Bob Porter (born June 20, 1940) is an American record producer, discographer, writer, and radio presenter. He has been responsible for reissuing many classic blues and jazz recordings, and in 2009 was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Porter was born in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Since the 1960s he has produced over 200 albums of jazz and blues music, first for Prestige Records where he also wrote liner notes, in the 1960s, then as reissue producer for Savoy Records, 1975–80, and then Atlantic Records, 1986–91. He has subsequently worked for many other record labels. It has been said that "The result of his painstaking efforts is the restoration of much of the 20th century's most indelible music, now preserved for future generations and sounding better than ever before."
In 1981, he started broadcasting Portraits In Blue, a syndicated radio program covering blues, R&B and soul music which he launched at WBGO in Newark, New Jersey. He received the 1986 W. C. Handy Award. He has five Grammy nominations, winning in 1980 for his liner notes for The Complete Charlie Parker on Savoy and in 1986 as reissue producer for Atlantic Rhythm & Blues. He is a past member of the nominating committee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has been a master of ceremonies for the Chicago Blues Festivalsince 1990.
He has written for a variety of magazines including Down Beat and Cash Box, and has written liner notes for more than three hundred albums of jazz and blues. He has also contributed expertise to organizations including the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
New Jersey based Jazz and Blues expert, Bob Porter presides over a weekly radio show, “Saturday Morning Function”, on Newark's WBGO. A feature of his Saturday morning program is a mixture of R&B and Classic Soul as well as Blues. His blues program "Portraits in Blue" is no longer syndicated but continues on WBGO, now in its 36th year. A third WBGO show, the WBGO Swing Party debuted in 2015.
Porter was honored with the 1986 WC Handy award for Keeping the Blues Alive in public radio. In 1992, he was honored with the Nick Bishop Award for Outstanding Service by the New Jersey Jazz Society. In 1994, he was given the Blues Heaven Award for outstanding service to the Blues community by Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation. He was one of the emcees of the Chicago Blues Festival from 1990-2007. He has served seven different terms on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation. In 2003, he was given the Community Service Award by the Bergen County New Jersey Chapter of the NAACP. He was honored by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2007 with Marian McPartland-Willis Conover Award for Excellence in Jazz Broadcasting. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2009.
Porter, a discographer, writer and record producer was a member of the GRAMMY national screening committee for Jazz, Folk and Blues for many years. He has five Grammy nominations and is a two-time winner: liner notes for The Complete Charlie Parker on Savoy in 1980 and Re-issue producer for Atlantic Rhythm & Blues – Best Historical Reissue in 1986. Porter has produced more than 175 albums of jazz and blues involving artists as diverse as Big Joe Turner, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Gene Ammons, Arthur Prysock and Illinois Jacquet. He has served as a re-issue producer for Savoy Records 1975 – 1980, and Atlantic Records from 1986 to 1991 producing more than 200 re-issues of Jazz and Blues.
He is a past-member of the nominating committee of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. He has lectured at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame on Robert Johnson and Louis Jordan. He was a guest lecturer at the Detroit Jazz Festival, 2010-2016. As a writer, Porter has written for Jazz Times Magazine, Down Beat, Jazz Journal (London) and Cash Box, among many others. He has contributed to label discographies of Prestige Records, Savoy Records and Clef/Verve Records. He authored the chapter titled “The Blues in Jazz” for the Oxford University Press Companion to Jazz. He recently contributed chapters on Blues history of the 1930s, 1940s & 1950s for The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues (Flame Tree Publishing, London, 2005). He has written liner notes for more than three hundred albums of jazz and blues. His book, “Soul Jazz” was published in 2016 by Xlibris Press.