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Transpacific Sound Paradise Options
Saturday, April 28, 2007 Options
Joe Boyd

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Joe Boyd is simply one of the great record producers of our time. His engaging new memoir, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s (Serpent’s Tail) revisits his early career, when he witnessed and / or participated in an incredible amount of musical history.

Joe Boyd is especially notable for his role in the British folk-rock scene of the late sixties, where among other things he mentored the brilliant but famously tormented singer / songwriter Nick Drake. But his career began road-managing blues, soul, and jazz tours; he booked the Pink Floyd as house band at his UFO club in London, stage-managed the Newport Folk Festival when Dylan plugged in, and later in his career ran the esteemed roots and world music label Hannibal Records.

Joe discusses why he decided to be a producer instead of a musician, and why (though born in Boston and raised in Princeton NJ) he chose England over the US. We hear about his work at the dawn of the British folk-rock scene with Fairport Convention and the Incredible String Band, connections between his early career and his later adventures producing world music for his own Hannibal, and lots more.

Joe Boyd home:

Publisher's page:

Special thanks: Meryl Zegarek, literary publicist extraordinaire (mz AT

This Week's Playlist:

(* = new)

Incredible String Band: Chinese White Options / The 5000 Spirits... / Elektra
Correction: I called the guimbri a "bowed" instrument when in fact it's a lute (from North Africa) that typically is plucked, not bowed. However - it WAS bowed on this recording!

Taprum Temple Ensemble: Houm Rong Options / Khmer Wedding Music / Taprum
Musicians with disabilities from Taprum Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Thanks to mom and dad for bringing the cd home from their vacation!

Ni Ni Win Shwe: My Darling's Love Arrow Options / Various Aritsts: Princess Nicotine / Sublime Frequencies

Shego Band: Dada Hamuda Options / Kabebey / MCM
Somali band from Toronto

Glykeria: Min Periminis Pla Options / Various Artists: Rough Guide Bellydance Cafe / World Music Network / *

Giannis Tatasopoulos: Ego Ime Options / Various Artists: Laika from the 60s Volume Four / GMV

Himzo Polovina: Dvore Gradi Komadina Mujo Options / Himzo Polovina / Jugoton

Selim Sesler: Gozyasi Options / Various Artists: Rough Guide Bellydance Cafe / World Music Network / *

Vusi Mahlasela: Tibida Waka Options / Guiding Star / ATO / *
With Derek Trucks

Aurelio Martinez: Tagarigu Nanigi Options / Garifuna Soul / Stonetree

Nick Drake: Pink Moon Options / Pink Moon / Hannibal

Joe Boyd:
Interview - begins after the Nick Drake song, approx 1 hour 5 minutes into the show and continues with music until about 2 hours 20 minutes into the show.

Eric Von Schmidt: Wasn't That A Mighty Storm Options / Various Artists: Troubadours of the Folk Era Volume 1 / Rhino

Fairport Convention: Matty Groves Options / Liege and Lief / A & M

Shirley Collins and Davy Graham: Reynardine Options / Folk Roots, New Routes / Topic
From the singing of A L Lloyd

Fairport Convention: A Sailor's Life Options / Unhalfbricking / Hannibal

Incredible String Band: The Mad Hatter's Song Options / The 5000 Spirits... / Elektra

Joe Boyd:
End of interview

Fairport Convention: Who Knows Where the Time Goes Options / Unhalfbricking / Hannibal

Yara Family: Shirarama Blues Options / Various Artists: Shima-Uta Pops / Polystar / *

Los 5-U-4: Baila, Ven Y Baila Options / Various Artists: Si, Para Usted / Waxing Deep / *

Cortijo: Sorongo Options / Various Artists: New York Latin Hustle! / Soul Jazz / *

Son 14: Fue el Rey de la Rumba Options / Venga Fiesta / Sonodisc

Rafi Malkiel: Gozambique Options / My Island / *
Music Bed

Rafi Malkiel: Black and Tan Fantasy Options / My Island / *

Hazmat Modine: Bahamut Options / Bahamut / Barbes

Kitenge: Odjali Na Mouchoir Options / Various Artists: Roots of Rumba Rock / Crammed Discs / *

Wganda Kenya: Elyoyo Options / Various Artists: Colombia! / Discos Fuentes / *

Listener comments!

  Sat. 4/28/07 9:03pm John L:

I was enthralled with the Joe Boyd interview. Thanks! I did have to wonder though where it was recorded. I could hear things thunking in the background, people talking, backing up beepers.
  Sat. 4/28/07 9:28pm Ellen:

My husband and I love Fairport, and listening to Joe Boyd was a treat. But my family (hubbie plus 2 girls) was ready to kill me 2 minutes into listening to that Incredible String Band song. Who was their vocalist?!
(We had to go back to listening to a Little Rascals music CD or I'd have been pitched outta the car.)
  Sun. 4/29/07 9:14am From Rob W, your host:

Responses on both points:

1 / Thanks John. The interview was recorded in the Gershwin hotel lobby (the only place we could do it as Joe was on his way out of town) so, yes, there's more background noise than would be ideal.

2 / Well Ellen, it was a tough choice but I felt for illustration purposes I wanted to use the song of the LP that best illustrated the adventurous instrumental choices of the Incredible String Band - but that did require stomaching some detuned vocals. That's the joy and horror of FMU - we are allowed to go there. You can always tune back in later, or fast-forward the archive! - RW
  Sun. 4/29/07 11:32am John L:


The ISB's most common vocalist was Robin Williamson. ALL his vocals sound like that! Sometimes it adds to the "specialness" of the music, other times I agree, it can be too hard to take. Listen to This Moment though for an ethereal treat. (Mostly the women backup singers.)


John L
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