Don Black on John Barry - Radio 4 - 2nd Jan

MI6MI6 Administrator
edited December 2011 in News Posts: 677
What: Don Black on John Barry: Beyond Bond
Date: Monday, 2nd January 2012
Time: 19:00

Lyricist Don Black shares personal memories of John Barry, one of the most celebrated film composers of his generation, who died last year.

Over five decades, John scored more than 125 films and won five Oscars, including the statuette he shared with Don for Born Free. Other magical collaborations included the Bond theme's Thunderball and Diamond's Are Forever, as well as a musical version of Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar.

Don remembers his first sighting of "a classy, elegant chap" on Tin Pan Alley, who ate "like a ballerina" and would despatch indebted film producers with his characteristic "Yorkshire bluntness". On their collaborations, he remembers Tom Jones fainting after the sustained end note of Thunderball, and a producer's dismissal of the "lousy tune" and "filthy lyrics" of Diamonds Are Forever.

We also hear about artistic differences during rehearsals for Billy Liar, and the complete failure of another musical, The Little Prince And The Aviator, which closed during preview. And Don recalls a memorable night at the home of Leslie Bricusse, when he, Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini and Burt Bacharach had to break up a fight, between Barry and John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas, after the comparatively diminutive composer challenged Phillips to hum something by Mahler.

This tribute is soundtracked by some of Barry's best loved compositions, including Born Free, Out Of Africa, The Ipcress File, Midnight Cowboy, Dances With Wolves, and several of those classic Bond themes.

<a href = ""; target = "_blank">Visit the BBC for more</a>


  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,350
    I wonder if Don will have a hand in the Skyfall theme?
  • Posts: 12,506
    if Arnold is still onboard i am sure he may put in a theme for consideration?
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    edited December 2011 Posts: 13,350
    Writing the lyrics for something he and Arnold write would be even better. Just look at Surrender.
Sign In or Register to comment.