Berklee awards Clint Eastwood honorary doctorate

September 13, 2007  |  12:00am

Generally, when contemplating Clint Eastwood’s contribution to music, one instinctively fears for the actor’s life. Eastwood’s role as a radio DJ in the timelessly creepy 1971 film Play Misty For Me is – like his character’s knife-welding stalker – hard to shake.

All right, so most people recognize fiction and anticipate Eastwood to live out that part about as much as they expect him to own an Orangutan. But the man has apparently helped the popularization of jazz enough to deserve an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music. On September 22, Berklee President Roger Brown and alumna Diana Krall will present Eastwood with said degree during the 50th annual Monterey Jazz Festival, for which he has long been a board member.

“From Play Misty For Me ... to the groundbreaking Charlie Parker biopic, Bird, to executive producing the seminal documentary, Thelonious Monk Straight No Chaser, Clint Eastwood has made so many choices that have little to do with Hollywood, and everything to do with a lifelong love for this music,” Brown stated.

Most recently, he produced a PBS tribute to Tony Bennett.

Additionally, Eastwood acted as composer for a number of his own films, including Flags of Our Fathers and Million Dollar Baby, and demonstrated his own singing abilities in the western-themed musical Paint Your Wagon, famously parodied in the Simpsons “All Singing, All Dancing” episode.

Related links:
IMDB: Clint Eastwood
Berklee.edu
MontereyJazzFestival.org
YouTube: Gorillaz - "Clint Eastwood"

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