Thursday, 19 October 2006

Theme Time Radio with Bob Dylan

The rhythms of the English language sound great when Bob Dylan introduces his theme and songs on Theme Time Radio. The show is broadcast on XM Radio in the U.S.A. and I first heard it on a podcast a friend, Jeff Langdon, gave me. I remember thinking at the time Dylan's cool patter would be great to use with students. Maybe as a Quickwrite piece to spark writing from.

If you haven't chanced apon the broadcasts here's a little sample to whet you interest:

First let's get in the mood with the husky voice of the woman announcer who sounds like she's had one whisky and cigarette too many, or then again maybe she's had just enough. "It's night time in the big city. A truck driver runs a red light. A strange, quiet man practices Tai Chi in the park. It's Theme Time Radio Hour with your host Bob Dylan."

"Tonight we're going to visit the big house. The clink, the brig, the coop, the grey-bar hotel, the hoosegow, the joint, the jug, the slammer, the stir. A real hush-hush subject where everyone is hurting for someone or something. We're going to learn about cons, jailbirds, stoolies, lifers, new fish and politicians. Prison, the house of many doors."

"Send Me to the 'Lectric Chair" BESSIE SMITH
"Bessie Smith doesn't want to be in prison. She caught him with a trifling Jane. She cut him with her barlow knife. She kicked him in the side. She stood there laughing as he wallowed around and died. She admits it. She's nutso, crazy, unbalanced, unsound, loony, witless and wrong. She has a grave disorder of the mind that impairs her capacity to function normally in society."

"We got an email from Johnny Depp in Paris, France. He wants to know: 'Who was the founder of modern communism? Well Johnny, Karl Marx was the founder of modern communism. He also fathered seven children. Four of them survived to adulthood. His only son, Frederick Demuth, was illegimate. I wonder if he calls his daddy on Father's Day?"


steve said...

Hi Sam ,not sure if I emailed you this:


Jeff said...

It's interesting how Dylan has found a voice again on his radio program but has lost it on his latest two albums, Love and Theft and Modern Times. These consist mainly of derivative blues and waltzes with lyrics that don't have that trademark Dylan feel. As Robert Forster says in the October issue of The Monthly, maybe Dylan needs a producer such as Daniel Lanois on Time out of Mind in 1997 to free him up to bring the best out of his lyrics. Interestingly there are numerous production staff used on the Theme time radio shows.