Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash became friends at the 1964 Newport Folk Fest where they both performed (they had corresponded some time before this and they bumpen into each other in New York in 63 backstage at The Gaslight cafe) , Johnny Cash the seasoned country legend and Bob Dylan the new golden boy. They spent the evening picking in Joan Baez’s hotel room with June Carter Cash, Joan Baez, Jack Elliot and others. As the story goes, Johnny Cash took Dylan aside and handed him his Martin guitar as a gift, a gesture of honor among country musicians.
Their paths crossed on several occasions, and they recorded and performed together many times.
Here are the songs I could find where Cash covers Dylan:
The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration is a live double-album release in recognition of Bob Dylan’s 30 years as a recording artist. Recorded on October 16, 1992 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, it captures most of the concert, which featured many artists performing classic Dylan songs, before ending with three songs from Dylan himself.
Well, I’m tired and so weary
But I must go along
Till the lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yeah
Well the morning’s so bright
And the Lamb is the light
And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes.
(There will be peace in the valley for me, some day)
“Peace in the Valley” is a 1937 song written by Thomas A. Dorsey, originally for Mahalia Jackson. The song became a hit in 1951 for Red Foley and the Sunshine Boys, reaching No. 7 on the Country & Western Best Seller chart. It was among the first gospel recordings to sell one million copies. Foley’s version was a 2006 entry into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
Important recordings of ‘Peace In The Valley’ include the Red Foley version that established the song, Elvis Presley’s 1957 single, and Johnny Cash’s 1969 recording, which was included on the massively successful album “Johnny Cash At San Quentin”.
Other recordings of note are those by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and the Original Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. By the time Dylan came to perform the song in 1989 he would surely have known all of the above recordings.
~Derek Barker (The Songs He didn’t Write)
May 14: Legendary producer the late great Bob Johnston was born in 1932
“Is it rolling, Bob?” – Bob Dylan at the beginning of To Be Alone With You (Nashville Skyline)
“Johnston had fire in his eyes. He had that thing that some people call ‘Momentum.’ You could see it in his face and he shared that fire, that spirit. Columbia’s leading folk and country producer, he was born one hundred years too late. He should have been wearing a wide cape, a plumed hat, and riding with his sword held high. Johnston disregarded any warning that might get in his way. … Johnston lived on low country barbecue, and he was all charm.”
– Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One
“I had the best in the world in my hand – there was no place I couldn’t go with him, so that’s where I went. I think Blonde On Blonde is the best record Dylan ever cut… Blonde On Blonde was the first symphony cut in Nashville!” – Bob Johnston (Uncut magazine)
Donald William ‘Bob’ Johnston (born May 14, 1932, Hillsboro, Texas, died August 14, 2015) was an American record producer, best known for his work with Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, and Simon and Garfunkel.
April 9: Bob Dylan released Nashville Skyline in 1969
Well, Jann, I’ll tell you something. There’s not too much of a change in my singing style, but I’ll tell you something which is true… I stopped smoking. When I stopped smoking my voice changed… So drastically, I couldn’t believe it myself. That’s true. I tell you, you stop smoking those cigarettes (laughter)… and you’ll be able to sing like Caruso.
~Bob Dylan (to Jann Wenner Nov 1969)
Anyway, on Nashville Skyline you had to read between the lines. I was trying to grasp something that would lead me on to where I thought I should be, and it didn’t go nowhere – it just went down, down, down.
~Bob Dylan (to Jonathan Cott, Sept 1978)
Released 47 years ago, it surely is one of his most controversial albums.. “Embracing” classic Country music & kicking off the “Country Rock” genre.
I’ve always liked this album… not a masterpiece, but a solid Dylan album.
#1 – Girl from the North Country (with Johnny Cash)