Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour Archives


Theme Time Radio Hour

From May 2006 through April 2009, Bob Dylan hosted 100 episodes of Theme Time Radio Hour.

As the name suggests, the music, commentary, and other material (e.g., phone calls, retro radio commercials, contributions from celebrities, etc.) for each 1 hour episode were related to a theme.1

While I had heard of the Theme Time Radio Hour, originally broadcast on XM Satellite Radio, now known as Sirius XM Radio, I never caught it until the past week. Since then, I’ve listened to and been impressed by a dozen or so episodes on themes including Time, Laughter, Tears, Doctors, Money, and War.

I doubt that many listeners garner profound insights about the topics covered in the weekly themes, which seem instead to serve as a rationale for Dylan’s track selections, an invariably intriguing as well as gloriously eclectic mix that routinely includes rockabilly, R&B, blues, folk, gospel, rock-and-roll, soul, bebop, country,  and pop music.

The commentary, especially that proffered by other celebrities, varies wildly in quality from embarrassingly pedestrian to remarkably pithy.

Dylan’s own observations on the history of the songs and singers, often correcting popularly held misconceptions about the origins or author of a piece, are a special treat.

The big selling point, however, is Dylan’s obvious and infectious enthusiasm for and enjoyment of his role on this show.

Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour is solid, reliable, and lively entertainment.

Downloading Episodes of Theme Time Radio Hour

ttrh_logo, which has been previously featured on the Heck Of A Guy Best Bootlegs series,2 now houses “an Unofficial Theme Time Radio Hour Archive.”

As is true of other features, the Theme Time Radio Hour downloads originate on the site itself (rather than the files being downloaded from an intermediary such as RapidShare).

Each episode is presented as a single  MP3 file with ZIP compression.  The files are organized by season with the theme indicated on the file download link. In addition, most episodes are accompanied by a link to an annotated listing of the music and guests in that episode as well as other pertinent information, courtesy of the Bob Dylan Fan Club.

The Theme Time Radio Hour episodes can be downloaded at

  1. Occasionally, a theme show was split  into two parts, each consisting of one episode. []
  2. See Best Bootlegs: Dire Straits – Secrets In The Closet and Best Bootlegs Bonus: Pre-Fame Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen Recordings []

2 responses to “Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour Archives

  1. Ah that Croz, what a guy. He takes all the mystery and worry out of downloading stuff for luddites like me. No popups, no ads, no bullshit, just fine, fine music from a fine site. Go there.

  2. Well, thank you for the link, and I’d like to compliment you on your writing: you’ve a way with words that I always appreciate on the web.

    Just a couple of “corrections”, one for the good, one for the ill: the ZIP archives actually contain each show broken up into multiple MP3s to make navigation a bit easier. This is how I got them from the Original Saints on BitTorrent. Also, unfortunately, I was dumb in my protocol and the ZIP files’ names don’t include the week’s “Theme”, but I have plans to rectify that and also to include some great artwork for all episodes that was created by a fan and shared on my “old” site. Eventually I’ll get that done, but it won’t be too soon.

    Again, thanks for your description/review of the TTRH and the link to the shows at I hope some folks will find the files via your post and enjoy the sublime radio that is the TTRH.