BY GLENN WHIPP
Los Angeles Daily News
Billy Bob Thornton has a new album out. Before you get a shocked look on your face, he wants you to know he was a musician long before he took up acting.
The album, “Private Radio,” is Billy Bob alone. No famous friends show up, aside from his producer and collaborator, Marty Stuart.
Q When you go into a record store, where’s the first place you head?
A The first place I go is the As, not because it’s the first letter, but because it’s where the Allman Brothers are, and the Allman Brothers are my favorite band of all time. The funny thing is, I know every record. I’ve got them all. But for some reason I think that maybe by some miracle there’s something they put out that’s brand new that I didn’t hear about, some lost album.
Q Growing up in Arkansas, what kind of music did you listen to?
A We had one of those record players where you’d stack the records and they’d come down. My mother would play the same records every night. It’d be Ray Price, Jim Reeves, Elvis Presley, usually the “King Creole” album, my favorite, and Rod McKuen, the poet guy with the waves crashing and the birds chirping. Oh, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.
There used to be a radio station in Little Rock that would play the underground stuff like Mothers of Invention and also maybe like a whole side of an Allman Brothers record. These days, radio is so formatted that you don’t get to hear a bunch of musical styles on one station. That’s why people make their own CDs. They may want to hear Louis Armstrong and the Yardbirds, Hank Williams. . . .
Q Kind of like their own private radio?
A That’s partially what inspired the name of the album. There are a lot of different musical styles rolled into one on the record. I just keep doing what I enjoy and love and hope somebody likes it. If you liked “Sling Blade” or “A Simple Plan”, you’ll like the record. It’s made by the same guy.