In Your Ear: James Lipton

James Lipton, host of the cable TV show, "Inside the Actor's Studio," opens up his music file and tells listeners what he grooves to, including songs from his Broadway musical "Sherry!".

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MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And finally, it's time for the segment we call In Your Ear. This is where we ask our guest what they are listening to these days. Today, a man of many talents, author, producer, actor, and host of "Inside the Actor's Studio," James Lipton. He celebrated the 200th episode of his Emmy-nominated series on Monday.

Mr. JAMES LIPTON (Host, "Inside the Actor's Studio"): Hi, this is James Lipton. Songs I'm listening to. Well, first of all, the music of "Inside the Actor's Studio" was composed as a favor to me 14 years ago by Angelo Badalamenti, the great American composer who has written all of the film scores for David Lynch and the great, I think, the greatest TV score ever written, for "Twin Peaks."

(Soundbite of "Twin Peaks" theme song)

Mr. LIPTON: Fine composer and was a favorite to me many years ago. Angelo wrote a theme for this fledgling show we didn't know would go any further than a few feet.

(Soundbite of "Inside the Actor's Studio" theme song)

Mr. LIPTON: What's happened is that, over the years, we've had constant requests. What is that music? Is it Brom? Is it original music? Where can we find it? It turns out that Angelo has had thousands of request for it.

And recently, we redid our graphics, which meant that we needed some new music ques and some new music, and in short, Angelo went into a studio with 36 musicians and composed new music ques for us, and it will soon be available. I have it on a CD from him, and I listen to it constantly.

(Soundbite of "Inside the Actor's Studio" theme song)

(Soundbite of musical "Sherry!")

Mr. NATHAN LANE: (As Sheridan Whiteside) (Singing) Maggie this is just simply idiotic. Darling, don't you see what you've been spared, your...

Mr. LIPTON: And then, just to prove to you what an ego I have, and the other thing that I would mention that I like to listen to very often is the score of my musical, "Sherry!" which was recorded about three years ago by Nathan Lane, Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Tommy Tune, Mike Myers. And it was my Broadway musical show I based on "The Man That Came to Dinner."

(Soundbite of musical "Sherry!")

Mr. LANE: (As Sheridan Whiteside) Don't you see you you're being foolish?

Ms. BERNADETTE PETERS (As Maggie Cutler) Childish. I admit it.

Mr. LANE: (As Sheridan Whiteside) Well, at last you're making sense.

Ms. PETERS (As Maggie Cutler) Hopeless.

Mr. LANE: (As Sheridan Whiteside) Hopeless.

Ms. PETERS (As Maggie Cutler) Brainless.

Mr. LANE: (As Sheridan Whiteside) Brainless.

Ms. PETERS (As Maggie Cutler) But, I did it.

Mr. LANE: (As Sheridan Whiteside) But, at least you've learned a bit.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. LIPTON: My all time favorite, Mel Torme, anything of Mel Torme. I think he's the most musicianly of all the singers who have been popular in my lifetime.

(Soundbite of song "Nice Work If You Can Get It")

Mr. MEL TORME: (Singing) Holding hands at midnight, beneath the starry sky. Nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you try.

Mr. LIPTON: I love his music. He was a great friend. I enjoyed listening to his music very much. He interprets the song wonderfully.

(Soundbite of song "Nice Work If You Can Get It')

Mr. TORME: (Singing) Nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you try.

MARTIN: That was actor James Lipton telling us what's been playing in his ear. And if you want to hear James Lipton take us "Inside the Actor's Studio," tune in tomorrow.

(Soundbite of song "Nice Work If You Can Get It")

Mr. TORME: (Singing) Loving one who loves you.

MARTIN: And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin, and this is Tell Me More from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

(Soundbite of song '"Nice Work If You Can Get It")

Mr. TORME: (Singing) If you can get it, and if you get it, won't you tell me how.

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