Monday 22 January 2024

BOB DYLAN - Theme Time Radio with your host... *Special Post* #3

Originally I began this blog with a famous Dylan bootleg 'A Tree With Roots' and an associated email. During the blog life some of those posts have been officially released and were subsequently removed. I then included some additional posts to allow some leeway and ensure that the listing will be relevant for some time to come. 

For this special post #3 we return to Dylan but with a difference, Dylan is the disc jockey, this promo item was compiled by me some years ago. A celebration of Bob Dylan's DJ career on Theme Time Radio. It selects some of the best stories, guest spots, email replies and of course music that Bob played on his first series of the show.


Best of Volume 1

The Theme Time Radio shows have all been made available on the Internet.

This post is a promotional compilation of shows that I recorded from the BBC 6 music digital channel using a Sony minidisk separates deck. That means like the other circulating shows these are also lossy but at present this is the only audio format these shows are available in.

It gives you an idea of why these programmes were so well received and unlike the official compilation releases that spectacularly seem to have missed the point of the original shows; this compilation includes ALL of Bob’s comments and links between songs, including the show’s introduction by Ellen Barkin.

If you want to hear what is so special about these shows, download and listen to the in-between song links for Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind” and the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem’s “Whiskey You’re The Devil”

Best Of Volume 1 is compiled from some of the early shows from series one:

#1 Weather

#2 Mother

#3 Drinking

#5 Coffee



 1.  MUDDY WATERS - Blow Wind Blow

 2.  JOE JONES - California Sun

 3.  JIMI HENDRIX - The Wind Cries Mary

 4.  IRMA THOMAS - It’s Raining

 5.  SLIM HARPO - Rainin’ In My Heart

 6.  FATS DOMINO - Let The Four Winds Blow

 7.  STEVIE WONDER - A Place In The Sun

 8.  FRANK SINATRA - Summer Wind 

 9.  JAN BRADLEY - Mama Didn’t Lie

 10. MEMPHIS SLIM - Mother Earth

 11. LL COOL J - Mama Said Knock You Out

 12. ROLLING STONES - Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In The   


 13. MARY GAUTHIER - I Drink

 14. JIMMY ROGERS - Sloppy Drunk

 15. JOHN LEE HOOKER - One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

 16. CLANCY BROS. & TOMMY MAKEM - Whiskey You’re The Devil

 17. SQUEEZE - Black Coffee In Bed

 18. OTIS REDDING - Cigarettes And Coffee

 19. LIGHTNIN’ HOPKINS - Coffee Blues

 20. BOBBY DARIN - Black Coffee

 21. ELLA MAE MORSE - Forty Cups Of Coffee

The first episode of Theme Time Radio hour was broadcast May 3, 2006 on of XM Satellite Radio, a subscription-based satellite radio service. From 2006 to 2008 AOL Radio offered the show on broadband Internet connection.

Season 3 finished with the 100th show appropriately “Goodbye”, on April 15, 2009.

There were 101 shows, but 'Kiss' was an unbroadcast programme.

The original versions circulating on the Internet are from these satellite or streaming web broadcasts. Series one of the programmes aired in the UK from Christmas 2006 on through 2007. The first three series are still available on the Pirate Bay.

The shows are streamed frequently on the net see:

or hear the first five episodes of series one here via a stream or download link:

If you just want to get a taste of what all the fuss was about, try my promo compilation here:


Below is a review of the first programme:

DJ Bob Dylan Plays Sinatra, Garland, Hendrix on XM Radio Show

By Rick Warner May 4, 2006

May 4 -- Growing up in the remote Iron Range of northern Minnesota, Bob Dylan was an avid radio listener. The songs, stories and news he heard from faraway places gave him a vital connection to the outside world.

"I was always fishing for something on the radio,'' he recalled in "Chronicles: Volume One,'' a memoir published in 2004. "Just like trains and bells, it was part of the soundtrack of my life.''

Dylan is now contributing to that soundtrack with his own weekly show on XM Satellite Radio. Called "Theme Time Radio Hour,'' it features an eclectic mix of music from Dylan's personal collection that revolves around a theme like cars, mothers or whiskey.

Yesterday's promising premiere focused on songs about weather, from Muddy Water’s "Blow Wind Blow'' and Jimi Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary'' to Judy Garland's "Come Rain or Come Shine'' and Frank Sinatra's "Summer Wind.'' The 18-song play list also included lesser-known performers like the Consolers ("After the Clouds Roll Away''), Sister Rosetta Tharpe ("Didn't It Rain''), Lord Beginner ("Jamaica Hurricane'') and Slim Harpo ("Rainin' in My Heart'').

Dylan must be the only disc jockey in the universe to play Dean Martin, the Prisonaires, Irma Thomas, Stevie Wonder (singing in Italian) and the Carter Family on the same show. Cousin Brucie, he's not. The show reflects Dylan's heterogeneous tastes; blues and jazz, country and gospel, folk and soul -- Dylan has assimilated almost every type of music and fused them into one of the most distinct and influential sounds of the rock era.

I'm sure lots of folks laughed when they heard Dylan was going to do a radio show. But this is no David Lee Roth gimmick, no washed-up rocker desperately trying to revive his career by becoming a DJ. (Roth was a flop as Howard Stern's replacement on CBS Radio, lasting only three months before getting fired.)

Dylan's passion for old-time radio, combined with his reverence toward American musical traditions, make this just the kind of niche program that fee-based satellite radio is made for. Sirius has Stern, Martha Stewart and Jimmy Buffett; XM's got Dylan, Oprah (coming in September) and Tom Petty.

The debut show opens with the sound of pouring rain, followed by a woman's film-noirish narration: "It's nighttime in the big city. Rain is falling. Fog rolls in from the waterfront. A night-shift nurse smokes the last cigarette in her pack.''

Dylan, in his gravelly, three-pack-a-day voice, describes the program as a conglomeration of "dreams, schemes and themes'' before introducing the first song by "the great Muddy Waters -- one of the ancients by now, whom all moderns prize.''

Before and after each song, Dylan offers tidbits and trivia that put the tunes in historical perspective. We're told that "You Are My Sunshine'' was written by former Louisiana Governor Jimmie Davis, that Elvis really wanted to be Dean Martin, that Judy Garland was from Minnesota, that Hendrix was "trying to write a Curtis Mayfield song'' when he composed "The Wind Cries Mary,'' and "Just Walkin' in the Rain'' was written by a Tennessee prisoner serving a 99-year sentence for rape.

"But, you know, for a black man in Tennessee in the '40s, rape could have meant just looking at a wrong white woman in a wrong way,'' Dylan reminds us.

Adding to the old-fashioned flavor are vintage radio jingles and sound effects. In future shows, Dylan will answer e-mails from fans and get contributions from guests like Elvis Costello, Charlie Sheen and Penn Jillette. I can't wait to hear what Sheen thinks of "Subterranean Homesick Blues.''

While the music alone is enough reason to listen, I'd like to hear more personal anecdotes and commentary from Dylan. Though he's notoriously inarticulate in interviews, Dylan can be a wonderful storyteller when he wants to be, as he proved in his memoir and the recent Martin Scorsese documentary "No Direction Home.''

How many DJs, after all, can pull off an introduction like one Dylan gives to Sinatra's "Summer Wind'' ? Backed by the sound of a whipping wind, Dylan paints a graphic picture of those "hot, dry Santa Anas'' that fuel raging wildfires in Southern California.

"It's hard for people who've not lived on the West Coast to realize how radical the Santa Ana figures in the local imagination,'' he growls. "West Coast weather is the weather of catastrophe. The Santa Ana winds are like the winds of the apocalypse. But the summer wind that Frank is singing about may be a little lighter. Come on in, Frank.''

And welcome, Bob, to the magical world of radio.


  1. What a great post - thanks so much, thebasement67!

    1. Cheers, nice to see this still getting hits - call it a promo for the series. Check the complete programmes out on the sites mentioned above