DARYL BURLINGHAM - THE PIED PIPER OF ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO

Stories and info about those no longer involved in the industry

DARYL BURLINGHAM - THE PIED PIPER OF ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO

Postby Glen Livingstone » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:42 am

DARYL BURLINGHAM - THE PIED PIPER OF ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO
By Glen Livingstone
"When you work in Top 40 radio, time is measured at a steady forty-five revolutions per minute and one second of dead air is a firing offense. It has to be tight, tighter than Gene Vincent's black leather jeans."
- Robert O. Smith, 1942–2010

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Fellow broadcaster Tom Jeffries: "He (Daryl) was the most complex multi-layered walled off person ... hard to get to know. We were all a little bit in awe of him. He was a larger than life character."

Late broadcaster Rick Hallson: "It was a Friday night in Winnipeg, about the summer of '62, maybe '63. Rick Honey and I went to the teen dance at Woodhaven Community Club in St. James.
It was an exciting night--The Deverons were playing - led by a young, skinny piano playing vocalist by the name of Burton Cummings.

Rick Honey and I were chatting with Burton about a half hour before they'd kick off their first set. Up walked none other than Daryl B, CKRC's hottest jock - he was the MC that night. Rick took the moment to introduce himself for the very first time to Daryl."
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The one and only time I met Daryl Burlingham - or Daryl "B" as he was known on air - was at The Cave on Hornby Street in Vancouver in the waning days of the club's long and storied history.
It was late November 1979, and I was working the lights for No Fun who were performing that night.
I was standing under one of the Cave's moldering paper mâché stalactites - formulating an exit strategy should the rickety prop decide to drop, when Cave manager Stan Grozina emerged from the shadows with someone whose face in the gloaming looked vaguely familiar to me.

"Glen, I'd like to introduce you to Daryl Burlingham" he said, stepping aside to make room for a good looking guy dressed casually in jeans, t-shirt, cowboy boots and a Guess Who touring jacket.
"Yeah, I know what you're thinking," Daryl said to me, pointing at his outfit, "doesn't anybody in this joint enforce the dress code anymore?"

Growing up in Vancouver in the sixties, I first became aware of Daryl when Red Robinson hired him as a CFUN "Good Guy" in late 1965 to replace Fred Latremouille. Prior to arriving at CFUN, Daryl had worked at Winnipeg stations CKY and CKRC where he honed his Top Forty chops.

Former CKLG Creative Director Myles Murchison:
"Burlingham became a radio star at CKY. He hosted 'Battle of the Bands,' a huge live event in Winnipeg, where he met and became a life-long friend of another wild man, Burton Cummings of The Guess Who. You’d have to find someone who knew B better to get those stories but certainly Burton and B were dangerous when they were together. The 'Battle of the Bands' is also where he met a young drummer, Rick Honey, the future 'Boss Jock' who was to play such a critical supporting role in B’s life."

At that time, 1965 - CFUN had a massive weekly playlist consisting of fifty songs, an R&B Top Ten, a Country Top Ten and Twin Pick Hits. You wouldn't believe the amount of homework I had to ignore every day just to soak all this up.

CFUN, the palace of dreams located at 1900 West 4th Avenue was where the thaumaturgy was conjured up twenty-four hours a day seven days a week.
To hear Daryl segueing from 'I Can Never Go Home Anymore' by The Shangri-Las into The Beatles 'Day Tripper' with an economy of words that was truly astounding in its brevity was pure magic.
Then, as the fading record slammed into a five second-long shotgun stinger followed by 'She's Just My Style' by Gary Lewis and the Playboys - making its debut on the CFUNTASTIC FIFTY chart that week (Survey #294, December 4, 1965) at number 40, well, time and temperature never sounded so good.

"Daryl had a wonderful, warm voice," said Robinson. "He was a master DJ on the air and simply one of the best Canada ever had."
To the casual listener, what came blasting out of the radio during Daryl's show on a daily basis may have given the illusion of someone winging it, when in reality the sum of the whole was as carefully orchestrated as a Phil Spector record production and as tightly choreographed as a Fred and Ginger dance routine.

All of it - the records, the commercials, the jingles, the banter, the phone calls from listeners both on and off the air, was all mapped out and presented by a master of the form, Daryl B, And if you think that's easy to do, think again.

It was art is what it was, but instead of paint, Daryl's medium was language. Words set him apart, words made him great. And let's not forget that voice.
Daryl quickly built a huge audience at CFUN but in March 1967 made the decision to move across town to join rival rocker CKLG. Soon after arriving, he put in a word for his good friend Rick Honey to 'LG management.

Myles Murchison:
"It was on Daryl’s recommendation that his discovery, Honey, then working in radio in Sydney, Nova Scotia, was flown into Vancouver for an audition. Honey became a very popular personality at CKLG, and later for decades on CKNW, and he always held an affinity for his former mentor."

Daryl stayed at 'LG until late 1969 when he accepted an offer from CKLW in Windsor. That was not to last and Mr. B, missing the West Coast, returned to Vancouver and 'LG in August the following year.

Many people who only knew Daryl as a talented broadcaster may be surprised to learn that he also dabbled in band management and record production. That part of his story began back in Winnipeg in December, 1964 when Daryl took local band The Jury into the CKY studios to record "Until You Do" and got them a recording contract with London Records. George Johns, who was the band's rhythm guitarist at the time remembers that memorable session:
"I can still hear that big thick studio door make the soft whoosh sound when it closed behind us as we entered the studio which was almost like entering the cone of silence in the old TV series 'Get Smart.'
I can see the acoustic tiles which covered the ceiling and walls which had yellowed over the years from the hundreds of cigarettes that must have been smoked here by the folks who performed live on the radio each week.

A huge black grand piano stood in the center of the room which cried out to be played so I couldn't resist banging out a couple of bars of 'Whole Lotta Shaking Going On' as we waited for Chuck Dann and Daryl to set up. Even the unsightly cigarette burns on all the furniture all belonged and I wondered what tales this place could tell about what went on in here and I just hoped we were equal to the task of those who had come before us."

George, who went on to enjoy a very successful career in radio recalls, "Those days were very exciting but I knew that I couldn't do the band and radio and at some point I would have to choose. Radio eventually won out."

Although his work with The Jury was Daryl's first foray into a studio to record a band, it wouldn't be his last. The following year, one of Winnipeg's hottest young bands The Deverons talked Daryl into becoming their manager. He took them into the CKY studios late one night and recorded two tracks,'She's Your Lover' b/w 'Blues In The Night' which became the band's first record and the only one to feature 17 year old vocalist Burton Cummings. It was released in September 1965 on Reo Records and became a popular regional hit.

While working at 'LG in Vancouver, Daryl took the New Westminster quintet Meddy's People under his wing and produced three singles for them in 1968/69 and got them a recording contract with Quality Records.
The first one "Sha La La Lee" b/w "Substitute" were covers of songs that were originally hits for The Small Faces and The Who respectively and received plenty of airplay on CKLG at the time.

A few years later, a throwaway line Daryl tossed out on his show became the inspiration for a massive hit record for Randy Bachman's band Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Randy was listening to the radio one day when he heard B say, "It's Daryl B, and we're takin' care of business on C-K-L-G!" Miraculously a song that Randy had been plugging away at for awhile called 'White Collar Worker' had a new title, all thanks to Daryl.
Although record production was something he enjoyed, as with George Johns - radio was Daryl's first love.

J. Lee Smith, former Production Manager at CFUN:
"Daryl could do some amazing on-air shifts, and when he really applied himself to the task, Daryl could read a spot that sounded like it had been done in the world's best production house. Even his 'straight reads over music BG' would sound fabulous without exception.

While at CKLW, I recall him telling me how petrified he was after listening to the station on the car radio as he came into the coverage area well into northern Ontario, and how he was terribly nervous about going on the air on a station that sounded so good because he doubted his ability to perform to the standard that he heard on-air. As it turned out, he fit right in very quickly and did some of the best work of his career."
He informed and entertained many hundreds of thousands and brightened their day each time he opened the mike."

Myles Murchison:
"When you listen to a station long and lovingly enough, you will find the one voice that embodies its sound, its soul, its character. That voice was B: big, brash, baritone and format-tight. He didn’t sound excited on-air, he made it sound exciting – listening to hits, being plugged tight to the centre of the universe, and most of it merely consisted of giving a time check."

Former 'LG Boss Jock Don Stevens:
"The thing that always amazed me was his ability to make the call letters and his name sound so big. He could make so little sound like so much and he was funny, but he was funny so quickly you'd miss it if you weren't listening. It wasn't what he said on the air, it's how he said it. So many jocks now think they're being paid by the word, Darryl was the ultimate Top 40 jock, he said few words but you knew what he meant."

Fellow jock Tom Jeffries worked with Daryl at CFUN and they became good friends, often attending shows together at clubs around town including those that congregated on the Hornby Strip.
Jeffries recalls,"The Cave was where Daryl and I saw so many fine acts, including my idol, Roy Orbison. People used to say that Daryl had a hard shell. At one point during the show, Roy was in the middle of 'In Dreams' – I looked over, and tears were streaming down Daryl’s face. Like I said, a mush, under all the armor."

Off-air Daryl was a bit of a loner, tooling around the city in his nondescript blue Chevy van chain-smoking Rothmans cigarettes with his little dog Buffy by his side. "That dog was his life" recalls Tom.
I remember one hot summer day in 1972 walking to the Miller's Electronics store at 1125 Davie Street just west of Thurlow in Vancouver's West End. A guy was sitting on a bench waiting for a bus. The transistor radio beside him was tuned to CKLG and Daryl was wrapping up his show for that day.

He came out of his stop-set with the Raspberries' hit single "Go All The Way," a record that has at least four distinct posts before the vocal kicks in at :29. Like an audio version of Whack-a-mole, Daryl hit them all, his big booming baritone voice cutting through the track's distorted guitar riffs like a phase-locked laser beam shooting through the ether and reverberating into infinity.

That moment for me encapsulated what Top 40 radio was all about before it finally hit the skids and petered out some time in the eighties.
Daryl returned to CHUM Toronto mid-decade and stayed on air there squeezing out sparks on the 50,000 watt blowtorch until 1992 when medical issues forced his retirement.
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Legendary deejays and close friends Rick Honey and Daryl B died just three days apart in February, 2001. Honey passed away February 24 of cancer at age 53. A stroke claimed Daryl on February 27. He was 58.

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With thanks to Warren Cosford & rockradioscrapbook.ca / George Johns & georgejohns.com / Ted Wendland & radioWest.ca / Tom Jeffries / Myles Murchison / Don Stevens / The late Rick Hallson / Burton Cummings / Randy Bachman / vancouvertop40radio.com / J. Lee Smith / vancouverbroadcasters.com / Red Robinson and all those Boss Jocks, Good Guys and Swingin' Men who ever cracked a mic.

Don't forget to stay outta trees!
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Re: DARYL BURLINGHAM - THE PIED PIPER OF ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO

Postby radiofan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:50 am

From a previous Radio West post ...

A Canadian broadcast legend ... one of the brightest, tightest Boss Jocks ever ...
From April of 1968 ... Daryl B at 73 CKLG ...



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Listen to Daryl B on CKLG from April, 1968

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Thanks to Larry "Firedog" Morton for sharing this piece of Vancouver radio history!
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: DARYL BURLINGHAM - THE PIED PIPER OF ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO

Postby radiofan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:52 am

From a previous Radio West posting ...

It's Rick Honey in his first year in Vancouver ... Noon til 3 at CKLG March 20, 1970...


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Listen to Rick Honey on CKLG ... March 20, 1970

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Thanks to Larry "Firedog" Morton for sharing this piece of Vancouver radio history!
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: DARYL BURLINGHAM - THE PIED PIPER OF ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO

Postby radiofan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:42 am

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Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: DARYL BURLINGHAM - THE PIED PIPER OF ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO

Postby RationalKeith » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:05 am

Wow

Thankyou
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