John Barry: the 1992 Interview

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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Millions of listeners have thrilled to the film music of John Barry. His scores for the early James Bond movies, and his Oscar-winning music for Dances With Wolves, Born Free, Lion In Winter and Out of Africa are examples of his distinctive, powerful work. John Barry died a week ago, January 30, 2011.

In 1992 he joined host David Garland on the WNYC show Spinning On Air for a pair of hour-long shows, speaking eloquently, insightfully, and in-depth about his approach to composing for film. Tonight David presents lots of Barry's music, with highlights from those conversations, in which Barry talks about his early interest in movies, his love of composing dramatic music, and much more, including his story behind the James Bond theme.

Comments [5]

Pino from Manchester

In response to David, a few corrections-
1. Monty Norman did not sue John Barry, he sued the Sunday Times. 2. Monty Norman's Bad Sign,Good Sign is a 1990's recording of what Norman 'claimed' the James Bond Theme was based on. Norman had no 1960's musical manuscript or recording of what we know as the James Bond Theme. 3. On the Dr.No soundtrack cd, Track 1 is 'James Bond Theme' performed by the John Barry Orchestra (the version everyone knows). Track 17 is 'The James Bond Theme' performed by the Monty Norman Orchestra (and nothing like the version everyone knows) ?????

Oct. 19 2011 11:01 AM
olya from basking ridge NJ

thanks so much for the walk down memory lane. Growing up as a 'baby boomer' his music and the movie-going experience went hand in hand. and his talent definitely put a stamp on the music/films that were memorable. Ah, bah humbug about the Bond theme. As I understand it, he was asked to 'resurrect' it and apply it to the bond movie that was coming out. Both should have shared in the royalties for that!

Feb. 06 2011 09:07 PM
rj from local

When I go to the tag for the original interview shows, I get the screen but when I click on "listen," although I then get the box that usually streams the archived material, nothing happens. Complete silence. Any ideas? I would like to listen to all the original interviews.

Feb. 06 2011 06:26 PM

Barry's story behind the James Bond Theme is just that—a story. Listen to the Monty Norman song Bad Sign, Good Sign:

and then ask yourself if John Barry wrote the entire James Bond Theme. Here's Monty Norman's version of the story:

In all probability, Barry wrote the bridge to the James Bond Theme and obviously wrote the arrangement. But to claim that Monty Norman had no contribution to the James Bond Theme is dishonest. Perhaps that's why Norman sued Barry and won.

Feb. 05 2011 10:10 PM
Marc Cerasini from New York City

A delight to hear John Barry's music on the radio.

My personal favorite Barry score was composed for James Clavell's The Last Valley, 1971) . Barry's martial themes are wonderfully contrasted with the religious (the film is about the Thirty Years War) and the poignancy of the final scene is lifted to high tragedy by Barry's music.

Feb. 05 2011 09:39 PM

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