Daryl Shinkunas

2004 - Individual Artist

Playing standards, blues and anything else that paid a few dollars, Daryl Shinkunas’s career started in Sioux City at an early age.

His first jobs were with Ash Bizzet, the father of a neighborhood schoolmate. Bizzet would desperately need a bass player for his weekend house party band, so he’d call Daryl at the last minute. Soon a local high school dance band called The Hy-Lites heard about this really good young musician and began calling him to fill in.

Somehow the president of Local 254, Mr. Henderson, got wind of his gigs so Daryl had to join the Union, paying dues that quickly reduced the small amount of money he was getting to a pittance.

Not to be deterred, he played with The Rubber Band, The Capris, The Scarlets, Jonathan Clarke & The Colonial Ruffians and Daryl & the Del-Rays. . . all before graduating from high school. A call from a former band member, Ray Painter, sent Daryl to Lincoln, Neb. where he joined up with Denny Lamar & the Echoes (Listen to the Raindrops and I’m So Lonesome For Your Love).

Soon the band lost two members; their organist and bass player. Johnny K, fresh off the road with Larry Dowd, took over on bass, Dan Baker on drums, Denny Zager on rhythm with Daryl on lead. They became “Denny and The DeVilles.” The band spent a year at Harold and Toddy’s old Royal Grove before Daryl received an invitation from the government to join the “party over in Viet Nam.”

Shinkunas was able to return to Sioux City in time to win the KMNS annual Rhythm Festival with The Rubber Band before joining the crew aboard the USS Turner Joy DD951.

Remaining in California after his discharge from the Navy, Daryl married Annie and became the father of three daughters: Kelly, Libby and Nadia. He attended college, managed several retail electronic stores, was a junior buyer for a large wholesale electronics firm, worked for GTE of Southern California while playing in many rock, country-rock, and oldies bands in the area.

Some of those bands were: Western Union, the Cucamonga Justice Company, Phyllis Shore & Half a Sixpence, the Borelli & Hart Band (and Duo), the John Kristen Band, the Billy Bakersfield Blues Band, Willie Mac Attack, and the Trail Masters.

Daryl also worked with Country Hall of Fame great Cliffie Stone at ATV Corp., on “Bits and Pieces of Life”, a country rock album. He received accolades for three of his original songs on the album; “Faded Blue Jeans”, “On The Other Side of Midnight” and “Mississippi River Boat Gambler.” In 1976 Daryl won an American Song Festival award for the Gambler song.

Since returning to the Sioux City area in 1990, he and his family have settled in Moville. Daryl was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis that now has taken away his ability to perform the work he so loved and the music world’s cluster of working artists was reduced by one fantastic musician.

His wife Annie works at Gateway in North Sioux City Kelly graduated from the University of Iowa and works in Des Moines. Elizabeth is a junior at the U of I where Nadia hopes to join her after graduating from Western Iowa Tech.

Daryl Shinkunas enters the Hall of Fame for his long career as a performer and his writing success in addition to his enthusiasm for the art of music that continues in spite of his current limitations.

Editor's Note:  Daryl passed away December of 2006, Our sympathy to his Friends and Family.


The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame & Museum exists to preserve the legacy of rock and roll music in Iowa by honoring achievements, educating youth and inspiring artists. Established in 1997, we are a501(c)(3) non-profit statewide organization with many areas of service.

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram