Happy Birthday: Van Dyke Parks
Today we celebrate the birthday of one of America’s most underrated songwriters, an unheralded solo artist, and an all-around great musician and producer: Van Dyke Parks.
Back in 2018, we put together a playlist featuring 20 songs from within the Rhino catalog that Parks either played on, helped write, or produced in some capacity, and we also offered up a six-pack of additional Parks-connected tracks from other labels. This time around, we’ve bypassed doing a new six-pack, but that’s only because we’ve constructed an all-new playlist, one which contains 50 – count ‘em – 50 tracks that our man Van Dyke either played on, helped write, or produced in some capacity, and it’s filled with some names that you may not immediately associate with Mr. Parks.
• Tim Buckley
• The Chills
• Jimmy Cliff
• Judy Collins
• Ry Cooder
• The Everly Brothers
• Gordon Lightfoot
• Randy Newman
• Saint Etienne
• Carly Simon
If there’s not at least one or two names in that list which made you go, “Say what?” we’d be very surprised.
Before we leave you to the playlist, we did want to offer up one song that was released on Reprise Records but which isn’t on Spotify, and we offer it as much because we’d like to see it reissued officially as we do because it’s one of the more unlikely collaborations within Van Dyke Parks’ discography.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Goldie Hawn:
Yes, she still makes our heart go pitta patta, too...