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 48 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)
I like Johnny Cash’s songs. Because he’s not trying to cover up. Writes real stuff.
~Bob Dylan (Izzy Young’s Notebooks – Oct 1961)
Shown as part of The Johnny Cash tribute show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City 6 April 1999.
Hey Johnny, I wanna say Hi and I’m sorry we can’t be there, but that’s just the way it is. I wanna sing you one of your songs about trains. I used to sing this song before I ever wrote a song and I also wanna thank you for standing up for me way back when.
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Bucky Baxter (pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
Eat The Document premiered at the New York Academy Of Music, February 8, 1971.
Eat the Document is a documentary of Bob Dylan’s 1966 tour of the United Kingdom with the Hawks. It was shot under Dylan’s direction by D. A. Pennebaker, whose groundbreaking documentary, Don’t Look Back, chronicled Dylan’s 1965 British tour. The film was originally commissioned for the ABC television series Stage ’66.
Eat the Document includes footage from the infamous Manchester Free Trade Hall concert, wherein an audience member shouted “Judas!” during the electric half of Dylan’s set. Dylan’s band during these shows were The Hawks (later to become The Band). Songs from various shows throughout the tour featured in the film include “Tell Me, Momma”, “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)”, “Ballad of a Thin Man”, and “One Too Many Mornings.”
Other scenes include Dylan and Robbie Robertson in hotel rooms writing and working through new songs, most of which remain unreleased and unpublished. Among these songs are “I Can’t Leave Her Behind”, which was later covered by Stephen Malkmus for the I’m Not There soundtrack.
The film also includes a piano duet with Johnny Cash performing Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone”.
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)
Man Gave Names to All the Animals is a song written by Bob Dylan that appeared on Dylan’s 1979 album Slow Train Coming and was also released as a single in some European countries. It was also released as a promo single in US. The single became a chart hit in France and Belgium.
However, the song also has detractors who consider it the worst song Dylan ever wrote. A 2013 reader’s poll conducted by Rolling Stone Magazine ranked “Man Gave Names to All the Animals” the 4th worst Bob Dylan song, although the hit single from Slow Train Coming, “Gotta Serve Somebody” placed second. I love’em both.
Man Gave Names to All the Animals has been covered by multiple artists, I’ve picked three of my favourites.