Radio Richard | Richard Niles Podcast

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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