Van Dyke Parks

Musical Artist

1943 –

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Who is Van Dyke Parks?

Van Dyke Parks is an American composer, arranger, record producer, instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, author, and actor. Parks is perhaps best known for his collaborations with musician Brian Wilson, and especially for his lyrical contributions to the Beach Boys' Smile project. Besides numerous collaborations with the Beach Boys, he has worked with such notable performers as Phil Ochs, Haruomi Hosono, The Byrds, Tim Buckley, Little Feat, Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus Wainwright, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Joanna Newsom, Grizzly Bear, Inara George, Silverchair, and Ringo Starr.

In addition to producing other artists, Parks has released several studio albums of his own recordings: Song Cycle, Discover America, Clang of the Yankee Reaper, Jump!, Tokyo Rose, Orange Crate Art, Songs Cycled, and one live album, Moonlighting: Live at the Ash Grove. Parks has also established himself in motion pictures, and over the years has directed, arranged, produced, and composed soundtracks for a great number of theatrical films and television shows. On occasion, he has even taken small acting roles.

Allmusic describes Parks as: "In a field where the term 'genius' is handed out freely, [he] is the real article. As a session musician, composer, arranger, lyricist, and singer, he's contributed significantly to several decades' worth of inimitable masterpieces credited to other artists, as well as generating two or three masterpieces of his own." In the years following his lyricism on the Beach Boys' Smile and his self-performed Song Cycle, Parks has amassed a cult following, along with great critical acclaim as a solo singer-songwriter and collaborator for various artists.

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Jan 3, 1943
Also known as
  • George Washington Brown
  • Maestro Van Dyke Parks
  • United States of America
  • American Boychoir School
Lived in
  • Hattiesburg

on July 23, 2013


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