Dik Darnell



Dik Darnell

Dik began his musical life at the young age of 14 years when he received a scholardship for musically gifted students from the renowned film composer Henry Mancini.  It was during his studies at the Eastern Illinois University program sponsored by the Mancini Foundation that Dik began singing ina doo-wop group that was later named “The Pentagons.”

Dik performed as the lead singer in The Pentagons throughout bis high school years, and during that time he studied guitar and bass. That led to the forming of his first band called the “Vest Teens,” who went on their first tour the day after Dik graduated from high school. During that first tour in 1960, Dik and his group changed the name of the group to the “Precisions,” and recorded their first record in a studio located in Davenport, Iowa.

Dik composed and sing lead on the song entitled “This Is My Story.” From that point on Dik was “hooked” on the recording arts.

Dik began driving into Chicago every week to pitch his songs to Chess, VJ, Mercury, King and RCA Records who made their home in the Windy City at that period of time. It was at that time that he began to learn the art of production and engineering, which led to his full time  producing  from 1967 until today.

During the “60’s & earl 70’s” era, Dik produced and engineered several artists, including Baby Huey’s legendary recordings of “Listen To Me” and “A Change Gonna Come.” That were released on Curtis Mayfields Curtom Records.  Those two songs that Dik produced are credited in the two major books written on the founding of “Hip Hop” music as the recordings that influenced the first major Hip Hop artists. Dik produced and recorded several artists and labels during the sixties, including Tommy Boylin, The Gallery, Zephyr, The Other Side of Time, Sasa Di, Philip Baily, Larry Dunn, Tim Duffy, etc. Dik composed the score for the award winning film “The Mobius Flip,” and won the International Broadcasters Award for the “Worlds Best Music In Advertising” for his song and production of “Bubble Up.” Dik composed the songs, created the brand theme, and produced the music for National Advertising clients, including Frontier Airlines, Master Card, Red Seal Potato Chips, GW Sugar, Rexall Drugs, Big O Tires, American National Bank, The Bravo Television theme, KOMO Seattle radio Theme, etc.

Dik taught at four major Universities, including as an Associate Professor at Lorreto Heights College in 1970 where he taught the first accredited course in rock and roll in the history of College academic accreditation.

In the early 1970’s, Dik became a member of the famous Caribou Ranch Recording facility and CBS distributed record label. Dik lived on the ranch and served as a producer, engineer and A & R Director for Caribou. The Caribou organization, led by famed producer James William Guercio, managed the artists Chicago, The Beach Boys, Michael Murphy, Billy Joel, Gerard Band, etc., and recorded albums by those artists and others, to include Elton John, Earth Wind and Fire, America, Joel Walsh and Barnstorm, Frank Zappa, Super Tramp, Steven Stills, Michael Jackson and a host of other renowned artists.

After leaving Caribou, Dik produced the albyms and top 40 hit “Old Fashion Boy” by the group “Stallion” for Neil Bogart’s legendary Casablanca Records and Filmworks.  He also produced Jimmy Ibbotson’s, of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, first solo album, Gerard for Caribou Reords, Hit songwriter and artists Kostas who was the BMI songwriter of the year, Glen Yarborough, Chuck Pyle (Bill Gates favorite artists), Lonnie Hill’s number One R&B hit record for Virgin Records “Galvenston Bay,” Buddy Red Bow’s legendary album “Journey to the Spirit World.”  Buddy was the second artist inducted into the Native American Hall of Fame, (Jimmi Hendrix was the first inductee) and he composed and produced John Denver, who he shared a long and close friendship with.

Over the years he has won several awards for his work in records, film, and commercials, including receiving the 1999 Indie Award (the Independent record industry “Grammys”) for the Best Album of the Year from the Association For Independent Music (AFIM). He has received The International Broadcasters’ Award (IBA) for the World’s Best Music in Advertising. He has composed and performed for several films, including the 1999 Emmy award-winning PBS mini-series documentary on the Spanish American War. He also wrote and produced the “Sister Cities” International  Theme Song entitled “We Are One” with John Denver, as well as co-writing other songs with and recorded by John over the past twenty-five years.

Dik founded Etherean Music in 1989. The label became one of the largest Independent Record Labels in the country, releasing over 65 recording titles, winning 14 Album of the Year awards, and nominated for over 40 albums. He licensed music for film and television to ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, TNT, Time/Life, Hallmark Entertainment, MTV and played a key role in the making of the Tri Star released feature film “Thunder Heart.” Dik has licensed music he produced in eight major television shows over the past three years. Dik composed, produced and performed a series of visionary albums in the 80’s and 90’s including 1988’s FOLLOWING THE CIRCLE, 1994’s CEREMONY, 1995’s IN THE PRESENCE OF ANGELS, 1996’S WINTER SOLSTICE CEREMONY, 1999’S award winning PROPHECIES (a collaboration with Steven Halpern) among others.

Most recently he has produced several mainstream acts including Lindsey Brier’s “WAITING FOR THE SUN” and the self-titled debut album “THE BURNED.” He currently is developing and producing the alternative/pop artists Savilla, and a bilingual Latin album by Jyemo Club for his co-founded Thundersmoke Entertainment Group.

Dik’s artistic and personal life is dedicated to his spiritual and humanitarian work and service.  In 1970, Dik founded and serves as the Director of the Four Winds Foundation, a non-profit spiritual and educational foundation that features The Chief Fools Crow Humanitarian fund.  Chief Fools Crow was the Ceremonial Chief and spiritual leader of the Teton Sioux from 1925 until his passing 1989 at 100 years old.  Chief Fools Crow adopted Dik as his son in 1977.  The foundation provides humanitarian aid to the Native Peoples of America, as well as all other people in need.  Dik has led a healthy vegan plant based lifestyle for the past 45 years.

Play Cover Track Title
Track Authors
Angels Among Us
Lindsey Brier produced by Thundersmoke Entertainment Group
Angels Among Us
Lindsey Brier produced by Thundersmoke Entertainment GRP.