Van Dyke Parks
Volume 1

Van Dyke Parks Presents
The Mighty Sparrow
Hot and Sweet

Van Dyke Parks Presents
The Esso Trinidad
Steel Band

Van Dyke Parks
7" Singles Series

Van Dyke Parks on Van Dyke Parks

Established on January 3, 1943,
in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I'm the fourth son of a neurologist/psychiatrist, nurtured musically from the get-go.

My first instrument, the clarinet (using the Albert system). With that, I always sat first chair. My brothers played trumpet, French horn, and doublebarrel euphonium. Each Advent season, we hit the neighborhood with Noels.

I peaked in the '50s. At age nine, I boarded at the Columbus Boychoir School near Princeton, New Jersey, ushering in an intense musical immersion that lasted from 1952 to 1957. Princeton and surrounding woodlands were a rapture. In town, I sang 'Stille Nacht' for Einstein, who returned to the porch and played a lilting obligato. Read on...

Imaginary liner notes for VDP's recent recordings

These releases — six 45s with sleeve art by eminent artists — were Van Dyke Parks' first commercial solo recordings since the 1998 Warners album Moonlighting: Live at the Ash Grove, and return the listener to a last-century experience: listening to a song, studying the sleeve art, and getting up to flip the record. Here is true high-fidelity: the superior sound of music on vinyl, and the work of a musician following his own idiosyncratic path. Read more...