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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Sunday, October 19, 2008


He sounded a likeable, decent man with a serious interest in serious music. He said he didn't dislike being interviewed but he'd never had such a hard time preparing for an interview before. There was no Cole Porter, and certainly no Bob Dylan. In fact he chose no singer-songwriter or indeed songwriter at all, and the only two tracks to feature voice and words were chosen for the singers' strengths and/or the sound of these particular two records, rather than as examples of admired songcraft. He never mentioned who had written either of them. His full selection (details c/o was as follows:

1. The 3rd movement of Beethoven’s String Quartet No.16 in F Major
Performer The Hollywood String Quartet
Composer Beethoven
CD Title Beethoven: String Quartets Track CD3 trk 8
Label Testament Rec No SBT3082.

2. Goodbyes [from film soundtrack to How Green Was My Valley]
Composer Alfred Newman [Randy's uncle]
CD Title How Green Was My Valley Track 15
Label Twentieth Century Rec No 07822110082.

3. The Door
Performer George Jones
Composer B Sherrill/N Wilson
CD Title The Best of George Jones
Label Epic Rec No SEPC80847.

4. The Stampede
Performer Fletcher Henderson
Composer Henderson
CD Title Fletcher Henderson/1925-28
Label BBC Rec No BBCCD720.

5. Part of the Sacrificial Dance from Rite of Spring
Performer The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Zander
Composer Stravinsky
CD Title Stravinsky: Rite of Spring Track 14
Label I.M.P. Rec No MCD25.

6. The beginning of Shostakovich Symphony No 15
Performer London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink
Composer Shostakovich
CD Title Shostakovich: The Symphonies, CD11 track 1
Label London Rec No 4444302.

7. Part of the Adagio from Mahler’s 9th symphony
Performer Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert Von Karajan
Composer Mahler
CD Title Mahler: Symphony No.9 CD2 track 1
Label Deutsche Grammophon Rec No 4530402.

8. Come Rain or Come Shine
Performer Ray Charles
Composer Johnny Mercer & Harold Arlen
CD Title The Genius of Ray Charles
Label Atlantic Rec No 13122

Choice from the eight: Beethoven Late Quartets
Chosen book: Dante’s Divine Comedy in Italian with English translation
Chosen luxury: a piano.

The programme is repeated next Friday (24th) at 9am UK time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Randy Newman, guess you have probably seen this already:

You should also have a look at Gordon Lightfoot's fan web site to see some po-faced Canadians getting al hot & bothered about Bob's joke about the feud between them (on one of the Theme-Time shows)...hilarious...

3:25 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to show that the mutual admiration society extends to Prine & Lightfoot, here's a recent quote from Prine:

"I always knew Gordon Lightfoot was a really great songwriter, but his stuff even sounds better and better all the time. It's just so really good to me. It's just like that's what should be in a dictionary, you know, next to a really good contempory folk song, is a Gordon Lightfoot song." - John Prine

5:43 am  

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