Web Extra!

One of the “good old good ones,” Dick Buckley, 85, longtime jazz presence on Chicago radio stations, died on July 22, 2010 of pneumonia at West Suburban Medical Center.

Buckley, an Oak Park resident, discovered jazz growing up during the Depression in Indiana. His radio career in Chicago spanned more than 50 years, 1956-2008, and he became a beloved and trusted voice, spinning jazz tunes and providing extensive background, insight and personal recollections of jazz greats that few could match.

According to Chicago Tribune music critic Howard Reich, after Buckley attended Indiana University, where he befriended jazz scholar Marshall Stearns, he landed radio jobs in Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Indianapolis. He started at WAAF-AM in Chicago in 1956 and moved to WAIT-AM in 1967. In the 1970s, he did voiceovers for Schlitz Beer on radio and TV.

In 1977, he became a jazz host on WBEZ-FM, and remained a fixture until his last broadcast on July 29, 2008, when the station stopped broadcasting jazz. He was known for his mellifluous voice, his casual conversational style, and his encyclopedic knowledge of his subject. His signature phrase was “the good old good ones.”

According to Reich, he “riffed easily on jazz, dispatching the information nonchalantly, as if he were sitting on a bar stool next to you.”

Dick Buckley was preceded in death by Marjorie (nee Ruder), his wife of 54 years; and is survived by his sons, Jeff and James; his daughter, Janet Wayland; and two grandsons and a granddaughter.

The funeral is scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 27 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park.

Related stories:

Join the discussion on social media!

One reply on “Dick Buckley, 85, riffed on jazz for a half century”