Composer, arranger, producer, and musician Van Dyke Parks has had a varied career in popular music without ever getting near the popular mainstream. Parks worked as a songwriter in the early '60s and became a producer, handling such mid-'60s acts as Harper's Bizarre. He was enlisted by Beach Boy Brian Wilson to write lyrics for what turned out to be an abortive album project called Smile (now one of the legendary lost albums of the '60s), resulting in such songs as the hit "Heroes and Villains." Parks released his own album, the eclectic Song Cycle, to critical acclaim and minimal sales in 1968. He then did session work with a variety of artists, not releasing his second album, Discover America, which revealed his immersion in Trinidadian music, until 1972. Clang of the Yankee Reaper, another eclectic collection, followed in 1976. But Parks maintained his "day job" — film work on scores by Ry Cooder and others, writing and arranging for Shelley Duvall's children's TV series, and other pursuits. Finally, in 1984, came the brilliant Jump!, a concept album based on the Uncle Remus tales of Joel Chandler Harris. It was followed in 1989 by Tokyo Rose, which concerned the state of American-Japanese relations.