Ned Massey

A Fine Mess, Episode 2: Playwright Ned Massey

Ned Massey

What would you think if you seemed to get messages from God? Would you think you were going crazy? But what would you do if they all came true?

That’s the question posed by Ned Massey‘s new show Four Messages, but if you think this is just a naggingly didactic fundamentalist outburst set to music, don’t be fooled — it’s actually a much more personal work, and one that asks a number of thought-provoking spiritual questions during a time when much of America’s relationship with God and religion seems to be defined by those who believe they have all the answers.

As you’ll hear in today’s episode, Ned doesn’t claim to have those answers. Instead, Four Messages is a work of wonder and gratitude, the product of an often bitterly difficult journey that includes a number of incredible twists and turns — starting with his single-minded pursuit of legendary A&R man and producer John Hammond, who took Ned under his wing, signed him to Columbia Records, and started producing the sessions for what was to be his debut album, only to succumb to the first of several strokes that preceded his death in July of 1987.

We discussed that story and many more during today’s conversation, culminating in Ned’s quest to mount a production of Four Messages and his efforts to help fund the show with an Indiegogo campaign. We even worked in a live version of my favorite Massey song:

Ned Massey, “Smarter” (live at Popdose) (download)

Whether or not you have any interest in theater (or God, for that matter), I think Ned Massey’s creative path is instructive, inspirational, and above all, entertaining. Here’s Episode Two of A Fine Mess.

A Fine Mess, Episode 2: Playwright Ned Massey

Finally, if you’re interested in helping Ned get Four Messages onto the stage, here’s the video for his Indiegogo campaign. Take a look:




  • Matt

    What a riveting chat this was. Going in, I had no idea who Ned Massey was, but after listening, I really wanted to hear and be aware of everything he’s ever done. (Okay, probably not everything — you’re right, Ned.)

    Everybody has a story worth hearing and listening to Ned’s is proof of that. The John Hammond discussion was a real treat to hear and it was also very interesting (as it always is) to get an inside look at the process of mounting a production/play/etc and the mental insanity that comes along with that.