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The Clown
Airdate: 1957


Last Update: 02-08-2012

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Althought this is a Charles Mingus album, Jean Shepherd did the narration for 'The Clown' treack on this album. The creation of The Clown according to Charles Mingus: "I felt happy one day. I was playing a little tune on the iano that sounded happy. Then I hit a dissonance that sounded sad, and I realized that the song had to have two parts. The story as I told it to Jean Shepherd, is about a clown who tried to please people - like most jazz musicians do - but whom nobody liked until he was dead. My version of the story ended with the clown blowing fi brains out, with the people laughing and finally being pleased because they thought it was part of the act. I liked the way Jean changed the endin; it leaves more up to the listener." "We rehearsed once at my house, and then did it in the studio. His narration changed every time. He improvised within the story. As for the musicians, Jimmy [Jimmy Knepper - the trombone player] is the leader in this piece. We play around what he does. When we do a work in a place where we have no narration, Jimmy is the clown."
During an interview with Lois Nettleton, she told Doug McIntyre that she was present during the recording of The Clown and it was done "off the cuff."
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The Clown - Label

Airdate History ' - Original' date is earliest known broadcast)
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