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 BoysSMiLE. 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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