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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Theme Time Radio Hour CDs - The List

A reader/listener wrote to Dreamtime recently asking if there were any "official" releases of Theme Time on CD, which got your host studying on the subject last night. As far as I know there are at least four different TTRH-related CDs either available, or soon to be available - all with different degrees of "officialness," I guess. In no particular order, those are:

Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan

From Ace Records U.K. To be released February 26, 2008. Available in the U.S. as an import from Amazon, or from Amazon. U.K. 50 tracks 2-CD set representing an excellent overview of the TTRH playlist. The full track list can be found here. Dylan's commentary is not included.

Ace claims this as the "authorized" TTRH compilation, done in conjunction with Theme Time producer Eddie Gorodetsky. The set is advertised as coming with a 40-page book of photographs, illustrations, and liner notes.

As a piece of trivia - which is what Dreamtime is all about after all - The Ace promotional copy notes that 828 songs were played on Theme Time in Season 1.


From ISIS Magazine. Available now. 2-CD 52-track set (one track from each TRRH show of Season 1, plus two extra songs from the Time and Hair episodes). Comes with 16-page booklet. Track list can be found at the link above. Dylan's commentary is not included.

Can be ordered through ISIS (see link above) or from Amazon U.K.

To editorialize, I suspect this not-quite-a-bootleg release is what prompted the "authorized" version. As far as I can determine, no one from TTRH was involved in its creation, and the track list relies heavily on artists whose music is out-of-copyright, at least in the U.K.

Radio Bob: 15 Brilliant Tracks from Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour

A promotional CD that came with the 10th anniversary issue of Uncut magazine in 2007. Track list:

1 - Dave Alvin - Fourth of July
2 - Hank Williams - My Son Calls Another Man Daddy
3 - Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - The Big Guns
4 - Sonny Boy Williamson - Pontiac Blues
5 - Sexsmith & Kerr - Raindrops in My Coffee
6 - Bukka White - Fixin' to Die
7 - Laura Cantrell - When The Roses Bloom Again
8 - Blind Willie Johnson - John the Revelator
9 - The Detroit Cobras - Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat)
10- Robert Johnson - Me and the Devil Blues
11 - Mary Gauthier - I Drink
12 - Elmore James - Talk to Me Baby
13 - John Prine - Christmas in Prison
14 - Muddy Waters - Blow Wind Blow
15 - Richard & Linda Thompson - Shoot Out the Lights

No Dylan commentary. Not available in stores. Best way of tracking this one down is probably through eBay, where it can be found relatively cheaply. Nice compilation of music even without the TTRH connection, and it contains, as Dylan noted in Season 2, the first artist played on Theme Time: Muddy Waters and Blow Wind Blow.

Baseball: Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan

As close as we're likely to get to an "official" Theme Time release anytime soon. This was a promotional CD never, as the saying goes, sold in stores.

As with the Uncut CD, it can regularly be found on eBay and Amazon, sometimes at ridiculous prices, more often at prices more reasonable.

The complete Episode 4 of Season 1 first broadcast May 2006, including Dylan commentary. Track list:

* Take Me Out To The Ball Game - Bob Dylan
* Take Me Out To The Ball Game - The Skeletons
* Baseball Boogie - Mabel Scott
* Home Run - Chance Halladay
* Baseball Baby - Johnny Darling
* Baseball Canto - Lawrence Ferlinghetti
* Three Strikes And You're Out - Cowboy Copas
* The Ball Game - Sister Wynona Carr
* Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball - Buddy Johnson
* Joltin' Joe DiMaggio - Les Brown & His Orchestra (with Betty Bonney)
* Joe DiMaggio's Done It Again - Billy Bragg & Wilco
* Don Newcomb Really Throws That Ball - Teddy Brannon Orchestra
* Newk's Fadeaway - Sonny Rollins
* Say Hey - The Treniers
* The Wizard Of Oz - Sam Bush
* 3rd Base, Dodger Stadium - Ry Cooder
* Heart - Damn Yankees (Original Broadway Cast)

If you have an objection to "unofficial" collections of Theme Time, and want to give someone a taste of what the show is all about, this one is the one to get.

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