The Life and Times of the Legendary Mr D (Warfleet Press $49.95) by Chris Best is the latest and most comprehensive of Best's six titles about the extraordinary bandleader Arthur Delamont and his Vancouver Boys Band.

Based on 100 interviews with musicians taught by Delamont, including Vancouver's other legendary bandleader Dal Richards, Mr. D celebrates one of the few great British Columbians who is not listed in the Encyclopedia of British Columbia. It includes a CD of the band performing 19 well-known pieces from 1934 to 1978. Often compared in its heyday with the John Philip Sousa band, Delamont's group won the world band competition in Chicago in 1933 as well as more than 200 trophies and awards during its 50-year history. The band made 15 European tours, visited five world fairs and served as a Vancouver institution. When Arthur Delamont died in 1982 at the age of 90, the band died with him. Delamont had not groomed a successor. He did not want his band to go on without him, but there have been reunion concerts in 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and again on July 13, 2013 at the Kitsilano Showboat where former bandmates were conducted by Doug Macaulay. Musicians included 95-year-old Dal Richards and 85-year-old Jimmy Pattison.

Christopher Best's preceding titles are publicly available only in a PDF format, not in ebook format, via a worldwide reading site called www.issuu.com. "I doubt I will make them into ebooks," he says, "because I do not like the ebook format."

He released his tribute to bandleader Arthur Delamont, By Jove What A Band (Warfleet Press), on May 8, 2007. The following day, Best released a coffee table book, Woodwinds, Brass and Glory (Warfleet Press, $59.95).

Promotional info:

"The story of Arthur Delamont touches many people. It is about the famous and the not so famous. The young and the old. It is about four generations of boys who became men. It is about four generations of men who never forgot how to be boys..... It is the story about the band which never grew old. A band that won over 200 trophies and awards during an unprecedented 50 year history... A band that dined with royalty but never lost the common touch.

"The story of the band was soon to be lost to all, as no one had ever recorded all the successes and triumphs the band had achieved during its fifty year history. Amongst the difficulties in piecing together the story, many of the original boys in the band had passed on, their stories lost to history. Christopher Best investigates the story through those still living and through scrapbooks and archival photos accumulated from Montreal to Vancouver. As the story unfolds, it looks like a documented history of the band is possible after all but then the question is whether or not the quality of the archival material that survived is good enough to include in a book! Christopher Best manages to piece together the amazing story of the world's most successful boys band and through the aid of modern technology edit the over 450 photos he accumulated into the only pictorial record of the band in existence today!"

Strangely presented with the caveat, "the publisher and the author assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omission, or any other inconsistencies herein," Christopher Best's 462-page biography of the formerly significant Vancouver realtor Faye Leung, Faye: The Face of Multicultural Canada (Warfleet Press 2020), only surfaced in 2021. Most of the text appears in the format of an autobiography. Evidently, Best had hoped or expected to be able to release a book to be called It Ain't Over Until Faye Leung the Hat Lady Sings,  to be based on stories Leung had written about herself "that most people upon first glance would dismiss as giberish." Best spells gibberish as giberish. It's a literary train wreck. Clearly Best and Leung collided as much as they collaborated. Leung's rise to social prominence as "Vancouver's Only Big Time Lady Developer" is certainly worthy of documentation.  But her feverish desire to use this book for self-vindication, particularly in regards to her hatred of former Premier Bill Vander Zalm, is ruinous.

BOOKS:

By Jove What A Band (2007)
Woodwinds, Brass & Glory (2008)
The Red Cape Boys (2008)
The Kitsilano Showboat (2010)
Denton Park (2013)
The Lost Chord (2013)
The Life and Times of the Legendary Mr D (Warfleet Press 2013) $49.95 978-0-9812574-6-4
My Greek Barber's Diary (Warfleet Press 2015) 978-0-9868793-4-0 $34.95
Faye: The Face of Multicultural Canada (Warfleet Press 2020) 978-0-9812574-0-2 / aka The Faye and Dean Kwong Leung Story

Email: chrisbestbyjove@yahoo.ca

[BCBW 2021]