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Mr. French does Dylan


 

Random hit-and-run YouTube clips of weird things are normally best left to Twitter in this 140-character age, but I can’t resist bringing this one in: Sebastian Cabot (Mr. French from Family Affair, Bagheera from The Jungle Book and the narrator of Winnie the Pooh) cut an album in the late ’60s where he performed spoken-word renditions of Bob Dylan songs. Unlike Shatner, he stuck to one songwriter, and tried to inject some humour into his dramatic readings of folk-pop lyrics. But it’s still one of the stranger albums of a golden age for strange albums, particularly because Cabot adopts an accent that is somewhere between his native England and his adopted home of America. Also, the chamber-music accompaniments are a bit odd.

“Like a Rolling Stone”:

“It Ain’t Me, Babe”

This whole album isn’t nearly as weird as Paul Frees’ album from a few years later, where he recites a series of contemporary pop songs in the voices of various classic movie stars. But that’s another story.


 
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Mr. French does Dylan

  1. Nobody remembers this, but when Sebastian Cabot first started acting in the USA, he sold himself as a dialectician. Many of his early TV appearances were in westerns, playing tough ranchers and town bosses. It was only when he scored the character lead in CHECKMATE that Cabot became a professional Englishman – and in typical Hollywood fashion, he was nothing else from then on.
    And that may be the reason he did this album.

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