Richard (Dick) Burns

2015 - Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award

Dick Burns was born in Woodbine in 1943. His family moved to Oxnard, CA in 1954 and he began school, searching out his love for music.

He bought his first guitar in the late 50’s with money from his paper route and was consumed by learning to play. Dick joined area combos with such names as the Casuals, the Thundermen and the Valiants.

In November of 1962 the Casuals entered a small studio to record “Casual Stomp” and “Mashed Potatoes.” They changed the name of the group to the Dartells and changed the song names to “Dartell Stomp” and “Hot Pastrami.” Burns wrote the hit “Dartell Stomp.”

The record first came out on Arlan Records and was picked up by Dot Records where it reached #11 on the Billboard Top 50; staying on the charts for three months. It was one of the most successful records of the early to mid 60’s. Later The Mustangs had a national hit with the song as well.

The Dartells were popular through the mid 60’s, especially in Hawaii where they played non-stop until 1969 when they disbanded. Dick created a show as a solo artist, duo and trio, playing all over the West Coast. He was booked non-stop from the 70’s through the 2000’s.

In 2006 Dick came together with good friends Lee Marshall, Freddy Cannon, Donnie Brooks and Jewel Atkins to produce a “New Dartells” LP with an all new hit written and called “Mo Pastrami.” Sadly in 2007, while the LP project was underway, Dick passed away suddenly and the LP was never completed.

Burns had the opportunity to perform with such artists as the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, Sha Na Na, J.J. Jackson, and the Four Seasons. He often toured Hawaii, Reno, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Disneyland and in 1968 a USO tour of Viet Nam with the Dartells.

A big part of Dick’s story were his fellow Dartells members: Doug Phillips, Randy Ray, Gary Peeler, Corky Wilke and Rich Piel. He is survived by his wife Dawn and daughters Kristen and Cassidy.

This is the story of an Iowa farm kid who would go on to record, play and perform one of the biggest songs of the 1960’s. His Hall of Fame honors are in recognition of his lifetime achievement in music.

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