MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Memphis and WUMR are mourning the loss of Malvin Massey after a long career managing and operating the university’s radio station.
Massey started work at WUMR in the 1980’s as a volunteer, and he eventually climbed the ranks to general manager. Massey worked every job at the station, both high and low, but he never stopped loving jazz music and what it represents for the community.
Students and colleagues remember Massey as a positive presence as well as an endearing mentor.
University of Memphis professor David Appleby described Massey as, “the heart and soul of the station.” Appleby continued, “He never lost his enthusiasm. He, and the students and staff he worked with, certainly kept jazz alive in Memphis.”
Massey provided unique education opportunities at the University of Memphis for countless students wanting to break into broadcasting. Professors and students noted his infectious positivity and welcoming personality while working at the station.
“Malvin gave the station life,” Appleby said. “For many years, he was the broadcasting area of the department.”
Massey trained a generation of professionals in both radio and broadcast media, creating many enthusiastic converts along the way — this reporter included.