Michael Silverblatt recently interviewed Van Dyke Parks on KCRW’s Bookworm . A sample:
“I don’t draw any distinction between the stuff that has my name on the banner or something that I might do anonymously to help someone else in their album effort. It’s all the same to me. . . . Someone asked [Henry Busse] once about who would be billed on the marquee. He said, ‘I don’t eat light bulbs.’ And that’s the way I feel about it.”Trumpeter and bandleader Henry Busse co-wrote “Wang Wang Blues.” On tour in Europe with Paul Whiteman, he came across Robert Katscher’s song “Madonna, du bist schöner als der Sonnenschein,” which became “When Day Is Done” (with English lyrics by Buddy DeSylva). Busse played cornet on the Whiteman hit recording. Elaine and I swing that song like crazy, violin and guitar, though we’d never heard of Henry Busse. To borrow from an old commercial: When Van Dyke Parks talks, people learn stuff.