Known as ‘The Blues Man’, Pervis Spann held down the late-night blues spot on WVON-1690 AM. He is credited with being an influencer in developing the Chicago Blues music scene.
Former Chicago Alderman and WVON talk show host Dorothy Tillman told WGN 9 that Spann had a hand in promoting many artists, “The Jackson 5 would not have existed had it have not been for Pervis Spann, at the Regal, right next door. Most of those artists, he broke that music. When those boys came, ‘hey, let them on the stage.’ He was more than just an announcer. He could have been an announcer, but he was more than that. He could have just spun records, but he was more than that. He made a lot of artists, Marshall and the Chi-Lites, Aretha Franklin, Koko Taylor, BB King.”
Spann’s Daughter, Melody Spann Cooper is the CEO of WVON, telling the Chicago Sun Times, “He wanted us to be educated. He felt there was no ceiling to what we could become or what we could be. He was a workaholic. He used to teach us, ‘There’s no big me’s and little you’s. You want to treat the prisoner like the president.’ ”
Spann died from complications due to Alzheimer’s. He was 89.
An extensive biography on Pervis Spann can be found Here.