Happy Birthday, Van Dyke Parks!
Owing to the distractions of the holiday season, today’s scheduled blog entry isn’t quite ready. So while I finish it, I invite you to celebrate the 70th birthday of acclaimed songwriter / arranger / producer Van Dyke Parks by reading a pair of interviews I did with him. (Parks, of course, is perhaps most well-known — somewhat to his chagrin — as Brian Wilson‘s collaborator on the Great Lost [and found] Album of the 1960s, The Beach Boys‘ SMiLE. But there’s so, so so much more to him than that.)
The first feature/interview is from late 2011 and took place over coffee here in Asheville NC. The second was a “20 Questions” format piece done in 2012 for Shindig! Magazine. Parks is one of my favorite interview subjects; he’s endlessly quotable, quite a raconteur, and possessed of some of the drollest wit since Mark Twain. I mean, just look at his calling card (pictured above), for goodness’ sake.
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About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.