Tag Archives: The Byrds

Songs From the West Coast Sixties, Part One

Jim Morrison performing at the KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival, June 1967. Photo by Michael Goldberg.
Jim Morrison performing at the KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival, June 1967. Photo by Michael Goldberg.

My good friend David Monterey, a singer, songwriter and musician who leads the band, the String Rays, writes the Song Dog Music blog. Recently, the two of us had a long discussion about the Sixties West Coast Music Scene, particularly what we experienced as kids in the Bay Area.

You can read Part One of our conversation here.

Below I have posted video and song clips that compliment our words. Enjoy.

The Doors, Soul Kitchen, The Matrix, 1967 – the initial footage in this video clip is from the KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival, June 1967

Big Brother, Down On Me, 1968

Jefferson Airplane, White Rabbit, 1967

The Byrds, Mr. Tambourine Man, 1965

Pete Seeger, If I Had A Hammer, 1956

Bob Dylan, Blowin’ in the Wind, 1963

Sly and the Family Stone, Dance to the Music, 1969

Grateful Dead, Jack Straw, 1972

Jefferson Airplane, Plastic Fantastic Lover, 1968

Grateful Dead, St. Stephen,1969

Grateful Dead, Dark Star, 1969

Grateful Dead, Black Peter, May 15, 1970

Grateful Dead, Friend of the Devil, 1970

Robert Johnson, Hellhound on my Trail, 1937

Grateful Dead, Sitting on Top of the World- 1966 Trips Festival SF

Howlin’ Wolf, Sitting on Top of the World, 1957

Jefferson Airplane, Chauffeur Blues, 1966

Memphis Minnie, Chauffeur Blues (probably written by Minnie but credited to her producer lester Melrose), 1941

The Charlatans, Alabama Bound, 1965

Leadbelly, Alabama Bound

Lynn Hughes (who sang this song with The Charlatans), Devil, 1969

Skip James, Devil Got My Woman, 1931

Quicksiler Messenger Service, Who Do You Love?, 1968

Bo Diddley, Who Do You Love?, 1956

– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post –

Video: Bob Dylan Joins The Byrds for ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ – 1990

Roger McGuinn Bob Dylan and David Crosby.

The Byrds —David Crosby, Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn — reunited at a 1990 tribute to Roy Orbison and were joined by Bob Dylan for this performance of “Mr. Tambourine Man,” a song that was a folk-rock hit for The Byrds.

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— A Days Of The Crazy-Wild blog post —

Audio: Many Versions of Bob Dylan’s ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’ – Dylan, The Byrds, Them, Echo & The Bunnymen, Joan Baez & More

An obscure British band that covered Dylan’s masterpiece in 1965.

One of Dylan’s many incredible songs is “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

Unlike “Fourth Time Around,” which I posted about the other day and which had few covers, many, many artists have covered “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” The Byrds even covered it twice.

Below are some pretty incredible versions of the song including both of those versions by The Byrds.

Them with Van Morrison:

Bob Dylan, April 13, 1966, Sydney, Australia:

Marianne Faithful:

Link Wray:

Joni Mitchell:

Echo and the Bunnymen:

Hugh Masekela:

Grateful Dead, 1966:

Bonnie Raitt:

The Animals:

13th Floor Elevators:

Judy Collins:

Its All Over Now Baby Blue by Judy Collins on Grooveshark

Leon Russell:

Joan Baez:

The Cops and Robbers, cool 1965 version:

Bryan Ferry:

The Byrd, 1965 version:

The Byrds, 1969 version:

Bob Dylan, May 16, Sheffield, England:

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

Audio: Gene Clark’s Classic ‘No Other’ Album Gets A New Life

Gene Clark

Great article in the New York Times today on Byrds co-founder Gene Clark, his brilliant album No Other, and the indie rockers who are currently playing the album in full on tour.

Jon Pareles writes:

He [Clark] had found stardom early. Clark moved to Los Angeles to join the New Christy Minstrels SaveFrom.net, a mainstay of the early-1960s “Hootenanny” era. But after hearing and absorbing the Beatles, he started the Byrds with Jim (later Roger) McGuinn and David Crosby and was the main songwriter for the band’s first two albums, as well as a frequent lead singer. Clark was also the main songwriter of the Byrds’ “Eight Miles High.”

Clark has never lacked admirers among musicians. Bob Dylan singled him out with early praise: “He’s got something to say, and I’m listening,” Mr. Dylan said in 1965. Clark’s voice always held a sense of sorrow, and his songs had a philosophical undercurrent, musing on time, faith and solitude.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Check out the entire album:

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

Video: Bob Dylan & The Byrds Sing ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’

David Crosby (Left) and Dylan at the tribute concert.

A year after Roy Orbison died, in February 1990, an all-star tribute concert was held for him at the Universal Ampitheater in Los Angeles.

The Byrds reunited for the show and performed “Mr. Tambourine Man” with Bob Dylan.

It’s interesting to watch the interaction between Dylan and Roger McGuinn, who pushes Dylan to sing lead, finally joining him at the microphone to get him to sing more.

Check it out.

“Mr. Tambourine Man,” live at Newport, 1964):

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

Video: Bob Dylan Appears In Earl Scruggs Doc; Sings ‘East Virginia Blues’ — January 10, 1971

Earl Scruggs (left) and Dylan.

Forty years ago, on January 10, 1971, Bob Dylan appeared in the NBC documentary, “Earl Scruggs: His Family & Friends.”

Dylan opens the documentary singing and playing “East Virginia Blues,” accompanied by Scruggs and others. They also perform the instrumental “Nashville Skyline Rag.”

In 1968, Flatt and Scruggs had released an album, Nashville Airplane, that included four Dylan songs: “Like A Rolling Stone,” “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and “The Times They Area A-Changin’.” That album was produced by Dylan’s producer, Bob Johnston, and utilized many of the session musicians Dylan used on Blonde On Blonde and his other Nashville sessions. Other Flatt and Scruggs Dylan covers appeared on 1970’s Final Fling.

Also from the Scruggs documentary, this cool performance of Scruggs and The Byrds performing, in the second half of the video, Dylan’s “Basement Tapes” song, “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”:

Here’s Clarence Ashley singing “East Virginia Blues.” Dylan likely knew this version:

East Virginia Blues by Clarence Ashley & Gwen Foster on Grooveshark

And here’s a version by Roscoe Holcomb:

East Virginia Blues by Roscoe Holcomb on Grooveshark

Flatt and Scruggs, “Like A Rolling Stone”:

Flatt and Scruggs, “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”:

Rainy Day Women by Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs on Grooveshark

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

Audio: Bob Dylan Plays ‘He Was A Friend Of Mine,’ & I Think Of Nelson Mandela

Photo via http://www.bjorner.com/.

I was thinking about Nelson Mandela today as I listened to Bob Dylan’s version of “He Was A Friend Of Mine.”

I first heard that song as recorded by The Byrds for their second album, Turn! Turn! Turn!. Roger McGuinn modified the lyrics to make the song about the late President Kennedy and I’ve always associated the song with President Kennedy’s assassination.

When I eventually heard Dylan’s version on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 many years later I couldn’t help thinking of President Kennedy, and his tragic death.

Dylan had himself had modified the song, creating his own arrangement. The earliest known version of “He Was A Friend Of Mine” was a song called “Shorty George” recorded by Leadbelly (listen to it below) in 1935 for the Library of Congress, according to John Bauldie’s liner notes for The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3.

A Boston folk singer, Eric von Schmidt, adapted the Leadbelly recording and later played the song for Dylan who incorporated it into his repertoire and performed in around New York and elsewhere during the early ’60s.

“I sang [Dylan] a bunch of songs, and, with that spongelike mind of his, he remembered almost all of them when he got back to New York,” von Schmidt told The Boston Globe.

Dylan recorded a version of the song during the sessions for his debut, Bob Dylan. That version is the one on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3.

Unlike President Kennedy, Nelson Mandela wasn’t gunned down. He died of natural causes and he was 95. But he suffered much during his life in holding true to his values. He was a standup man if there ever was one.

In 1985 Dylan appeared on Steve Van Zandt’s all-star anti-apartheid record and in the video, “I Ain’t Gonna Play Sun City.”

I wonder if Dylan thought about “He Was A Friend Of Mine” following Mandela’s death. I bet he did.

Bob Dylan, “He Was A Friend Of Mine,” live, New York, 1961

Leadbelly, “Shorty George”:

Bob Dylan, “He Was A Friend Of Mine,” from the sessions for Bob Dylan, November 20, 1961:

He Was A Friend Of Mine by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

Bob Dylan, “He Was A Friend Of Mine,” live, Finjan Club, Montreal, Quebec, July 2, 1962

He Was A Friend Of Mine by Bob Dylan on Grooveshark

The Byrds, “He Was A Friend Of Mine”:

Artists Against Apartheid, “I Ain’t Gonna Play Sun City”:

Dave Van Ronk also recorded “He Was A Friend Of Mine.” This is from Inside Dave Van Ronk, 1963.

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