For this New Year weekend, I'm delighted to present a two-part conversation with Don Black about his recent bestselling memoir The Sanest Guy in the Room, in whose success (as you'll hear) I was honored to play a very small part. Don talks about all kinds of things - from his stint in the hospital with Covid-19 to his friendship with a young Michael Jackson, whose first solo Number One he wrote. (That's Don and Jacko with Petula Clark and Sophia Loren above.)
Along the way we'll hear not only Don's big hits such as "Born Free" and "Diamonds Are Forever" but some lesser known items too, as recorded by everyone from Lulu, Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey to Kanye West, Van Morrison and The Smiths - via, of course, "the matchless Matt Monro".
To hear Part One of this On the Town special, simply click above. Part Two can be found here.
As to earlier forays through Don's catalogue, as I mention at the top of the show, you can find our fiftieth anniversary celebration of "Born Free" here; our exploration of Don's James Bond songs and his long collaboration with 007 composer John Barry here; and my essay on "To Sir with Love" here.
There's a whole cavalcade of musical delights over on our Netflix-style music home page, where you'll find easy-to-access live performances by everyone from Herman's Hermits to Liza Minnelli; Mark's interviews with Chuck Berry, Leonard Bernstein and Bananarama (just to riffle through the Bs); and audio documentaries on P G Wodehouse's songs, Simon after Garfunkel, and much more. We'll be adding to the archive in the months ahead, but, even as it is, we hope you'll find the new SteynOnline music home page a welcome respite from the woes of the world.