Dory Previn died on Valentine’s Day.
It seems appropriate when writing about her to move into too-much-information mode, so let me say that I first heard her music after a sexual embarrassment. My companion got out of bed, turned on the light, put an LP on the stereo and played ‘Don’t Put Him Down’ from Mary C. Brown and the Hollywood Sign.
I can’t say that it relieved my chagrin, but it did make me a fan.
There’s an obituary in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, truncated from the Guardian, and a much more comprehensive and better informed one in the New York Times. Both the Herald and the Times mention Joby Baker, her husband since 1986, but neither tell us anything she did since she married him. The full Guardian obituary does mention Planet Blue (a musical protest against the invasion of Iraq, which you can download from the link) and her two volumes of autobiography. Astonishingly, one of the bits that the Herald omitted was her collaboration with Andre Previn in 1996, surely something that gives shape to a story that otherwise is a parable about the dangers of psychiatric drugs.
She did a long interview with Bernadette Cahill in 2005, in which she comes across as a bit scattered, but very much alive. It’s in two parts here and here.
I was a Dory Previn fan too, Jonathan, though her music is also associated in my mind with a relationship breakup. Perhaps that’s just what we were doing while she was On the Road to Where. Hard to believe she was already 86.