Earlier this year an apparently legit album of pre-1963 Dylan recordings called Have A Light showed up on Amazon in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The album, available only as mp3s, contains 24 excellent early Dylan recordings. The price? $7.99.
So what’s the deal? I’m not sure. If you have more solid info regarding this album, please let me know.
Most of the songs are folk and blues standards that weren’t written by Dylan, but a version of his “Song to Woody” is included as is “Talkin’ New York Blues.”
In any case, for at least six months this album has been available and if Sony could stop it from being sold, you’d think they would.
Some of these recordings – including “Hard Times in New York Town” and “Roll On John” and Hank Williams’ “(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle” — come from recordings made at Cynthia Goodings apartment in March of 1962, while a 1961 version of “Cocaine Blues” is probably from a tape made in Bonnie Beecher’s apartment.
Have A Light track listing:
1 Hard Times in New York Town — Cynthia Gooding, March 11, 1962
2 You’re No Good
3 In My Time of Dyin’
Bob Dylan – In My Time Of Dyin' (1962… by theUnforgettablesTv
4 Man of Constant Sorrow
5 (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle — Cynthia Gooding, March 11, 1962
6 Fixin’ to Die
7 Cocaine Blues – 1961 recording, probably from the Bonnie Beecher apartment tape
8 Roll On John — Cynthia Gooding, March 11, 1962
9 Pretty Peggy-O
10 Corrina, Corrina
11 Gospel Plow
12 Baby Let Me Follow You Down
13 House of the Risin’ Sun
14 Freight Train Blues
15 Long John
16 Talkin’ New York
17 Baby Please Don’t Go
18 Song to Woody
19 Highway 51
20 Wade in the Water
21 See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
22 Mixed Up Confusion
23 Dreamed a Dream
24 Makes a Long Time Man Feel Bad — Cynthia Gooding, March 11, 1962
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3 thoughts on “Listen: Apparently Copyright-Free Bob Dylan Recordings Show Up on ‘Have A Light’ Album”
IIt’s not likely he played Roll om John at that time. He did play a song called Long John, a traditional, at Cynthia Gooding, March 11, 1962.
During the Cynthia Gooding sessions two different songs were recorded: “Long John” and “Roll On John.”
Here is the transcript from the tape — Dylan and Gooding talking about “Roll On John,” which Dylan had just played, as posted previously at Expecting Rain:
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. [Actually folklorist Ralph Rinzler]
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.
I rest my case 🙂