Posts Tagged ‘Bob Dylan’

Song of the Day by Eric Berman: Top Albums of 2015

kendricklamar

Song of the Day by Eric Berman: Top Albums of 2015

  1. Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Kamasi Washington: The Epic
  3. Wilco: Star Wars
  4. Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell
  5. Bod Dylan: Shadows In The Night
  6. Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls
  7. Alabama Shakes: Sound and Color
  8. Kurt Vile: b’lieve i’m goin down
  9. Sleater-Kinney: No Cities To Love
  10. The Sonics: This Is The Sonics
  11. Jason Isbel: Something More Than Free
  12. The Bad Plus Joshua Redman
  13. D’Angelo & The Vanguard: Black Messiah
  14. Tame Impala: Currents
  15. FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks)
  16. Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit
  17. Darlene Love: Introducing Darlene Love
  18. Ryan Adams: 1989
  19. Miguel: Wildheart
  20. Hollywood Vampires
  21. The Arcs: Yours, Dreamily,
  22. Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear
  23. Paul & The Broken Bones: Half The City
  24. Ike Reilly: Born On Fire
  25. Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love

Top Reissues 2015

  1. Miles Davis: At Newport 1955-1975
  2. Bob Dylan: The Cutting Edge 1965-1966 – Bootleg Series Volume 12
  3. Velvet Underground: Complete Matrix
  4. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: The Ties That Bind
  5. Led Zeppelin: Coda
  6. Beach Boys: Party! Uncovered and Unplugged
  7. The Rolling Stones: Live Vault Vinyl/DVD Concert Series
  8. Todd Rundgren: Live at Electric Ballroom 10-23-78
  9. Yes: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
  10. Neil Young & The Bluenotes: Bluenote Café

Edited: December 15th, 2015

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #49– Nilsson: “Everybody’s Talkin’” b/w “I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City” – RCA Gold Standard 45 447-0838 (S5/T5)

45-adapter-logo2 nilssoneverybodyspicsleeve

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #49– Nilsson: “Everybody’s Talkin’” b/w “I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City” – RCA Gold Standard 45 447-0838 (S5/T5)

Harry Nilsson was a puzzlement. He was a brilliant songwriter who wrote some of the greatest pops songs of the 1960s. Songs like “One” (Three Dog Night), “Cuddly Toy” (The Monkees) and “Without Her” (Glen Campbell) came pouring from his pen providing many artists with some of their biggest hits. Yet the hits he scored on the charts were primarily written by others. Go figure…

Today’s jukebox classic is one of Nilsson’s biggest hits; some would say it is his signature song. And it is one that Nilsson (the songwriter) did not write. “Everybody’s Talkin’” was written and originally recorded by singer/songwriter Fred Neil. Neil was a big deal of the Greenwich Village folk music scene in New York City of the early 1960s.

Neil’s version was the last song written and recorded for his essential eponymously titled album which was released by Capitol Records in 1967. Neil was itching to get back to Florida and the ocean but needed one more song for his debut album. The song was hastily written as an afterthought at the urging of his producer, and recorded in one take. The album also included Neil’s song “The Dolphins” (covered most famously by Jefferson Airplane). In fact, several years after recording the song, Neil made good on the promise of the lyrics and gave up the music business entirely in favor of living in Florida near the ocean, working with dolphins until the end of his life in 2001.

Nilsson recorded the song at the behest of his producer Rick Jarrard for his second album Aerial Ballet in 1968. The Beatles’ press officer Derek Taylor was a big fan of Nilsson’s 1967 debut album Pandemonium Shadow Show, and famously ordered a case load of the album and gave them out to all of his friends including The Beatles who also became huge fans and good friends with Nilsson.

Taylor suggested Nilsson to film director John Schlesinger who was actively looking for a theme song to his current movie Midnight Cowboy. Schlesinger had been using Nilsson’s recording of “Everybody’s Talkin’” as a place holder in the film until the right song came along. Nilsson suggested that he use “I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City,” a song he wrote from his 1969 Harry album for use in the film. Schlesinger had grown so used to hearing the song matched with the corresponding scene that he decided to keep “Everybody’s Talkin’” in the film. At the same time, Bob Dylan also pitched a newly-penned song that he specifically composed for the film called “Lay Lady Lay,” however his submission came too late for its inclusion. Ultimately, Dylan’s recording of “Lay Lady Lay” became one of his biggest hits climbing all the way to #7 on the singles charts in 1969.

After its appearance in the movie, Nilsson’s version climbed to the #6 position of the singles charts in 1969 and sold over a million copies. It also won Nilsson a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Male in 1970. After the song became a hit for Nilsson, Capitol Records rereleased Fred Neil’s self-titled 1967 album under the name Everybody’s Talkin’ and released his version as a single.

The song has been covered numerous times by artists including Tom Jones, The Beach Boys, The Ventures, Tony Bennett, Matthew Sweet, Neil diamond, Arlo Guthrie, Percy Faith, The Four Tops, Iggy Pop, Engelbert Humperdinck, Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, The Kingston Trio, Liza Minnelli, Chet Atkins, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, Bill Withers, Linda Eder, Dwight Yoakam and many others. Nilsson’s version of the song is also heard in the films Forrest Gump, Borat and The Hangover III.

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over 14 years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Edited: July 7th, 2015

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Buckets Of Rain” by Bette Midler with Bob Dylan

45-adapter-logo2BetteMidlerBobDylan

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Buckets Of Rain” by Bette Midler with Bob Dylan

Here’s one for Bob Dylan’s birthday…

Today’s Song of the Day is a great Bette Midler/Bob Dylan duet from Midler’s 1976 album Songs For The New Depression. The session came about because Dylan had hoped Midler would join him on the 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour with an eye towards her being a part of his four-hour Renaldo and Clara movie which was filmed on the tour.

The duo’s original intention was to cut a new version of Moogy Klingman’s song “Friends” that Midler had recorded on her The Divine Miss M album several years earlier. When that didn’t work out, they worked up this rough and ready version of a song that was from Dylan’s then-current Blood on the Tracks album.

While there’s no topping Dylan’s own version of the song, I’ve always thought this one had a lot of personality and it sounds like they were both having a hoot recording it. Dylan and Midler would find themselves together in the studio one more during the USA For Africa sessions in the 1980s for the charity record of “We Are The World.”

Edited: May 25th, 2015

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #27 – Arthur Alexander: “Anna (Go To Him)” b/w “You Better Move On” – Collectables 45 RPM Single COL-3375 (N3/P3)

45-adapter-logo2arthuralexanderAnnaarthuralexander

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #27 – Arthur Alexander: “Anna (Go To Him)” b/w “You Better Move On” – Collectables 45 RPM Single COL-3375 (N3/P3)

He’s the only artist to be covered by the holy quartet of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Others who rushed to his deep well of first-rate copyrights included The Hollies, Ry Cooder, Pearl Jam, Ike & Tina Turner, Marshall Crenshaw, George Jones, Otis Redding, The Bee Gees, Humble Pie, and Dusty Springfield, and that’s only a small sampling of those who have recorded his tunes.

Yet, Arthur Alexander, the man who wrote such classics as “Soldier Of Love (Lay Down Your Arms),” “Sally Sue Brown,” “Detroit City,” “A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues” and the two songs on today’s jukebox single, remains largely unknown to most people today, or even worse, totally forgotten.

The A-side of today’s double-A-sided jukebox single was originally written, recorded and released as a single on the Dot label by Alexander in 1962. Alexander’s version charted at #68 on the pop charts, while climbing to #10 on the R&B lists. The song is notable because it was covered by The Beatles for their debut album Please Please Me. It was a favorite of John Lennon’s and became part of the group’s early live repertoire. Lennon had a bad cold during the marathon session that produced their first album, which accounts for the roughness of his voice on “Anna.”

If Alexander’s recordings weren’t enough to guarantee him legendary status, he, along with Donnie Fritts, Rick Hall and Tom Stafford, converted a dilapidated tobacco warehouse in Alabama into a recording studio, and launched the famed Muscle Shoals Studios with his first single “You Better Move On” in the early 1960s. Alexander’s original version of the song charted at #24 on the pop charts in 1962 and sold 800,000 copies making it possible for Muscle Shoals to relocate its facilities to 603 East Avalon Avenue. The backing musicians on the track included Dan Penn, Tommy Roe (of “Dizzy” fame) and Joe Tex.

The song was also covered by The Rolling Stones, The Hollies, The Moody Blues, Dean Martin, Johnny Rivers, Billy “Crash” Craddock (whose version was a #10 country hit), Mink DeVille and George Jones and Johnny Paycheck (whose duo version peaked at #18 on the country charts).

The music business was a tricky proposition then as it is now, and fame and fortune largely alluded him, but not for lack of trying. After a string of seminal southern soul recordings that made others rich and famous, Alexander moved from record label to record label releasing a series of albums and singles throughout the sixties and seventies that garnered little or no airplay, including an eponymously titled album for Warner Brothers in 1972 and the 1975 minor hit single “Every Day I Have To Cry” for Buddah Records.

From 1977 through 1992, Alexander dropped out of the music industry completely and drove a van for senior citizens. After being inducted into the Alabama Music Hall Of Fame, he came back to music and recorded his last record, Lonely Just Like Me for Elektra records in 1993. Sadly days after launching his comeback with a new band, Alexander died of a heart attack.

For further listening, check out The Ultimate Arthur Alexander for his original recordings, and the tribute album Adios Amigo: A Tribute To Arthur Alexander featuring covers of his songs by the likes of Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Roger McGuinn, Nick Lowe, John Prine and Frank Black. Both CDs were issued by Razor & Tie music.

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over 14 years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Edited: May 11th, 2015

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #22 – Bob Dylan: “Lay Lady Lay” b/w “I Threw It All Away” – Columbia 45 RPM Single 13-33178 (C3/D3)

45-adapter-logo2BobDylanNashvilleSkyline

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #22 – Bob Dylan: “Lay Lady Lay” b/w “I Threw It All Away” – Columbia 45 RPM Single 13-33178 (C3/D3)

The late 1960s introduced a new Bob Dylan to the world. With his motorcycle accident and requisite seclusion in Woodstock behind him, he emerged with John Wesley Harding, a rootsy, back-to-basics album in 1968 that flew in the face of the flamboyant psychedelic music that was currently all the rage at the time.

However, nothing could prepare Dylan fans for what followed in 1969: A content Dylan who was seemingly happy with his lot in life, complete with a new soulful, melodic croon of a voice that replaced the nasal monotone of the past. Most crucially, the 1969 model Dylan marked another shift in musical direction away from the mainstream, with an album of country influenced tunes called Nashville Skyline that was quite simply, unlike anything else he had recorded up to that point.

The album was recorded with a who’s who of Nashville’s finest session musicians including Norman Blake on guitar and dobro, Kenny Buttrey on drums, Fred Carter, Jr. on guitar, Charlie Daniels on bass, Pete Drake on pedal steel guitar, Charlie McCoy on guitar and harmonica, Bob Wilson on piano and organ and several others including Johnny Cash who provided duet vocals on “Girl From The North Country.”

“Lay Lady Lay,” the A-side of today’s jukebox classic was originally intended for the soundtrack of the movie Midnight Cowboy, but it was submitted too late to make the film and Nilsson’s cover of Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talking” was used in its place. Dylan then offered the song to the Everly Brothers backstage at a concert. When Dylan played “Lay Lady Lay” for them, they thought he was singing “lay across my big breasts, babe” instead of “lay across my big brass bed” and didn’t’ think that the song was appropriate for them to record. When they finally heard the correct lyrics in Dylan’s recording, they realized what a mistake they had made. They finally got around to recording the song for their EB 84 album in 1984. (songfacts.com)

“Lay Lady Lay” became one of Dylan’s biggest singles climbing all the way to #7 on the Billboard pop charts. According to Johnny Cash, Dylan introduced the song in a circle of song writers who congregated at Cash’s house that included Shel Silverstein who played “A Boy Named Sue,” Joni Mitchell who broke out “The Circle Game,” Graham Nash who performed “Marrakesh Express” and Kris Kristofferson who played “Me And Bobby McGee.” (songfacts.com)

Over the years, “Lay Lady Lay” has been covered by the likes of Cher, The Byrds, The Everly Brothers, Melanie, The Isley Brothers, Keith Jarrett, Neil Diamond, Isaac Hayes, Richie Havens, Steve Howe, Booker T. & the MGs, Buddy Guy, Duran Duran and Ministry.

The flip of today’s single was the first single release from Nashville Skyline, although it only charted at #85 on the Billboard pop charts. After writing the song, Dylan shared it with George Harrison who brought it to The Beatles’ Let It Be recording sessions. Session tapes reveal that George took the song out for a spin during The Beatles’ session for a performance . The song was also covered by Cher, Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, Lambchop and Yo La Tengo.

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over 14 years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Edited: April 27th, 2015

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You” by Cher

SOTD-1cher

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You” by Cher

When one thinks of great interpreters of Bob Dylan, the name Cher doesn’t automatically come to mind. But she was, in fact, a huge champion of Dylan’s songs, and his songs fit her voice like a glove. Over the years, Cher covered such Dylan copyrights as “All I Really Want To Do” (a #15 hit),“Lay Lady Lay” (titled “Lay Baby Lay” on her version), “I Threw It All Away,” “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” “Like A Rolling Stone,” “Masters Of War,” “The Times, They Are A-Changin’” and today’s Song Of The Day, “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You.”

Cher cut her version of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You” when it was a new song from Dylan’s just-released “Nashville Skyline.” Her version was released on the 1969 album “3614 Jackson Highway,” titled for the address of Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama where it was recorded.

The idea of bringing Cher to Muscle Shoals to work with Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin (who had also produced Dusty Springfield’s killer Dusty in Memphis album) was a brilliant one, and the results produced a terrific album that was not particularly well received when released and, unfortunately, didn’t sell well either. Although Wexler does get a production credit on the record, he was not present for the recording of Cher’s vocals because he came down with pneumonia during the sessions. He did, however, choose all of the songs for Cher to record.

One of the reasons the album might not have sold so well was that back in 1969 the address and the studio were a completely unknown entity. In fact, Cher’s album was the first record cut there. The studio was formed in 1969 by musicians Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums), Jimmy Johnson (guitar) and David Hood (bass) who had left the legendary FAME Studios, founded by Arthur Alexander, to launch Muscle Shoals.

Cher remains one of our greatest interpreters of song, especially in the 1960s, and for this album she adeptly covered Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay,” Dr. John’s “I Walk On Gilded Splinters,” Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham’s “Cry Like A Baby” (a hit for The Box Tops), Chips Moman and Dan Penn’s (by way of Aretha Franklin) “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and three of the above named Dylan songs, including today’s Song of the Day.

The musicians on the sessions were Eddie Hinton on lead guitar, Jimmy Johnson on rhythm guitar, Barry Beckett on keyboards, Dave Hood on bass and Roger Hawkins on drums. The record was re-released by Rhino Handmade in 2001 and augmented with another 12 songs Cher cut for the Atco label that went unreleased.

Edited: February 8th, 2015

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – Top Albums 2015 from “The Alta Cocher Rocker”

SOTD-1

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – Top Albums 2015 from “The Alta Cocher Rocker”

So this is my 34th Top Albums of the Year list and occasionally I go back to the older lists that I still have and see if I am still as enamored about my picks now as I was then. For the most part I think the records that make my lists are pretty solid for their time and manage to have some staying power years later. There are, of course numerous instances of picks over the years that have me now asking myself “What the heck was I thinking?”

Nevertheless, these are indeed the greatest of times for music lovers. Never has so much music been at our disposal for unlimited listening pleasure. With dispensaries like Spotify, you have access to pretty much everything, instant playback 24-7. What more could a music lover want?

Now I fully admit that Spotify has changed my relationship with music. I am now exposed to much more music than I actually buy, and freed of the expense, I’m more willing to listen to stuff I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to in the past.

But I also believe that never before has physical product been more important, at least to me. I know, I’m totally old school, but I like the whole package with my music. The artwork, the liner notes, the credits and the lyrics…I want them all, and I want to hold them in my hand and preferably see them spinning on my turntable. They aid to the enjoyment of the music. They give the music an importance that a download never could. And the old argument, vinyl does sound better than the digital counterpart.

That said, this is the first year that I don’t own physical versions of about half of the records listed. This is especially true of the recommended listening section which is comprised of records I found myself going back to many times throughout the year and are more than worthwhile of your attention if you’re so inclined…

At any rate, listen to what you like, and I hope you’ll be inclined to share your lists with me. Have a safe and healthy new year to all!

TOP ALBUMS 2015

  1. Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita
  2. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
  3. Lost On The River – The New Basement Tapes
  4. Afghan Whigs – Do To the Beast
  5. TV On The Radio – Seeds
  6. Spoon – They Want My Soul
  7. Pharrell – G I R L
  8. Tweedy – Sukierae
  9. Ravonettes – Pe’ahi
  10. Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Common Ground – The Songs of Big Bill Broonzy

ALSO WORTH A LISTEN:

  • Alvvays – Alvvays
  • Beck/Various Artists – Song Reader
  • Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker
  • Black Keys – Turn Blue
  • D’Angelo & the Vanguard: Black Messiah
  • Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
  • Freeman – Freeman (Aaron Freeman of Ween)
  • Jack White – Lazaretto
  • Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
  • Julian Casablancas & The Voids – Tyranny
  • Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems
  • Mary J. Blige – The London Sessions
  • Neil Young – A Letter Home
  • Neil Young – Storytone
  • New Pornographers – Brill Busters
  • Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
  • Perfume Genius – Too Bright
  • Prince – ArtOfficialAge
  • Robyn Hitchcock – The Man Upstairs
  • The Roots – and then you shoot your cousin
  • Rudy Royston – 303
  • Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
  • Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Give The People What They Want
  • Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Wig Out At Jagbags
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
  • Tune-Yards – Nikki Nack
  • U2 – Songs Of Innocence

 

Compilations/Reissues (“This one goes to 11”)

  1. Bob Dylan and The Band – The Complete Basement Tapes
  2. Sleater-Kinney – Start Together
  3. John Coltrane – Offering: Live at Temple University
  4. Miles Davis – Bootleg Series Vol. 3: Miles At The Fillmore 1970
  5. Wilco – Alpha Mike Foxtrot
  6. Herbie Hancock – The Warner Bros. Years (1969-1972)
  7. Beatles – White Album in Mono
  8. Nilsson – The RCA Albums Collection
  9. Sonny Rollins – Road Shows 2
  10. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: CSNY 1974
  11. Michael Jackson – Xscape

Edited: December 23rd, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “All or Nothing at All” by Frank Sinatra

45ADAPTERBobDylanStrangers

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “All or Nothing at All” by Frank Sinatra

So, Bob Dylan officially announced today that he will be releasing a new self-produced record of Frank Sinatra covers called Shadows in the Night during the first week of February.

I say, bring it on!

But then again, I said the same thing when Dylan announced he was going to put Christmas Through the Years out several years ago, and lo and behold, it was an artistic success that has become one of my go-to Christmas records every year since its release in 2009.

Say what you will about Dylan’s vocals, but he’s been nothing short of brilliant throughout his career when it comes to reinterpreting his own material. So the jump to record songs associated with the world’s greatest interpreter of them all could provide some very interesting results.

Through an announcement on his website, here’s what Dylan had to say about the project:

“It was a real privilege to make this album. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time but was never brave enough to approach 30-piece complicated arrangements and refine them down for a 5-piece band. That’s the key to all these performances. We knew these songs extremely well. It was all done live. Maybe one or two takes. No overdubbing. No vocal booths. No headphones. No separate tracking, and, for the most part, mixed as it was recorded. I don’t see myself as covering these songs in any way. They’ve been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day.” (BobDylan.com)

I think his motives for this project are spot on, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can pull off stripped down versions of arrangement-heavy songs like today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman, which comes from Frank Sinatra’s 1966 classic Nelson Riddle-arranged Strangers in the Night.

Edited: December 9th, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “No Time to Think” by Bob Dylan

45ADAPTERbobdylanstreetlegal

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “No Time to Think” by Bob Dylan

Street Legal is one of the most underrated records in Bob Dylan’s canon.

Before proper recording of the album ensued, Dylan began rehearsing his band for a tour of the Far East that resulted in the release of the Live at Budokan. The tour was dubbed “The Vegas Tour” by the time the live album surfaced because of Dylan’s copious use of background vocals and the garish outfits he wore on the road.

Street Legal was recorded in a warehouse space Dylan rented in Santa Monica, California which was dubbed Rundown Studios. The album was recorded entirely live in the studio with only minor overdubs during the break between the Far East and U.S. tour stops and featured some of Dylan’s most impassioned vocals.

When Street Legal came out in 1978 before the Live at Budokan album, it had the tough task of following both Desire and Blood on the Tracks, two of Dylan’s most respected studio albums and comparatively speaking, it did not fare so well only climbing to #11 on the U.S. album charts.

In retrospect, the album features some of Dylan’s greatest songs including “Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)” (which the Jerry Garcia Band regularly performed), “Changing Of The Guard,” “New Pony” (later covered by Jack White with Dead Weather), “Is Your Love In Vain?” and today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman. Dylan’s band on the album included Billy Cross on lead electric guitar, Stevens Soles on rhythm guitar, Jerry Scheff (from Elvis Presley’s band) on bass guitar, Alan Pasqua on keyboards, Ian Wallace on drums, Bobbye Hall on percussion, David Mansfield on violin and mandolin, Steve Douglas on saxophone, Steve Madaio on trumpet and Jo Ann Harris, Helena Springs and Carolyn Dennis on background vocals.

Dylan would later secretly marry Carolyn Dennis, one of his background singers on the album and the tour, in 1986.br>

Edited: November 19th, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “One Too Many Mornings” by Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash

45ADAPTERdylancashsessions

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “One Too Many Mornings” by Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash

Still a mystery to me why these recordings have never been officially released…and now that The Complete Basement Tapes have finally seen the light of day, maybe their time has come…

The Dylan-Cash Sessions took place in Nashville’s Columbia Studio A on February 17-18, 1969 at the tail end of the Nashville Skyline recording sessions. During the same week that Dylan turned in such indelible recordings as “I Threw It All Away,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “To Be Alone With You” and “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” Johnny Cash, who had been recording in an adjoining studio, turned up for some recording fun.

What transpired were several days of session in which the two traded songs and laid some duets down on tape with an eye toward making a record together. In the studio with Dylan and Cash were the cream of the Nashville session elite including Norman Blake on guitar and dobro, Kenny Buttrey on drums, Fred Carter, Jr. on guitar, Charlie Daniels on bass, Pete Drake on pedal steel, Marshall Grant on bass, W.S. Holland on drums, Charlie McCoy on guitar and harmonica, Bob Wilson on the crucial organ and piano work and Bob Wootton on electric guitar.

The fifteen selections that have been widely circulated include jovial run-throughs of Cash standards like “Big River,” “I Walk The Line,” “Ring Of Fire,” “Guess Things Happen That Way” and “I Still Miss Someone,” plus Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country” and today’s Song Of The Day by Eric Berman, “One Too Many Mornings,” plus versions the rock and roll classics “Matchbox,” “That’s All Right Mama” and “Mystery Train.”

Not enough music came out of the loose sessions deemed worthy of release at the time except “Girl from the North Country,” which opened Nashville Skyline. So the rest sat on the shelves at Columbia and in the hands of lucky collectors.

It totally knocks me out that footage exists of these sessions at all, but here is a YouTube clip of the two in the studio. Cash handles the lion share of the lead vocals here and on most of the recordings, and Dylan seem somewhat out of his element with his vocals. That said, you can hear the mutual respect the two artists have for each other in every note of the joyful music they made.

Nashville Skyline went on to be a big success, giving Dylan his biggest hit to date with “Lay Lady Lay.”

Edited: November 13th, 2014

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Soldier of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)” by Arthur Alexander

45ADAPTERarthuralexandersoldieroflove

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “Soldier of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)” by Arthur Alexander

He’s the only artist to be covered by the holy quartet of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Others who rushed to his deep well of first-rate copyrights included The Hollies, Ry Cooder, Pearl Jam, Ike & Tina Turner, Marshall Crenshaw, George Jones, Otis Redding, The Bee Gees, Humble Pie, and Dusty Springfield, and that’s only a small sampling of those who have recorded his tunes.

Yet, Arthur Alexander, the man who wrote such classics as “Anna (Go To Him),” “You Better Move On,” “Sally Sue Brown,” “Detroit City,” “A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues” and today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman, remains largely unknown to most people, or even worse, totally forgotten.

And if his recordings weren’t enough to guarantee him legendary status, he, along with Donnie Fritts, Rick Hall and Tom Stafford, converted a dilapidated tobacco warehouse in Alabama into a recording studio, and launched the famed Muscle Shoals Studios with his first single “You Better Move On” in the early 1960s.

The music business was a tricky proposition then as it is now, and fame and fortune largely alluded him, but not for lack of trying. After a string of seminal southern soul recordings that made others rich and famous, Alexander moved from record label to record label releasing a series of albums and singles throughout the sixties and seventies that garnered little or no airplay, including an eponymously titled album for Warner Brothers in 1972 and the 1975 minor hit single “Every Day I Have To Cry” for the Buddah label.

From 1977 through 1992, Alexander dropped out of the music industry completely and drove a van for senior citizens. After being inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, he came back to music and recorded his last record, Lonely Just like Me for Elektra records in 1993. Sadly days after launching his comeback with a new band, Alexander died of a heart attack.

For further listening, check out The Ultimate Arthur Alexander for his original recordings, and the tribute album Adios Amigo: A Tribute to Arthur Alexander featuring covers of his songs by the likes of Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Roger McGuinn, Nick Lowe, John Prine and Frank Black. Both CDs were issued by Razor & Tie music and are essential.

Edited: November 4th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Buckets Of Rain” by Bette Midler with Bob Dylan

45ADAPTERBetteMidlerBobDylan

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Buckets Of Rain” by Bette Midler with Bob Dylan

Today’s Song Of The Day by Eric Berman is a great Bette Midler/Bob Dylan duet from Midler’s 1976 album Songs For The New Depression. The session came about because Dylan had hoped Midler would join him on the 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour with an eye towards her being a part of his Renaldo And Clara movie which was filmed on the tour.

The duo’s original intention was to cut a new version of the Moogy Klingman song “Friends” that Midler had recorded on her The Divine Miss M album several years earlier. When that didn’t work out, they worked up this rough and ready version of a song that was from Dylan’s then-current Blood On The Tracks album.

While there’s no topping Dylan’s own version of the song, I’ve always thought this one had a lot of personality and it sounds like they were both having a hoot recording it. Dylan and Midler would find themselves together in the studio one more during the USA For Africa sessions in the 1980s for the charity record of “We Are The World.”

Edited: August 11th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #49– Nilsson: “Everybody’s Talkin’” b/w “I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City” – RCA Gold Standard 45 447-0838 (S5/T5)

45 adapternilssoneverybodystalkin45nilssonIguessthelord45

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #49– Nilsson: “Everybody’s Talkin’” b/w “I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City” – RCA Gold Standard 45 447-0838 (S5/T5)

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Harry Nilsson was a puzzlement. He was a brilliant songwriter who wrote some of the greatest pops songs of the 1960s. Songs like “One” (Three Dog Night), “Cuddly Toy” (The Monkees) and “Without Her” (Glen Campbell) came pouring from his pen providing many artists with some of their biggest hits. Yet the hits he scored on the charts were primarily written by others. Go figure…

Today’s jukebox classic is one of Nilsson’s biggest hits; some would say it is his signature song. And it is one that Nilsson (the songwriter) did not write. “Everybody’s Talkin’” was written and originally recorded by singer/songwriter Fred Neil. Neil was a big deal of the Greenwich Village folk music scene in New York City of the early 1960s.

Neil’s version was the last song written and recorded for his essential eponymously titled album which was released by Capitol Records in 1967. Neil was itching to get back to Florida and the ocean but needed one more song for his debut album. The song was hastily written as an afterthought at the urging of his producer, and recorded in one take. The album also included Neil’s song “The Dolphins” (covered most famously by Jefferson Airplane) and several years after recording the song, Neil fulfilled the promise of the lyrics to both songs and gave up the music business entirely in favor of living near the ocean in Florida and working with dolphins until the end of his life in 2001.

Nilsson recorded the song at the behest of his producer Rick Jarrard for his second album Aerial Ballet in 1968. The Beatles’ press officer Derek Taylor was a big fan of Nilsson’s 1967 debut album Pandemonium Shadow Show, and famously ordered a case load of the album and gave them out to all of his friends including The Beatles who also became huge fans and good friends with Nilsson.

Taylor suggested Nilsson to film director John Schlesinger who was actively looking for a theme song to his current movie Midnight Cowboy. Schlesinger had been using Nilsson’s recording of “Everybody’s Talkin’” as a place holder in the film until the right song came along. Nilsson suggested that he use “I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City,” a song he wrote from his 1969 Harry album for use in the film. Schlesinger had grown so used to hearing the song matched with the corresponding scene that he decided to keep “Everybody’s Talkin’” in the film. At the same time, Bob Dylan also pitched a newly-penned song that he specifically composed for the film called “Lay Lady Lay,” however his submission came too late for its inclusion. Ultimately, Dylan’s recording of “Lay Lady Lay” became one of his biggest hits climbing all the way to #7 on the singles charts in 1969.  

After its appearance in the movie, Nilsson’s version climbed to the #6 position of the singles charts in 1969 and sold over a million copies. It also won Nilsson a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Male in 1970. After the song became a hit for Nilsson, Capitol Records rereleased Fred Neil’s self-titled 1967 album under the name Everybody’s Talkin’ and released his version as a single.

The song has been covered numerous times by artists including Tom Jones, The Beach Boys, The Ventures, Tony Bennett, Matthew Sweet, Neil diamond, Arlo Guthrie, Percy Faith, The Four Tops, Iggy Pop, Engelbert Humperdinck, Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, The Kingston Trio, Liza Minnelli, Chet Atkins, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Buffett, Willie Nelson, Bill Withers, Linda Eder, Dwight Yoakam and many others. Nilsson’s version of the song is also heard in the films Forrest Gump, Borat and The Hangover III.

Edited: December 19th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #27 – Arthur Alexander: “Anna (Go To Him)” b/w “You Better Move On” – Collectables 45 RPM Single COL-3375 (N3/P3)

arthuralexanderAnna45arthuralexanderyoubetter45

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #27 – Arthur Alexander: “Anna (Go To Him)” b/w “You Better Move On” – Collectables 45 RPM Single COL-3375 (N3/P3)

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

He’s the only artist to be covered by the holy quartet of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Others who rushed to his deep well of first-rate copyrights included The Hollies, Ry Cooder, Pearl Jam, Ike & Tina Turner, Marshall Crenshaw, George Jones, Otis Redding, The Bee Gees, Humble Pie, and Dusty Springfield, and that’s only a small sampling of those who have recorded his tunes.

Yet, Arthur Alexander, the man who wrote such classics as “Soldier Of Love (Lay Down Your Arms),” “Sally Sue Brown,” “Detroit City,” “A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues” and the two songs on today’s jukebox single, remains largely unknown to most people today, or even worse, totally forgotten.

The A-side of today’s double-A-sided jukebox single was originally written, recorded and released as a single on the Dot label by Alexander in 1962. Alexander’s version charted at #68 on the pop charts, while climbing to #10 on the R&B lists. The song is notable because it was covered by The Beatles for their debut album Please Please Me. It was a favorite of John Lennon’s and became part of the group’s early live repertoire. Lennon had a bad cold during the marathon session that produced their first album, which accounts for the roughness of his voice.

If Alexander’s recordings weren’t enough to guarantee him legendary status, he, along with Donnie Fritts, Rick Hall and Tom Stafford, converted a dilapidated tobacco warehouse in Alabama into a recording studio, and launched the famed Muscle Shoals Studios with his first single “You Better Move On” in the early 1960s. Alexander’s original version of the song charted at #24 on the pop charts in 1962 and sold 800,000 copies making it possible for Muscle Shoals to relocate its facilities to 603 East Avalon Avenue. The backing musicians on the track included Dan Penn, Tommy Roe and Joe Tex.

The song was also covered by The Rolling Stones, The Hollies, The Moody Blues, Dean Martin, Johnny Rivers, Billy “Crash” Craddock (whose version was a #10 country hit), Mink DeVille and George Jones and Johnny Paycheck (whose duo version peaked at #18 on the country charts).

The music business was a tricky proposition then as it is now, and fame and fortune largely alluded him, but not for lack of trying. After a string of seminal southern soul recordings that made others rich and famous, Alexander moved from record label to record label releasing a series of albums and singles throughout the sixties and seventies that garnered little or no airplay, including an eponymously titled album for Warner Brothers in 1972 and the 1975 minor hit single “Every Day I Have To Cry” for Buddah Records.

From 1977 through 1992, Alexander dropped out of the music industry completely and drove a van for senior citizens. After being inducted into the Alabama Music Hall Of Fame, he came back to music and recorded his last record, Lonely Just Like Me for Elektra records in 1993. Sadly days after launching his comeback with a new band, Alexander died of a heart attack.

For further listening, check out The Ultimate Arthur Alexander for his original recordings, and the tribute album Adios Amigo: A Tribute To Arthur Alexander featuring covers of his songs by the likes of Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Roger McGuinn, Nick Lowe, John Prine and Frank Black. Both CDs were issued by Razor & Tie music.

Edited: November 12th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #22 – Bob Dylan: “Lay Lady Lay” b/w “I Threw It All Away” – Columbia 45 RPM Single 13-33178 (C3/D3)

45 adapterbobdylanlayladylay45BobDylanIThrewItAllAway45

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #22 – Bob Dylan: “Lay Lady Lay” b/w “I Threw It All Away” – Columbia 45 RPM Single 13-33178 (C3/D3)

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

The late 1960s introduced a new Bob Dylan to the world. With his motorcycle accident and requisite seclusion in Woodstock behind him, he emerged with John Wesley Harding, a rootsy, back-to-basics album in 1968 that flew in the face of the flamboyant psychedelic music that was currently all the rage at the time.

However, nothing could prepare Dylan fans for what followed in 1969: A content Dylan who was seemingly happy with his lot in life, complete with a new soulful, melodic croon of a voice that replaced the nasal monotone of the past.  Most crucially, the 1969 Dylan model marked another shift in musical direction away from the mainstream, with an album of country influenced tunes called Nashville Skyline that was quite simply, unlike anything else he had recorded up to that point.

The album was recorded with a who’s who of Nashville’s finest session musicians including Norman Blake on guitar and dobro, Kenny Buttrey on drums, Fred Carter, Jr. on guitar, Charlie Daniels on bass, Pete Drake on pedal steel guitar, Charlie McCoy on guitar and harmonica, Bob Wilson on piano and organ and several others including Johnny Cash who provided duet vocals on “Girl From The North Country.”

“Lay Lady Lay,” the A-side of today’s jukebox classic was originally intended for the soundtrack of the movie Midnight Cowboy, but it was submitted too late to make the film and Nilsson’s cover of Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talking” was used in its place. Dylan then offered the song to the Everly Brothers backstage at a concert. When Dylan played “Lay Lady Lay” for them, they thought he was singing “lay across my big breasts, babe” instead of “lay across my big brass bed” and didn’t’ think that the song was appropriate for them to record. When they finally heard the correct lyrics in Dylan’s recording, they realized what a mistake they had made. They finally got around to recording the song for their EB 84 album in 1984.

“Lay Lady Lay” became one of Dylan’s biggest singles climbing all the way to #7 on the Billboard pop charts. According to Johnny Cash, Dylan introduced the song in a song circle of writers who congregated at Cash’s house that included Shel Silverstein who played “A Boy Named Sue,” Joni Mitchell who broke out “The Circle Game,” Graham Nash who performed “Marrakesh Express” and Kris Kristofferson who played “Me And Bobby McGee.”

Over the years, “Lay Lady Lay” has been covered by the likes of Cher, The Byrds, The Everly Brothers, Melanie, The Isley Brothers, Keith Jarrett, Neil Diamond, Isaac Hayes, Richie Havens, Steve Howe, Booker T. & The MGs, Buddy Guy, Duran Duran and Ministry.

The flip of today’s single was the first single release from Nashville Skyline, although it only charted at #85 on the Billboard pop charts. After writing the song, Dylan shared it with George Harrison who brought it to The Beatles’ Let It Be recording sessions. Session tapes reveal that George took the song out for a spin during The Beatles’ session and performed it . The song has also been covered by Cher, Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, Lambchop and Yo La Tengo.

Looking for classic Dylan recordings on YouTube is somewhat of a lost cause, so today’s audio clips feature Cher’s version of “Lay Lady Lay” under the title “Lay Baby Lay” recorded for her 1969 album 3614 Jackson Highway, and George Harrison’s bootleg take of “I Threw It All Away” from The Beatles’ Let It Be sessions in January of 1969.

Edited: November 5th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 7/14/13

45 adapteramericanarama1

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” by Bob Dylan and his Band from the “Americanarama Festival” 2013

We live in the day and age of festivals. For music fans, festivals offer bang for the buck providing the opportunity to see numerous bands that you might not ever get to see otherwise at one time and in one place. For musicians, they open up the possibility of gaining a wider audience, particularly with festivals like the annual Pitchfork Music Festival that will be taking place here in Chicago next weekend.

With a roster consisting of mostly up and coming artists, Pitchfork provides a bonanza for inquiring fans who want to discover music they’ve never heard before.  However, problems arise when a festival offers a group of well established artists who can fill smaller venues by regularly touring and playing to their fan base. With that in mind, the Americanarama Festival rolled into the Chicago market last night with a made-for-aging-rock-fans bill consisting of Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Richard Thompson.

While it was indeed a dream lineup, problems arise when the artists are forced to truncate their normal set lists to fit the schedule, resulting in not enough time afforded to acts that deserve it. Case in point was Richard Thompson’s criminally short (30 minute) opening set. Thompson and his Electric Trio consisting of Taras Prodaniuk on bass and Michael Jerome on drums took the stage to a sparse audience, and made the best of his time by performing several tracks from his latest album Electric including “Sally B” and “Stuck On A Treadmill,” plus his classic “Tear Stained Letter.” And while his set was performed well and well received by those in attendance, an artist of Thompson’s stature surely deserves better than a perfunctory 30-minute slot with no encore.

Almost immediately after Thompson exited the stage, My Morning Jacket’s set began. Although I’ve been a fan of My Morning Jacket since their first record, they were the only band on the bill that I’d never seen before. ..and of the four bands tonight, they put on the most satisfying set. Jim James was in fine voice as he caterwauled around the stage, and their 75-minute set included fan favorites like “Circuital,” “The Dark” and “Masterplan.” But when they launched into “I’m Amazed” and followed it with “Victory Dance” their set really took off, making them the band to beat on this night.

Wilco took the stage next to the enthusiastic cheers of a hometown crowd.  And what a treat it was to see them generously share the stage with the opening acts by bringing Richard Thompson out for a guitar-laden extended version of the Fairport Convention classic “Sloth,” as well as the Wilco tracks “That’s Not The Issue” and “California Stars.” Several tunes later, My Morning Jacket joined them for a stomping version of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl.”

As usual, Wilco’s set started out very subdued and on this night really didn’t’ begin to catch fire until several songs in with “The Art Of Almost” from their latest album, The Whole Love.  Nels Cline was at his usual manic greatness adding the element of Krautrock feedback to “Misunderstood” and playing an extended lyrical solo during a great version of “Impossible Germany” from Sky Blue Sky.

We also got Wilco classics like “Hummingbird” and “Misunderstood,” plus two more songs from their latest album, “Born Alone,” and “Dawned On Me,” that will probably become stalwarts of their set for years to come. While Wilco’s set was immensely enjoyable, by adding the cameos and pairing down their usual two and a half hour stage time to 75 minutes, the flow of their set seemed a little disjointed.

Dylan came out next and was enigmatic as ever as he barked the lyrics to a somewhat bewildered audience. As a result, the crowd began to disperse early his set which is a shame because he was far better than I thought he would be, and let’s face it, he’s Bob Fucking Dylan!

It’s been at least seven years since I’ve seen Dylan in concert and while it’s true his voice is pretty much shredded to pieces, his crack band featuring Tony Garnier (bass), Charlie Sexton (guitar), Stu Kimball (guitar), Donnie Herron (pedal steel) and George Receli (drums) more than compensate. Dylan was animated throughout and stuck to singing, playing the piano and harmonica. Unlike his late 1980s shows where his vocals were an unintelligible jumble, this night found him enunciating the lyrics clearly on such classics as “You Belong To Me,” “Tangled Up In Blue,” “Simple Twist Of Fate” and today’s Song Of The Day, “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” (The video shown here from an earlier date of the tour is dark, but provides an idea of how he’s singing these days).

Dylan dipped into his latest record several times with credible versions of “Duquesne Whistle,” “Early Roman Kings” and “Soon After Midnight,” and pretty much focused on late-period classics for the rest of his set including “Love Sick” from Time Out Of Mind, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” from Together Through Life, “Thunder On The Mountain” from Modern Times and “High Water (For Charley Patton)” from Love and Theft.

While Dylan has been playing the exact same set on every date of this tour, on this night he changed his encore from “Blowin’ In The Wind” to “Ballad Of A Thin Man,” sending the faithful who stayed to the end home on a high note.

 

My Morning Jacket Setlist:

1. The Dark

2. Circuital

3. Magheeta

4. Golden

5. Slow Slow Tune

6. Masterplan

7. I’m Amazed

8. Victory Dance

9. Wordless Chorus

10. Phone Went West

11. One Big Holliday

 

Wilco Setlist:

1. At the Window, Sad and Lonely

2. When the Roses Bloom Again

3. What Light

4. Misunderstood

5. Poor Places

6. Art of Almost

7. Sloth (with Richard Thompson)

8. California Stars (with Richard Thompson)

9. That’s Not the Issue (with Richard Thompson)

10. Hummingbird

11. Impossible Germany

12. Cinnamon Girl (with My Morning Jacket)

13. Born Alone

14. Dawned on Me

 

Bob Dylan Setlist:

1. Things Have Changed

2. Love Sick

3. High Water (For Charley Patton)

4. Soon after Midnight

5. Early Roman Kings

6. Tangled Up in Blue

7. Duquesne Whistle

8. She Belongs to Me

9. Beyond Here Lies Nothin’

10. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

11. Blind Willie McTell

12. Simple Twist of Fate

13. Thunder on the Mountain

14. All Along the Watchtower

Encore:

15. Ballad Of A Thin Man

Edited: July 13th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 5/10/13

45 adapterrightsaidfred

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred

I worked at Reader’s Digest in their recorded music division for five years compiling music collections for people who were much older than I was at the time. In effect, I was selling nostalgia to folks whose memories I did not share. The job proved research intensive and ultimately rewarding, and by creating these music collections, I got a pretty good idea about what makes people feel nostalgic for music while garnering a newfound appreciation for a whole host of music I might not have ever heard otherwise.

One of my co-workers at Digest was a musicologist named Gary Theroux. Gary used to say that “Nostalgia is the past with the pain removed.”  It was a very true statement, and one I subscribed to for the rest of my days working in the music industry selling people their musical memories. For it is nostalgia that turns yesterday’s songs into tomorrow’s standards.

In all my years of making music compilations, I came to the conclusion that the songs we feel most nostalgic for today, are the songs that were most reviled by the critics when they were new, and equally loved by the everyday radio listening fan. Many of them also have some kind of novelty value as well.

I’m not talking about songs by The Beatles, Bob Dylan or even Rodgers & Hammerstein that are stone cold classics today. I’m focusing more on the fringe songs that crept into our consciousness mainly because they had some kind of novelty value. Songs like “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice, “Macarena” by Los Del Rios, “Rock Me Amadeus” by Faclo , “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc., “Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys and today’s Song Of The Day, were all pretty much hated by critics upon their release, yet have managed to stand the test of time anyway.

They were all played to death on radio to the point where even fans of the songs never wanted to hear them again, and they all had some kind of novelty value. Many of them were co-opted by Madison Avenue for use in TV commercials in subsequent years after their run on the charts.

These are the songs we loved to hate when they were new, and today we kind of hate to love them. But we do love them. They make us feel good and warmly nostalgic when we hear them. Instead of hastily reaching for the dial to turn them off like we did when they were new, now we turn them up.

This brings me to a song that is ripe to become one of tomorrow’s golden classics, but only time will tell if PSY’s “Gangnam Style” will stand the test of time…

Today’s Song Of The Day, “I’m Too Sexy” is one such novelty song that has managed to stand the test of time. It’s the kind of song that was roundly panned by the music cognoscenti upon its release, but now when played on the radio or by DJs at parties, it is warmly received and remembered. The song was recorded by a British group called Right Said Fred that consisted of brothers Richard and Fred Fairbrass and Rob Manzoli.

Right Said Fred took their name from the 1962 hit “Right Said Fred” by Bernard Cribbins. They released their signature hit, “I’m Too Sexy” in 1991 and it swiftly topped the U.S. singles charts, as well as the charts in 32 other countries. Their follow up single “Don’t Talk Just Kiss” landed in the top ten of the U.S. singles charts.

So here’s a bit of Right Said Fred trivia for you to end today’s Song Of The Day.

Q: What does “I’m Too Sexy” have in common with David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan?

A: The Fairbrass brothers worked with all of the above named legends: Fred played guitar in Bob Dylan’s band in the film Hearts Of Fire, Richard appeared in David Bowie’s Jazzin’ For Blue Jean video and both took part in Mick Jagger’s home video Running Out Of Luck.

Edited: May 9th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 2/26/13

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “One Too Many Mornings” by Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash

Still a mystery to me why these recordings have never been officially released…

The Dylan-Cash Sessions took place in Nashville’s Columbia Studio A on February 17-18, 1969 at the tail end of the Nashville Skyline recording sessions. During the same week that Dylan turned in such indelible recordings as “I Threw It All Away,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “To Be Alone With You” and “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” Johnny Cash, who had been recording in an adjoining  studio turned up for some recording fun.

What transpired was several days of session in which the two traded songs and laid some duets down on tape with an eye toward making a record together. In the studio with Dylan and Cash were the cream of the Nashville session elite including Norman Blake on guitar and dobro, Kenny Buttrey on drums, Fred Carter, Jr. on guitar, Charlie Daniels on bass, Pete Drake on pedal steel, Marshall Grant on bass, W.S. Holland on drums,  Charlie McCoy on guitar and harmonica, Bob Wilson (crucially) on the organ and piano and Bob Wootton on electric guitar.

The fifteen selections that have been widely circulated include jovial run-throughs of Cash standards like “Big River,” “I Walk The Line,” “Ring Of Fire,” “Guess Things Happen That Way” and “I Still Miss Someone,” plus Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country” and today’s Song Of The Day, “One Too Many Mornings,” and versions the rock and roll classics “Matchbox,” “That’s All Right Mama” and “Mystery Train.”

Not enough music came out of the loose sessions deemed worthy of release at the time except “Girl From The North Country,” which opened Nashville Skyline. So the rest sat on the shelves at Columbia and in the hands of lucky collectors.

It totally knocks me out that footage exists of these sessions at all, but here is a YouTube clip of the two in the studio. Cash handles the lion share of the lead vocals here and on most of the recordings, and Dylan seem somewhat out of his element with his vocals. That said, you can hear the mutual respect the two artists have for each other in every note of the joyful music they made.

Nashville Skyline  went on to be a big success, giving Dylan his biggest hit to date with “Lay Lady Lay.”

Edited: February 25th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 2/10/13

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” by Cher

When one thinks of interpreters of Bob Dylan, the name Cher doesn’t automatically come to mind. But she was, in fact, a huge champion of Dylan’s songs, and his songs fit her voice like a glove. Over the years, Cher has covered such Dylan copyrights as “All I Really Want To Do” (a #15 hit),“Lay Lady Lay” (titled “Lay Baby Lay” on her version), “I Threw It All Away,” “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” “Like A Rolling Stone,” “Masters Of War,” “The Times, They Are A-Changin’” and today’s Song Of The Day, “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You.”

Cher cut her version of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” when it was a new song from Dylan’s just-released “Nashville Skyline.” Her version was released on the 1969 album “3614 Jackson Highway,” titled for the address of Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama.

The idea of bringing Cher to Muscle Shoals to work with Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin (who had also produced Dusty Springfield’s Dusty In Memphis album) was a brilliant one, and the results produced a terrific album that was not particularly well received when released and, unfortunately, didn’t sell well either.  Although Wexler does get a production credit on the record, he was not present for the recording of Cher’s vocals because he came down with pneumonia during the sessions. He did, however, choose all of the songs for Cher to record.

One of the reasons the album might not have sold so well was that back in 1969 the address and the studio were a completely unknown entity. In fact, Cher’s album was the first record cut there.  The studio was formed in 1969 by musicians Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums), Jimmy Johnson (guitar) and David Hood (bass) who had left the legendary FAME Studios, founded by Arthur Alexander, to launch Muscle Shoals.

Cher remains one of our greatest interpreters of song, especially in the 1960s, and for this album she adeptly covered Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay,” Dr. John’s “I Walk On Gilded Splinters,” Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham’s “Cry Like A Baby” (a hit for The Box Tops), Chips Moman and Dan Penn’s (by way of Aretha Franklin) “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and three of the above named Dylan songs, including today’s Song Of the Day.

The musicians on the sessions were Eddie Hinton on lead guitar, Jimmy Johnson on rhythm guitar, Barry Beckett on keyboards, Dave Hood on bass and Roger Hawkins on drums. The record was re-released by Rhino Handmade in 2001 and augmented with another 12 songs Cher cut for Atco that went unreleased.

Edited: February 9th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 2/6/13

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Soldier Of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)” by Arthur Alexander

He’s the only artist to be covered by the holy trinity of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Others who rushed to his deep well of first-rate copyrights included The Hollies, Ry Cooder, Pearl Jam, Ike & Tina Turner, Marshall Crenshaw, George Jones, Otis Redding, The Bee Gees, Humble Pie and Dusty Springfield, and that’s only a small sampling of those who have recorded his tunes.

Yet, Arthur Alexander, the man who wrote such classics as “Anna (Go To Him),” “You Better Move On,” “Sally Sue Brown,” “Detroit City,” “A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues” and today’s Song Of The Day, remains largely unknown to most people today, or even worse, totally forgotten.

And if his recordings weren’t enough to guarantee him legendary status, he, along with Donnie Fritts, Rick Hall and Tom Stafford, converted a dilapidated tobacco warehouse in Alabama into a recording studio, and launched the famed Muscle Shoals Studios with his first single “You Better Move On” in the early 1960s.

The music business was a tricky proposition then as it is now, and fame and fortune largely alluded him, but not for lack of trying. After a string of seminal southern soul recordings that made others rich and famous, Alexander moved from record label to record label releasing a series of albums and singles throughout the sixties and seventies that garnered little or no airplay, including an eponymously titled album for Warner Brothers in 1972 and the 1975 minor hit single “Every Day I Have To Cry” for Buddah Records.

From 1977 through 1992, Alexander dropped out of the music industry completely and drove a van for senior citizens. After being inducted into the Alabama Music Hall Of Fame, he came back to music and recorded his last record, Lonely Just Like Me for Elektra records in 1993. Sadly days after launching his comeback with a new band, Alexander died of a heart attack.

For further listening, check out The Ultimate Arthur Alexander for his original recordings, and the tribute album Adios Amigo: A Tribute To Arthur Alexander featuring covers of his songs by the likes of Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Roger McGuinn, Nick Lowe, John Prine and Frank Black. Both CDs were issued by Razor & Tie music.

Edited: February 5th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 10/29/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Buckets Of Rain” by Bette Midler with Bob Dylan

Here’s one from those of us who are watching Sandy from afar…good luck to you all! This great duet/cover comes to you from Bette Midler’s 1976 album “Songs For The New Depression.” The session came about because Dylan had hoped Midler would join him on the Rolling Thunder Revue with an eye towards her being a part of his film “Renaldo And Clara” which was filmed on the tour. The duo’s original intention was to cut a new version of the Moogy Klingman (later a founding member of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia) song “Friends,” that Midler had recorded on her debut album several years earlier. When that didn’t work out, they worked up this rough and ready version of a song that was from Dylan’s then-current album “Blood On The Tracks.” While there’s no topping Dylan’s own version of the song, I’ve always thought this one had a lot of personality and it sounds like they were both having a hoot recording it. Dylan and Midler would find themselves together in the studio one more time in the 1980s during the USA For Africa sessions for “We Are The World.”

Edited: October 28th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 10/17/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Born To Sing” by Van Morrison

I’m always fascinated by how the record companies approach the marketing of their legacy artists. To the record company, legacy artists are loss leaders, they have name value but don’t sell the number of records they used to. Many of these artists are either kept on their label’s roster for their marquee value, or they find themselves cutting distribution deals with independent labels like Concord Records to release their records. Paul McCartney and Paul Simon have recently gone down this route with their latest releases, and McCartney has gone as far as re-releasing his entire back catalog for the umpteenth time as well. I find it very telling which artists get the promotional bucks behind their releases versus those that don’t. For instance, the build up to Bob Dylan’s latest album “Tempest” went on for months, culminating in live streams a week before the release and a plethora of ways to purchase his new music, including one bundle that included a signature harmonica (for $119.99). With all the promotional muscle behind his release, Dylan only debuted on the charts at number three (roughly 110,000 in sales), a full two slots below the debut of his last record. Neil Young is deep into promotion for his second release this year, the forthcoming double-disc “Psychedelic Pill.” Neil recorded with Crazy Horse for the first time in seven years resulting in the “Americana” album earlier this year. Like that album, several tracks debuted with social media in the form of videos, well in advance of their release. While on tour, Neil has pretty much ignored the “Americana” album in favor of debuting many of the songs that will end up on “Pill.” Meanwhile, members of Crazy Horse hit the media trail giving interviews about the recording sessions of both albums. And just to ensure that your holiday gift giving will be Neil-filled, a biography “Waging Heavy Peace” and a concert film “Journeys” are also hitting the shelves this fall. The Rolling Stones seem hell-bent on milking every last dollar out of their 50th Anniversary with a book, a hits record and some concert dates. The band reconvened in the studio to record only two new songs. These songs will form the basis of their upcoming hits album called “Grrrr” that will be released in every which way to make you buy music you largely already own. There will be a single disc, double disc and multi-disc version released on CD and, of course, the obligatory over-priced multi-disc vinyl version. Since not much has happened on the charts for the band since their 40th anniversary hits album “Forty Licks,” you can pretty much count on shelling out your dough to buy songs you already own in order to get the two new songs. What will follow are a handful of live dates at two venues: one in Newark NJ and one across the pond at the O2 Arena in London. Top ticket price for the New Jersey show will cost some rich boomer $750.00. This brings us to Van Morrison, another legacy artist that stands about as tall as Dylan, Young, Simon, McCartney and The Stones. His awkwardly-titled new album “Born To Sing – No Plan B” has seemingly appeared with very little fanfare. The far more reclusive Morrison gave only one promotional interview behind the album to Mojo. While Van’s new release is largely a mixed bag, his singing is as committed as ever. It kind of makes me wonder why it is that Morrison’s new album hasn’t been met with the same fanfare and the five-star reviews of the rest of the lot?

Edited: October 16th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 10/15/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison and Bob Dylan

Van Morrison is one of the few musicians who can breathe the same rarified air as Bob Dylan…and in my book, he is right up there on the Mt. Rushmore of rock. So here’s a clip of the Belfast bard and his royal Bobness performing one of Van’s classics from the “Moondance” album. The clip was filmed in Greece at the tail end of Dylan’s 1989 tour. On a beautiful, sunny day, the two climbed up the Hill of the Muses in Athens and performed a four-song set in front of BBC cameras including this song, “And It Stoned Me,” “One Irish Rover” and “Foreign Windows.” The footage was captured for the BBC documentary “Arena: One Irish Rover – Van Morrison in Performances.” Oh, to have been one of those cameramen…

Edited: October 14th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 10/9/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Long Haired Country Boy” by Charlie Daniels Band

Before he became a right-wing zealot, recording TV-sold religious records, Charlie Daniels was a superb session musician, songwriter and producer. Daniels wrote songs for Elvis Presley (“It Hurts Me”) in the early 1960s, and played on numerous late ‘60s sessions for producer Bob Johnston including on records by Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Marshall Tucker Band and three Bob Dylan albums (“New Morning,” “Nashville Skyline” and “Self Portrait”). With his own Charlie Daniels Band, he scored numerous hits including “Uneasy Rider” (‘Ol Green Teeth, anyone?), “The South’s Gonna Do It Again,” the jingoistic “In America” and the number one smash “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” for which he won a 1979 Grammy Award. This song is from “Fire On The Mountain,” his most consistent album recorded in 1974. First pressings of the album came with a free 7” EP featuring live recordings from the first Volunteer Jam concert. Daniels’ Volunteer Jam concerts began in 1974 highlighting him and many others in his Southern Rock cohort and still continue today.

Edited: October 8th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 9/21/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Scarlet Town” by Bob Dylan

I’ve spent a little time with the new Dylan album and while many of the songs still need to get under my skin both lyrically and musically, I’m here to say that It would be hard to justify the 5-Star accolades that are being heaped upon the record especially when there are three songs, encompassing close to 30 minutes of music, that are far less than compelling. Sure some of the tracks here are good including this one, the old-timey “Duquesne Whistle” (co-written with Jerry Garcia collaborator Robert Hunter), the rocking “Narrow Way,” the ballad “Soon After Midnight,” the sinister “Pay In Blood” and the long violent parable “Tin Angel” all featuring some of Dylan’s most violent and at times funniest lyrics…and not a note of harmonica to be found…anywhere. It is a dark album indeed, but I just don’t see how the record can be getting 5-star reviews when the rest of the record is stuffed with overlong songs that kind of meander along, like the tedious 14-minute title track which is a fictional account of the Titanic disaster, “Early Roman Kings” that contains laugh-out-loud lyrical couplets but comes musically wrapped in a rehash of Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy” and “Roll On John” a plodding tribute to John Lennon 32 years after his death. Dylan is in fine late-period growl here and the band is mostly made up of his top-notch touring unit, including the venerable Tony Garnier on bass, George G. Receli on drums, Donnie Herron on steel guitar, banjo, violin and mandolin, Stu Kimball on guitar, Dave Hidalgo (of Los Lobos) on guitar, accordion and violin, and one of Dylan’s greatest guitar foils, Charlie Sexton on guitar. With sturdy production courtesy of Jack Frost (Dylan) himself, it’s great to see Dylan still at it after all these years, and this record is a big improvement over his last one. Five stars? Hardly…perhaps three!

Edited: September 20th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 9/4/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Duquesne Whistle” by Bob Dylan

In a little over a week, the world will be graced with Bob Dylan’s 35th studio album. While his croak is (and always was) an acquired taste, I love the old-timey feel of the records he’s released in the last decade, and judging by this track the new record should musically be in the same vein. The “Tempest” album will release on 9/11, which was the release date of his “Love And Theft” album in 2001. While Dylan’s penchant for “borrowing” has led some to believe he is creatively spent, his “borrowing” has been a significant trait of the folk tradition from whence he came. The definition of Duquesne is: “A Suffren class frigate of the French Navy, designed to protect a fleet against air threats, surface ships, submarines, and, to a lesser extent, provide fire power against land objectives. She is the sister-ship of the Suffren.” I’m not exactly sure what to make of the video that accompanies this song…

Edited: September 3rd, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 5/3/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “No Time To Think” by Bob Dylan

“Street Legal” is one of the most underrated records in Bob Dylan’s canon. When it came out in 1978, it had the tough task of following both “Desire” and “Blood On The Tracks,” two of Dylan’s most respected studio albums and comparatively speaking, it did not fare so well. It was then followed by the 1978 “Vegas” tour dubbed so because of the female vocalists he brought along and the garish outfits Dylan chose to wear on stage. In retrospect, the tour featured some of Dylan’s most impassioned vocals ever, and the record included some of his greatest songs including “Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power),” “Changing Of The Guard,” “New Pony” (recently covered by Jack White with Dead Weather), “Is Your Love In Vain?” and this amazing track. Dylan would secretly marry Carolyn Dennis, one of his background singers on the album and the tour in 1986.

Edited: May 2nd, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 4/30/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Love Sick” by Mariachi El Bronx

This choice cover comes from the exceptional multi-artist 3-CD set called “Chimes Of Freedom – The Songs Of Bob Dylan” released this past January to benefit Amnesty International. I love what Mariachi El Bronx do with this song, completely recasting it to fit their sound. Actually Mariachi El Bronx is the alter ego of the Los Angeles hardcore band called The Bronx who has released three hardcore punk albums under their real name and two mariachi albums under their alias. Many probably remember Dylan’s own televised live version of this song from the Grammy Awards many years ago when an unwanted audience member jumped on stage with the words “Soy Bomb” printed on his chest and spastically gyrated along to the music until security had him removed from the stage. Meanwhile, Dylan seemingly unfazed didn’t miss a beat.

Edited: April 29th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 3/18/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Whistling Gypsy Rover” by The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem

Patrick “Paddy”, Tommy, Bobby and Liam were the Clancy Brothers and together with Tommy Makem they recorded dozens of records and were responsible for not only introducing America to traditional Irish Folk music, but helping to popularize Folk music all over college campuses throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s. They were a major influence on Bob Dylan who nicked the melody of The Clancy Brothers’ recording of the song “The Patriot Game” and appropriated it for his own song “With God On Our Side.” The Brothers’ big break came on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1961 when Pearl Bailey was a no show and the boys were given her spot giving them an unprecedented 16 minutes of air time in front of an audience of 80 million people. Although they had been recording for the Tradition Record label since the mid-50s, they were signed by John Hammond at Columbia Records shortly after this performance and it was the connections of their label mentor John Hammond that cemented their success. This performance was from a 1962 PBS special filmed in Chicago.

Edited: March 17th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 3/10/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Man In The Long Black Coat” by Bob Dylan

Selected later songs like this one by Bob Dylan are a slam dunk. Going to see him in concert is total a crap shoot…you never know what you’re gonna get, but if you go with low expectations, you should be fine. Albums by Dylan fall somewhere in between from the sublime like “Love And Theft,” “Blood On The Tracks,” “Street Legal,” “Blonde On Blonde,” “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Freewheelin’” to name a few…to the ridiculous like “Down In The Groove,” “Under The Red Sky” and “Knocked Out Loaded.” Some would put “Self Portrait” in the latter category; by I think it’s a masterpiece! Fortunately, 1989 was a great year for Dylan records with the release of “Oh Mercy” and the pairing of his royal Bobness with producer Daniel Lanois. Lanois gave Dylan the perfect settings for his songs, and on this record the set of songs was exemplary featuring now-Dylan classics like “Most Of The Time,” “What Was It You Wanted,” (later expertly covered by Willie Nelson), “Ring Them Bells” and “Political World.”

Edited: March 10th, 2012

Bonus Super Bowl Song Of The Day – 2/5/12

 

Bonus Song Of The Day – “The Patriot Game” by Liam Clancy

Liam was a member of the Irish folk group The Clancy Brothers whose recording of this song was one of their most popular. The song was later adapted by Bob Dylan for his song “With God On Our Side.” But today, the song is highlighted because the Super Bowl is a Patriot game…one a Patriot fan hopefully will not like the outcome of…unless God is on their side…

Edited: February 5th, 2012

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 1/25/12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” by Miley Cyrus

Yup…you got that right…Miley Cyrus…and not only that, but a credible cover of this Dylan classic from the just released Amnesty International 4 CD collection “Chimes Of Freedom.” At 76 tracks, this collection of Dylan covers is all over the map with as many cool additions to the canon…”Most Of The Time” by Bettye Lavette, “One Too Many Mornings” by Johnny Cash & The Avett Brothers using an unreleased Dylan-Cash outtake for source material, “No Time To Think” by Belle Brigade, “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll” by Cage The Elephant and “Love Sick” by Mariachi El Bronx …as there are clunkers “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” by Ke$ha, “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” by Sugarland, “Desolation Row” by My Chemical Romance, “Just Like A Woman” by Carly Simon and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by RedOne & Nabil Khayat. Along the way you get good versions of Dylan songs by some of the likely suspects who always show up on this type of collection: Elvis Costello, Sting, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Billy Bragg, Patti Smith and Bob Dylan himself. You bet it’s a mixed bag…but when you consider the source material, you could do worse…

Edited: January 25th, 2012

Song Of The Day – 9/11/11

Song Of The Day – “Cry A While” by Bob Dylan

10 Years After…9/11/01 also marked the day that Bob Dylan’s late-period classic “Love And Theft” album was released. I had an advance copy and was happily listening to it on my way to work that day. Little did I know that the whole world would change when I walked through the office doors and found everyone huddled around the TV. My memories of the day are forever linked with this record…”Cry A While…”

Edited: September 11th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 8/10/11

Song Of The Day – “Tough Mama” by Jerry Garcia Band

This post was written on the anniversary of Jerry G’s death but posted the day after, his music has managed to live on throughout the years. Here’s a version of a Bob Dylan tune originally from his album “Planet Waves.” Garcia was one of the preeminent coverers of Dylan tunes…

Edited: August 9th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 5/24/11

Song Of The Day – “Romance In Durango” by Bob Dylan

Happy Birthday Bob!  With a fresh set of songs from the “Desire” album in his back pocket, Dylan hit the road in 1975 with a traveling caravan of ragtag musicians for his Rolling Thunder Revue. They appeared mostly unannounced and created musical havoc on a nightly basis as heard here.

Edited: May 24th, 2011