Ramblin’ Dan: A Street Musician and a Thirty-Five Year Old Story


A local musical treasure, the travelling, jangling, and rambling Ramblin’ Dan has been a constant spark of whimsy in the parks and T-Stops of Boston. But he didn’t start out singing here. Decades ago, Ramblin’ Dan left his graduate school lab in Texas to embark on a world tour and peace mission that never quite ended. With a taped-together collection of colorful sights and sounds, pots and pans, and instruments and songs, Ramblin’ Dan broadcasted his message to the world’s streets in hopes of dance, joy, and peace. Now, about to celebrate 35 years of his Professor World Band act, Ramblin’ Dan looks back on his time before coming to Boston with his story of graduate school, Kerouac, public gardens, and a van and bike that took him to see and sing to the world.

Xilin Zhou is a producer for WHRB Classical, a DJ for Record Hospital, and a member of the WHRB Board.