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Clip: DJ Bob Dylan

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  • Carl Z.
    Focus is on Dylan in satellite radio debut May 4, 2006 BY DAVE HOEKSTRA Staff Reporter Bob
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2006
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      Focus is on Dylan in satellite radio debut

      May 4, 2006

      BY DAVE HOEKSTRA Staff Reporter

      Bob Dylan grew up under the big skies of rural Minnesota. On a clear
      night through a tiny radio, he listened to American music on distant
      50,000-watt stations. He embraced the rebel vibrations of Sun Records
      in Memphis and was hypnotized by the tremolo guitar of Roebuck "Pops"
      Staples in Mississippi. The radio was a window to a world he had to

      He saw it. Now you can hear it.

      "Theme Time Radio Hour With Your Host Bob Dylan" debuted Wednesday on
      XM Satellite Radio (Channel 40, Deep Tracks). The hourlong show is a
      collection of musical postcards from Dylan's journey through life.

      Each show is themed, and Dylan, 65, introduces songs with colorful
      insight. Wednesday's debut was "The Weather," and his playlist
      included Muddy Waters' "Blow Wind Blow," Lord Beginner's "Jamaica
      Hurricane" and the Staple Singers' "Uncloudy Day." When Dylan
      introduced Slim Harpo's "Raining in My Heart," he said, "Slim wrote a
      bunch of these songs with his wife, Lavelle." Then he cracked up
      laughing, adding, "Boy, I wish I had a wife like that to help me write

      The debut show also featured drop-in radio jingles from "WSBA -- Your
      Place in the Sun!" (from Harrisburg, Pa.), ambient thunder and wind
      sounds, and a shout-out from comedienne Sarah Silverman.

      Next Wednesday, Dylan celebrates "Mother's Day," and expect a future
      show of drinking songs.

      'You don't have to shovel it'

      Lee Abrams, XM chief creative programming officer, spent two years
      negotiating the deal with Dylan. On his blog, he reported that Dylan
      owns "something like 12 XM radios" and that one of Dylan's favorite XM
      stations is Hank's Place, a station that plays old country music
      against a honky-tonk backdrop with beer bottle caps busting in the

      As a DJ, Dylan hams it up with his trademark bent phrasing,
      introducing Muddy Waters from "the windy city of Chic-cog-oooo" and
      reminding listeners how much Elvis wanted to be "Deeeeeeean" before
      playing "I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine" by Dean Martin with Paul
      Weston and the Dixieland Eight. He actually closed out the show this
      way: "Until next week, you are all my sunshine. If you think the
      summer sun is too hot, just remember at least you don't have to shovel

      And, yes: You can understand Dylan on radio better than you can in concert.

      The show's main challenge will be to keep the music as fascinating as
      its host. Dylan, in recent years, has been slowly emerging from his
      cocoon, and people latch on to what he has to say. On Wednesday, Dylan
      introduced Jimi Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" by suggesting that
      Hendrix was attempting to write a Curtis Mayfield song. After Dylan
      finished talking, it was easy to tune out the Hendrix tune we've heard
      a thousand times.

      "Yes, initially people are going to focus on the novelty of Bob Dylan
      talking," Abrams said Wednesday from his XM office in Washington, D.C.
      "But as the show progresses, people will get used to that and focus on
      the whole show."

      Making less than Stern

      "Theme Time Radio Hour" is produced by Eddie Gorodetsky, a longtime
      player in Dylan's camp. Gorodetsky is a former writer for "Saturday
      Night Live" and appeared in Dylan's 2003 cut-and-paste film "Masked
      and Anonymous." Gorodetsky secures the old radio jingles and air

      Abrams, 54, grew up on Chicago radio in suburban Homewood-Flossmoor.
      "The shows are produced more like a movie," he said, "with pieces
      being put together instead of sitting them in a studio and saying,
      'Hey Bob, you've got an hour to do your show.' I know he had a DAT
      player when he was in New Orleans and Memphis [last week]. I'm sure he
      recorded people. It may have been some guy in a diner or another
      artist. He's collecting pieces of sound that fit into the themes. He
      might do some shows completely live. It is all up to him."

      Abrams would not discuss terms of the multiyear deal. He did say Dylan
      is being paid less than Howard Stern on Sirius ($500 million for a
      five-year deal).

      "Theme Time Radio Hour With Your Host Bob Dylan" is encored at 5 p.m.
      Friday and 7 p.m. Sunday on Deep Tracks, XM 40. The show also appears
      at 7 p.m. Monday, 4 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. Wednesday and 4 a.m. and 10
      a.m. Monday on The Village, XM 15. Complete track lists from each show
      are posted at www.xmradio .com/bobdylan. Fans can also e-mail
      questions and music requests to Bob Dylan through
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