Willis Clark Conover Jr. was born on December 18, 1920. Known around the world for his Voice of America radio programs, he also traveled the world as a jazz ambassador. Willis Conover: Broadcasting Jazz To The World recounts the story of his talented life.
In America, Conover helped break down racial barriers related to jazz, participating in the famous Newport Jazz Festivals as well as serving on the National Endowment for the Arts to gain funding for jazz events. As a personal friend of Duke Ellington and many other jazz greats, Conover promoted their music over radio stations and at White House jazz concerts. His tenure at Voice of America lasted from 1955 until his death in 1996. Unfortunately, because of Congressional restrictions, his programs were not heard in the United States. The Voice of America, an arm of the Office of War Information, was a federal agency banned from broadcasting in America.
Many of the world's best jazz musicians credit Conover with helping them learn more about jazz. This biography details his professional accomplishments in the world of jazz, including the profound impact he had on the Soviet Union and Eastern European Communist nations.