The Miami Herald, September 15, 1984, p. 3B
Sidney "Symphony Sid" Torin, who introduced jazz greats such as Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie on nationwide radio in the 1940s and 1950s, died Friday. He was 72.
Torin died of heart and lung failure at the Miami Heart Institute, said Dr. Richard Berger. Torin, a heavy smoker, had been suffering from emphysema and heart disease, Berger said.
Born in New York, Torin started his radio career broadcasting classical music, but began mixing jazz records into his program on New York's WJZ radio.
He rose to fame in the late 1940s and early 1950s as "Symphony Sid," broadcasting live from the Birdland jazz club on WJZ. His shows were heard around the nation and provided many Americans with their first taste of jazz greats such as Davis, Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan and Charlie Parker.
"Anyone who was anyone in jazz was introduced by Sid," said Flora Wilhelm Bush, his official biographer.
Torin's low-key style became the standard for jazz broadcasters across the nation. "I don't think people know the importance of the man," said China Valles, a close friend who has a jazz show on Miami's WTMI.
After popularizing jazz on the radio, Torin became interested in Latin music, and spent much of the rest of his career in New York, Boston and Miami working with Latin jazz musicians.
He made his last public appearance two years ago at a Latin jazz concert in Madison Square Garden in New York, where 20,000 fans shouted his name as he walked onstage, Ms. Bush said.
He retired to Islamorada in the Florida Keys, but still showed up as a guest occasionally on Valles' show on WTMI.
Torin is survived by his son, Mark, who Ms. Bush said was on a fishing trip in the Atlantic and had not been informed of his father's death Friday night.
No funeral or burial plans have been set.