Guitars & Radio & Wild Wild Women (Until You Do) Chapter XII Edited for 6/21/21

The times they were a-changin’
it was plain to see
Time to get Bruce Ray & Terry
to join Rolly and me.

We became the Jury
with a brand new sound
Cut a few hit records
and toured more towns

When I was in my early twenties, I was having the time of my life.
Not only did I play for one of Winnipeg’s top bands, but I also worked at my favorite radio station. How cool was that?

Playing with the Jury and working part-time at CKY went together so smoothly that I had no idea that in the not too distant future, I’d be forced to choose between them.
When that not too distant future showed up 4 hit records later in the form of my baby daughter Candis, I realized that I couldn’t do both.

So even though we had the #1 Canadian record on the charts, (see chart below) and Randy Bachman was recruiting me for The Guess Who, I reluctantly left my band days behind.
However, as I look back on it all now, my decision turned out to be a no-brainer.
CKY had just offered me a full-time job as their Music Director, and as it turned out I was a hell of a lot better at radio than I ever was at playing guitar.

Having the Music Director title at CKY ultimately led to my becoming the Program Director of CKOM in Saskatoon and it was there that my radio career caught fire.
Before long I was off to CKSO in Sudbury, CFRA in Ottawa, and CFTR in Toronto where I wrapped up the Canadian portion of my radio tour as the station manager.

Things were going great in Toronto, but all of a sudden America called.
I had no choice; I had to turn in my station car, put Canada in the rearview mirror of my beat-up old T-Bird, and head south to Indianapolis, where I would be the National Program Director of Fairbanks Broadcasting. (Hey, as they say, if you haven’t played the States, you haven’t played)

Shortly after my
arrival in Indy, we launched brand new format in Dallas that changed radio as we knew it.
For years, my phone had been ringing off the wall, so I finally left Fairbanks and started my consulting company in San Diego.

Over the next twenty-five years and some forty radio stations later, I was so busy working that I never thought about my old band days much.

Oh, and by this time I was living in South Florida as the in-house consultant of WRMF so I could be close to my new born daughter, Cami.

Then one afternoon, a box set of CDs showed up at the station that would make all my band days come rushing back.
What made this box set so special was, it contained seven cuts by the Jury.

However, not knowing if our tunes had stood the test of time and not wanting to be embarrassed, I decided to listen to them in the car, on my way home
Ok, my meetings are done, time to jump into the old Benz, pop the top, put the CD called “Buried Treasures’ into the player, and crank it up.

A I rolled onto I 95 North, I had 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 was when I was one.”
As Terry’s guitar intro for “Until You Do” blasted out of the speakers, I was magically transported back in time.

There we were on this frigid December evening being led down the dimly lit hallway of CKY by Chuck Dann (Riley) and Daryl ‘B.’
We were there to cut a demo tape and Chuck and Daryl were kind enough to help us.

However seeing as we’d recently lost our vocalist, Donny Burns, we were only there to cut some instrumentals.
We’d already replaced Donny with Bruce Walker, but unfortunately, even though we were excited about him, he was still a couple of rehearsals away from being ready.

I can still hear the swoosh and thud of the studio door as it closed behind us that day, and it felt like we’d just entered the cone of silence.
As I looked around, I noticed that the acoustic tiles were all yellowed from the hundreds of cigarettes smoked in here by the many artists who had come before us.

In the center of the studio stood a beautiful 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 tuning our guitars as we waited for Chuck and Daryl to set things up, Bruce, who had come along to hang out, wandered over to where Terry and I were sitting and asked if we could help him with a song he was writing.
The song was called “Until You Do,” and he hoped if we finished it up, maybe we could tag it on at the end of the session.

The recording of our instrumental tracks went so quickly that we decided to have a go at the new tune, and 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 shocked; not only did it sound pretty good, but it also sounded very British.

When Chuck and Daryl suggested that I should bring the tape back the next day and play it for their boss, Jimmy Darin (Hilliard) whom they claimed would know what to do with it, I was very excited.
So at the stroke of high noon, there I was back at CKY, hoping that the dawning of a new day hadn’t altered the sound in any way.

When Jim showed up in the production room, Daryl hit the play button and “Until You Do” poured out of the speakers and it even sounded better today.
As soon as it ended, Jim asked if I could bring the tape back when he got off the air because he wanted to play it for Hal Ross from London Records, who was coming by to take him to dinner.

When Hal showed up and heard “Until You Do,” I can still hear him saying as the last note faded away, “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 want us to open for them.

Then, with the standard contract stuffed into 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, guitar in hand, and I remembered wondering, “What the hell is he doing here? Surely he’s not going to record anything; he can’t sing.


In 2 weeks I begin counting down my all-time most read blogs.

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.
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10 thoughts on “Guitars & Radio & Wild Wild Women (Until You Do) Chapter XII Edited for 6/21/21

  1. James Copeland: I worked as a musician in a recording town, Muscle Shoals Alabama, and made a similar decision to focus on radio. Now 35 years later, I’m having a go a music again. Great read. (Until You Do)
    Geo: Good for you James, sadly, I can’t even remember how to play anymore.

  2. Chuck Knapp: And because my early radio mentor Ron Yantz and I traveled to meet Chuck Dann at CKY, we got to hear the Jury songs. We couldn’t wait to get back to Fargo and put them on the air. We got to tell listeners we meet you on Main Street and the rest is history as they say. Life… What a ride!
    Geo: Ahh, that explains why we got all those North Dakota gigs, Chuck. Oh and it was 432 Main street to be exact. 🙂

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