Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hank Williams- I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive

Click on the video to go to YouTube and get rid of the ads.

Oak Hill West Virginia The Town Where Hank Williams Was Discovered Dead on January 1, 1953

This video has no sound but it shows the town of Oak Hill, West Virginia where Hank Williams' dead body was discovered in his Cadillac on Jan. 1, 1953. Click on the video to go to Youtube and get the names of the locations. Some people like to say he died there but he was most likely already dead in the back seat of the car when the driver stopped there.
Click on the above to read the wikipedia article on Hank Williams.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Men With Broken Hearts - Hank Williams, Sr.

Click on the video to go to YouTube and turn off the ads.

Friday, March 26, 2010

1956 Chevrolet Convertible

Click on these photos to enlarge them.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bob Dylan Baby Please Don't Go

Mose Allison Sings and Plays Baby Please Don't Go by Big Joe Williams

Maxfield Parrish..... Daybreak

Click on the above picture to enlarge it.

Daybreak, 1922
Painted in 1922, this breathtaking painting has become one of the most reproduced images in the canon of modern American art. At the time it was painted, Parrish had already established himself as a sought-after illustrator working for publications such as Life, Scribner’s, Harper’s Weekly, and Collier’s. In 1920, the art publishing firm, House of Art engaged Parrish to create a work intended specifically for reproduction as a print, rather than for a magazine, book, or advertisement. The result was Daybreak, a strikingly beautiful composition of brilliant luminosity that is widely recognized as Parrish’s greatest masterwork (estimate: $4-7 million). As an iconic image of romance and mysterious beauty, the luminous scene is so ingrained in contemporary popular culture that it has inspired scores of re-interpretations and homages in the form of album covers, movie posters, and even one scene in a Michael Jackson music video. The painting last sold at Christie’s in May 2006 for $7.6 million and remains the world auction record for a work by the artist.

The magic and spirit embodied in Daybreak is the result of Parrish’s unique and intricate approach to painting. He felt strongly about the purity of color and the resulting effect it made on the picture as a whole. Composing the scene required the introduction of paper cut-outs, photography, and an assortment of props and models that Parrish constructed in his workshop. He began the painting with a base layer of white to illuminate the image, and over this he built up layer upon layer of varnish, which heightened the vibrancy of the colors and created the painting’s smooth, enamel-like surface. This innovative technique allowed Parrish to convey surface textures and patterns with the intense detail and saturation of color that became a signature of his most celebrated paintings.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Elephants Walk in Washington DC In Front of the U.S. Capitol March 2009

These two videos were made by Rachel Stewart

William Spratling and William Faulkner 1925 624 Pirates Alley New Orleans

Dragonfly Pin by William Spratling

This is the person who lived at 624 Pirates Alley in New Orleans at the same time in 1925 as William Faulkner.
Click on the above link to see some fine examples of his work.
William Spratling
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Spratling (September 22, 1900 - August 7, 1967) was an American-born silversmith and artist, best known for his influence on 20th century Mexican silver design.

Spratling was born in 1900 in Sonyea, Livingston County, New York, the son of epileptologist William P. Spratling. After the deaths of Spratling's mother and sister, he moved to his father's boyhood home outside of Auburn, Alabama. Spratling graduated from Auburn High School and Auburn University, where he majored in architecture. Upon graduation, Spratling took a position as an instructor in the architecture department at Auburn, and in 1921 he was offered a similar position at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

While teaching at Tulane, Spratling shared a house with writer William Faulkner, and they collaborated to produce Sherwood Anderson And Other Famous Creoles, a satire of the bohemian atmosphere of the French Quarter in the 1920s.

In 1929, Spratling, inspired by several summer visits, moved to Mexico, where he quickly integrated himself into the Mexican art scene. He became a friend and a strong proponent of the work of muralist Diego Rivera, for whom he organized an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Using money received from commissions he organized for Rivera, Spratling purchased a home in Taxco, southwest of Mexico City.

Taxco was a traditional site of silver mines, but had no native silverworking industry. Spratling began designing works in silver based primarily on pre-Columbian and traditional motifs, and hired local goldsmiths to produce those designs in Taxco. As the reputation for Spratling's silver designs grew, he expanded his operation, and began an apprenticeship program for others interested in designing in silver, many of whom continued to work in the Taxco area--with Spratling's support--once their apprenticeship was over.

By the 1940s, Spratling was selling his designs throughout Mexico and the United States, and moved his design studio to a ranch south of Taxco at Taxco el Viejo. In 1949, the United States Department of the Interior started an exchange program between Spratling's design studio and seven Alaskan students in order to start a similar workshop in Alaska. While the Alaskan workshop never came to fruition, Alaskan design motifs began to influence Spratling's subsequent work.

Primarily, Spratling's silver designs drew upon aboriginal Mesoamerican motifs, with influence from other native and Western cultures. To many, his work served as an expression of Mexican nationalism, and gave Mexican artisans the freedom to create designs in non-European forms. Because of his influence on the silver design industry in Mexico, Spratling has been called the "Father of Mexican Silver".

Spratling was gay, but most accounts of his life mention this fact only indirectly if at all.

Spratling was killed in an automobile accident outside of Taxco on August 7, 1967, aged 66.

1.^ Mark, Joan (2000). The Silver Gringo: William Spratling and Taxco. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. pp. 16, 39, 115. ISBN 0826320791.
2.^ Ochsner, Jeffrey (2007). Lionel H. Pries, Architect, Artist, Educator: From Arts and Crafts to Modern Architecture. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press. pp. 103–5. ISBN 0295986980.
[edit] Further reading
Goddard, Phyllis M., Spratling Silver: A Field Guide, Keenan Tyler Paine, Altadena CA 2003
Littleton, Taylor D. The Color of Silver: William Spratling, His Life and Art, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge 2000
Morrill, Penny C., William Spratling and the Mexican Silver Renaissance: Maestros de Plata, Harry N. Abrams, New York; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio 2002
Morrill, Penny Chittim, and Berk, Carole A., Mexican Silver: 20th Century Handwrought Jewelry & Metalwork, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA 1994
Reed, John Shelton, "The Man from New Orleans," Oxford American, November/December 2000: 102-107
Spratling, William, File on Spratling: An Autobiography, Little, Brown and Company, Boston 1967

Saturday, March 20, 2010

William Faulkner At The University of Virginia
Click on the link above for a brief audio clip of Faulkner answering a question.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Modern New Orleans 1940

Pirates Alley New Orleans

Old New Orleans 1940

Faulkner House Society 624 Pirates Alley New Orleans Louisiana
Click on the link above for info on the Faulkner House Society.


This is from The Wild Palms. It is near the beginning of the book and describes a party in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1925. This party would have taken place in Pirates Alley in the house where William Spratling and William Faulkner lived in 1925. That building is now the location of the Faulkner Book House a bookstore specializing in Faulkner and Spratling and other Southern writers.
Click on the picture of the book to enlarge it and read it.

Click on the photos above to enlarge them. Click on the link above to read the Wikipedia article on The Wild Palms and The Old Man(also known as If I Forget Thee Jerusalem).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Palomino Horse

1951 Whizzer Ambassador

Although similar in basic design to the Sportsman, the Ambassador, which was introduced in 1951, was Whizzer ’ s top model and featured a full-size 26-inch frame, larger tires, and greater overall length. It was finished in gloss black, ivory trim, and chrome plating and at a price of $249.50, was the company ’ s most expensive model.
Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Schwinn Black Phantom 1951

1951 Black Phantom
The Black Phantom was Schwinn's top of the line, The Cadillac of Cadillacs. The Cantelever frame and Knee-Action Front End Schwinn became so famous for is present in this model as well, but the optional equipment seemed endless if the money was right. Most of these models came equipped with the Model D New Departure transmission, but could be upgraded to the two speed Bendix Aviation transmission shown on this model. The front wheel brake along with the duck bill fender, train headlight, tail light and rear reflector were other optional features making this model the one to have. If there was enough money left over after all these items, a Whizzer Motor Kit could be attached making this a motorized vehicle. This particular model features a New Old Stock Leather Whizzer Seat found in the attic of a retired Whizzer dealer, probably the only one left

Whiz Candy Bar

During the 1930s and ’40s the Paul F. Beich Co. of Bloomington, Illinois, had children throughout the Midwest chanting their jingle, “Whiz, best nickel candy there iz-z.” But rising costs in the 1950s forced the price up to a dime and thereby ruined the meter. The unsatisfactory “Whiz, best candy bar there iz-z” could not save it; sales fell, and the dangerous starch-molding process by which it was manufactured finally doomed it. The last Whiz bar was consumed about thirty years ago.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan And Suze Rotolo's Book and Interview on NPR

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Studio album by Bob Dylan
Released May 27, 1963
Recorded April 24-25, July 9, October 26, November 1 and 15, December 6, 1962, and April 24, 1963 at Columbia Studios, New York City[1]
Genre Folk
Length 51:04
Label Columbia
Producer John H. Hammond, Tom Wilson
Bob Dylan chronology
Bob Dylan
(1962) The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
(1963) The Times They Are a-Changin'

Singles from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
1."Blowin' in the Wind"
Released: July 1963

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's second studio album, released in May 1963 by Columbia Records. Eleven of the thirteen songs on the album were original compositions by Dylan. The album kicked off with "Blowin' in the Wind", which would become one of Dylan's most celebrated songs. In July 1963, the song became an international hit for folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary. The album contained several other songs destined to become classics of the 1960s folk scene. "Girl from the North Country", "Masters of War", "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" are considered to be among Dylan's most celebrated compositions.

Whereas his eponymous debut album, Bob Dylan, had contained only two original songs, Freewheelin' initiated the process of writing contemporary words to traditional melodies, a process which transformed the 1960s folk music revival into the flowering of the singer-songwriter. The Freewheelin' album showcased Dylan's song-writing talent for the first time, and propelled him to national and international fame.

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan reached number 22 in the US (eventually going platinum), and later became a number one hit in the UK in 1964. In 2003, the album was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2002, Freewheelin' was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

Recording sessions
Both critics and the public took little notice of Dylan's debut album, Bob Dylan, which sold only 5,000 copies in its first year, just enough to break even. In a pointed rebuke to John Hammond who had signed Dylan to Columbia Records, some within the company referred to the singer as "Hammond's Folly" and suggested dropping his contract. Hammond defended Dylan vigorously and was determined that Dylan's second album should be a success.[2] The recording of Freewheelin' took place over the course of a year, from April 1962 to April 1963, and the album was assembled from eight recording sessions in the CBS studios in New York.[3]

Political and personal background to Freewheelin'
Many critics have noted the extraordinary development of Dylan’s song-writing immediately after completing his first album. Clinton Heylin connects the sudden increase in song writing along topical and political lines to the fact that Dylan moved into an apartment on West 4th Street with his girlfriend Suze Rotolo at this time.[4] Rotolo’s family had strong left wing political commitments; both of her parents were members of the American Communist Party.[5] Dylan acknowledged her influence when he told an interviewer: "Suze was into this equality-freedom thing long before I was. I checked out the songs with her."[6]

Dylan's relationship with Suze Rotolo also provided an important emotional dynamic in the composition of the Freewheelin' album. After six months of living with Dylan, Rotolo decided to travel to Italy to study art. Dylan missed her and wrote long letters to her hoping she would return soon to New York.[7] She postponed her return several times, until she came back in January 1963. Critics have connected the intense love songs expressing longing and loss on Freewheelin' to Dylan’s fraught relationship with Rotolo,[8] particularly "Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right".[9][10]

The tremendous speed and facility with which Dylan wrote topical songs attracted the attention of other musicians in the New York folk scene. In a radio interview on WBAI in June 1962, Pete Seeger described Dylan as "the most prolific songwriter on the scene" and then asked Dylan how many songs he had written recently. Dylan replied “I might go for two weeks without writing these songs. I write a lot of stuff. In fact, I wrote five songs last night but I gave all the papers away in some place called The Bitter End.”[11] Dylan also expressed the impersonal idea that the songs were not his own creation. In the same WBAI interview with Seeger, Dylan expressed this view of his creativity: "I don't even consider that I wrote it when I got done... The song was there before me. I just came down and sort of took it down with a pencil. But it was all there before I came along. At least, that's the way I look at it."[12]

Recording in New York
Dylan began work on his second album at Columbia's Studio A in New York on April 24, 1962. The working title of the album was Bob Dylan's Blues, and as late as July, it would remain the working title.[13] Dylan performed renditions of two traditional folk songs, "Going To New Orleans" and "Corrina, Corrina", as well as a cover of the Hank Williams classic "(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle". At this session, Dylan also recorded four of his own compositions: "Sally Gal", "The Death of Emmett Till", "Rambling, Gambling Willie", and "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues".[14]

Returning to Studio A the following day, Dylan recorded the master take for "Let Me Die In My Footsteps". Several more original compositions followed: "Rocks and Gravel", "Talking Hava Negiliah Blues", "Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues", and two more takes of "Sally Gal". Cover versions recorded at this session included the traditional "Wichita (Going to Louisiana)", Big Joe Williams's "Baby Please Don't Go", and Robert Johnson's "Milk Cow's Calf's Blues".[14] Because Dylan's song-writing talent was developing so rapidly, nothing from the April sessions appeared on Freewheelin'.[3]

The recording sessions at Studio A resumed on July 9, when Dylan recorded several new compositions. The most notable was "Blowin' in the Wind", a song which he had first performed live at Gerde's Folk City on April 16.[15] Dylan recorded "Bob Dylan's Blues", "Down the Highway", and "Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance" and master takes for these four songs were selected for the album. Dylan also recorded "Baby, I'm In The Mood For You", an original composition, which did not make the final cut for the album.[16] Two more songs, an original blues number called "Quit Your Low Down Ways" and Texan singer Hally Wood's composition, "Worried Blues", were also recorded; they did not make the final version of Freewheelin'.

At this point, Albert Grossman began to take an interest in Dylan's business affairs. Grossman persuaded Dylan to transfer the publishing rights of his songs from Duchess Music, whom he had signed a contract with in January 1962, to Witmark Music, a division of Warner's music publishing operation. Dylan signed a contract with Witmark on July 13, 1962.[17] Unknown to Dylan, Grossman had also negotiated a deal with Witmark. This gave Grossman fifty percent of Witmark's share of the publishing income generated by any songwriter Grossman had brought to the company. This "secret deal" resulted in a bitter legal battle between Dylan and Grossman in the 1980s.[18]

Albert Grossman became Dylan's manager on August 20, 1962,[19] and he soon clashed with John Hammond. Since Dylan was under twenty-one when he signed his contract with CBS, Grossman argued that the contract was invalid and had to be re-negotiated. Instead, Hammond invited Dylan to his office and persuaded him to sign a 'reaffirment'—agreeing to abide by the original contract.[20] Grossman enjoyed a reputation in the folk scene of being commercially aggressive, generating more income and defending his clients' interests more fiercely than "the nicer, more amateurish managers in the Village".[21] Some felt that Grossman exerted an influence on Dylan to become more reclusive and aloof, even paranoid.[22]

On September 22, Dylan appeared for the first time at Carnegie Hall, part of an all-star hootenanny. On this occasion, he premiered his new composition "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall",[23] a complex and powerful song built upon the question and answer refrain pattern of the traditional British ballad "Lord Randall". One month later, on October 22, President John F. Kennedy appeared on national television to announce the discovery of Soviet missiles on the island of Cuba, initiating the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the sleeve notes on the Freewheelin' album, Nat Hentoff would quote Dylan as saying that he wrote "A Hard Rain" in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis: "Every line in it is actually the start of a whole new song. But when I wrote it, I thought I wouldn't have enough time alive to write all those songs so I put all I could into this one." In fact, Dylan had written the song more than a month before the crisis broke.

Dylan resumed work on his second album at Columbia's Studio A on October 26, when he recorded three songs. Several takes of Dylan's "Mixed-Up Confusion" and Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right Mama" were deemed unusable,[24] but a master take of "Corrina, Corrina" was selected for the final album. An 'alternate take' of "Corrina, Corrina" from the same session would also be selected for a single issued later in the year.

On November 1, at the next recording session, "Mixed-Up Confusion" and "That's All Right Mama" were recorded, and again the results were deemed unsatisfactory. A master take of the third song, "Rocks And Gravel" was selected for the final album.[25]

On November 14, Dylan devoted most of the session at Studio A to recording "Mixed-Up Confusion", performing the song with several studio musicians hired by John Hammond: George Barnes (guitar), Bruce Langhorne (guitar), Dick Wellstood (piano), Gene Ramey (bass), and Herb Lovelle (drums). Although this track never appeared on a Dylan album, it was released as a single on December 14, 1962, and then swiftly withdrawn.[26] Unlike the other material which Dylan recorded between 1961 and 1964, "Mixed Up Confusion" attempted a rockabilly sound. Cameron Crowe described it as "a fascinating look at a folk artist with his mind wandering towards Elvis Presley and Sun Records".[27]

Also recorded on November 14 was the new composition "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right", accompanied by a virtuoso guitar part played by Bruce Langhorne.[28] Langhorne then accompanied Dylan on three more original compositions: "Ballad of Hollis Brown", "Kingsport Town", and "Whatcha Gonna Do", but these performances were not included on Freewheelin'.[25]

Dylan held another session at Studio A on December 6. Five songs, all original compositions, were recorded, three of which were eventually included on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan: "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", "Oxford Town", and "I Shall Be Free". Dylan also made another attempt at "Whatcha Gonna Do" and recorded a new song, "Hero Blues", but both songs were ultimately rejected and left unreleased.[25]

Traveling to England
Twelve days later, Dylan made his first trip abroad. British TV director Philip Saville had heard Dylan perform in Greenwich Village, and invited him to take part in a BBC television drama: The Madhouse on Castle Street. Dylan arrived in London on December 17. In the play, Dylan performed "Blowin' in the Wind" and two other songs.[29] Dylan also immersed himself in the London folk scene, making contact with The Troubadour folk club organizer Anthea Joseph and folksingers Martin Carthy and Bob Davenport. "I ran into some people in England who really knew those [traditional English] songs," Dylan recalled in 1984. "Martin Carthy, another guy named [Bob] Davenport. Martin Carthy's incredible. I learned a lot of stuff from Martin."[30]

Carthy introduced Dylan to two English songs that would prove very important for the Freewheelin' album. Carthy taught Dylan his arrangement of "Scarborough Fair" which Dylan would use as the basis of his own "Girl from the North Country". Also a 19th century ballad commemorating the death of Sir John Franklin in 1847,"Lady Franklin's Lament", gave Dylan the melody for his composition "Bob Dylan's Dream". Both songs displayed Dylan's fast-growing ability to take traditional melodies, and use them as a basis for highly personal song-writing.[31]

From England, Dylan traveled to Italy, and joined Albert Grossman who was touring with his client Odetta.[32] Dylan was also hoping to make contact with his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, unaware that she had already left Italy and was on her way back to New York. Dylan worked on his new material, and when he returned to London, Martin Carthy received a surprise: "When he came back from Italy, he'd written "Girl From the North Country"; he came down to the Troubadour and said, 'Hey, here's "Scarborough Fair"' and he started playing this thing."[33]

Returning to New York
When Dylan returned to New York in mid-January, he recorded his new composition, "Masters of War" for Broadside magazine. He also got back together with Suze Rotolo, persuading her to move into his apartment on West 4th Street.

Returning from Europe with a batch of new songs, Dylan's keenness to record his new material paralleled a dramatic power struggle in the studio: Albert Grossman's determination to have John Hammond replaced as Dylan's producer at CBS. According to Dylan's biographer, Howard Sounes, "The two men could not have been more different. Hammond was a WASP, so relaxed during recording sessions that he sat with feet up, reading The New Yorker. Grossman was a Jewish businessman with a shady past, hustling to become a millionaire."[20]

Because of Grossman's hostility to Hammond, Columbia paired Dylan with a young, African-American jazz producer, Tom Wilson. Wilson recalled: "I didn't even particularly like folk music. I'd been recording Sun Ra and Coltrane...I thought folk music was for the dumb guys. [Dylan] played like the dumb guys, but then these words came out. I was flabbergasted."[34] At a recording session on April 24th, produced by Wilson, Dylan recorded five new compositions: "Girl from the North Country", "Masters of War", "Talkin' World War III Blues", "Bob Dylan's Dream", and "Walls of Red Wing". "Walls of Red Wing" was ultimately rejected, but the other four were included in the revised album sequence.

The final drama of recording Freewheelin' occurred when Dylan appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on May 12, 1963. Dylan had chosen to perform "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues" but was informed by the 'head of program practices' at CBS Television that this song was potentially libellous to the John Birch Society. Rather than comply with TV censorship, Dylan refused to appear. According to biographer Clinton Heylin. "There remains a common belief that [Dylan] was forced by Columbia to pull "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues" from the album after he walked out on The Ed Sullivan Show." However, the 'revised' version of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan was released on May 27, 1963; this would have given Columbia Records only two weeks to recut the album, reprint the record sleeves, and press and package enough copies of the new version to fill orders. Heylin suggests that CBS had probably forced Dylan to withdraw "John Birch" from the album some weeks earlier. Dylan responded to this by recording new material on April 24, and replacing four songs ("John Birch", "Let Me Die in My Footsteps", "Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie", "Rocks and Gravel") with his more recent compositions.[35]

"Blowin' in the Wind" is among Dylan's most celebrated compositions. In his sleeve notes for The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991, John Bauldie writes that it was Pete Seeger who first identified the melody of "Blowin' In The Wind" as Dylan's adaptation of the old Negro spiritual "No More Auction Block". According to Alan Lomax's The Folk Songs of North America, the song originated in Canada and was sung by former slaves who fled there after Britain abolished slavery in 1833. In 1978, Dylan acknowledged the source when he told journalist Marc Rowland: '"Blowin' In The Wind" has always been a spiritual. I took it off a song called "No More Auction Block"—that's a spiritual and "Blowin' In The Wind" follows the same feeling.'[36] Dylan's performance of "No More Auction Block" was recorded at the Gaslight Cafe in October 1962, and appeared on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991

Critic Andy Gill wrote: "'Blowin' In The Wind" marked a huge jump in Dylan's songwriting: for the first time, Dylan discovered the effectiveness of moving from the particular to the general. Whereas 'The Ballad of Donald White' would become completely redundant as soon as the eponymous criminal was executed, a song as vague as 'Blowin' In The Wind' could be applied to just about any freedom issue. It remains the song with which Dylan's name is most inextricably linked, and safeguarded his reputation as a civil libertarian through any number of changes in style and attitude."[37]

"Blowin' In The Wind" became world famous when Peter, Paul and Mary issued the song as a single three weeks after the release of Freewheelin'. They and Dylan both shared the same manager: Albert Grossman. The single sold a phenomenal three hundred thousand copies in the first week of release. On July 13, 1963, it reached number two on the Billboard chart with sales exceeding one million copies.[38] Dylan later recalled that he was astonished when Peter Yarrow told him he was going to make $5,000 from the publishing rights.[27]

"Girl from the North Country"
Main article: Girl from the North Country
There has been much speculation in print about the identity of the girl in the song. Clinton Heylin states that the most frequently mooted candidates are Echo Helstrom, an early girlfriend of Dylan from his home town of Hibbing, and Suze Rotolo, whom Dylan was pining for as he finished the song in Italy.[39] Howard Sounes suggests the girl Dylan probably had in mind was Bonnie Beecher, a girlfriend of Dylan from his time at the University of Minnesota.[40] Todd Harvey notes that Dylan has taken not only the tune of "Scarborough Fair", which he learnt from Martin Carthy in London, he also adapted the theme of that song. "Scarborough Fair" derives from "The Elfin Knight" (Child Ballad Number 2), which was first recorded in 1670. In the song, a supernatural character poses a series of questions to an innocent, requesting her to perform impossible tasks. Harvey points out that Dylan "retains the idea of the listener being sent upon a task, a northern place setting, and an antique lyric quality".[41] Dylan returned to this song on Nashville Skyline (1969), recording it as a duet with Johnny Cash.

"Masters of War"
Main article: Masters of War
A scathing, anti-war song, "Masters of War" is based on Jean Ritchie's arrangement of "Nottamun Town", an English riddle song. Written in late 1962 while Dylan was in London, a number of eyewitnesses (including Martin Carthy and Anthea Joseph) recall Dylan's performing the song in folk clubs at the time. Ritchie would later assert her claim on the song's arrangement; according to one Dylan biography, the suit was settled when Ritchie received $5,000 from Dylan's lawyers.[42]

"Down the Highway"
Dylan composed this song in the form of a 12 bar blues. In the sleeve notes of Freewheelin’, Dylan explained to Nat Hentoff: "What made the real blues singers so great is that they were able to state all the problems they had; but at the same time, they were standing outside of them and could look at them. And in that way, they had them beat." Into this song, Dylan injected one explicit mention of an absence that was troubling him: the sojourn of Suze Rotolo in Perugia: “My baby took my heart from me/ She packed it all up in a suitcase/ Lord, she took it away to Italy, Italy.”

"Bob Dylan's Blues"
Dylan begins this track with a spoken intro that pokes fun at "most of the songs that are written uptown in Tin Pan Alley, that’s where most of the folk songs come from nowadays”. What follows is an absurd, improvised blues which Dylan in the sleeve notes describes as a “really off-the-cuff-song. I start with an idea and then I feel what follows. Best way I can describe this one it’s that it’s sort of like walking by a side street. You gaze in and walk on."

"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"
Main article: A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
Dylan was only 21 years old when he wrote one of his most complex songs, "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall", often referred to as "Hard Rain". Dylan is said to have premiered "Hard Rain" at the Gaslight Cafe, where Village performer Peter Blankfield recalled: "He put out these pieces of loose-leaf paper ripped out of a spiral notebook. And he starts singing ['Hard Rain']...He finished singing it, and no one could say anything. The length of it, the episodic sense of it. Every line kept building and bursting".[43] Dylan performed "Hard Rain" days later at Carnegie Hall on September 22, 1962, as part of a concert organized by Pete Seeger. Many were astonished by the power and complexity of this work. For Robert Shelton, who had given Dylan an important boost in his 1961 review in the New York Times, this song was "A landmark in topical, folk-based songwriting. Here blooms the promised fruit of the 1950s poetry-jazz fusion of Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, and Rexroth."[44]

Critics have interpreted the lyric 'hard rain' as a reference to nuclear fallout, but Dylan resisted the specificity of this interpretation. In a radio interview with Studs Terkel in 1963, Dylan said,

"No, it's not atomic rain, it's just a hard rain. It isn't the fallout rain. I mean some sort of end that's just gotta happen... In the last verse, when I say, 'the pellets of poison are flooding the waters', that means all the lies that people get told on their radios and in their newspapers."[45]

Side Two
"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
Dylan wrote this song on hearing from Suze Rotolo that she was considering staying in Italy indefinitely,[46] and he used a melody he adapted from Paul Clayton's song "Who's Gonna Buy You Ribbons (When I'm Gone)".[47] In the Freewheelin' sleeve notes, Dylan comments: "It isn't a love song. It's a statement that maybe you can say to make yourself feel better. It's as if you were talking to yourself."

Dylan's contemporaries, including Dave Van Ronk and Paul Stookey, hailed the song as a masterpiece.[48] Dylan biographer Howard Sounes commented: "The greatness of the song was in the cleverness of the language. The phrase "don't think twice, it's all right" could be snarled, sung with resignation, or delivered with an ambiguous mixture of bitterness and regret. Seldom has the contradictory emotions of a thwarted lover been so well expressed, and the song transcended the autobiographical origins of Dylan's pain."[49]

"Bob Dylan's Dream"
Main article: Bob Dylan's Dream
"Bob Dylan's Dream" was based on the melody of the traditional "Lady Franklin's Lament", in which the title character dreams of finding her husband, Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin, alive and well. (Sir John Franklin had vanished on an expedition searching for the North West Passage in 1845; a stone cairn on King William Island detailing his demise was found by a later expedition in 1859.) Todd Harvey points out that Dylan transforms the song into a personal journey, yet he retains both the theme and the mood of the original ballad. The world outside is depicted as stormy and harsh, and Dylan's most fervent wish, like Lady Franklin's, is to be reunited with departed companions and to relive the fond memories they represent.[50]

"Oxford Town"
Main article: Oxford Town
"Oxford Town" is Dylan's sardonic account of events at the University of Mississippi in September 1962. U.S. Air Force veteran James Meredith was the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi, located a mile from Oxford, Mississippi. When Meredith first tried to attend classes at the school, a number of Mississippians pledged to keep the university segregated, including the state governor Ross Barnett. Ultimately, the University of Mississippi had to be integrated with the help of U.S. federal troops. Dylan responded rapidly: his song was published in the November 1962 issue of Broadside.[51]

"Talkin' World War III Blues"
Main article: Talkin' World War III Blues
The "talkin' blues" was a style of improvised song writing that Woody Guthrie had developed to a high plane. (A Minneapolis domestic recording that Dylan made in September 1960 includes his performances of Guthrie's "Talking Columbia" and "Talking Merchant Marine")[52] "Talkin' World War III Blues" was a spontaneous composition Dylan created in the studio during the final session for The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. He recorded five takes of the song and the fifth was selected for the album. The format of the "talkin' blues" permitted Dylan to address the serious subject of nuclear annihilation with humor, and "without resorting to his finger-pointing or apocalyptical-prophetic persona".[52]

"Corrina, Corrina"
Main article: Corrina, Corrina
"Corrina, Corrina" was recorded by The Mississippi Sheiks, and by their leader Bo Carter in 1928. The song was covered by artists as diverse as Bob Willis, Big Joe Turner, and Doc Watson. Dylan's version is notable for the fact that it's the only track on Freewheelin' recorded with accompanying musicians. And also, as Todd Harvey points out, Dylan borrows phrases from several Robert Johnson songs: "Stones In My Passway", "32-20 Blues", and "Hellhound On My Trail".[53]

"Honey Just Allow Me One More Chance"
"Honey Just Allow Me One More Chance" is based on "Honey, Won't You Allow Me One More Chance?", a song dating back to the 1890s that was popularized by Henry Thomas in his 1928 recording. "However, Thomas's original provided no more than a song title and a notion", writes Heylin, "which Dylan turned into a personal plea to an absent lover to allow him 'one more chance to get along with you.' It is a vocal tour de force and...showed a Dylan prepared to make light of his own blues by using the form itself."[54]

"I Shall Be Free"
"I Shall Be Free" is a rewrite of Leadbelly's "We Shall Be Free", which was performed by Leadbelly, Sonny Terry, Cisco Houston, and Woody Guthrie. According to musicologist Todd Harvey, Dylan's version draws its melody from the Guthrie recording but omits its signature chorus ("We'll soon be free/When the Lord will call us home"). Dylan's version describes the singer's uneasy relationship with women, and delivers some striking references to contemporary culture: a phone call from JFK, a satire on TV advertising, and some prodigious drinking. Placed at the end of the Freewheelin' LP, the song provides some welcome levity.[55]

Cover art
The album cover features a photograph of Dylan with Suze Rotolo. It was taken in February 1963—a few weeks after Rotolo had returned from Italy—by CBS staff photographer Don Hunstein at the corner of Jones Street and West 4th Street in Greenwich Village, New York City, just a few yards away from the apartment where the couple lived at the time.[56] In her memoir, A Freewheelin' Time, Rotolo recounts how the photo came about spontaneously, and analyses the significance of the cover image:

It is one of those cultural markers that influenced the look of album covers precisely because of its casual down-home spontaneity and sensibility. Most album covers were carefully staged and controlled, to terrific effect on the Blue Note jazz album covers... and to not-so great-effect on the perfectly posed and clean-cut pop and folk albums. Whoever was responsible for choosing that particular photograph for The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan really had an eye for a new look.[57]
[edit] Outtakes
Sheet music for "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues" first appeared in the debut issue of Broadside magazine in late February 1962. Conceived by Pete Seeger and Agnes 'Sis' Cunningham, Broadside was a magazine dedicated to publishing contemporary folk songs. Dylan was introduced to Cunningham through Seeger, and during his first meeting with Cunningham, Dylan played her the song.[58] A wry but humorous satire that also worked as a scathing portrayal of right-wing paranoia, it would be the first of many contributions to Broadside magazine.

Dylan gave Nat Hentoff this account of how he came to write "Let Me Die in My Footsteps" in 1963: "I was going through some town and they were making this bomb shelter right outside of town, one of these sort of Coliseum-type things and there were construction workers and everything. I was there for about an hour, just looking at them build, and I just wrote the song in my head back then, but I carried it with me for two years until I finally wrote it down. As I watched them building, it struck me sort of funny that they would concentrate so much on digging a hole underground when there were so many other things they should do in life. If nothing else, they could look at the sky, and walk around and live a little bit, instead of doing this immoral thing."[59] "Let Me Die in My Footsteps" was selected for the original sequence of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, but was replaced by "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall".[36]

It is unclear whether "Mixed Up Confusion" was ever a serious contender for The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, but it was issued by Columbia as a single-only release during the Christmas shopping season. Dylan had been an avid fan of rock & roll ever since his childhood, and "Mixed Up Confusion" was his first record to recall the early rockabilly recordings of his youth. It was also his first Columbia release to group him with a studio band.

Though it wasn't recorded for the album, "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" was written and demo'd in between album sessions. Perhaps an account of Dylan's uneasy relationship with Rotolo, the song is sung from the point-of-view of a narrator who cannot lie down in his bed once again until his "own true love" is back and waiting. Dylan eventually released "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" in 1971 on Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II, in the form of a live performance recorded at the Town Hall concert on April 12, 1963. Heylin describes the Town Hall performance as "an achingly lovely rendition of his most tender song."

The known outtakes from the Freewheelin' album are:[36][60]

Title Status
"Baby, Please Don't Go" Released on Exclusive Outtakes From No Direction Home EP[a 1]
"Ballad of Hollis Brown" Unreleased. Re-recorded for Dylan's next album, The Times They Are a-Changin'
"The Death of Emmett Till" Unreleased
"Hero Blues" Unreleased
"House Carpenter" Released on The Bootleg Series 1-3
"(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle"
(Hank Williams, Jimmie Davies) Unreleased
"Kingsport Town" Released on The Bootleg Series 1-3
"Let Me Die In My Footsteps" Released on The Bootleg Series 1-3
"Milkcow's Calf Blues" Unreleased
"Mixed Up Confusion" Released on Biograph
"Quit Your Lowdown Ways" Released on The Bootleg Series 1-3
"Rambling, Gambling Willie" Released on The Bootleg Series 1-3
"Sally Gal" Released on No Direction Home: The Bootleg Series Vol. 7
"Rocks and Gravel" Unreleased
"Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues" Released on The Bootleg Series 1-3
"Talkin' Hava Negiliah Blues" Released on The Bootleg Series 1-3
"Talkin' John Birch 'Paranoid' Blues" Released as a live recording from Carnegie Hall, October 26, 1963, on The Bootleg Series 1-3
"That's Alright Mama" Unreleased
"The Walls of Redwing" Released on The Bootleg Series 1-3
"Watcha Gonna Do" Unreleased
"Wichita" Unreleased
"Worried Blues" Unreleased

A few copies of the original pressing of the LP—with the subsequently deleted tracks, "Let Me Die In My Footsteps", "Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie" (retitled "Gamblin' Willie's Dead Man's Hand"), "Rocks and Gravel" and "Talkin' John Birch Blues"—have turned up over the years, despite Columbia's supposed destruction of all copies during the pre-release phase. Other permutations of the Freewheelin' album include versions with a different running order of the tracks on the album, and a Canadian version of the album that listed the track in the wrong order.[61]

In April, 1992, the first known stereo copy of the original version of Frewheelin' (with the label listing the four variant songs) was found at a Greenwich Village thrift store in New York City. The record was used; it was auctioned via Goldmine magazine and fetched $12,345.67. It would probably have fetched more if it had been in mint condition.[62][63]

Dylan promoted his upcoming album with a number of radio appearances and concert performances. In May 1963, Dylan performed with Joan Baez at the Monterey Folk Festival, where she joined him on stage for a duet of a new Dylan song, "With God on Our Side". Baez was at the pinnacle of her fame, having appeared on the cover of Time magazine the previous November. The performance not only gave Dylan and his songs a new prominence, it also marked the beginning of a romantic relationship between Baez and Dylan, the start of what Dylan biographer Sounes termed "one of the most celebrated love affairs of the decade".[66]

In July, Dylan appeared at the second Newport Folk Festival. That weekend, Peter, Paul and Mary's rendition of "Blowin' in the Wind" reached #2 on Billboard's pop chart. Baez was also at Newport, and she appeared with Dylan twice on stage, both in his set, and her own. The combination of the chart success of "Blowin' In The Wind", and the glamour of Baez and Dylan singing together generated excitement about Dylan and his new album. Tom Paxton recalled: "That was a big breakout festival for Bob. The buzz kept growing exponentially and it was like a coronation of Bob and Joan. They were King and Queen of the festival".[67]

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan had been available since late May, but despite the controversy surrounding Dylan's cancelled Sullivan appearance, the album had not attract many reviews in the mainstream press. It sold modestly upon its release, but with Dylan's appearance at Newport, Baez's endorsement, and covers of his songs by Baez, Odetta and Peter, Paul and Mary, sales began to rise. Dylan's friend Bob Fass recalled that after Newport, Dylan told him that "suddenly I just can't walk around without a disguise. I used to walk around and go wherever I wanted. But now it's gotten very weird. People follow me into the men's room just so they can say that they saw me pee."[68]

By September, the album finally entered Billboard's album charts. The highest position it reached was number 22 (it eventually came to sell one million copies in the USA).[69] Dylan himself came to acknowledge Freewheelin' as the album that marked the start of his success. During his dispute with Albert Grossman, Dylan stated in a deposition: "Although I didn't know it at the time, the second album was destined to become a great success because it was to include 'Blowin' In the Wind'."[70] Besides "Blowin' In the Wind", "Masters of War", "Girl from the North Country", "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" have all been acclaimed as masterpieces, and they have been mainstays of Dylan's performing repertory to the present day.[71] The album's balance between serious subject matter and levity, earnest finger-pointing songs and surreal jokes captured a wide audience, including The Beatles, who were on the edge of global success. John Lennon recalled: "In Paris in 1964 was the first time I ever heard Dylan at all. Paul got the record (The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan) from a French DJ. For three weeks in Paris we didn't stop playing it. We all went potty about Dylan."[72]

In a survey of Dylan’s work published by Q magazine, the Freewheelin’ album was described as “easily the best of [Dylan’s] acoustic albums and a quantum leap from his debut—which shows the frantic pace at which Dylan’s mind was moving.” The magazine went on to comment, “You can see why this album got The Beatles listening. The songs at its core must have sounded like communiques from another plane.”[73]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine’s verdict on the album in the Allmusic guide was: “It's hard to overestimate the importance of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, the record that firmly established Dylan as an unparalleled songwriter… This is rich, imaginative music, capturing the sound and spirit of America as much as that of Louis Armstrong, Hank Williams, or Elvis Presley. Dylan, in many ways, recorded music that equaled this, but he never topped it.”[64]

Music critic Richard Williams has pointed out that the richness of the imagery in "A Hard Rain" made Dylan into a cult performer for a burgeoning college audience hungry for a new cultural complexity: "For students whose exam courses included Eliot and Yeats, here was something that flattered their expanding intellect while appealing to the teenage rebel in their early-sixties souls. James Dean had walked around reading James Joyce; here were both in a single package, the words and the attitude set to music."[74] Andy Gill adds that in the few months between the release of Freewheelin' in May 1963, and Dylan's next album The Times They Are A-Changin' in January 1964, Dylan became the hottest property in American music, stretching the boundaries of what had been previously viewed as a collegiate folk music audience.[75]

In March 2000, Van Morrison told the Irish rock magazine Hot Press about the impact that Freewheelin' made on him: "I think I heard it in a record shop in Smith Street. And I just thought it was incredible that this guy's not singing about 'moon in June' and he's getting away with it. That's what I thought at the time. The subject matter wasn't pop songs, ya know, and I thought this kind of opens the whole thing up...Dylan put it into the mainstream that this could be done."[76]

Freewheelin' was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry in 2002. The citation read: "This album is considered by some to be the most important collection of original songs issued in the 1960s."[77]

[edit] Charts
Album Year Chart Position
1963 Billboard 200 22
1964 UK Top 75 1
Singles Year Single Chart Position
1963 "Blowin' in the Wind" Billboard Hot 100 —
1963 "Blowin' in the Wind" UK Top 75 —
"—" denotes the release failed to chart.

[edit] Track listing
All songs by Bob Dylan, except where noted[78]

[edit] Side one
1."Blowin' in the Wind" – 2:48
2."Girl from the North Country" – 3:22
3."Masters of War" – 4:34
4."Down the Highway" – 3:27
5."Bob Dylan's Blues" – 2:23
6."A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" – 6:55
[edit] Side two
1."Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" – 3:40
2."Bob Dylan's Dream" – 5:03
3."Oxford Town" – 1:50
4."Talkin' World War III Blues" – 6:28
5."Corrina, Corrina" (Traditional) – 2:44
6."Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance" (Dylan, Henry Thomas) – 2:01
7."I Shall Be Free" – 4:49
[edit] Personnel
Bob Dylan - Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboards, Vocals
Bruce Langhorne - Guitar
Howard Collins - Guitar
Leonard Gaskin - Bass guitar
George Barnes - Bass guitar
Gene Ramey - Double bass
Herb Lovelle - Drums
Dick Wellstood - Piano
John H. Hammond, Jr. - Producer
Tom Wilson - Producer
Nat Hentoff - Liner Notes
Don Hunstein
Click on NPR above to read the story and hear her interview on National Public Radio.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another Side of Bob Dylan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Another Side of Bob Dylan

Studio album by Bob Dylan
Released August 8, 1964
Recorded June 9, 1964 at Columbia Studios, New York City
Genre Folk
Length 50:37
Label Columbia
Producer Tom Wilson

Bob Dylan chronology
The Times They Are A-Changin'
(1964) Another Side of Bob Dylan
(1964) Bringing It All Back Home

Another Side of Bob Dylan is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's fourth studio album, released in August 1964 by Columbia Records.

Consistent with its title, the album marks a shift away from the more overt, issue-oriented folk music that Dylan had previously been gravitating toward, dominating his previous LP, The Times They Are A-Changin'. This break from traditionalist roots prompted sharp criticism from influential figures in the folk community. Sing Out! editor Irwin Silber famously complained that Dylan had "somehow lost touch with people" and was tangled up in "the paraphernalia of fame".

Despite the major thematic changes, Dylan still performed his songs solo, with acoustic guitar and harmonica, and even piano on one song. Another Side of Bob Dylan reached #43 in the US (although it eventually went gold), and peaked at #8 on the UK charts in 1965

Recording sessions
Throughout 1963, Dylan worked on a novel and a play. A number of publishers were interested in signing Dylan to a contract, and at one point, City Lights (a small but prestigious company specializing in poetry) was strongly considered. However, as Dylan worked on his book at a casual pace, his manager, Albert Grossman, decided to make a deal with a major publisher.

Macmillan's senior editor, Bob Markel, said, "We gave [Dylan] an advance for an untitled book of writings...The publisher was taking a risk on a young, untested potential phenomenon." When Markel met with Dylan for the first time, "there was no book at the time...The material at that point was hazy, sketchy. The poetry editor called it 'inaccessible.' The symbolism was not easily understood, but on the other hand it was earthy, filled with obscure but marvelous imagery...I felt it had a lot of value and was very different from Dylan's output till then. [But] it was not a book."

It would be years before Dylan finished his book, but the free form poetry experiments that came from it eventually influenced his songwriting. The most notable example came in a six-line coda to a poem responding to President John F. Kennedy's assassination (which took place on November 22, 1963):

the colors of Friday were dull / as cathedral bells were gently burnin / strikin for the gentle / strikin for the kind / strikin for the crippled ones / an strikin for the blind

This refrain would soon appear in a very important composition, "Chimes of Freedom", and, as biographer Clinton Heylin writes, "with this sad refrain, Dylan would pass from topical troubadour to poet of the road."[1]

In February 1964, Dylan embarked on a twenty-day trip across the United States. Riding in a station wagon with a few friends (Paul Clayton, Victor Maymudes, and Pete Karman), Dylan began the trip in New York, taking numerous detours through many states before ending the trip in California. (At one point, Dylan reportedly paid a visit to poet Carl Sandburg.) "We talked to people in bars, miners," Dylan would later say. "Talking to people - that's where it's at, man."[2]

According to Heylin, "the primary motivation for this trip was to find enough inspiration to step beyond the folk-song form, if not in the bars, or from the miners, then by peering deep into himself." Dylan spent much time in the back of the station wagon, working on songs and possibly poetry on a typewriter. It was during this trip that Dylan composed "Chimes of Freedom", finishing it in time to premiere at a Denver concert on the 15th. "Mr. Tambourine Man" was also composed during this trip.

It was also during this trip that The Beatles arrived in America. Their first visit to the United States, it remains a cultural touchstone in American culture. Maymudes recalled how Dylan "nearly jumped out the car" when I Wanna Hold Your Hand came on the radio and his comments: "Did you hear that?..that was fuckin' great! Oh man.." and how Dylan seemed lost in thought replaying the record over in his head.[3] Dylan, however, had already been following The Beatles since 1963. There have been different accounts regarding Dylan's attitude towards The Beatles at this time, but it's known that Suze Rotolo and Al Aronowitz immediately took to them and championed their music to Dylan. Aronowitz later claimed that Dylan dismissed them as "bubblegum", but in an interview taken in 1971, Dylan recalls being impressed by their music. "We were driving through Colorado, we had the radio on, and eight of the Top 10 songs were Beatles songs...'I Wanna Hold Your Hand,' all those early ones. They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid...I knew they were pointing the direction of where music had to go."

When Dylan returned to New York in March, he rented himself an electric guitar. In January, The Beatles were in France, playing a week's worth of concerts. During their stay in France, George Harrison came back to the hotel with an album titled En Roue Libre, better known as The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. According to Harrison, "we just played it, just wore it [out]. The content of the song lyrics and just the attitude!" (While The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan was released in the UK in August of 1963, the French edition En Roue Libre was not released until May 1965 so it was likely the UK release).

As The Beatles began to influence Dylan and vice versa, Dylan's personal life was undergoing a number of significant changes. Though their stage appearances together began to dwindle, Dylan continued his romance with folksinger Joan Baez. Dylan's girlfriend Suze Rotolo apparently had enough of the affair. Soon after Dylan returned to New York, the two had an argument. At the time, Suze was staying with her sister Carla, and when Carla intervened, Dylan began screaming at Carla. Carla ordered Dylan to leave, but he refused to go. Carla Rotolo pushed Dylan, and he pushed her back. The two of them were soon practically fighting. Friends were called and Dylan had to be forcibly removed, effectively ending Dylan's relationship with Suze Rotolo.[4] In an interview taken in 1966, Dylan admitted that after their relationship ended, "I got very, very strung out for a while. I mean, really, very strung out."

One account of Dylan's first experience with hallucinogens places it in April 1964; producer Paul Rothchild told Bob Spitz that he was present when Dylan took his first hit of LSD. By February 1964, Dylan was already telling his friends that "Rimbaud's where it's at. That's the kind of stuff means something. That's the kind of writing I'm gonna do." A legendary poet, Rimbaud once wrote to his mentor Georges Izambard that "the poet makes himself a seer by a long, prodigious and rational disordering of the senses...He reaches [for] the unknown and even if, crazed, he ends up by losing the understanding of his visions, at least he has seen them." (Dated May of 1871) Dylan's early experimentation with hallucinogens has often been connected with the dramatic development his songwriting would soon take, but Dylan himself has denied any connection.

Dylan later left for Europe, completing a few performances in England before traveling to Paris where he was introduced to a German model, Christa Paffgen, who went by the name of Nico. After treating Dylan to a meal at her flat, Nico accompanied Dylan across Europe, a trip that passed through Germany before ending in Vernilya, a small village outside of Athens, Greece. Dylan stayed at Vernilya for more than a week, finishing many of the songs that would appear on his fourth and upcoming album. Nine songs of these would be recorded upon his return to New York: "All I Really Want to Do", "Spanish Harlem Incident", "To Ramona", "I Shall Be Free No. 10", "Ballad in Plain D", "It Ain't Me, Babe", "Mama You Been On My Mind", "Denise Denise", and "Black Crow Blues." Dylan also completed another song called "I'll Keep It With Mine", which, according to Nico, was "about me and my little baby". Dylan gave the song to Nico, who would eventually record it for her own album, Chelsea Girl, released in 1967.

With Dylan's commercial profile on the rise, Columbia was now urging Dylan to release a steady stream of recordings. Upon Dylan's return to New York, studio time was quickly scheduled, with Tom Wilson back as producer.

The first (and only) session was held on June 9th at Columbia's Studio A in New York. According to Heylin, "while polishing off a couple of bottles of Beaujolais", Dylan recorded fourteen original compositions that night, eleven of which were chosen for the final album. The three that were ultimately rejected were "Denise Denise", "Mr. Tambourine Man", and "Mama You Been On My Mind".[5]

Ramblin' Jack Elliott was present during part of this session, and Dylan asked him to perform on "Mr. Tambourine Man". "He invited me to sing on it with him," recalls Elliott, "but I didn't know the words 'cept for the chorus, so I just harmonized with him on the chorus." Only one complete take was recorded, with Dylan stumbling on some of the lyrics.[5] Though the recording was ultimately rejected, Dylan would return to the song for his next album.

By the time Dylan recorded what was ultimately the master take of "My Back Pages", it was 1:30 in the morning. Master takes were selected, and after some minor editing, a final album was soon sequenced.

Track listing
All songs written by Bob Dylan.

Side one
"All I Really Want to Do" – 4:04
"Black Crow Blues" – 3:14
"Spanish Harlem Incident" – 2:24
"Chimes of Freedom" – 7:10
"I Shall Be Free No. 10" – 4:47
"To Ramona" – 3:52
Side two
"Motorpsycho Nitemare" – 4:33
"My Back Pages" – 4:22
"I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)" – 4:22
"Ballad in Plain D" – 8:16
"It Ain't Me Babe" – 3:33
The Songs
As Dylan told Nat Hentoff in The New Yorker, "there aren't any finger-pointin' songs" on Another Side of Bob Dylan, which was a significant step in a new direction.

"As a set, the songs constitute a decisive act of noncommitment to issue-bound protest, to tradition-bound folk music and the possessive bonds of its audience," writes NPR's Tim Riley. "The love songs open up into indeterminate statements about the emotional orbits lovers take, and the topical themes pass over artificial moral boundaries and leap into wide-ranging social observation."[6]

"Chimes of Freedom" can be traced to "Lay Down Your Weary Tune", an outtake from The Times They Are A-Changin'. "Its sense of the power of nature...closely mirrors 'Lay Down Your Weary Tune,'" writes Clinton Heylin. "Unashamedly apocalyptic...the composition of 'Chimes of Freedom' represented a leap in form that permitted even more intensely poetic songs to burst forth."

"The compassion that laces all the complaints in 'All I Really Want to Do' and 'It Ain't Me, Babe' is round with idealism and humor," writes Riley. "That [both songs] work off a pure Jimmie Rodgers yodel only makes their ties to wide-open American optimism that much more enticing (even though they are both essentially reluctant good-byes)."[7]

"It Ain't Me, Babe" also reworks the same "Scarborough Fair" arrangement that was written into Dylan's earlier composition, "Boots of Spanish Leather". Johnny Cash would record his own hit version of this song soon after Another Side of Bob Dylan was released, while The Turtles' version would chart even higher.

Riley describes "My Back Pages" as "a thorough X-ray of Dylan's former social proselytizing...Dylan renounces his former over-serious messianic perch, and disowns false insights." ("I was so much older then / I'm younger than that now.")

According to Heylin, "Ballad in Plain D" takes its melody and refrain ("my friends say unto me...") from the Scottish folk song, "I Once Loved A Lass (The False Bride)".[8] "The song graphically details the night of his breakup with Suze," writes Heylin. "Dylan's portrayal of Carla as the 'parasite sister' remains a cruel and inaccurate portrait of a woman who had started out as one of [Dylan's] biggest fans, and changed only as she came to see the degrees of emotional blackmail he subjected her younger sister to." Asked in 1985 if there were any songs he regretted writing, Dylan singled out "Ballad in Plain D", saying "I look back at that particular one and say...maybe I could have left that alone."[9]

"'Spanish Harlem Incident' is a new romance that pretends to be short and sweet," writes Riley, "but it's an example of how Dylan begins using uncommon word couplings to evoke the mysteries of intimacy...her 'rattling drums' play off his 'restless palms'; her 'pearly eyes' and 'flashing diamond teeth' off his 'pale face.'"[10]

Described by Heylin as "the most realized song on Another Side", "To Ramona" is one of the more celebrated songs on the album. A soft, tender waltz, Riley writes that the song "extends the romance from ideals of emotional honesty out into issues of conditioned conformity ('From fixtures and forces and friends / That you gotta be just like them') 'Spanish Harlem Incident,' [Dylan's] using flattery as a front for the singer's own weak self-image; in 'To Ramona,' he's trying to save his lover from herself if only because he knows he may soon need the same comfort he's giving her."

Described by Riley as "the unalloyed sting of a romantic perfidy",[11] "I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)" would be dramatically rearranged for a full-electric rock band during Dylan's famous 1966 tour with The Hawks.

Four songs from Another Side of Bob Dylan were eventually recorded by The Byrds: "Chimes of Freedom", "My Back Pages", "Spanish Harlem Incident", and "All I Really Want to Do". In addition, they were introduced to their breakthrough hit single "Mr. Tamborine Man" through a copy of Dylan's unreleased recording from the June 9, 1964 album session. All received their share of critical acclaim.

A complete take of "Mama, You Been On My Mind" was recorded for the album, but for reasons unknown, it was rejected. Described by Tim Riley as "the echo of a left-behind affair that rebounds off a couple of self-aware curves ('I am not askin' you to say words like 'yes' or 'no,' / ...I'm just breathin' to myself, pretendin' not that I don't know)," the song was soon covered by Joan Baez, who had a considerable amount of commercial success with it. Dylan's version would not see released until The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991 in 1991. However, Dylan would periodically perform the song in concert, occasionally with Baez as his duet partner. Rod Stewart would later cover the song for his critically acclaimed album, Never a Dull Moment, and a version by Jeff Buckley appears as an out-take on the 2004 re-issue of Grace. Johnny Cash covered the song on his album Orange Blossom Special. It was covered by Linda Ronstadt on her 1969 album Hand Sown ... Home Grown with altered lyrics as "Baby, You've Been On My Mind". The Israeli singer Shlomi Shaban recorded a version of this song translated to Hebrew, which appeared on his 2007 album Ir (עיר, City).

Though "Mr. Tambourine Man" would be re-recorded for Dylan's next album, Sony released the complete take recorded for Another Side of Bob Dylan on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home: The Soundtrack in 2005. Unlike the familiar version recorded for Bringing It All Back Home, this early version has a harmonica intro as well as Ramblin' Jack Elliott singing harmony vocals on the chorus. It was an acetate copy of this version of the song that found its way to the newly formed Byrds in late 1964, leading to their breakthrough electrified recording of the song in advance of its first release by Dylan.

Dylan also recorded two additional songs that did not make the album. The first is "Denise", a song which uses the same music as "Black Crow Blues" but with different lyrics. The second is "California", which again uses "Black Crow Blues"'s music as the basic structure of the song. A small section of the "California" lyrics were reused in "Outlaw Blues", a song that appeared on Dylan's next album, Bringing It All Back Home. Both outtakes are circulating.

As Another Side of Bob Dylan was prepared for release, Dylan premiered his new songs at the Newport Folk Festival in July 1964. The festival also marked Dylan's first meeting with country legend Johnny Cash; Dylan was already an admirer of Cash's music, and vice versa. The two spent a night jamming together in Joan Baez's room at the Viking Motor Inn. According to Cash, "we were so happy to [finally] meet each other that we were jumping on the beds like kids." The next day, Cash would perform Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" as part of his set, telling the audience that "we've been doing it on our shows all over the country, trying to tell the folks about Bob, that we think he's the best songwriter of the age since Pete Seeger...Sure do."

Though the audience at Newport seemed to enjoy Dylan's new material, the folk press did not. Irwin Silber of Sing Out and David Horowitz criticized Dylan's direction and accused Dylan of succumbing to the pressures/temptations of fame. In an open letter to Dylan published in the November issue of Sing Out, Silber wrote "your new songs seem to be all inner-directed now, inner-probing, self-conscious" and, based on what he saw at Newport, "that some of the paraphernalia of fame [was] getting in your way." Horowitz called the songs an "unqualified failure of taste and self-critical awareness."

The album was a step back commercially, failing to make the Top 40, indicating that record consumers may have had a problem as well.

Dylan would soon defend his work, writing that "the songs are insanely honest, not meanin t twist any heads an written only for the reason that i myself me alone wanted and needed t write them." (Transcribed as typed.)

Dylan would concede in 1978 that the album title was not to his liking. "I thought it was just too corny," he said, "I just felt trouble coming when they titled it that." However, it's worth noting that the original manuscripts to the album make two references to the eventual album title: an early draft of "I Shall Be Free No. 10" has the line "You're on another side" while the only line occupying one final page says "there is no other side of bob dylan."

Years later, mixed reactions over Another Side of Bob Dylan would remain but not for the same reasons. Critics would later view it as a 'transitional' album. Clinton Heylin would claim that "Dylan was simply too close to the experiences he was drawing upon to translate them into art. He was also still experimenting with the imagery found on 'Chimes of Freedom' and 'Mr. Tambourine Man.' 'My Back Pages,' the least successful example of the new style, was replete with bizarre compound images ('corpse evangelists,' 'confusion boats,' etc.)." critic Bill Wyman would dismiss it as "a lesser, 'relationship' album", but conceded that "Chimes of Freedom" was a "lovely hymn to the 'countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an' worse'."

However, NPR's Tim Riley would call it "a bridge between folkie rhetoric (albeit superior) and his troika of electric rants...a rock album without electric guitars, a folk archetype that punches through the hardy, plainspoken mold. Built on repeated riffs and coaxed by the controlled anxiety of Dylan's voice, the songs work off one another with intellectually charged élan. It's a transition album with a mind of its own."

Bob Dylan – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica
Ramblin' Jack Elliott – backing vocals on "Mr. Tambourine Man" (released on Bringing It All Back Home)
Tom Wilson – producer


This is an excerpt from the liner notes on the back of the album Another Side of Bob Dylan:

(swingin' wanda's
down in new orleans
rumbles across
brick written
swear word
vulgar wall
in new york city)

no they can't make it
off the banks of their river
i am in their river
(i wonder if he jumped
i really wonder if he jumped)
i turn corner
t' get off river
an' get off river
still goin' up
i about face
an' discover
that i'm on another river

(this time. king rex
blesses me with plastic beads
an' toot toot whistles
paper rings an' things.
royal street.
bourbon street
st. claude an' esplanade
pass an' pull
everything out of shape
joe b. stuart
white southern poet
holds me up
we charge through casa
blazin' jukebox
gumbo overflowin'
get kicked out of colored bar
streets jammed
hypnotic stars explode
in louisiana murder night
everything's wedged
arm in arm
stoned galore
must see you in mobile then
down governor nichel
an' gone)

(Click on the Label Bob Dylan in the list below to see all my previous posts about Bob Dylan).