Audio: Bob Dylan’s 1962 Cynthia Gooding Recording is The Bomb!

Cynthia Gooding

In early 1962, very possibly February, Bob Dylan and his friend/radio host/singer Cynthia Gooding recorded a show that was broadcast on WBAI radio in New York.

A review of a CD of the recording at bobsboots.com:

The recording was made in February 1962. The date of March 11, 1962 is listed on the back cover, though this is most likely a re-broadcast date. The original radio show broadcast could have been as early as February. History is a bit fuzzy here.

Gooding’s interview with Bob is a good one. You can read the transcript at Expecting Rain.

Here’s some of the flavor of the conversation:

Cynthia Gooding: When I first heard Bob Dylan it was, I think, about three years ago in Minneapolis, and at that time you were thinking of being a rock and roll singer weren’t you?

Bob Dylan: Well at that time I was just sort of doin’ nothin’. I was there.

CG: Well, you were studying.

BD: I was working, I guess. l was making pretend I was going to school out there. I’d just come there from south Dakota. That was about three years ago?

CG: Yeah?

BD: Yeah, I’d come there from Sioux Falls. That was only about the place you didn’t have to go too far to find the Mississippi River. It runs right through the town you know. (laughs).

CG: You’ve been singing … you’ve sung now at Gerdes here in town and have you sung at any of the coffee houses?

BD: Yeah, I’ve sung at the Gaslight. That was a long time ago though. I used to play down in the Wha too. You ever know where that place is?

CG: Yeah, I didn’t know you sung there though.

BD: Yeah, I sung down there during the afternoons. I played my harmonica for this guy there who was singing. He used to give me a dollar to play every day with him, from 2 o’clock in the afternoon until 8.30 at night. He gave me a dollar plus a cheese burger.

CG: Wow, a thin one or a thick one?

BD: I couldn’t much tell in those days.

CG: Well, whatever got you off rock ‘n roll and on to folk music?

BD: Well, I never really got onto this, they were just sort of, I dunno, I wasn’t calling it anything then you know, I wasn’t really singing rock ‘n roll, I was singing Muddy Waters songs and I was writing songs, and I was singing Woody Guthrie songs and also I sung Hank Williams songs and Johnny Cash, I think.

The music is superb. Be sure to click on play all!

The songs:

1. Lonesome Whistle Blues (Hank Williams/Jimmy Davies)
2. Fixin’ To Die (Bukka White)
3. Smokestack Lightning (Howlin’ Wolf)
4. Hard Travelin’ (Woody Guthrie)
5. The Death Of Emmett Till
6. Standing On The Highway
7. Roll On, John (trad., arr. By Bob Dylan)
8. Stealin’, Stealin’ (trad. arr. Memphis Jug Band)
9. Long Time Man (trad., arr. by Alan Lomax)
10. Baby Please Don’t Go (Big Joe Williams)
11. Hard Times In New York Town

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael recently completed his first novel, Days of the Crazy-Wild, and is currently writing a second novel.

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