Geo’s Media Blog (Buried Treasures) Under Construction

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When I was in my early twenties, I was having the time of my life, not only did I play for a band that had records in the charts, I also worked at my favorite radio station. Hey, how cool was that? However, I had no idea that in the not too distant future, I’d be forced to choose my band and radio.

Then a couple of years later when that not too distant future showed up in the form of my wee daughter, Candis, reluctantly, I left the Jury.
As I look back on that decision now though, it turned out to be a no brainer. CKY had just made me their Music Director, and as it turned out, I was a hell of a lot better at playing radio than I ever was at playing guitar.

Having the Music Director title under my belt led to my becoming the Program Director of CKOM in Saskatoon. Then my career caught fire and I was off to Sudbury, then Ottawa, and when the Canadian portion of my radio tour wrapped up, I was in Toronto where I was the manager of CFTR when America called.

So putting Canada in the rearview mirror of my beat-up old T-Bird, I headed to the States to begin my new job as the National Program Director of Fairbanks Broadcasting. Things went so well there though that I left because I got live my dream of someday living in California when I started my own consulting company in San Diego.

Over the next twenty-five years or so, I was so busy doing radio stuff that I never thought about my old band days. By this time though, I was living in South Florida where I was the in house consultant for Fairbanks Broadcasting officing out of WRMF when a special box set of CDs showed up one day.

What made this box set called “Buried Treasures” so special was, it contained seven cuts by my old band, the Jury. However, not knowing if our tunes had stood the test of time and my not wanting to be embarrassed, I decided to listen to them in the car on my way home from work.

Ok, my meetings are all done, time to jump into the old Benz, pop the top, and crank up the CD player. As I rolled out of the parking lot and onto I 95, I hit the play button with no idea that I was about to discover what Sir Paul meant when he said, “I’m even more amazed now about the Beatles than I ever was when I was one.”
Then when Terry’s guitar intro for “Until You Do” blasted out of my car’s speakers, suddenly I was magically transported back in time.

There we were at CKY being led down the dimly lit hallway by two of the station’s biggest personalities, Chuck Dann and Daryl ‘B,’ who were nice enough to help us cut a demo tape that we could send to the local dance promoters.

However, having recently lost our vocalist, Donny Burns, we were only there in that very chilly December night to cut some of our original instrumentals. Even though we’d already replaced Donny with Bruce Walker who could sing the new British stuff better than Donny, Bruce was still a couple of rehearsals away from being ready, but he came along just to hang.

I can still hear the swoosh and thud of the studio door as it closed behind us that day, and it kinda felt like we’d just entered the cone of silence. As I looked around, I noticed that the acoustic tiles were all yellowed and surmised that it was because of the hundreds of cigarettes that were smoked in here by the many artists who had come before us.
In the center of the studio stood a large black grand piano which seemed to be crying out to be played, so I couldn’t resist banging out a few bars of “A Whole Lot Of Shaking” on it.

As we sat around waiting for Chuck and Daryl to get things ready, Bruce wandered over to where Terry and I were tuning our guitars and asked if we could help him. He was writing a song called “Until You Do” and was hoping that we could tag it on at the end of the session if time permitted.

The recording of our instrumental tracks went so smoothly and quickly that we decided to have a go at the new tune. After laying it down a few times, we headed into the control room to hear what we had.
When “Until You Do” burst out of the speakers, we were all shocked; not only did it sound pretty good, but it also sounded very British. (click on the links at the bottom of the page to hear what we sounded like when we went into the studio 55 years ago as the Phantoms and then came out as the Jury)

When I asked Chuck and Daryl what we should do next, they suggested that I bring the tape back tomorrow so their boss Jimmy Darin could hear it. They claimed that if anybody knew what to do next, it would be him.
So the next day at high noon, there I was back at CKY hoping that the dawning of a new day hadn’t altered the sound.

When we all gathered in the studio again, and Jim joined us, Daryl hit the play button and “Until You Do” poured out of the speakers, I thought that it sounded even better today.
When the last note faded away, Jim asked if I could bring the tape back when he got off the air at six because Hal Ross, an executive from London Records was coming by to take him to dinner, but first, Jim wanted to play him our tape.

After Hal listened to “Until You Do,” I can still hear him saying, “Hell, I’ll release that,” and just like that, we were London recording artists. Hey wait till the Stones hear that we’re label mates, I bet they’ll probably want us to open for them.

Then with the standard contract stuffed into the pocket of my jeans, you know, the one where the record company gets everything, and you get nothing, I headed home to share the incredible news. As I was flying down the stairs, Neil Young was making his way up, and I remembered wondering, “What the hell is he doing here, surely he’s not going to record anything? He can’t sing, I know, I’ve heard him try.”

GEO’S LIFE-LINES

Short cuts are traps.

If you don’t have a real strong airstaff, you better test your music every quarter.

Weathercasters are the only people in the world who can be wrong and still stay employed.

America needs new rich people, the current ones are boring, and they also aren’t doing much for our country.

Is it just me, or have the SLs had their day?

Your career is on fire if you get to attend all the meetings where most things happen, primarily if they’re in your office.

Contrary to public opinion, I’m not all that sad between happy hours.

What happens to the money when the government catches a big company doing bad things and fines them?

Have you ever noticed that the rest of the world just expects America to help?

The best way to get what you want is to deserve it.

I realized long ago that there was no benefit in growing up.

So who’s wiser, married, or unmarried guys?

The only way to move your life forward is to do something scary.

A house of cards is built on excuses.

COMMENTS

Don Walker: Always enjoy the tidbits of wisdom …It seems like they’re speaking to me! (The List)

Cat Simon: Good One George: That is indeed true about Sir Paul: By the time the Beatles would hit the stage, they had no songs to play. The acts that were on before them beat them to it, but he sure doesn’t have that problem today. LOL. (Necessity Is A Mutha!)

Irene Ness: As an independent widow for the last seven years, I realize most men are looking for a nurse or a purse. I am not a nurse, and my husband and I worked dam hard for MY purse. So I will spend it on myself, my kids, and my grandkids. (It’s Not The Length)

Ted Farr: We broke records here in BC George, it’s been the winter from hell. Wine country is now, whine country. (Let It, Snow)Bob Christy: George and I have discussed this at length, so much so, it drives my lovely wife crazy at times. We’ve gotten beyond the “Old days were great” stage, and we’ve moved on. It’s time to discuss the way forward from where the business is right now and where it needs to go. (Radio, It’s Over)

Red Robinson: Daryl was a class act. I was responsible for bringing him to Vancouver. In his final days, he would visit me in Gastown. I could tell he was in physical trouble soon after he moved back to Winnipeg. He was a great natural talent and is missed. (Remembering ‘B’)

Geo’s Media Blog is an inside look at Radio, Music, Movies, and Life. For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to Geo’s Media Blog @ GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.

 

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