Darrell began his recording career at Sunset Sound in 1966 while a film student at UCLA. He started mastering at DCT Recorders in 1967. Darrell and former Capitol Records A&R Executive Jack Chartoff launched Great Mandella Productions in January of 1968. They built a multi-track recording studio and offices in Studio City on the site of Foto Kem, a major motion picture film laboratory, and production facility. Great Mandella established BMI and ASCAP affiliated publishing and signed several artists releasing singles, EP's and LP's on the Great Mandella, Quaint, Peace, and Gloryland Records labels. Following Chartoff's untimely death he returned to studio engineering and mastering at Sunset Sound. At Sunset in December of '69, he mastered James Taylor (2) - Sweet Baby James for a 1970 release on Warner Bros. Records to be followed shortly by Loretta Lynn - Coal Miner's Daughter on Decca and then Elton John - Elton John on UNI Records. By mid-1970 he was under contract to Decca where he spent several years at MCA Recording Studios. While at MCA Darrell did extensive mastering work with MCA Decca's famed country producer Owen Bradley. In addition to cutting many country hits, he also mastered pop material including first releases for Elton John and Lynyrd Skynyrd. All of the early inscriptions bore his scribe "DJ" or "DWJ". Darrell went on to become the first Mastering Engineer and Director of Engineering at JVC Cutting Center. It was JVC's special half-speed mastering system developed to cut CD-4 Quad records and later modified for stereo audiophile half-speed disc mastering that leads him to use the "DWJ/2" inscription. In 1977 he founded Precision Lacquer with Larry Emerine and Stephen Marcussen. Darrell is also a Commercial Pilot and was Vice President and principal partner in Southland Aviation a Southern California private aircraft charter operation for more than two decades. The advent of music video and stereo audio for television in the 1980's took Darrell away from the recording studio to work in systems engineering for broadcasting where he remained until his retirement in 2010. He currently resides in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Darrell's Professional Affiliations include: The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS); Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE); Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE); Audio Engineering Society (AES); Lifetime Fellow of the Hollywood Sapphire Group; Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA); Baja Bush Pilots; Member of the Board of Directors of the John Edwards Memorial Foundation at UCLA.