Bob Burford is a big believer in Northeast Ohio, and loves the city of Kent, where he's lived since 1991.
Burford graduated from Miami University of Ohio, where he got his start in radio. He worked in commercial radio in Connecticut for much of the '80s before becoming public relations director of 89.7 WKSU-FM, Kent State's NPR station, in 1989.
In December 2009 Burford started a new position as marketing and media relations coordinator for Kent State, as well as weekend announcer for WKSU. He occasionally produces news feature stories for the station, focusing on music. Over the years Burford has interviewed original Beatle drummer Pete Best, former Wings member Denny Laine, Fats Domino collaborator Dave Bartholomew, Les Paul and Sen. George Voinovich, among others.
His brother took him to his first real concert in 1966 — The Beatles at Cleveland Municipal Stadium — and that 30-minute show remains of his highlights. Other favorites he's witnessed include David Bowie's first concert in America in 1972, Bruce Springsteen's legendary Cleveland Agora show in 1978 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Anniversary concert in New York City in October 2009. He's an avid collector of rock and roll memorabilia, focusing primarily on The Beatles. Some of Burford's concert stories and memorabilia are included in the book "Cleveland Rock and Roll Memories" by Carlo Wolff.
Burford served on the Akron Press Club board for more than 10 years, serving three years as president. He's currently on the board of the Akron Area Arts Alliance and served three years as president for that group as well.
Burford helped manage the Kent State Folk Festival for 10 years, and now organizes the Kent Blues Fest, which will mark its third year in July 2011.
He has a son Kevin who lives in the Chicago area.