Daniel Schorr And Frank Zappa Were Friends. Really.

Frank Zappa and NPR’s Daniel Schorr were indeed friends, and at one of his concerts in 1988, he invited Dan to join him onstage. Host Scott Simon pays a final tribute to Daniel Schorr with a remembrance of Schorr's unlikely friendship with rocker Frank Zappa.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

And now we close our show with a last memory of Dan Schorr, who told us once he wanted what you're about to hear played at his funeral.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. FRANK ZAPPA (Musician): Hey, have we got a show for you tonight, our last night here in Washington, D.C.

SIMON: Frank Zappa and Dan were friends. At one of his concerts in 1988, he invited Dan to join him on stage.

Mr. ZAPPA: Anyway, you know why Daniel is here tonight? We have something we're very concerned about, which is voter registration, and Daniel wants to say a few words to you about that.

SIMON: The crowd was more mosh pit than "Meet the Press," but Dan got their attention.

DAN SCHORR: What has happened in the past 15, 20 years or so is that elections have turned into a kind of a spectator sport, like the Super Bowl. The result is that you're going to find out that somebody's voting for someone you don't want. Write down your name, make sure that in this next election you vote - it may be important. Your life may depend on it.

Mr. ZAPPA: You bet.

SCHORR: Thank you.

SIMON: Frank Zappa then revealed a scoop.

Mr. ZAPPA: Now, we know that you can talk - you just proved that you can talk, and you talk every day on the radio. But I've heard that you can sing.

SCHORR: Oh, come on. Sing? Oh, no.

Mr. ZAPPA: See, I know that before you became a reporter, you were actually a classical music reviewer.

SCHORR: You are an investigative reporter yourself. How'd you find that out?

Mr. ZAPPA: You told me. No - but that was a long time ago when you told me, and you forgot you told me. But anyway, we have spared no expense, ladies and gentlemen, including a long rehearsal this afternoon, to make it possible for you to actually give us a rendition of "It Ain't Necessarily So."

SCHORR: "It Ain't Nec" - hey, listen, I want you not to tell anybody at NPR. I don't want you telling anybody at CBS. I was hired as a newscaster. If they hear that I sang, I'm ruined, all right?

Mr. ZAPPA: I don't know about that. Here we go.

SCHORR: Here we go.

(Soundbite of music)

SCHORR: (Singing) It ain't necessarily so, it ain't necessarily so. They tell all you chillun' that devil's a villain, but ain't necessarily so.

Mr. ZAPPA: Everybody.

(Soundbite of cheering)

Mr. ZAPPA: Second verse.

(Soundbite of music)

SCHORR: (Singing) If Moses was found in a stream, little Moses was found in a stream. He floated on water until old Pharaoh's daughter, she fished him, she sang from that stream.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. ZAPPA: Daniel Schorr, ladies and gentlemen, singer extraordinaire.

SCHORR: (Singing) It tain't nessa, tain't nessa, tain't nessa, tain't nessa, tain't necessarily so.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. ZAPPA: Daniel Schorr, ladies and gentlemen.

SIMON: Dan Schorr, who died yesterday after packing about as much life as a man can into 93 years.

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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