Jonathan Schwartz

From Wikipedia

Jonathan Schwartz
Jonathan Schwartz

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.


B for Boston

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.

11 thoughts on “Jonathan Schwartz”

  1. Dear Jonathan, I was so touched by your tribute to your father. It was wonderful. So personal. I was so appreciative of you sharing all the anecdotes and details of his bipolarity, the day of his passing and how you reached the hospital, and playing so many beautiful songs that he wrote. It was just great to listen to. This is something that everyone needs to hear, everyone can relate to in some way.
    My dad was a great alto sax player, you’ve probably never heard his recordings but I plan to post some very soon. Richard, my brother, died in NY Hospital, like your dad, after suffering from MSA for 5 years. I was the last person to see him, late that night. The nurse was amazing and without saying right out that he was about to die, she showed me the vital statistics so I got the point. So I was prepared. What a difference a good nurse or doc can make to the family. Thanks again for a great show. Best, carol

  2. Dear Jonathan:

    I was away, wasn’t listening, and didn’t know you did a tribute to your pop. A few minutes ago my mind was elsewhere when I googled, “Who wrote the song: Dancing in the Dark?”


    So I googled, “Arthur Schwartz”

    Geese, Jonathan! Geese!

    You’re a lucky guy to have a pop like that. He had a full life and taught important lessons on the subject of love to millions. Whoa to him. Thanks to him. The world is better because of him.

    James Ossi
    Darien CT

  3. I feel Ike an original fan of yours. I go back to Michaels Pub and you were at the table up front with Marie Brenner. Then on to you book which was sensational and then on to the Sat afternoon and Sunday afternoon on NPR….One of my favorite music albums is now playing….Dave MacKenna plays Dancing in the Dark..Wish you best of health and happiness……incidentally I am a Dentist ,lo the thought but a palmist by birth……..M R

  4. Jonathan,huge fan of yours since the days of NEW.I started to listen to you on Sinatra,on you,why did you leave that station for4/40??

  5. jonathan… i have been a fan since wnew FM!!!
    when you were with scott munie, pete fornatele. (please pardon any misspelling) …and others there!
    just love, love, love the sunday/saturday show!
    i listen as i’m making the sauce on sunday!
    what can i say…i’m italian and from “jersey”

  6. Dear Mr. Schwartz,
    I am Joe Derise’s daughter, Fay. My Mom, Pat Arcoleo (she went by the name, Pat Easton) recently passed away. My Mom and Dad sang in a group together called, Four Jacks and a Jill back in the late 40’s and early 50’s. My Mom also sang with Woody Herman, and with a group called the Tattlers.
    My Dad talked about you and mentioned that when my daughter was born, you announced it on your station.
    I am trying to locate some old tracks of my Mom and Dad and was wondering if you had any or had information as to how I can get copies.
    Thanks for playing my Dad’s music regularly, Mom and I always loved to listen to your show.

  7. Mr. Schwartz, I was listening to Sirius 40s on 4 this afternoon (9/7/12) when you made a comment about a film clip of Love is a Dancing Thing with Astaire/Rogers that was a must see, I googled it in every imaginable way and couldn’t come up with it. I think you also mentioned Laurel & Hardy, am I dreaming? Heidi in Maine

  8. Thank you for my daily lesson on High Standards which I have dubbed Music 101!! Enjoy thoroughly your info about the singers, arranger, band, composer, etc!!!! Have not enjoyed a music show so much since the old days of Martin Block and Wm.B.Williams tho neither gave as much info @ the music as you do!! Bravo and keep it going!!!

  9. My life is incomplete if I don’t listen to you Sundays on WQXR. I wish the geniuses who run ‘QXR bring you back to do a daily show. BTW, I go back to the days when you were doing a late-night rock show on WNEW-FM. We are blessed to hear your music and your commentary. Keep it up.

Comments are closed.

The World's Greatest Radio Station