Van Dyke Parks makes his first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. For music fans who pay attention to album credits, Parks' name is something of a legend. As an arranger, songwriter, lyricist and musician, he's contributed to scores of famous works, from The Byrds, Sonny & Cher and Harry Nilsson to Vic Chesnutt, Little Feat and Ry Cooder. Most notable, though, was Parks' collaboration with The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, which resulted in the storied Smile album.
Sitting behind the piano, Parks plays an assortment of baroque Americana from throughout his career, including "Come Along" (a retelling of the story of Br'er Rabbit) and "Orange Crate Art," one of many songs he wrote for Brian Wilson. Parks' first new project in 15 years is a series of seven-inch vinyl singles which feature artwork by Ed Ruscha, Art Spiegelman and West Virginia native Billy Edd Wheeler, among others.
Parks is followed by Mountain Stage Band pianist Bob Thompson, with his unique take on the Whitney Houston classic "Saving All My Love for You."
This Mountain Stage performance was originally published on May 8, 2012.