Fifty-two years ago, on December 22, 1961, Bob Dylan recorded 26 songs during two and a two-and-a-half hour session at his girlfriend Bonnie Beecher’s apartment in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Included were four Woody Guthrie songs dealing with venereal disease.
Woody Guthrie wrote the VD songs in 1949 for the U.S. Public Health Service. Guthrie’s versions were released this year on the 6-CD set, Woody Guthrie: American Radical Patriot. The set includes a 78 disc with Dylan’s recording of “VD City.”
When Bob recorded his debut album in November of 1961, he didn’t record any of the VD songs, although all but one song on that album were covers. Perhaps the topic wasn’t appropriate, or maybe Bob had just moved on.
“VD Gunner’s Blues”:
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