Radio Richard - Richard Niles Podcast
MUSICIAN’S FUNNIES 01 - RICHARD NILES laughs with JOHN ALTMAN

MUSICIAN’S FUNNIES 01 - RICHARD NILES laughs with JOHN ALTMAN

June 14, 2021

When musicians get together, they tell funny stories about all the ridiculous, amusing, surprising, crazy, psycho things that happen to them – while they’re trying to make a living. So here is a new series of interviews, MUSICIAN’S FUNNIES  on Radio Richard where you get to listen in and giggle along to those conversations.

Film composer (James Bond, Monty Python), arranger (Tina Turner, Bjork) and jazz saxophonist John Altman has more stories than a barrel of monkeys and an encyclopedic knowledge of musicians and recordings dating back beyond the dawn of mankind!

Join us in the funny business! This is killer stuff and you only get this with Radio Richard!
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“MUSICIAN’S FUNNIES Theme” ©2021Niles Smiles Music (BMI)

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GARY SINISE Interview (and DANNY GOTTLIEB)

GARY SINISE Interview (and DANNY GOTTLIEB)

June 9, 2021

Thanks to all my Radio Richard listeners and today I have a special treat for you, my 2010 interview with Gary Sinise. star of stage and screen, well-loved for his many film roles such as Apollo 13, Forest Gump, and of course as the rugged Detective Mac Taylor in CSI: New York!!!”

It’s easy to put people in convenient little boxes, but some people have more than one talent. Not only is Gary Sinise a superb actor and an actual movie star, he’s a rockin’, funky-butt bass player!! For this interview , I drove out to 29 Palms Marine Base in the middle of the Mojave desert. he not only talks about his acting but also shows why music is so important to him. After 9/11 he felt compelled to do something to help the soldiers risking their lives all over the globe. He formed The Lieutenant DAN BAND, a big 16-piece showband that travels all over the world bringing entertainment and a taste of home to American soldiers. On the very windy airfield in the dry but nevertheless picturesque area beloved by lizards and cacti, I asked Gary how he got his start in music.

The Lt. Dan Band is of course named after the wounded soldier Gary plays in the movie Forest Gump. The band features some great musicians including acclaimed drummer Danny Gottlieb who’s played not only with Pat Metheny Group, but with John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock and The Blues Brothers Band! I asked my old buddy Danny Gottlieb about working with Gary on this project.

You cannot get this content ANYWHERE else. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel and don’t miss one episode. For musicians and music lovers, THIS is the podcast that makes you laugh and think – at the same time!

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“Radio Richard Theme” ©2021 Niles Smiles Music sung by the Free Play Duo.

STEVE ROWLAND Interview 1

STEVE ROWLAND Interview 1

June 1, 2021

Actor, singer and record producer Steve Rowland has had an incredible career by any standards. As a teenager he qualified for the Olympics as a diver.  When an accident ended that, he burst into 1950s as an actor and singer with a family full of Hollywood royalty. His father was Roy Rowland, a successful director and his mother Ruth a respected writer. Her uncle was feared mogul Louis B. Mayer. Steve’s uncle was director/producer Jack Cummings. He also became a gossip columnist for a number of Hollywood fan mags because of the friends he hung out with – Robert Wagner, Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds, Sal Mineo, Dorothy Provine, Tuesday Weld, Bob Mitchum and his son Jim, Ed ‘Kookie’ Burns and Jimmy Dean. Steve’s band played to packed houses and he started getting parts in the new TV industry, (The Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive) while doing films like “Crime in the Streets” and “The Thin Red Line” . Getting a part in “Battle of the Bulge” with Henry Fonda took Steve to Spain where he stayed to form a successful band, Los Flaps. From there, he moved to London to become a record producer of many hits for Dave Dee Dozy Mick and Titch, The Herd, P.J. Proby, The Pretty Things, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rodriguez and his own group The Family Dogg. Later as a producer for Hansa/Ariola I was his arranger for the hit “I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper” (where I discovered Sara Brightman).

This interview is a rare look into life in Hollywood in the 40s and 50s and Part II will cover London in the Swingin’ Sixties. Have fun with Steve – I did!

This is killer stuff and you only get this with Radio Richard.

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“Radio Richard Theme” ©2021 Niles Smiles Music (BMI) sung by Free Play Duo

HB BARNUM Interview

HB BARNUM Interview

May 27, 2021

Legendary Arranger/Producer H.B.Barnum has been successful in every decade since the 1950s. Although working for the FBI (!), he became a singer in doo-wop groups the Dootones and the Robins, also working as an A&R man. The multi-instrumentalist decided to concentrate on music when he had a hit with “Pink Shoelaces” (Dodie Stevens). He arranged for Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, Motown – The Supremes, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Smoky Robinson “Shop Around”. He arranged both Lou Rawls’ and Gladys Knight’s versions of “Help Me Make It Through The Night” – and Ann Margaret, Barry White, P Diddy and Phil Collins. He also arranged for Count Basie, Stan Kenton and Duke Ellington. He was Musical Director for Aretha Franklin for 40 years.

All this from a man who told me he “never wanted to be a musician”. 

Enjoy this rare 2006 interview in HB’s noisy office. This is killer stuff and you only get this with Radio Richard.
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Radio Richard Theme” ©2021 Niles Smiles Music (BMI) sung by the Free Play Duo

RAY RUSSELL Interview

RAY RUSSELL Interview

May 23, 2021

Ray is well respected both as a top studio guitarist and a jazz player working with a host of stars from pop and rock (David Bowie, Phil Collins, Art Garfunkel, Lulu, George Martin, Heaven 17, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Phil Spector, Scott Walker, Andy Williams and Tina Turner), as well as jazz (Mo Foster, Anthony Jackson, Gary Moore, Simon Phillips, John Barry, Gil Evans, Michael Gibbs and RMS). He is also a composer well-known for his work on shows such as  A Touch of FrostBergeracPlain JaneA Bit of a DoRich Tea and SympathyThe Inspector Alleyn MysteriesDangerfield and Grafters. He was the guitarist in the successful Rock Follies TV series.

Enjoy a trip through 50 years of music history with rockin’ Ray Russell!

This is killer stuff and you only get this with Radio Richard.
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Radio Richard Theme ©Niles Smiles Music 2021 sung by Free Play Duo.

BLUE WEAVER Interview

BLUE WEAVER Interview

May 20, 2021

Amen Corner. Fairweather. The Strawbs. Mott The Hoople. Pet Shop Boys. The Bee Gees. The Strawbs again! The very nice (and Welsh) keyboardist, composer, producer BLUE WEAVER talks about his amazing career with stories about Jimi Hendrix, Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman told in passing. Bleu shows you the working process of the professional musician from the inside. This is the guy who helped the Bee Gees create their new sound on records like  “Jive Talking” , “You Should Be Dancing” and “Night Fever” And he explains how he produced the new STRAWBS album.

Don’t miss any more great interviews!
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Radio Richard Theme ©2021 Niles Smiles Music (BMI) sung by Free Play Duo.

AL Di MEOLA Interview and Performance

AL Di MEOLA Interview and Performance

May 16, 2021

Award winning guitar virtuoso Al Di Meola visited my home studio for an interview that will be a special treat to guitarists and music lovers. He spoke about how he developed his music, his explorations in sound and his love of Latin music. He also played two beautiful pieces from his (then) new album Flesh on Flesh (2002) live on acoustic guitar. [There is also an amusing moment when we talk of the amazing new development – SATTELITE RADIO!]

This is a unique masterclass from a monster musician and all ‘round nice guy.

This is killer stuff and you only get this with Radio Richard.
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“Radio Richard Sting” ©2021Niles Smiles Music (BMI) sung by Free Play Duo, Dylan Bell & Suba Sankaran

MICHAEL GIBBS Interview 1

MICHAEL GIBBS Interview 1

May 14, 2021

Michael Gibbs is one of the most innovative composers in jazz working with Gary Burton, Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Whitney Houston, George Martin, Elton John, Sting, Peter Gabriel and John Scofield. He was my composition teacher at the Berklee College of Music (1974-5) and I played in his band (which I named) The Only Chrome Waterfall Orchestra. He is interviewed and his music analyzed  in my book “The Invisible Artist”. I cannot say that his work is influential because his style so unique it is virtually impossible to copy. He is a wonderfully charming fellow, so enjoy our conversation at my studio in London (2010). The studio was in the garden, so the birds you hear were real, not samples.

 

This is killer stuff and you only get this with Radio Richard.
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Radio Richard Theme ©Niles Smiles Music 2021 sung by Free Play Duo.

JOHN THIRKELL Interview

JOHN THIRKELL Interview

May 10, 2021

What a pleasure to introduce you to my friend and colleague for over 40 years, JOHN THIRKELL. Here comes TRUMPET WOW!!!

Why ‘wow’?

Pop: Bruno Mars, David Bowie, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys, Jamiroquoi, Swing Out Sister, Tina Turner, Clapton, Bon Jovi, Phill Collins… Jazz: Ray Charles, Buddy Rich, Phil Collins, “Through the 1980s and early 1990s he was on at least one album in the UK Charts continuously, without a break, for over 13 years. In 2009 he had two consecutive UK No.1 singles (Pixie Lott) was the first person to be inducted into the Musician's Union "Hall of Fame." In 2020 he scored his 25th No.1 (BTS)”

And at the end, we play a beautiful version of “Secret Love” (Fain Webster) ©Alfred Music Publishing

This is killer stuff and you only get this with Radio Richard.
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Radio Richard Theme ©2021 Niles Smiles Music sung by Free Play Duo.

JIMMIE HASKELL Interview - Part 2

JIMMIE HASKELL Interview - Part 2

May 8, 2021

I’ve never met anyone who I instantly liked as much as Jimmie Haskell. You can tell from the way we’re joking around in this 2002 interview that there was an instant rapport. In my book, “The Invisible Artist” I refer to his “gentle, understated sense of humor”. I ‘got’ him and he liked that I ‘got’ him. And respected him.

Haskell was successful as an arranger and producer from the late 1950’s starting out with Ricky Nelson to working with artists such as Sheryl Crow. His impressive credits include work with Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand, Blondie, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Simon & Garfunkel (a Grammy for “Bridge Over Troubled Water”), The Bee Gees, Chicago (another Grammy for “If You Leave Me Now”), Bobbie Gentry (yet another Grammy for “Ballad of Billie Jo”), Bobby Darin, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Doobie Brothers, Jose Feliciano, Laura Nyro, Gladys Knight, Barry Manilow and Michael Jackson. The stats: Grammy Awards (3), Emmy Awards (1 and 4 nominations), composer for 31 feature films, 32 TV movies and 445 TV episodes. Arranger and/or producer for more than 132 gold and platinum hits.

This 2nd Part continues talking about Bobbie Gentry and moves on to stories about Barry Manilow and Burt Bacharach. Haskell explains how his professional attitude and deep musicality enabled him to work on virtually any kind of music. As Arif Mardin told me, “If you’re looking for craft, you have to look to Jimmie Haskell.”

This is killer stuff and you only get this with Radio Richard.
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Radio Richard Theme ©Niles Smiles Music 2021 sung by Free Play Duo. End music ©Niles Smiles Music 2021

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