Jonathan Schwartz (born in New York City in 1938) is an American radio personality, known for his devotion to traditional pop music.
Schwartz (the son of songwriter Arthur Schwartz) worked at New York’s WNEW-FM from 1967 to 1976, followed by stints at WNEW-AM, WQEW, and (currently) WNYC. Schwartz also served as programming director for XM’s now-defunct High Standards channel, and continues to host a daily show (also called “High Standards”) on Siriusly Sinatra.
Schwartz is best known for his two four-hour-long weekend broadcasts, dubbed the Saturday Show and the Sunday Show, which offer an eclectic mix of music along with conversation and interviews simulcast on WNYC and the Siriusly Sinatra channel on Sirius XM Radio. (Due to contractual obligations his Sunday broadcasts are not available on WNYC’s web audio stream.)
Schwartz’s playlist can be described broadly as “the American songbook”, with a high concentration of jazz and pop standards and Broadway show tunes, augmented by music of nearly any style that has influenced twentieth century American tastes, including rock, classical, and big band. Schwartz has a tradition of ending each broadcast by playing a recording by Nancy Lamott.
Schwartz is known for his on-air anecdotal stories featuring his interactions with Frank Sinatra and other famous people. He is also known for being a virtual walking encyclopedia of everything “Sinatra”. Sinatra himself was amazed by Schwartz’s knowledge of every song he had ever recorded.
Schwartz is a life-long fan of the Boston Red Sox, a fact that he mentions frequently, despite being a well-known New Yorker. His radio program occasionally features recordings of radio broadcasts of classic baseball games.
In March 2010, Schwartz married actress Zohra Lampert in New York City. A guest at the wedding reports that Jonathan’s long-time friend Tony Bennett sang “I See Your Face Before Me” (a song written by Jonathan’s father Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz.
In addition to his radio work, Schwartz has performed and recorded as a singer and authored several books. A memoir, All in Good Time, was published in 2004.