Paul ParrisImprovisations Host/Producer (Wednesday)
Paul is the Wednesday evening host of Improvisations. He grew up in Clinton, Tenn., and moved to Knoxville in the late ‘70s to attend UT. While still in Clinton, he developed a lifelong habit of spending a lot of time in record stores and he traces the start of his musical interests to listening to WNOX in the ‘60s when pop radio still required using the AM dial. He started at WUOT in June 1982 as a host of Unradio, which was an overnight show on Saturdays featuring whatever the hosts felt like playing, but mostly rock music not normally heard on the airwaves. Due to WUOT’s large jazz vinyl collection, he shifted over into hosting jazz in the mid-1980s, first on Jazz Interlude and Jazz Workshop, two long-defunct programs, and then on their successor, Improvisations. He has also hosted modern composition programs on the station over the years.
Paul continues collecting records and CDs to this day, a hobby that continually acquaints him with both using the internet to search out obscure recordings and finding record stores in remote locations. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy, engineering, and computer science from UT and ETSU. In real life, he works as a technical program manager for a company in the Knoxville area. He and his wife, Lou, and their beloved tuxedo cats, Xul Solar and Sonia, live in downtown Knoxville and enjoy traveling the globe, hiking and dining out, among many hobbies.