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December 30, 2001 - Palindrome - 2002-01-30

AA: I'm Avi Arditti with Rosanne Skirble, and this week on WORDMASTER -- a look backward!

RS: As we do each New Year, we're going to play one of our favorite recordings. It's a skit about a cowboy with an unusual speaking habit.

AA: The piece is called "The Ballad of Palindrome." It's by Riders in The Sky, and it's off the group's album from a few years ago called "A Great Big Western HOWDY!" The vocalists in the group are Ranger Doug, Too Slim and Woody Paul.

RS: Here's what the liner notes say: "Back in the 1950s Johnny Western co-wrote and sang the theme song for a popular television show about a gunfighter named Paladin. Too Slim changed the action from gun play to word play and wrote new lyrics to the theme. The result is the clever and funny 'Palindrome.' Johnny Western himself joins Riders in The Sky to sing this new version. Those big thick Hollywood twangs pouring out of your speakers come from a rootin' tootin' Danelectro guitar."

AA: So now sit back and enjoy...

TAPE: "The Ballad of Palindrome/Palindrome: The Scene with Johnny Western" (3:35)

RS: ... Riders in The Sky, from their album "A Great Big Western HOWDY!" We want to wish all of our listeners around the world a great big happy 2002.

AA: Which, come to think of it, happens be a palindromic number. But whichever way you look at it, happy New Year! With Rosanne Skirble, I'm Avi Arditti.