Toronto, ON-based musician, singer-songwriter, and broadcaster, Danny Marks has unveiled a new single, “Man on the Radio”.
“Radio has come up big to reach people at home and heart in trying times, an intimate connection that reaches around the globe,” says Marks. “‘’Man On The Radio’ comes from this place.”
Soulful, smooth, country-tinged blues with a heartfelt, nostalgic tone, “Man on the Radio” is Danny Marks’ story about his love and reverence for a music medium that has been a cherished part of his life from childhood to today. The single is pulled from Danny’s upcoming new album, Lifeline, due out this summer.
For over 100 years, radio has been our good company through trying times and good times alike. For Marks, the Toronto-born and raised music maker and connoisseur, radio is an inter-generational phenomenon; radio is truly in his blood.
“Radio reached my Dad in the 1920’s from the Cotton Club, Grand Ole Opry, and beyond,” recalls Marks. “Dad would get a crystal set, in the 1920s, and listen to the Cotton Club with Cab Calloway. He passed along that love to us, with a shortwave radio and the art of radio.”
As a kid, Marks would fantasize about hosting his own radio show when he wasn’t obsessing over his love of the guitar.
“When I was twelve years old, I was part of a radio play at the national broadcaster, CBC,” he remembers. “They had crinkled up stuff to make it sound like a fire, coconut shells for the horses’ hooves, A little funny door on a platform to open and close. We gathered around the mic and the performers had their arms around each other’s shoulders. I’d been to drama school, but radio – it seemed so intimate. Being on that side of the mic – I always wanted to.”
The guitar Marks got when he was 11 and the lessons he took afterward were his first steps toward musical success in Canada and the U.S. as a founding member of late ‘60s / early ‘70s pop-rock band Edward Bear, signed to Capitol Records. However, his love for “being on that side of the mic” also led to success on the airwaves in a different way. He became ‘the man on the radio’.
In 1987, Marks was discovered by CBC radio producer David Malahoff and was put on a show called “Basic Black” with Arthur Black and Shelagh Rogers. That was Marks’ learning ground throughout the ‘90s before being offered his own show on Toronto’s CJRT FM, which became JAZZFM91. For over 20 years, Marks has hosted the BLUZ.FM show, a Saturday night oasis of “all the colours of the blues” including one hour of “Beyond the Fringe” global music.
For Marks, hosting a radio show is quite parallel with playing a live performance.
“The idea that you can tell a story through a succession of songs on the radio, is not unlike how I would work a set at my performances,” explains Marks. “It’s so beautiful to hear one song dovetail into another and the mood shift. What you look for in joining music to tell a story.”
And in this age of digital streaming and playlisting, radio’s story is still a never-ending one for Marks and many others.
“In the 21st Century, radio’s days are far from gone.”
Listen to “Man on the Radio” below, and stay up to date with Danny Marks via his socials.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.