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NW Life | Music

Behind the Mic: Cooky Parker


Every Friday night from 6-8 pm, DJ Cooky Parker, aka Scott Magee, handpicks his favorite soul jazz records, scouring boxes and bins for rare 45s and often picking up a few on the way to his show, “Friday Flashback.” Each week Parker delivers a compelling mix of rare soul, R&B, and funk – the perfect soundtrack to kick off your weekend!    

How did you first get into radio?

My first exposure to radio was hanging out with Daniel Flessis (and friends) during his great radio show on KBOO, “The Outside World.” Sometimes I would play records but mostly I would just sit and witness the magic. In 2013, I met [KMHD Program Director] Matt Fleeger at a party. We got to talking and radio came up. He had been at a wedding where I had played soul records and mentioned he liked what I played. So, long story short, Matt put me on KMHD based on that conversation!  

What would surprise people most about what you do in your personal life?

I play amateur poker for a part-time living, when I win that is.  

When you aren’t listening to the music you play on KMHD what are you tuned into?

Well, there are a number of shows on KMHD I really enjoy. I listen to XRAY and OPB as well. Other than that, records of all kinds are usually playing at my house.  

Tell us about an interesting hobby you have.

Well, I buy a lot of records. Ha.   

Where do you live and what are some of your favorite neighborhood spots?

I live right in the middle of SE Portland. I tend to spend time where my friends and I play records, so Dig A Pony and Holocene come to mind. My favorite place to have dinner, or, more often, sit with a glass of wine and a book, is Nostrana, hands down.  

If you could bring someone back to life from jazz history and hang out with them for an afternoon, who would it be and why?

Questions like this are kind of tough for me. I am currently reading a great book on the history of the Chitlin’ Circuit and it’s turning me on to King Kolax, so maybe him! We could talk about his band working in the South during that incredible time (late 30s-40s) of American blues/jazz/R&B. A young Coltrane was in in his band as well as Earl Palmer. He also worked with Sun Ra, so A LOT of ground could be covered. He just seems like a super hip cat to me.

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