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Theme Time Radio Hour

Theme Time Radio Hour, the Radio Program Recorded by Bob Dylan for 3 Years


Each program was a theme, each theme dozens of strange songs, all chosen and commented on by Dylan.

About to reach the age of 70, Bob Dylan gave the world a surprise when he emerged as an unexpected character: A radio DJ. The first episode of Theme Time Radio Hour was broadcast on May 3, 2006 on XM Satellite Radio and included no less than songs by Muddy Waters, Jimi Jendrix, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

It’s nighttime in the big city. Rain is falling. Fog rolls in from the waterfront. A night-shift nurse smokes the last cigarette in her pack,” the program began with the sexy voice of an anonymous woman. Listeners were then treated to an hour of refreshing musical gems with intermittent and beautiful commentaries from an old hound in a dream-like state.

Bob Dylan recorded three seasons and 100 programs, and in each of which he chose a theme (such as “cold”, “flowers”, “doctors” “whisky” and “the moon”) and transmitted his favorite songs in relation to them. Needless to say that the presenter is a great storyteller but also, throughout the programs, one can hear the fragment of a poem that comes into his head, advice for hanging towels in the bathroom or certain entertaining anecdotes about certain songs.

He once invited Tom Waits, for example, to present some of his songs with him, and the program turned into a surreal duet of gravel-voiced melancholy. But it was not sentimental, rather light and fun, mixing themes from cocktail recipes to divorce. Dylan thus created one of the best radio shows in history, which lasted for three years and offered music that is not often heard now (above all blues and hillbilly).

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