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Van Dyke Parks
Born 1943 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Parks has spent over 40 years in a music. He attended the American Boychoir School in Princeton, N.J. He first studied clarinet. He spent two years at Public School, and studied piano at Carnegie Inst, where he went on to major in music, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,'60-'63.
His first artist contract was at MGM Records in '64. He signed at Warner Brothers in '66, after working as lyricist for Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. At Warner Brothers he produced the first records of Randy Newman and Ry Cooder, among others. His own albums are: "Song Cycle" ('67); " Discover America" ('71); "Clang of the Yankee Reaper ('76); "Jump" ('82); "Tokyo Rose" ('90); "Orange Crate Art" ('95). "Moonlighting" ('97)Other productions are "Phil Ochs' Greatest Hits" on A&M, "The Mighty Sparrow/Hot & Sweet", and "The Esso Trinidad Steelband" on W. B. (best ethnic/traditional Grammy, 1971). He pioneered an audio/visual department at Warner Brothers' Records in 1971--- the first of its kind to film music videos for record promotion.
Aaron Neville, Meryl Streep, The Everly Brothers, U2, Three Dog Night, Peter Ivers, Natalie Cole, Carly Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Jennifer Warnes (Grammy nomination, best vocal arr., '87), Leo Kottke, Tim Buckley, Peter Case, Judy Collins, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Ochs, Ry Cooder, Cher, Arlo Guthrie, Sam Phillips, Steve Young, Victoria Williams, Stan Ridgway, Lowell George and Little Feat, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Kathy Dalton, Kinky Friedman, Harry Nilsson, Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Syd Straw, Toad the Wet Sprocket, the Rembrandts, Randy Newman, T Bone Burnett, Tango Argentino, Eliza Carthy, The Buena Vista Social Club, and Eliza Gilkyson. On keyboard, his credits include the Byrds, Keith Moon, and Grateful Dead albums.
Film and Television Scores:
His first T.V. score was "Chesapeake Borne" for the National Geographic Society. His most recent in this genre "Polar Bears/Season of Fear" for ABC TV Wide World of Discovery. Series scores include The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Theatre, Fairy Tale Theatre, "The Marshal" (ABC TV series), Hallmark Hall of Fame and Movies of the Week.
His first feature soundtrack was "Goin' South", directed by Jack Nicholson in 1978. His scoring credits include the sequel to "China Town" ("Two Jakes").Other soundtracks include: Capote's "One Christmas", directed by Tony Bill; "Wild Bill", with Jeff Bridges, directed by Walter Hill; "Club Paradise" with Robin Williams; "Bastard Out of Carolina" with Jennifer Jason Leigh/Lyle Lovett, (directed by Anjelica Huston and honored at the Cannes Festival). He wrote three songs for Disney's "The Brave Little Toaster". Most recent work includes "Shadrach" with Harvey Keitel & Andie MacDowell, and "Harland County" with Holly Hunter.
Three childrens' books published by Harcourt Brace Javonovich: Jump (with Malcolm Jones); Jump Again; and Jump on Over. The ISBN (order #s) are:015-241-3502; 015-241-3529; 015-241-3545. Adapted tales of Br'er Rabbit, they are superbly illustrated by Barry Moser. "Mark Twain called these stories 'Our most precious piece of stolen goods!'". The New York Times: "---these books are racially irreproachable"-- Jump was cited "best illustrated childrens' book of the year". Re-issued in paperback '97, It's ISBN (order #) is: 0-15-201-493-4.
Credits include: "Mother Courage" by Brecht (Boston Shakespeare Theatre- Linda Hunt & Brian Doyle Murray); "Henry IV Part II" (Kennedy Center- Patti laPone & Wm. Hurt); additional music for "The Triumph of Love", on Broadway.
Parks lives with his family in Los Angeles.
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