Monday 4/8/13 on KLED Live FM (91.1) www.KLEDLive.com 9AM (PST) & 9PM (PST)
The Underground Experience Presents A Special Re-Broadcast In Memory Of MR. ROBERT LINDEN!
Associate Director, Television Music at CBS Studios/Productions, Songwriter/Singer/Keyboardist at Zen Boogie, Manager, TV Music at CBS Paramount Network Television, Executive Assistant to VP, Legal/Business Affairs, University of Southern California, International Music School
Last April 2012, I had the pleasure of interviewing Robert in-studio. We had so much Fun like we knew each other for years. You will witness his soul and spirit unplugged.
Musical Artists Include: Al Jolson, Robert Linden, Zen Boogie, Arnold Garcia
Robert Linden, associate director of music at CBS Television Studios, died April 3 of leukemia. He was 57.
A memorial service was held at 10 a.m. April 7 at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles.
Donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society would be appreciated.
“Renaissance” Robert has had a many-faceted career with successful forays into Songwriting, Performance, Theatrical Producing, P.R., Teaching, Vocal Coaching, Music Administration and Music Supervision. Here’s a look-back into his musical side…
“A FAMILY AFFAIR”
(Robert talks about his “musical” childhood)
My earliest memories of music were“ listening over and over to my older brother Jeff’s old 45’s of Frank Sinatra, Patti Page, Sammy Davis Jr, The Rays, and so many others. After school, I often stayed with my aunt Frances and uncle Phil, whose Al Jolson LP’s I played endlessly (my aunt Frances was like a second mother to me growing up while my mom worked at the family’s restaurant business.)
I remember my dad buying one of those chord organ back in the 1960’s when I was a child (this was before synthesizers, remember) and would play and sing songs like “Lady of Spain” and “Mona Lisa”. Of course there was my middle brother Donald who could make me laugh endlessly by taking records and scratching and skipping across them (pretty ahead of his time, considering today that would probably qualify him as a hip-hop D.J.) At 8 Donald was studying piano –but what must have been exasperating for him was to see his 3-year-old little brother (me) jump up on the piano bench and play his lessons without ever having studied. Within a year, Donald gave up the piano, I took over and the rest is sibling rivalry. Donald was also as responsible as anyone for unwittingly turning me on to 60’s rock like Buffalo Springfield, Cream and Janis Joplin (I had already discovered the Beatles through my teenage cousin Judy and her friends and became hooked right from “Meet The Beatles”. )
I’ve been singing as long as I can remember (singing in school choirs from my elementary years through college) and although my mom claimed to be “tone-deaf” she allowed her 5-year-old son to try to teach her to sing and tell one note from another. All-in-all, I had a very unusually musical “non-musical upbringing”.
Those school choirs and choruses let to songwriting and bands in his teens. Although he studied theatre and classical music at USC, gaining a degree in Music Education, he immediately upon graduation fell into a life of songwriting and performing with some theatre producing thrown in betwixt and between. (He actually earned a living running two theatres in L.A. over a 6-year stretch in the late 80’s through the early 90’s, during which time he produced over 20 shows.) The death of his mother in 1995 brought most everything in his life to a crashing halt and when he finally re-emerged a year later, it was again music which proved to be his salvation. His unique and raw boogie blues piano style had already begun to draw attention and his songwriting began to become more refined. His musical influences began to come together to create a unique style which has been compared to everyone from Gershwin to Carole King and Elton John, and with a flavor that hints of styles from Classic Rock and Swing to Cabaret and even Musical Comedy.
“In truth, I’m probably all of that and none of that” Robert claims. “All those people and styles are definitely a part of who I am, but what it’s added up to in my music and style gets very hard to really pin down and describe- except to say that I like to have fun with my music and hope I tell stories that resonate for others. One of my dearest friends is the talented writer (now travel journalist) Judie Fein who was instrumental in my coming to embrace the importance of brevity and proper use of language in my songs. I’ve always lived for the proverbial ‘catchy tune’, which I know is sort of ‘tin pan alley-ish’, but is really true for me. It’s just as valid in Rock, Pop or Country music today as it was back in the 1930’s as popular music began to really evolve. I rarely try to be ‘cutting edge’ or write with a particular market or group in mind, which is probably why I see some of my songs being sung in different styles like Pop, R&B and Country simultaneously which quite a hoot and very flattering!”
“It’s also hard for me to nail down my influences since they’re so eclectic and varied. Different music, different composers affected me at different times and certainly affected my music as well. For example, I can recall being completely absorbed in the music and lyrics of songwriters and song-stylists like Carole King, James Taylor, Elton John, Dr. John, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce and Dan Fogelberg and composers like Mozart, Offenbach, Debussy, Ravel and Beethoven… but I can’t often tell you exactly where you’ll find their traces in my music… but they’re there!”
Robert has been called a “throwback to an earlier period of music” – with musical sensibilities that sometimes recall popular music from the 30’s and 40’s, the more swingy 50’s and bluesy 60’s and pop 70’s and 80’s, but with his own raw and unique boogie-blues flair and a far more contemporary lyrical flavor that is fired by his sardonic and sometimes edgy sense of the world around him… yet he can also set a romantic tone which seems to emanate from that same deep sensibility that is uniquely his.
“I’m just another story teller ” says he.
Broadcast # 168
Monday (4/8/13) 9am (PST) & 9pm (PST) at www.KLEDLive.com
Direct Links also on website: www.UltimateUnderground.com
Podcast will be available on iTunes. Podomatic and Website!