RIP ‘Big Daddy’ Dave McCormick


Our friends at Radio West were the first to break the shocking news that Vancouver radio legend Dave McCormick has died, following a lengthy illness.  Big Daddy, as he was affectionately known on the air, got his start in radio in Hamilton at age 14 before moving to C-FUN Vancouver from 1957 to 62, where he moved from DJ to Music Director and then Co-PD. His career took him next to KYNO Fresno Calif, then to KOL Seattle where he was PD from 1966-67, and then PD and Music Director at KMEN San Bernardino from ’67-’71.

He returned to Vancouver, first at CKNW and then as the creator of the luminous series Discumentary on sister station CFMI from 1971-86.  He hosted p.m. drive at CJJR from 1986 to ’98, and then middays at its sister station CKBD from 1998-2008.  Lastly he handled middays and special events at C-ISL Vancouver from 2008 to 2010.

McCormick won plenty of accolades, including BC Broadcaster of the year, was four times BC Country Music Association’s Country Broadcaster of the Year, and was inducted into the BC Country Music Assoc. Hall of Fame.

He will be sadly missed.

Our thanks to Gord Lansdell at Vancouver Broadcasters for Dave’s radio itinerary and his picture.



  1. I had the privilege of working with Dave, interviewing artists and writing scripts for his nationally syndicated Discumentary show. My condolences to family members and past colleagues such as Discumentary producer Glen Livingstone.

    In my opinion, Dave was the heir apparent to succeed Jack Cullen in the Owl Prowl spot. Obviously, the format would’ve changed to reflect Dave’s prodigious knowledge of ’50s and ’60s pop, rock and country music. NW, of course, opted to embrace sports instead. Dave went on to a long stint at JR Country and ClSL but don’t think either station fully utilized his encyclopedic knowledge to full advantage.

    West Coast listeners have their memories. Hopefully, PSR and other sites will regale us with Big Daddy airchecks in years to come.

    Heaven is opening its doors to another groundbreaking DJ. Godspeed, Dave.

  2. Dave was terrific when he’d fill in for Jack Cullen. It was indeed a huge loss that he didn’t get to take over that program slot.

  3. Just askin’…but has anyone heard a peep about Dave’s passing on CKNW? I listened to Jon McComb’s show plus the 5 p.m. news and thought there’d be at least a mention. Or did one of the daytime hosts devote a segment?

  4. Nothing but respect and admiration for “Big Daddy”. He was the guy who took a chance, and hired me full time at JR Country. For years, I’d owned an original early 60s CFUNtastic 50 chart that I’d picked up decades earlier at a flea market. It sported Dave’s face as the “jock of the week” headshot. I presented him with it after we met, and he was thrilled . Happy memory of a great guy, and I will miss him a lot.

  5. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF MEETING DAVE McCormack in 1969 when he was PD.and afternoon drive at K/MEN in San Bernadino…As I remember it,my friend Bob Harlow and I went there to talk to him about radio and Dave invited us back to the K/MEN music library to talk,and he couldn’t have been nicer!Dave said(and this is a direct quote)”Hey,blow in my ear,and I’ll follow you anywhere”!Well,after all,it WAS 1969(Dave was quoting an expression from the then popular Laugh-In!DURING our brief visit with Dave,he asked us,”Hey,you guys remember “Sherry”by The Four Seasons”?He also told us about dropping “Happy Heart”by Andy Williams off the K/MENDOUS TEN,but possibly putting it back later as an oldie(K/MEN called oldies “Rebounds”.He also talked for a minute about the recent departure of afternoon drive 4 to 8 p.m. man Harry Scarborourgh who had left for KYNO in Fresno in Dave’s words;”For a few more bills a month’Harry returned to K/MEN later that year on the all night show Midnight to 6 a.m.After McCormack left K/MEN in 1970,he even showed up for one show only at KREL ,1370 Corona,California.(This station was pre-’65 oldies and chicken rock,mostly.Somewhere in my collection,I have a tape of Dave’s solo 1971 KREL show(I hope to GOD I can find it someday!)McCormack was also a HUGE record collector(so I’ve heard!)And once,when I went to Fresno in the mid-’80’s and met former Boss Jock ,the late,great Tom Maule when he was P.D.of 13 KYNO(then oldies)Dave’s name came up in conversation.Tom asked me about McCormack(Tom had worked briefly in 1969 for Dave)”Have you ever seen him(McCormack)do a show”?I replied “No,I’ve never had the pleasure”!Tom responded “He’s a NERVOUS WRECK”!(Meaning when McCormack was on the air)But,when listening to D.M.on K/MEN(or even KREL,for that matter!)You’d NEVER know it!Damn it,it’s ALWAYS the GOOD ones that die early!Dave McCormack was a REAL class act(something today’s radio SADLY LACKS!)God bless Dave McCormack,yes,we’ll miss him!Gerry(Jim Diamond)Whitehead,Long-time Bakersfield & former Southern California D.J.


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