UPDATED January 15, 2008 - Ace has now released a full track list for the compilation and has a link to the set on the Amazon UK Web site. It doesn't appear that Dylan's commentary is included.
Ace Records has announced that it will be releasing the first authorized CD compilation of TTRH on March 5, 2008. Grandpa Jones' Turn Your Radio On (featured on the Radio episode) will open the collection. Ace's announcement is below:
Ace are [sic] excited to announce the release of the authorised CD of music from award-winning XM music show “Theme Time Radio Hour with your host Bob Dylan” on March 5th 2008.The announcement leaves the question open as to whether Dylan's original commentary on the tracks will be included. Eddie Gorodetsky's involvement is a good sign, though. Ace is a British label, and there's also no word as to whether the compilation will be available in the U.S.
The compilation, a 2CD 50-track set, produced for reissue by “Theme Time Radio Hour” producer Eddie Gorodetsky and Ace’s own Roger Armstrong is based around the 828 tracks played in the 50 episodes of the first series.
The compilation represents the vast range of music played on the show, with a song list spanning ‘Papa’s On The Housetop’ by Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell recorded in 1930 to Mary Gauthier’s ‘I Drink’ recorded in 2005. Artists as diverse as The White Stripes, Grandpa Jones, Jerry Butler, The Clash, Memphis Minnie, Bobby Darin, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The Modern Lovers, Billie Holiday, George Jones, Bo Diddley, Alton Ellis, Louis Jordan, Santiago Jimenez, James Carr, Gerraint Watkins, Slim Gaillard, Otis Rush and many others sit happily side by side on this highly eclectic collection.
The package, designed by Phil Smee at Waldo’s Design and Dream Emporium, includes a fully illustrated 40-page book packed full of rare photographs and memorabilia alongside detailed notes on each track, by experts in each genre.
Bob Dylan's "Theme Time Radio Hour" debuted to popular and critical acclaim on XM Satellite Radio in May 2006, and was subsequently broadcast on both BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music. The Times described the show as “the most consistently entertaining hour on radio”, while The Observer noted, “The triumph of Dylan's show is that it really is unlike anything else you could hear, and as such is priceless." Among the show’s accomplishments of the past year, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum added the "baseball" episode of "Theme Time Radio Hour" to its archives in June 2006.
Bob Dylan is one of the world's most popular and acclaimed songwriters, musicians and performers, having sold over 100 million albums and performed thousands of shows around the world in a career spanning five decades. His newest album, “Modern Times”, has already sold more than two million copies, reaching the number one slot in 13 countries. The first volume of his memoirs, Chronicles, was one of the most acclaimed and best-selling non-fiction works of 2004, and 2005’s No Direction Home film, directed by Martin Scorsese, captivated audiences worldwide as it documented Dylan's early career and rise to fame.
Leave your radio on, though, and I'll provide updates as I find them.