio Caroline as their ‘Roadshow’ DJ (Ross Revenge era).
There was not the proliferation of stations there are now in the UK so getting into Radio was nearly impossible. Hospital radio was the best bet or setting up your own Pirate station…not that Rumsey knows about or advocates that sort of thing. Radio Caroline not only represented opportunity but it was a pleasant change to BBC Radio One. For example they would ban songs they did not like… a song by the Sex Pistols was banned for example. “The best DJ they had I think, was the late ‘John Peel‘. The only other DJ I found really good was ‘Kenny Everett‘ who of course also started as a pirate.”
Alton UK was a very sheltered town where Rumsey grew up. Although he had his challenges as his mother was a teacher at a local school. He was picked on a lot by the students who felt he was privileged, as he was a teachers son and went to private school (there are a whole lot of stories about that) and in the mind of the local teen lads Rumsey needed to be brought down a peg or to. The usual fights with bottles, bricks and boots in the face ensued, as Rumsey tried to protect himself and also meet the local girls. He used this situation to his advantage though and changed his voice to a more earthy common local dialect, when he was out and about. This was his first lesson in vocal training albeit he didn’t know it. The pure motive was to blend in more and meet the opposite sex.
Since returning to the UK he has visited Alton on occasion and was pleased to see that most of the pubs he used to frequent are still around. Before returning to the UK Rumsey’s old home on Queens Road flirted with stardom as it was given a garden makeover by Alan Titchmarsh and the BBC lot. I wonder if they found an old pram, plastic bags and paint pots I had buried as a boy? Rumsey remembers getting an excited call in California from his mother about the whole show. Yawn!… Although watching an old video tape was quite fun and Alan did a good job.
Living the dream…
In 1983 Rumsey returned to California to pursue his goals, starting as a DJ on radio stations KDHI, KQYN and KCSB, and later as a news announcer for KWVE on a show called the ‘Night Wave’ with a DJ called Jed The Fish… well it was the 80’s. During this period he completed a Broadcasting degree and became a popular Night Club DJ in Los Angeles.
Rumsey was once asked what his favorite job has been and undoubtedly being a highly paid ‘Club DJ’ was near the top, the energy was great and so were the fans it was a cool period in his early career.
The auditions for this high profile LA Club job saw over 2000 applicants for one position which finally got narrowed down to him being selected through a number of auditions. Rumsey became one of the first DJ’s to pioneer and incorporate an MTV style music video mix with vinyl records (sign of age) into a live club environment to sell out crowds. It was one wild party literally and some of it is best forgotten.
In the mid 80’s Rumsey studied with Farmers Insurance and passed the California State exam to become a licensed Fire, Casualty and Life Insurance Agent. He achieved the highest monthly rank for Reserve Agent district sales. Completing a broadcasting degree at the same time he left the company in the late 80’s to focus on a course for cable television production. He studied Television Production, learning lighting, camera and production techniques. After completing the course and working on a variety of cable TV shows in various capacities, Rumsey became Producer of ‘World Of Flying’, a weekly aviation show, and later produced the award winning ‘The Amateur Comedy Showcase’.
He was also Production Coordinator for the ‘Bob Hope U.S.O. Show’ in Las Vegas and other celebrity and large arena events around Los Angeles. His father had served in Korea so he proudly supported a number of Korean Veteran events for which he volunteered his time to.
In addition to his other entertainment work, Rumsey managed and developed the careers of two country artists and other acts, and upon the suggestion of Randy Travis’ Manager Lib Hatcher, Rumsey Entertainment (his management company) was nominated and accepted for membership to the Country Music Association.
In the late Eighties while pursuing his entertainment industry goals during the day Rumsey started working night shifts in IT for a Life Science Company.
During the day Rumsey created, produced and hosted the successful magazine format radio show ‘London Calling’ on KWIZ (Los Angeles), targeting the British community but surprisingly also attracting a large American audience (audience estimates were circa 450,000). He marketed commercials for ‘London Calling’ to such diverse companies as MTV, the Daily Express newspaper (International Edition) and Graham & James Attorneys. Aside from interviewing local VIP’s and the British film stars of the day, the show also supported non-profit groups such as the British American Chamber of Commerce ( who he later worked for) and the Grove Shakespeare Theater Group.
Rumsey has also appeared in the movies ‘Strange Days’ and ‘Tyson’ (HBO Films) and has freelanced as a Foreign Correspondent for the former Radio Mercury (UK).
In the late 1990’s Rumsey worked as Marketing and Publicity Manager and Consultant for ‘Bodyman Fitness Group’ and other small companies. He also assisted in the publication of a fitness book and the launching of radio and marketing campaigns.
Music: Paul likes most styles of music but if he had to narrow it down to all time favorite bands and musicians it would look like this. Pink Floyd, Mike Oldfield, Kraftwerk, Deep Forest, Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, Coldplay, Van Halen and Willie Nelson.
Smooth Jazz favorites include: Dave Koz, Acoustic Alchemy, Shakatak, The Rippingtons and Marc Antoine whose song ‘Latin Quarter’ inspired what would become KJAZZ Radio UK. The song reminds Paul of some great times he had in Palm Springs California with some good friends and family.
So why KJAZZ Radio UK? …Maybe this video will help to explain.
Outside his family and music, Paul Rumsey is passionate about the following…
Retired from flying due to cost:-( a highlight of Rumsey’s GA flying days (most of which was spent in a C172) was piloting the former military jet above (Folland Gnat T.1), which saw service with the Red Arrows and was based at Chino and owned by a good friend Tony. “Tony among a number of other good flying friends I had, have unfortunately, due to distance and the passage of time have not kept in touch much, since I moved back to the UK in 2004. Raising twins probably has something to do with it.”
About the Gnat experience Rumsey has this to say. “A bit of a challenge to land due to its landing gear being located so near to the fuselage, the Gnat was a dream to fly, although a bit painful, due to my height and cramped conditions (didn’t complain). Its climb rate was very fast for a jet of its age earning it the nickname “pocket rocket”. This jet also found fame, beside being an ex-Red Arrow (#7) jet, it starred in the movie ‘Hot Shots’ where it was painted in a water based grey paint, if you look carefully at the engine air intakes in the movie you can see some red giving it away. Interesting nugget was, the aircraft carrier in the movie was a set built off a cliff in Palos Verdes CA. and not real at all.”
“Sadly the jet (so I have heard) is up for sale (it may have now sold). A little bit I found on her RAF history, not sure how accurate this is, as all Tony told me was she flew as #7 with the Red Arrows and to be honest, at the time, I was more interested in flying than the history of a jet . XP514 first flew on 13th April 1963 and served with 4 FTS and the CFS, and the Red Arrows from March 1972. Her final RAF flight was to RAF Cranwell on 17th September 1979 where she was retired to instructional use as 8635M.”
Flying is one of the things I truly miss about my life in California. KTOA was next to the Ocean and flying out across the Pacific to Catalina Island or just doing the $100 hamburger flights I shall always fondly remember, great times. However I have found this excellent video (see below) of the same Gnat I flew posted on You Tube. Some other lucky soul going for the ride of their life.” Not sure whose piloting the Gnat but I am pretty sure it is not Tony maybe the the new owner.
Here is some vintage Red Arrow Gnat footage. Note some of the low level work you don’t see this stuff anymore, thanks to the ‘Nanny Society’ we all now live in. Yawn!
Finally here is some stuff from my flying days!
One of my favorite movies is ‘The Right Stuff”.
There is a line in the movie that my wife just loves to taunt me with. Pancho Barnes – “I tell you what, we got two categories of pilots around here. You got your prime pilots, that get all the hot planes; and you got your pudknockers, who DREAM of gettin’ the hot planes. Now, what are you two PUDKNOCKERS gonna have?” Well she is right, it was mainly C172’s when I was flying but hey I still got to fly the Gnat (above) and a T-28 Trojan (pictured below).”
Astronomy – Seeing Different Kinds Of Stars
I have been a backyard astronomer for some years now. The bug caught me back in 2004 and I have enjoyed it since. My wife and I took a short break at a hotel in Lake Arrowhead California and the resort we stayed at offered a free Stargazing party at ‘Astronomy Village‘ and that is where it all started.
Through a local astronomy group we got a tour of the telescopes at Mount Wilson above LA. Unfortunately the night was full of pollen and we were unable to view through the 100 inch. My wife then heavily pregnant with our twins decided to sit down… she only decided to sit on the chair used by Edwin Hubble and was now set in a position to view by the public through a window. I quickly told her to get up before anyone in the group noticed.
I found the following on YouTube about Mount Wilson its credited to a JC Oliva and I think well produced.
Moving on to now well I have an 8 inch Dobsonian and when the weather allows, I get out there and check out what is going on in the heavens. Below are some shots I got holding up a point and shoot camera to the scope. It just does not do it justice, what you see is so much cooler.
The coolest thing I think is watching passes of the ISS which is readily visible and looks like a bright star moving from the west to east and right over the groove shack studios very cool! It really puts life in perspective in terms of us being a real global community. Let those that seek power and control carry on their ways. Like it or not, at the end of the day we are all one people, on one tiny beautiful life sustaining planet, with limited resources getting scarcer all the time. We need to move away from behaving like kids in a school yard and fighting over petty differences and pointless issues. The sooner we realize that, grow up and start to celebrate and appreciate our diversity, the sooner we can start living differently and working together on our true destiny which I believe is to the stars. We can only get there though if we work together!
Here is a video I made several years back long before KJAZZ UK and yes I borrowed the music from Star Trek ‘First Contact’ for background. No one’s complained so far. Must be still a bit of those Pirate Radio days left in me somewhere 😉
A while back I also started a flickr group called the ‘Sky @ Night’ nothing to do with the BBC show of a similar title. http://www.flickr.com/groups/skyatnight/ or their flickr page which incidentally they set up after mine. Beyond Astronomy I also set up a flickr site for West Sussex & Surrey photographers, to show the beauty of these UK counties and events that happen and form the tapestry of life for those that live here. This is the link to that site: Sussex & Surrey Digital Artists Group.
It is funny how life links you to things. Through KJAZZ UK I met Jeff Oster who shares a passion for space and the universe. He wrote a song that is featured on the NASA website and has performed for them in concert. Here is a video of a song by Jeff Oster frequently aired on KJAZZ Radio UK and it is for music like this I set up KJAZZ Radio UK.
I used to enjoy riding in California. We all do dumb things in our lives and crashing this bike was probably one of them. I won’t say how I did it but I was stupid going very fast and its a miracle I got out of it with my life. However I got another bike a Kawasaki which I enjoyed for many years after this one and that is me done for now!