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Philadelphia-based artist David Hartt invited songwriter & composer Van Dyke Parks to make an original arrangement of the Stephen Foster song "Old Black Joe" as part of his 2020 installation piece titled "The Histories (Old Black Joe)"; the B-side is a beautiful arrangement of "Souvenir de la Havane" by the pioneering pre-jazz American Creole composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk.
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Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Catalog ID: CvsDS002
Squidco Product Code: 30056
Format: 7" Record
Packaging: 7" Record
Van Dyke Parks-arranger
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• Show Bio for Van Dyke Parks
"Van Dyke Parks (born January 3, 1943) is an American musician, songwriter, arranger, and record producer who has composed various film and television soundtracks. He is known for his 1967 album Song Cycle and for his lyrics on the Beach Boys' unfinished album Smile. In addition to producing or arranging albums by Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, Phil Ochs, Little Feat, Happy End, Ry Cooder and Joanna Newsom, Parks has worked with performers such as Syd Straw, Ringo Starr, U2, Grizzly Bear, Inara George, Kimbra, Suzy Williams and Silverchair.
Raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Parks spent his childhood studying clarinet, piano, and singing at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey. He started his professional career as a child actor. During the 1950s, he worked steadily in movies and television, and in the early 1960s, he majored in music at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. After dropping out of university in 1963, he relocated to Los Angeles, where his first paid gig was arranging "The Bare Necessities" for the 1967 Disney film The Jungle Book. Following this, he involved himself with the growing West Coast music scene, subsequently playing with-or appearing on records by-acts like the Mothers of Invention, the Byrds, Judy Collins, Paul Revere & the Raiders, and Harpers Bizarre. His LP Song Cycle (recorded on a budget exceeding $70,000) mixed a number of genres (including bluegrass, ragtime, and show tunes) and framed classical styles in the context of 1960s pop music. It was released to underwhelming sales, but attracted a cult following in later years.
Starting in the 1970s, Parks made repeated excursions into Afro-Caribbean music, notably on his 1972 album Discover America and on records he produced for the Esso Trinidad Steel Band and Mighty Sparrow. At the same time, he managed the audio/visual department of Warner Bros. Records, which was the earliest of its kind to produce music videos for artists. Since then, he established himself in motion pictures and over the years has directed, arranged, produced, and composed soundtracks for theatrical films and television shows such as Popeye (1980), Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird (1985), and The Brave Little Toaster (1987). Much of his later work has been in commissioned orchestral arrangements for lesser-known indie acts."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Dyke_Parks)
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Od Black Joe (Stephen Foster 1860
Souvenir de la Havane (Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1859)
descriptions, reviews, &c.
"Few musicians have had the word "legendary" affixed to theirs as many times as Van Dyke Parks. A great songwriter and musician in his own right whose cult classic LPs Song Cycle and Discover America helped expand the notion of what music of the Americas really meant, Parks has left an indelible mark on contemporary music, not least through his ornately imaginative production and arrangement, including landmark projects with The Beach Boys, Harry Nilsson, and Joanna Newsom, as well as LPs produced for the Esso Steel Band and the Mighty Sparrow.
For a 2020 installation piece titled "The Histories (Old Black Joe)," Philadelphia-based artist David Hartt invited Parks to make an original arrangement of the Stephen Foster song "Old Black Joe." The kaleidophonic result constitutes the A-side of this 7- inch single. With a collage-like feel featuring lush orchestration that's classic Parks, the track jump-cuts from mood to mood like Carl Stalling and features an explosive steel guitar part and a parting cameo by the Esso Steel Band. The B-side is a beautiful arrangement of "Souvenir de la Havane" by the pioneering pre-jazz American Creole composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk."-Corbett vs. Dempsey
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