van dyke parks Archive

Always Finish What You Started: Van Dyke Parks on ‘Orange Crate Art’ (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two… Parks recalls a visit to a friend in rural Virginia, nearly 2500 miles due East from southern California. “I went past, Galax, where the Old Fiddlers Convention is held,” Parks remembers. “It inspired me to write ‘My Jeanine,’ [set] in a place that doesn’t exist and a time I haven’t forgotten.”

Always Finish What You Started: Van Dyke Parks on ‘Orange Crate Art’ (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One… Parks recalls how the germ of the project came about in or around 1990. “I had a piano exercise, and it was fun for me,” he says. “Because I am a pianist, most of my songs derive from the keyboard.” Seeking a name for the exercise, he came up with “Orange

Always Finish What You Started: Van Dyke Parks on ‘Orange Crate Art’ (Part 1 of 3)

Though he never sought the role – nor does he wear it comfortably – Van Dyke Parks is something of a cult figure in music. An idiosyncratic musical storyteller of all he surveys, remembers and imagines, Parks filters his ideas through a distinctly American sensibility, one that exists resolutely outside of the rock and pop

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