Geo’s Media Blog (Until You Do) Under Construction

524022_10151826714864307_902428401_nThe times they were a-changin’
it was plain to see
So I got Bruce Ray & Terry
to join Rolly and me.

We became The Jury
and changed our sound
Cut a few hit records
and toured more towns

As I look back on it now I realize what a cool life I had when I was in my early twenties. I played for a band and had a part-time job at CKY and it was the first time that I would rather be at work than anywhere. However, even though I was having the time of my life, I had no idea that something special was coming and I would soon be forced to choose between my band and radio.
The special something that showed up a couple of years later was my daughter Candis, and because I was a hell of a lot better at playing radio than I was playing guitar, I left the Jury.

One of the things that made me choose radio, was just before my daughter’s birth I was promoted to CKY’s Music Director which led to me getting an offer to be the program director of CKOM in Saskatoon. Shortly after that, my radio career caught fire and it wasn’t long until I became the station manager of CFTR in Toronto. Next, I was off to Indianapolis where I was the National Program Director of Fairbanks Broadcasting and eventually ended up San Diego where I started my own consulting company.

While being busy doing radio, I never thought much about my band days so I was totally surprised in South Florida while visiting a client station when a box set of CD’s called “Buried Treasures” showed up. What made this collection so special was that it contained seven Jury tracks which I could hardly wait to hear as I drove home later on to West Palm Beach.

Ok, with my meetings all done, time to jump into the old Benz, pop the top, and crank up the CD player. As I merged onto I95 North and hit play, not only did I understand what Sir Paul meant when he said, “I’m more amazed about the Beatles now than I ever was when I was one” but I was magically transported back in time when “Until You Do” blasted out of my speakers.

There we were in late December 1964 being led down a dimly lit hallway at CKY by Chuck Dann and Daryl B. who were popular Dee-Jays at the station. Our reason for being there was to cut a demo that was good enough to send to the local dance promoters. However, because we’d recently lost our vocalist, Donny Burns, we were only there to cut a few of our instrumentals which were still popular but fading fast as the British Invasion took over the charts. Even though we’d already replaced Donny with Bruce Walker and were very excited about the fact that his voice was much better suited to sing all the English stuff, he was a couple of rehearsals away from being ready but he decided to come along anyway.

Driving along in Florida now and listening to “Until You Do,” I can still hear the swoosh and thud of the studio door as it closed behind us and kinda felt like we’d just entered the cone of silence from the old “Get Smart” TV series. Looking around, I couldn’t help but notice the yellowed acoustic tiles which were probably stained by the cigarette smoke from all those who came before us. In the center of the studio stood a huge black grand piano that seemed to be crying out to be played so I banged out a few bars of “A Whole Lot Of Shaking Going On.”

As Terry and I tuned our guitars, Bruce wandered over and asked if we could help him finish up a song he was writing so it could be tagged on to the end of the session. 
Because We’d played our instrumentals hundreds of times on stage, things went smoothly so we had plenty of time 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 because not only did it sound pretty good, it sounded very British. (At the bottom of the page hear what we heard 55 years ago)

Chuck and Daryl recommended that I bring the tape by the station the next day for their boss Jimmy Darin to hear because as they said if anybody knew what to do next, it would be him. So the next day, there I was back in the studio at CKY at high noon wondering if the new day had altered the sound in any way.
When Jim showed up, Daryl hit the play button and “Until You Do” once again filled the room and when the last note faded away, Jim asked if I could bring the tape back after he got off the air at six? He said that Hal Ross who was an executive with London Records was coming by to take him to dinner but first he’d make him listen to our tune.

When Hal heard “Until You Do,” later that evening, he said the words I’ll never forget, “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.

With the standard record contract stuffed into my jeans, you know, the one where the record company gets everything and you get nothing, I headed home to Transcona 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 any vocals; he can’t sing, I know, I’ve heard him try.”
GEO’S LIFE-LINES

Can’t, unfortunately, is ten times more powerful than can.

Short cuts are only 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 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, especially if they’re held in your office.

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

What happens to the money when the government fines a big company for doing bad?

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 7 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 GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.

 

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