Dick Buckley, 1925-2010

WAAF, 950 AM, 1965: abrasive Marty Faye, slick Daddy-O Daylie, the honorable Jesse Owens, and Dick Buckley. 

5000-watt daytime stations (of which this was one) signed off the air at sunset, which varied from month to month, but the last shift was always Buckley’s, and he taught History Of Jazz to me on the air every afternoon/early evening. He announced all the recording dates and  the personnel and the order of solos, but more importantly, he back-announced each tune as well. Before long, one could easily identify Gerry or Clark or Ben or Pee Wee or Zoot or J.J. on one’s own.

His last employer’s shallow revisionist history of Mr. Buckley’s sensibility characterizes his record collection as oldies. Dick referred to the recordings as “good old good ones” with the emphasis on quality, independent of vintage. Oddly, his personal canon had blind spots, and I had to look elsewhere for certain portions of the jazz spectrum, but he would never steer anyone wrong. (OK, he did have an adolescent weakness for Slim Gaillard, but nobody’s perfect.)

Here is Dick Buckley, flanked by Joe Williams and Count Basie:

http://www.youtube.com/v/ZNOdTu4NDEE

“Happiness.”

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