[JPL] okay, then vote for Buckley

Mark Ruffin mruffin at jazzusa.com
Sun Apr 30 23:05:08 EDT 2006

    I can not echo Sarah's words enough about honoring Dick Buckley.  Had
she first expressed the desire to honor Dick Buckley with the Humanitarian
Award instead of WBEZ we could have been spared the washing of Chicago's
dirty jazz laundry in a national forum.  I can list a million reasons why
Dick Buckley should be honored but I think just the fact that he has played
JAZZ on the radio for over 50 years in one city is enough.  Think about your
own career, can you imagine playing jazz in a city you love the rest of your
life.  For example, I'm sure Arturo loves Denver. NOW!  But for a while we
all were worried about where he'd land when he left his beloved Miami.  The
ability to be as stable in such a nomadic profession as broadcasting, and
play such niche music is quite an accomplishment. 
    Personally, I've listened to Dick Buckley since I was a pre-teen.  His
deep, deep baritone is impossible to imitate, but the ultra smooth way he
gave history while entertaining and without pretentiousness was something I
always strived for from the first time I played jazz on the radio in
college. When I came back home in the late 70's, for a while, he was playing
jazz on two stations in Chicago, WBEZ and WXFM.  That was actually what gave
me the confidence that I could make a living playing jazz on the radio.  I
can guarantee that there are millions of Chicagoans who can give you their
personal story of how Dick Buckley inspired them too.
    My first professional job title in radio in 1980 was Operating Engineer
at WBEZ. I played Dick Buckley's records while he talked jazz. I thought
that was the best job in Chicago, okay !  My first radio job in college was
also as an operator at WSIU-Carbondale, a NPR affiliate that instilled in me
the love of public radio that I have today.  My stints at WBEZ and WDCB only
strengthened that love. Even after my much celebrated dismissal in my second
stint at WBEZ, I still loved the station and my friends who worked there.
    That's why I hate what's going on in Chicago. This isn't public radio.
Public radio is where you hear the last bastion of fine taste, where trends
are forecasted and then challenged, not followed. Wall-to-wall talk radio
seems pretty common to me.  I hate what's going on for the sake of Sarah,
Richard, and my friends in other departments who must be cringing.  But I
really hate it for Buck.  
    JPL'ers, I can't think of another person alive who personifies what it
means to do what we do.  At this time, at yet another station break in his
long career, nothing could be finer than for Jazz Week to honor him as a
long standing jazz humanitarian.  Now that I think about it nothing could
make the spirit of Duke DuBois happier than for Dick Buckley to win the Jazz
Week award named in his honor.  And, who knows, it could help heal some
wounds in Chicago.
   This is one of my favorite memories of Duke DuBois.  Remember when the
IAJE was in Chicago in 1997.  Well I had just been hired on air at WBEZ at
the time.  I'll never forget walking through the Hyatt and hearing Duke
calling my name all excitedly.
    "Mark, Mark," he said, "I just heard you replaced that EXPLETIVE Chris
    I laughed so hard and when I told him he heard wrong the dejected look
on his face, accompanying the curse words, was so priceless. He then said
something to the extent that it was good to see me anyway and that if Dick
Buckley couldn't get his records played, I certainly was no good to him.

-----Original Message-----
From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
[mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of Toulouse, Sarah
Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2006 8:05 PM
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
Subject: [JPL] okay, then vote for Buckley


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