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Dylan-Cash Sessions on an open thread


The prodigious collaboration between two of America’s great musical geniuses, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash is a magnificent piece of work. I’ve been working to this soundtrack all week.

Here are the Dylan – Cash sessions.

When the young Dylan arrived on the scene in 1962, Cash was impressed.

“I was deeply into folk music in the early 1960s,” he wrote in Cash: The Autobiography, “both the authentic songs from various periods and areas of American life and the new ‘folk revival’ songs of the time, so I took note of Bob Dylan as soon as the Bob Dylan album came out in early ’62 and listened almost constantly to The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in ’63. I had a portable record player I’d take along on the road, and I’d put on Freewheelin’ backstage, then go out and do my show, then listen again as soon as I came off.”

Cash wrote the young Dylan a fan letter, and they began corresponding. When they met at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, Cash gave Dylan his guitar as a gesture of respect and admiration. Five years later, when Dylan was in Nashville recording his ninth studio album, Cash was recording in the studio next door. He decided to drop in. On February 17 and 18, 1969, Cash and Dylan recorded more than a dozen duets. Only one of them, a version of Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country,” made it onto the album, Nashville Skyline. The others were never officially released, but have long been circulating as bootlegs. In the video above, Dylan and Cash work on one of two versions they made of “One Too Many Mornings,” a song originally recorded by Dylan in 1964 for The Times They Are a-Changin’. The outtakes Dylan and Cash recorded together are all scattered around Youtube. One Youtuber posted a compilation back in 2013.

A few weeks after the release of Nashville Skyline, Dylan and Cash performed “Girl From the North Country” on The Johnny Cash Show. It was taped on May 1, 1969 at the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. A rough video clip (around the 30 minute mark) captures the moment. Despite Dylan’s reported nervousness, the performance was well-received. “I didn’t feel anything about it,” Cash said later. “But everybody said it was the most magnetic, powerful thing they ever heard in their life. They were just raving about electricity and magnetism. And all I did was just sit there hitting G chords.”

Open Culture

69johnnycash05…Bob Dylan, left, rehearsal with Johnny Cash on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium before a taping of the Johnny Cash Show. Staff photo by Jimmy Ellis (The Tennessean) 5/1/1969
  • Percy Kittens Reloaded

    I didn’t know you liked country music. Interesting.

  • Patrick

    Love It!

  • Marianne

    Love Johnny Cash!

  • Joy Daniels Brower

    As usual, Pamela has that “certain touch” to know and love the great American – and, indeed, European! – singer-song writers! I used to listen to a lot of Johnny Cash and loved his style and his music, but not so much Bob Dylan. However, these two together – for a very brief moment – are just awesome and show what unique artists they were!

  • AlgorithmicAnalyst

    Thanks, great stuff!

  • Old Farmer Guy

    I reserve Girl from the North Country for those special occasions.
    Like when an old friend visits, and we break out the single malt..

  • VLParker

    Sanity maintenance. After watching part 2 of the “When Did WW III Begin” panel at CPAC, I need it. Part 1 was great. Part 2 was an utter disaster.

    Thanks, Pamela.

  • Pantalones

    I heard that beheading Dylan is on the bucket list of all Muslims cause of the famous singing Jew thing

    • gia

      Seriously? Good old Bob Dylan !
      Thanks for the video loved Johnny Cash saying – he was two people Johnny was the nice one and cash t causes all the trouble they would fight ! Lol .. this is part of what makes us America how could we stand by and let the spirit of our country die and hand it over to mid East scum !

    • Natalie Bustillos

      Where did you hear that?? If they try, their in for the surprise of their ungodly life, ON THE LAST DAYS –>

  • SuperTrump

    Thanks Pam! Cool. ;0)

  • JacksonPearson

    I still listen to Bob Dylan’s music. Lots of great old tunes, that beats rap crap.

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