Category Archives: covers

Bob Dylan Sings From the Autumn of His Life


Part two of his Sinatra sessions are heavy with meaning, and a whole lot of fun too

By Michael Goldberg

A fallen angel is an angel who has sinned and been cast out of heaven.

“Everybody knows that torch singers are ‘fallen angels,’…” – Torch Singing: Performing Resistance and Desire from Billie Holiday to Edith Piaf by Stacy Holman Jones

Bob Dylan showed up at Daniel Lanois’ house in Los Angeles sometime in the later half of 2014 with recordings of 21 songs he’d made at the beginning of the year at the legendary Capitol Records Studio B in Hollywood where Frank Sinatra, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, the Beach Boys and many others once made records.

“He [Dylan] said, ‘Let me tell you, Dan: If you have the time, can I tell you how I grew up?’ So we sat in the kitchen. I hadn’t heard a note.
“He spoke for an hour and a half on how, as a kid, you couldn’t even get pictures of anybody [the artists],” Lanois, who produced two Dylan albums, 1989’s Oh Mercy, and 1997’s Time Out Of Mind, recounted to a reporter from the Vancouver Sun in February of 2015. “You might get a record but you didn’t know what they [the artist] looked like. So there was a lot of mystery associated with the work at the time. As far as hearing live music, he only heard a couple of shows a year, like the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra might come through.

“But the music he did hear really touched him and he felt that a lot of that music was written not only by great professional songwriters at the time, but a lot of it was written from the heart, from the wartime, and people just pining for a lover. He felt there was a lot of spirit in that music. He felt there was a kind of beauty, a sacred ground for him.

“After having said all that, we then listened to the music and I felt everything that he talked about. For one of America’s great writers to say, ‘I’m not gonna write a song. I’m gonna pay homage to what shook me as a young boy,’ I thought was very graceful and dignified.”

Ten of the recordings Lanois heard that day were released on Dylan’s wonderful 2015 album, Shadows in the Night. What happened to the others is something of a mystery.

Read the rest of this review at Addicted To Noise.

– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post –

Video: Bob Dylan, Van Morrison Do Webb Pierce’s ‘More & More’

Dylan, Morrison, January 16, 1998

In 1954 Webb Pierce’s “More and More” spent ten weeks atop the country charts (and reached #22 on the pop charts).

Check out this cool version by Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, which is from a January 16, 1998 concert in New York at The Theater, Madison Square Garden.

Dylan joined Morrison during Morrison’s set.

Here’s Webb Pierce singing “More and More”:

Plus here’s Dylan and Morrison singing “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”:

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –

Video/Audio: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez Sing ‘Never Let Me Go’ From ‘Renaldo & Clara’

Beginning in 1975, Bob Dylan and a superstar troupe of folk and rock musicians hit the road as the Rolling Thunder Review. As the tour progressed a camera crew filmed some of the concerts as well as fictional scenarios that Dylan dreamed up, and real off-stage events.

One of my favorite performances from the tour (included in “Renaldo & Clara”) is the Dylan and Joan Baez version of Johnny Ace’s 1954 R&B hit, “Never Let Me Go” (written by Joseph Scott).

Video clip from “Renaldo & Clara”:

Full song:

“Never Let Me Go”:

Never Let Me Go (Renaldo & Clara) by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

Another version from the Rolling Thunder Review tour:

Never Let Me Go by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

And another:

Bob Dylan – Tell It Like It Is 11-11-75 – 07 – never let me go by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

Johnny Ace’s version:

— A Days of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Bob Dylan’s MusicCares Tribute Concert Due On DVD – But What About Dylan’s Speech?

Dylan giving MusicCares speech.

The MusicCares Bob Dylan tribute concert from earlier this year which honored Dylan as 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year will be released on DVD, according to Billboard magazine.

The concert, which took place on Friday February 6, 2015, included performances by Bruce Springsteen, Jack White, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Norah Jones, Tom Jones, Los Lobos, John Mellencamp, Alanis Morissette, Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Derek Trucks, John Doe, Jackson Browne and Neil Young. It is expected that they will all appear on the DVD.

As of now, it’s not known if Dylan’s 35-minute MusicCares speech will be on the DVD. In an earlier version of this post I reported that it would be included but that was an error. For now there is no info about the speech being included.

Dylan personally chose the performers and the songs they would sing at the MusicCares event.

Here are the songs performed:

Beck – “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”
Aaron Neville – “Shooting Star”
Alanis Morissette – “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
Los Lobo – “On A Night Like This”
Willie Nelson – “Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)”
Jackson Browne – “Blind Willie McTell”
John Mellencamp – “Highway 61 Revisited”
Jack White – “One More Cup Of Coffee”
Tom Jones – “What Good Am I?”
Norah Jones – “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”
Dereck Trucks And Susan Tedeschi – “Million Miles”
John Doe – “Pressing On”
Crosby, Stills & Nash – “Girl From The North County”
Bonnie Raitt – “Standing In The Doorway”
Sheryl Crow – “Boots Of Spanish Leather”
Bruce Springsteen – “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
Neil Young – “Blowin’ In The Wind”

Hear excerpts:

The DVD release date has yet to be announced.

You can read the Billboard story here.

Meanwhile you can read the Dylan speech here.

— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Audio: Bob Dylan Sings On Cynthia Gooding’s Radio Show, March 11, 1962

Cynthia Gooding on the cover of her debut album.

Fifty-three years ago, on March 11, 1962, Cynthia Gooding’s Folksinger’s Choice radio show featuring Bob Dylan aired on WBAI in New York.

This was Dylan’s first radio interview. His debut album, Bob Dylan, recorded in November 1961, would not be released for another week.

If you haven’t yet heard these performances, now is the time! And if you have, another listen is in order.

I’ve included a transcript of the show below the YouTube clips.


1 “(I heard That) Lonesome Whistle Blow” (after the song ends if you go to about the seven minute point you can hear some of the interview):

2 “Fixin’ To Die”:

3 “Smokestack Lightning”:

4 “Hard Travellin'”:

5 “The Death Of Emmett Till”:

6 “Standing On The Highway”:

7 “Roll On, John”:

8 “Stealin'”:

9 “It Makes A Long Time Man Feel Bad”:

10 “Baby Please Don’t Go”:

11 “Hard Times In New York”:

Here’s a transcript of the show:

CG: That was Bob Dylan. Just one man doing all that. Playing the … er … mouth harp and guitar because, well, when you do this you have to wear a little sort of, what another person might call a necklace.
BD: Yeah !

CG: And then it’s got joints so that you can bring the mouth harp up to where you can reach it. To play it. Bob Dylan is, well, you must be twenty years old now aren’t you?

BD: Yeah. I must be twenty. (laughs)

CG: (laughs) Are you?

BD: Yeah. I’m twenty, I’m twenty.

CG: 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?

BD: 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.

CG: Yeah, I think the ones that I heard were a couple of the Johnny Cash songs.

BD: Yeah, this one I just sang for you is Hank Williams.

CG: It’s a nice song too.

BD: Lonesome Whistle.

CG: Heartbreaking.

BD: Yeah.

CG: And you’ve been writing songs as long as you’ve been singing.

BD: Well no, Yeah. Actually, I guess you could say that. Are these, ah, these are French ones, yeah?

CG: No, they are healthy cigarettes. They’re healthy because they’ve got a long filter and no tobacco.

BD: That’s the kind I need.

CG: And now you’re doing a record for Columbia?

BD: Yeah, I made it already. It’s coming out next month. Or not next month, yeah, it’s coming out in March.

CG: And what’s it going to be called?

BD: Ah, Bob Dylan, I think.

CG: That’s a novel title for a record.

BD: Yeah, it’s really strange.

CG: Yeah and hmm this is one of the quickest rises in folk music wouldn’t you say?

BD: Yeah, but I really don’t think to myself as, a you know, a folk singer, er folk singer thing, er, because I don’t really much play across the country, in any of these places, you know? I’m not on a circuit or anything like that like those other folk singers so ah, I play once in a while you know. But I dunno’ I like more than just folk music too and I sing more than just folk music. I mean as such, a lot of people they’re just folk music, folk music, folk music you know. I like folk music like Hobart Smith stuff an all that but I don’t sing much of that and when I do it’s probably a modified version of something. Not a modified version, I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just there’s more to it, I think. Old time jazz things you know. Jelly Roll Morton, you know, stuff like that.

CG: Well, what I would like is for you to sing some songs, you know, from different parts of your short history. Short because you’re only 20 now.

BD: Yeah, OK. Let’s see. I’m looking for one.

CG: He has the, I gather, a small part of his repertoire, pasted to his guitar.

BD: Yeah. Well, this is you know actually, I don’t even know some of these songs, this list I put on ‘cos other people got it on, you know, and I copied the best songs I could find down here from all these guitar players list. So I don’t know a lot of these, you know. It gives me something to do though on stage.

CG: Yeah, like something to look at.

BD: Yeah. I’ll sing you, oh, you wanna hear a blues song?

CG: Sure.

BD: This one’s called Fixin’ To Die.

Track 2: Fixin’ To Die

CG: That’s a great song. How much of it is yours?
BD: That’s ah, I don’t know. I can’t remember. My hands are cold; it’s a pretty cold studio.

CG: It s the coldest studio !

BD: Usually can do this (picking a few notes). There, I just wanted to do it once.

CG: You’re a very good friend of John Lee Hookers, aren’t you?

BD: Yeah, I’m a friend of his.

CG: Do you sing any of his songs at all?

BD: Well, no I don’t sing any of his really. I sing one of Howlin’ Wolfs. You wanna hear that one again?

CG: Well, first I wanna ask you, um, why you don’t sing any of his because I know you like them.

BD: I play harmonica with him, and I sing with him. But I don’t do, sing, any of his songs because, I might sing a version of one of them, but I don’t sing any like he does, ‘cos I don’t think anybody sings any of his songs to tell you the truth. He’s a funny guy to sing like.

CG: Hard guy to sing like too.

BD: This is, I’ll see if I can find a key here and do this one. I heard this one a long time ago. This is one, I never do it.

CG: This is the Howlin’ Wolf song

BD: Yeah.

Track 3: Smokestack Lightning

BD: You like that?
CG: Yeah, I sure do. You’re very brave to try and sing that kind of a howling song.

BD: Yeah, it’s Howlin’ Wolf.

CG: Yeah. Another of the singers that you’re a very good friend of is, I know, Woody Guthrie.

BD: Yeah.

CG: Did you, you said er singing his songs, or rather his songs were some of the first ones that you sang.

BD: Yeah.

CG: Which ones did you sing of his?

BD: Well, I sing…

CG: Or which do you like the best perhaps I should say.

BD: Well, which ones you’re gonna hear. Here, I’ll sing you one, if I get it together here.

CG: In order for Bob to put on his necklace which is what he holds up the mouth harp with, he’s gotta take his hat off. Then he puts on the necklace. Then he puts the hat back on.

BD: Yeah.

CG: Then he screws up the necklace so he can put the mouth harp in it. It’s a complicated business.

BD: You know, the necklace gotta go round the collar.

CG: Also, in case any of you don’t know, in order for Bob to decide what key he’s gonna sing in, he gotta, well, first, he decides what key he s gonna sing in and then he’s gotta find the mouth harp that’s in that key. And, then he’s gotta put the mouth harp in the necklace.

BD: Yeah. I’ll sing you Hard Travellin’. How’s that one? Everybody sings it, but he likes that one.

Track 4: Hard Travellin’

CG: Nice, you started off slow but boy you ended up.
BD: Yeah, that’s a thing of mine there.

CG: Tell me about the songs that you’ve sung, that you’ve written yourself that you sing.

BD: Oh those are … I don’t claim to call them folk songs or anything. I just call them contemporary songs, I guess. You know, there’s a lot of people paint, you know. If they’ve got something that they wanna say, you know, they paint. Or other people write. Well, I just, you know write a song it’s the same thing . You wanna hear one?

CG: Why, yes. That’s just what I had in mind Bob Dylan. Whatever made you think of that.

BD: Well, let me see. What kind do you wanna hear? I got a new one I wrote.

CG: Yeah. you said you were gonna play some of your new ones for me.

BD: Yeah, I got a new one, er. This one’s called, em, Emmett Till. Oh, by the way, the melody here is, excuse me, the melody’s, I stole the melody from Len Chandler. An’ he’s a funny guy. He’s a, he’s a folk singer guy. He uses a lot of funny chords you know when he plays and he’s always getting to, want me, to use some of these chords, you know, trying to teach me new chords all the time. Well, he played me this one. Said don’t those chords sound nice? An’ I said they sure do, an so I stole it, stole the whole thing.

CG: That was his first mistake.

BD: Yeah … Naughty tips.

Track 5: Emmett Till

BD: You like that one?
CG: It’s one of the greatest contemporary ballads I’ve ever heard. It s tremendous.

BD: You think so?

CG: Oh yes !

BD: Thanks !

CG: It’s got some lines that are just make you stop breathing, great. Have you sung that for Woody Guthrie?

BD: No. I’m gonna sing that for him next time.

CG: Gonna sing that one for him?

BD: Yeah.

CG: Oh Yeah.

BD: I just wrote that one about last week, I think.

CG: Pine song. It makes me very proud. It’s uh, what’s so magnificent about it to me, is that it doesn’t have any sense of being written, you know. It sounds as if it just came out of …. it doesn’t have any of those little poetic contortions that mess up so many contemporary ballads, you know.

BD: Oh yeah, I try to keep it working.

CG: Yeah, and you sing it so straight. That’s fine.

BD: Just wait til’ Len Chandler hears the melody though.

CG: He’ll probably be very pleased with what you did to it. What song does he sing to it?

BD: He sings another one he wrote, you know. About some bus driver out in Colorado, that crashed a school bus with 27 kids. That’s a good one too. It’s a good song.

CG: What other songs are you gonna sing?

BD: You wanna hear another one?

CG: I wanna hear tons more.

BD: OK, I’ll sing ya, I never get a chance to sing a lot of, let me sing you just a plain ordinary one.

CG: Fine.

BD: I’ll tune this one. It’s open E. Oh ! I got one, I got two of ’em. I broke my fingernail so it might not be so, it might slip a few times.

Track 6: Standing On The Highway
BD: You like that?
CG: Yes I do. You know the eight of diamonds is delay, and the ace of spades is death so that sort of goes in with the two roads, doesn’t it?

BD: I learned that from the carnival.

CG: From who?

BD: Carnival, I used to travel with the carnival. I used to speak of those things all the time.

CG: Oh. You can read cards too?

BD: Humm, I can’t read cards. I really believe in palm reading, but for a bunch of personal things, I don’t, personal experiences, I don’t believe too much in the cards. I like to think I don’t believe too much in the cards, anyhow.

CG: So you go out of your way not to get em read, so you won’t believe them. How long were you with the carnival?

BD: I was with the carnival off and on for about six years.

CG: What were you doing?

BD: Oh, just about everything. Uh, I was clean-up boy, I used to be on the main line, on the ferris wheel, uh, do just run rides. I used to do all kinds of stuff like that.

CG: Didn’t that interfere with your schooling?

BD: Well, I skipped a bunch of things, and I didn’t go to school a bunch of years and I skipped this and I skipped that.

CG: That’s what I figured.

BD: All came out even though.

CG: What, you were gonna … you were gonna, sing another blues, you said.

BD: Oh yeah, I’ll sing you this one. This is a nice slow one. I learned this … you know Ralph Rensler?

CG: Sure.

BD: I learned this sort of thing from him. A version of this, I got the idea from him. This isn’t the blues, but, how much time we got?

CG: Oh, we got half an hour.

BD: Oh, good.

Track 7: Roll On John
CG: That’s a lonesome accompaniment too. Oh my !
BD: You like that one?

CG: It makes you feel even lonelier. How much of that last one was yours by the way?

BD: Well, I dunno, maybe one or two verses.

CG: Where’d the rest of it come from?

BD: Well, like I say, I got the idea for Roll On John from Ralph Rensler.

CG: Oh! I see.

BD: And then I got … the rest just sort of fell together. Here’s one, I’ll bet you’ll remember. Yay, I bet you’ll know this one.

CG: Take the hat off, put on the necklace, put the hat back on. Nobody’s ever seen Bob Dylan without his hat excepting when he’s putting on his necklace. Is there … is there a more dignified name for that thing?

BD: What, the, this?

CG: Yeah the brace, what’s it called?

BD: Er, harmonica holder.

CG: Oh, I think necklace is better than that.

BD: Yeah, ha ha. This one here’s an old jug band song.

Track 8: Stealin’
BD: Like that? That’s called Stealin’.
CG: I figured. You haven’t been playing the harrnonica too long, have you?

BD: Oh yeah, oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I been playing the harmonica for a long time. I just have never had … couldn’t play ’em at the same time. I used to play the smaller Hohners. I never knew harmonica holders existed, the real kind like this. I used to go ahead and play with the coat hanger. That never really held out so good. I used to put tape around it, you know, and then it would hold out pretty good. But then there were smaller harmonicas than these, you know, they’re about this far an’ I used to put them in my mouth. But I, but I got bad teeth, you know, and some kind of thing back there you know. Maybe there’s … I don’t know what it was, a filling or something. I don’t know what it was in there but it used to magnify.

CG: Oh yes.

BD: Not magnified but magnet, you know. Man, this whole harmonica would go, you know, wham, drop from my mouth like that. So I couldn’t hold it onto my teeth very much.

CG: Yeah, it’s like, sometimes you get a piece of tin foil in your mouth and it goes wow. It’s terrible. But let’s not talk about that.

BD: No, I don’t want to talk about that either.

CG: At the carnival did you learn songs?

BD: No, I learned how to sing though. That’s more important.

CG: Yeah. You made up the songs even then.

BD: Er, actually, I wrote a song once. I’m trying to find, a real good song I wrote. An’ it’s about this lady I knew in the carnival. An’ er, they had a side show, I only, I was, this was, Thomas show, Roy B Thomas shows, and there was, they had a freak show in it, you know, and all the midgets and all that kind of stuff. An’ there was one lady in there really bad shape. Like her skin had been all burned when she was a little baby, you know, and it didn’t grow right, and so she was like a freak. An’ all these people would pay money, you know, to come and see and … er … that really sort of got to me, you know. They’d come and see, and I mean, she was very, she didn’t really look like normal, she had this funny kind of skin and they passed her of as the elephant lady. And, er, like she was just burned completely since she was a little baby, er.

And … er, it’s a funny thing about them: I know how these people think, you know. Like when they wanna sell you stuff, you know, the spectators. And I don’t see why people don’t buy something, because, you know, like they sell little cards of themselves for, you know, like ten cents, you know. They got a picture on it and it’s got some story, you know. And they’ve very funny thinking, like they get up there like, a lot of them are very smart, you know, because they’ve had to do this, I mean, still you can’t. A lot of them are great people, you know. But like, they got a funny thing in their minds. Like they want to. Here they are on the stage, they wanna make you have two thoughts. Like, they wanna make you think that, er, they don’t feel, er, bad about themselves. They want you to think that they just go on living everyday and they don’t ever think about their, what’s bothering them, they don’t ever think about their condition. An’ also they wanna make you feel sorry for them, an’ they gotta do that two ways you see And er … they do it, a lot of them do it. And … er, it’s er. I had a good friend, this woman who was like that, and I wrote a song for her, you know, a long time ago. An’ lost it some place. It’s just about, just speakin’ from first person, like here I am, you know, and sort a like, talkin’ to you, and trying, an’ it was called, “Won’t You Buy A Postcard”. That’s the name of the song I wrote. Can’t remember that one though.

CG: There’s a lot of circus literature about how freaks don’t mind being freaks but it’s very hard to believe.

BD: Oh yeah.

CG: You’re absolutely right, that they would have to look at it two ways at the same time. Did you manage to get both ways into the song?

BD: Yeah. I lost the song.

CG: I hope you fond it and when you find it sing it for me.

BD: I got a verse here of some… You know Ian and Silvia?

CG: Oh sure. Ian and Silvia are at the Bitter End Club.

BD: I sort of borrowed this from them.

CG: He’s looking for a harmonica.

BD: I don’t have to take the necklace off; necklace as you call it. You might have heard them do it. This is the same song. I used to do this one.

Track 9: Makes A Long Time Man Feel Bad
BD: Got sort of… You like that one?
CG: Boy it, when you…

BD: That’s got them funny chords in it.

CG: …really get going there’s a tremendous sort of push that you give things that’s wild.

BD: Oh, you really think so?

CG: No, I was just talking.

BD: I’ll take off my necklace.

CG: Without taking off your hat.

BD: No.

CG: Well, then the thing is you see that …

BD: I’m getting good at this.

CG: Yah. After he takes off the necklace or puts it on he’s gotta fluff up the hat again every time.

BD: Yeah. I got it cleaned and blocked last week.

CG: What did you wear on your head? (laughing)

BD: Stetson. You seen me wear that Stetson.

CG: Oh yeah, you were wearing somebody’s Stetson.

BD: It was mine. I got that for a present.

CG: So why don’t you wear it? ‘Cause you like this one better?

BD: I like this one better. It’s been with me longer.

CG: What happens when you take it off for any length of time? You go to sleep?

BD: Yeah.

CG: I see.

BD: Or else I’m in the bathroom or somethin’. Well actually just when I go to sleep. I wanted to sing Baby Please Don ‘t Go because I’ve wanted to hear how that sounded.

Track 10; Baby Please Don’t Go

CG: That’s a nice song too. You said that you’ve written several new songs lately.
BD: Yeah.

CG: You’ve only sung one of them. You realise that? I know I’m working you very hard for this hour of the morning, but there it is.

BD: Yeah, this really isn’t a new one but this is one of the ones. You’ll like it. I wrote this one before I got this Columbia Records thing. Just about when I got it, you know. I like New York, but this is a song from one person’s angle.

Track 11: Hard Times In New York Town

CG: That’s a very nice song, Bob Dylan. You’ve been listening to Bob Dylan playing some, playing and singing some of his songs and some of the songs that he’s learned from other people. And thank you very, very much for coming down here and working so hard.
BD: It’s my pleasure to come down.

CG: When you’re rich and famous are you gonna wear the hat too?

BD: Oh, I’m never gonna become rich and famous.

CG: And you’re never gonna take off the hat either.

BD: No.

CG: And this has been Folksingers Choice and I’m Cynthia Gooding. I’ll be here next week at the same time.

Transcript via Expecting Rain. Thanks!!!

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

[I published my novel, True Love Scars, in August of 2014.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book. Read it here. And Doom & Gloom From The Tomb ran this review which I dig. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

Video: Bob Dylan Goes Noir For New Video, ‘The Night We Called It A Day’

If you’ve even seen the great Film Noir classics “Double Indemnity,” “Detour” or Orson Welles “Touch Of Evil,” than you know what Bob Dylan is up to in his new video for the song “The Night We Called It A Day” off his latest album, Shadows In The Night.

The black and white video finds characters played by Dylan, Tracy Phillips and Nash Edgerton involved in some kind of double double cross that involves a diamond ring and a double murder.

Check it out:

And if you haven’t already, read my column about Shadows In The Night.

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

[I published my novel, True Love Scars, in August of 2014.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book. Read it here. And Doom & Gloom From The Tomb ran this review which I dig. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

Audio: Jerry Garcia Does Bob Dylan’s ‘Visions Of Johanna” – 16+ Minutes

I always dug Jerry Garcia’s voice and I think it’s perfect for delivering this song. Intuitively Garcia got this song, and you hear it.

Some great guitar playing on some of these versions too.

Here’s a studio recording of “Visions of Johanna” by Garcia.

Here’s the Grateful Dead doing “Visions of Johanna” live, The Spectrum, March 18, 1995, Philadelphia, PA:

And a version from the Dead at Hampton Coliseum, March 19, 1986, Hampton, VA:

Audio: Listen to Ray Benson & Asleep At The Wheel & Merle Haggard & More Do Bob Wills Songs

The new album from Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel is called Still The King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. It’s out March 3, 2015.

The 22-track album includes these guest artists: Willie Nelson, Amos Lee, Merle Haggard, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Del McCoury Band, Robertt Early Keen, Carriue Rodriguez and others.

Give it a listen:


1. Intro—Texas Playboy Theme (with Leon Rausch)
2. I Hear Ya Talkin’ (with Amos Lee)
3. The Girl I Left Behind Me (with The Avett Brothers)
4. Trouble In Mind (with Amos Lee)
5. Keeper Of My Heart (with Merle Haggard and Emily Gimble)
6. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (with Kat Edmonson)
7. Tiger Rag (with Old Crow Medicine Show)
8. What’s The Matter With The Mill (with Pokey LaFarge)
9. Navajo Trail (with Willie Nelson and The Quebe Sisters)
10. Silver Dew On The Bluegrass Tonight (with The Del McCoury Band)
11. Faded Love (with The Time Jumpers)
12. South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way) (with George Strait)
13. I Had Someone Else Before I Had You (with Elizabeth Cook)
14. My Window Faces The South (with Brad Paisley)
15. Time Changes Everything (with Buddy Miller)
16. A Good Man Is Hard To Fine (with Carrie Rodriguez and Emily Gimble)
17. Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas (with Robert Earl Keen and Ray Benson)
18. Brain Cloudy Blues (with Jamey Johnson and Ray Benson)
19. Bubbles In My Beer (with The Devil Makes Three)
20. It’s All Your Fault (with Katie Shore)
21. Three Guitar Special (with Tommy Emmanuel, Brent Mason and Billy Briggs)
22. Bob Wills Is Still The King (with Shooter Jennings, Randy Rogers and Reckless Kelly)

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

[I published my novel, True Love Scars, in August of 2014.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book. Read it here. And Doom & Gloom From The Tomb ran this review which I dig. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]tter

Behind the Songs On Bob Dylan’s ‘Shadows In The Night’

On Bob Dylan’s Facebook page, info about the songs he covers on Shadows In The Night has been posted.

Here are excerpts from what’s there so far with links to each entire post:

Song written in 1951
Joel S Herron, Frank Sinatra, Jack Wolf

Many came to know the song from Billie Holiday’s last sessions for Columbia Records, Lady in Satin, released in 1958. Also recorded by Chet Baker, The Four Freshmen, Billy Eckstine, Sergio Franchi, Sammy Davis Junior, Helen Merrill, Dinah Washington, Dionne Warwick, Robert Goulet, Tony Bennett, Shirley Bassey, Hadda Brooks, Peggy Lee and Steve Lawrence.

Joel Herron was the musical director of the famous Copacabana nightclub during the 1940s. He also was a pianist, arranger and accompanist. Lyricist, Jack Wolf was a close friend. Herron had been using Brahms’ Third Symphony as his theme song at the Copa, when Wolf suggested using the Andantino section from the same symphony as a melody for a song. Together they created a composition that Frank Sinatra recorded in 1950, entitled TAKE MY LOVE. Released as a single during 1951, a low point in Sinatra’s recording career, TAKE MY LOVE failed to chart. At that time, Mitch Miller, who was the head of A&R at Columbia Records had lost faith in Frank’s ability to sell records. Indeed, many consider the absolute nadir in Sinatra’s career was when Miller forced him to record the novelty song, MAMA WILL BARK. Ironically, eleven short years later Miller also showed complete indifference to John Hammond’s new signing to Columbia Records, Bob Dylan…

Read more here.

The Night We Called It a Day
Song written 1941
Matt Dennis, Tom Adair

Doris Day, Chris Connor, June Christy, Chet Baker, Diana Krall, The Hi-Lo’s, Frank Sinatra.

Matt Dennis was a singer, pianist, bandleader, arranger and songwriter. Born in Seattle to a musical Vaudevillian family, he formed his own band in the mid-30s with Dick Haymes as vocalist. Dennis also worked as vocal coach and arranger for big band singers and popular recording artists including Martha Tilton and Jo Stafford. When Stafford joined the Tommy Dorsey Band in 1939, she persuaded Dorsey to hire Dennis as an arranger. Along with lyricist Tom Adair, Dennis wrote fourteen songs in one year alone including EVERYTHING HAPPENS TO ME – a hit for the band with lead vocalist Frank Sinatra…

Read more here.

Song written in 1963
Carolyn Leigh, Jerome Moross

The song is best known as its alternate title, “Theme Song from The Cardinal,” as sung by Frank Sinatra. The Cardinal was a 1963 Otto Preminger film which follows the journey of a young Boston priest as he climbs the hierarchy of the Catholic Church during the rise of Fascism in Europe.

Carolyn Leigh was a New York born lyricist who wrote for Broadway, movies and popular music. After graduating New York University, Leigh began her career as a copywriter for radio stations and advertising agencies. She transitioned to writing lyrics for Broadway musicals including “Peter Pan,” “Wild Cat,” ” Little Me” and “How Now Dow Jones.” Her biggest successes came in partnership with Cy Coleman in the early 60s. Together they penned such notable hits as, WITCHCRAFT, HEY LOOK ME OVER, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME…

Read more here:

Song written in 1945, English lyrics written in 1947
Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prevert , Johnny Mercer

Jo Stafford, Edith Piaff (in French), Tom Jones, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughn, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, Louis Prima. The song has long been a favorite of jazz musicians with over 1400 cover versions from Paul Whiteman, to Ben Webster, to Cannonball Adderly, Bill Evans, Charles Lloyd and Coleman Hawkins.

Joseph Kosma was born in Budapest in 1905. A musical prodigy, he began piano lessons at age 5 and composed his first opera at age 11. He studied at the Liszt Academy with Bela Bartok. He emigrated to Paris in 1933 where he met poet and screenwriter Jacques Prevert, who in turn introduced him to filmmaker, Jean Renoir. During World War II, Kosma was placed under house arrest and was banned from composing music. However, Prevert arranged for him to continue composing for films using other musicians as a front. It was in this way that he wrote the music for Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise) in 1945. His other film credits include La Grand Illusion (1937), La Bete Humaine (The Human Beast) (1938) and La Regle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game) (1939) all directed by Jean Renoir. Although he did not write many songs he is legendary for composing the melody to the Jacques Prevert poem Les Feuilles Mortes, which would eventually become Autumn Leaves…

Read more here.

Why Try To Change Me Now
Song written in 1952
Cy Coleman, Joseph Allen McCarthy

Frank Sinatra had the first recording. Other covers include Sammy Davis Jr., Fionna Apple, Jimmy Scott, and Nancy Wilson.
Born Seymour Kaufman in The Bronx in 1929, Cy Coleman was a composer, songwriter and jazz pianist. He was a child prodigy who gave piano recitals at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall between the ages of 6 and 9. Prior to beginning his Broadway career he led a trio which became a successful nightclub attraction. Success on Broadway first came as a composer in collaboration with Joseph McCarthy, Jr. But his biggest successes started in 1960 once he paired with lyricist Carolyn Leigh. Together they wrote WITCHCRAFT and THE BEST IS YET TO COME, HEY LOOK ME OVER, among many others…

Read more here.

Some Enchanted Evening
Song written in 1949
Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers

Bing Crosby, Barbara Streisand, Al Jolson, Andy Williams, Jo Stafford, Perry Como, Ezio Pinza, Harry Connick, Jr., Art Garfunkel, Jay & the Americans, Frank Sinatra.

From the musical South Pacific, SOME ENCHANTED EVENING is considered the single biggest popular hit to come out of any Rodgers and Hammerstein show. In the original Broadway Production, the song was sung by former Metropolitan Opera bass, Ezio Pinza.
Oscar Hammerstein was born in New York City in 1895, the grandson of a Jewish theater impresario. His father was a Vaudeville theater manager and producer. He attended Columbia University and studied at Columbia Law School, but would soon quit the study of law to pursue theater. For the next 40 years he would be one of the most successful and prolific lyricist and theatrical producers of musicals in America…

Read more here.

Song written in 1945
Buddy Kaye, Ted Mossman

Robert Goulet, Sarah Vaughn, Jerry Vale, Eddie Fisher, Donna Brooks. Best known version is by Frank Sinatra.

This song is based on Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2, written between 1900 and 1901. It became Rachmaninoff’s most popular composition and built his reputation as a concerto composer. Born to an aristocratic family in Russia in 1873, Rachmaninoff’s first success came as a pianist – giving his first concert by the age of nineteen. In that same year he composed and performed an opera based on a poem by Alexander Pushkin, which became an immediate success in Moscow. The Russian Revolution forced him to leave the country in 1917. Eventually he emigrated to the United States in 1918 after receiving several lucrative performance offers. He supported himself and his family as a world renown concert pianist until his death, in Beverly Hills, in 1943…

Read more here.

Where are You?
Song written in 1937
Harold Adamson, Jimmy McHugh

Mildred Bailey, Chris Connor, Shirley Bassey, Aretha Franklin, Brenda Lee, Julie London, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Washington.

Jimmy McHugh was one of the most prolific songwriters from the 1920s through the 1950s. Born in Boston in 1894, McHugh struggled in a variety of odd jobs including work as a rehearsal pianist at the Boston Opera House and as a pianist/song plugger for Irving Berlin’s music publishing company. At the age of 26, he relocated to New York City, finding work as a song plugger with the Jack Mills publishing company. It was there that he teamed up with future Duke Ellington manager Irving Mills to form the Hotsy Totsy Boys, writing and recording their hit song, EVERYTHING IS HOTSY TOTSY NOW…

Read more here.

What’ll I do?
Song written in 1923
Irving Berlin

Julie London, Anne Murray, Lou Rawls, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, Chet Baker, Cher, Perry Como, Tommy Dorsey, Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Eydie Gorme, Linda Ronstadt, Sarah Vaughan, Paul Whiteman, Lena Horne, Alison Krauss, Dick Haymes, Georgia Gibbs and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Born in Russia in 1888, Berlin was one of eight children. His father was a cantor in a synagogue who uprooted the family in 1893 and moved to New York in order to escape the Russian pogroms against Jews so rampant in Eastern Europe. They settled on Cherry Street on the Lower East Side in a cold water basement flat with no windows. His father, unable to find work as a cantor, labored at a meat market and gave Hebrew lessons on the side. He died when Irving was thirteen years old. With only a few years of schooling, Irving found it necessary to take to the streets to help support his family. His first job was as a newspaper boy – hawking the Evening Journal. Meanwhile the rest of the family scrounged for work; his mother as a midwife, his three sisters wrapping cigars in a factory and his older brother assembling shirts in a sweatshop…

Read more here.

That Lucky Old Sun
Song written in 1949
Haven Gillespie, Beasley Smith

Biggest hit version was by Frankie Lane, which reached number one in 1949. Other chart hits were by Vaughan Monroe, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra, all in 1949. Other covers include Ray Charles, Dean Martin, Leon Russell, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, The Isley Brothers, Pat Boone, Sarah Vaughan, LaVerne Baker, Sammy Davis Junior and Bing Crosby…

Read more here.

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

[I published my novel, True Love Scars, in August of 2014.” Rolling Stone has a great review of my book. Read it here. And Doom & Gloom From The Tomb ran this review which I dig. There’s info about True Love Scars here.]

Audio: Stream/Download Angel Olsen Live At The Bowery Ballroom, Dec. 9, 2014

Angel Olsen is one of my favorite contemporary artists. Thanks to Doom & Gloom at the Tomb and NYC Taper we get to hear her recent set at the Bowery Ballroom in New York.

You can steam the set below or head to NYCTaper and download as MP3s or Flacs.

Olsen’s Burn Your Fire for No Witness was in my best-of list for 2014.

Stream the complete set:

– A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post –