Thursday, July 22, 2010

RIP Dick Buckley, Jazz DJ

Dick Buckley, a jazz DJ who had a 50-year career on radio, has died. I have probably listened to more jazz on his WBEZ Chicago radio shows than I have from any other source in my life because his extensive record collection, encyclopedic knowledge of the genre, his turn of phrase and his melifluous baritone voice made his shows so appealing. Some typical comments from him were that a trumpeter played a piece, "with all ten fingers and both elbows," or that a song was from album entitled Greatest Garner but that any song by Erroll Garner was great. He'd provide extensive details on a particular recording then add, "Although the liner notes say that so-and-so was on that track, it was clearly the style of what's-his-name who was in the band at the time."

He was an absolute treasure. The Chicago Public Library's Harold Washington Library Center houses Dick Buckley's Archives of Jazz in the Music Information Center. It covers 1989-1993, takes up 32 linear feet and contains over 400 hours from Mr. Buckley’s show on WBEZ, recorded on reel to reel audiotape, often with a program log included.

The Chicago Tribune web site had a brief obituary. I anticipate that more complete coverage will appear in tomorrow's print edition.

1 comment:

Fargo said...

Interesting to know about CPL's Buckley Archives at HWLC. First I'd heard of it.

My dad discovered Buckley in his early days on Chicago radio in the 1950s and was listening to him from then until a few years ago. He introduced me to Buckley's show when I was in high school. Words can't do justice to how much the show enriched my understanding and appreciation of jazz over the years. So I'm grateful both to my dad and to Dick Buckley.

In case you didn't see it, here's the longer obit that ran in Friday's Trib.