Bob Dylan Girl from the North Country – 6 decades 6 versions
“Girl from the North Country” (occasionally known as “Girl of the North Country” or “North Country Girl)) is a song written by Bob Dylan. It was recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City in April 1963, and released the following month as the second track on Dylan’s second studio album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Dylan re-recorded the song as a duet with Johnny Cash in February 1969. That recording became the first track on Nashville Skyline, Dylan’s ninth studio album.
The song was written following his first trip to England in December, 1962, upon what he thought to be the completion of his second album. It is debated as to whom this song is a tribute; some claim former girlfriend, Echo Helstrom, and some Bonnie Beecher, both of whom Dylan knew before leaving for New York. However, it is suspected that this song could have been inspired by his then girlfriend, Suze Rotolo. Dylan left England for Italy to search for Suze, whose continuation of studies there had caused a serious rift in their relationship. Unbeknownst to Dylan, Rotolo had already returned to the United States, leaving about the same time that Dylan arrived in Italy. It was here that he finished the song, ostensibly inspired by the apparent end of his relationship with Rotolo. Upon his return to New York in mid-January, he convinced Rotolo to get back together, and to move back into his apartment on 4th Street. Suze Rotolo is the woman featured on the album cover, walking arm in arm with Dylan down Jones Street, not far from their apartment.
I like Johnny Cash a lot. I like everything he does really.
~Bob Dylan (to Nat Hentoff – Autumn 1965)
In the end, Nashville Skyline is a lovely album but not a heavyweight contender, though its effects were major ones. Country music was despised, hick music when Dylan took it up. People were divided into the hip and the non-hip. The counterculture was in full swing and riddled with its own self-importance and snobbery. Nashville Skyline was a hard pill to swallow: but it did ’em good.
~Michael Gray (Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)
The 5th recording session for ‘Nashville Skyline’ took place on February 18, 1969. One master versions emerged.. the lovely “Girl from the North Country”. Johnny Cash shared vocal on all 38 takes…this is a highly bootlegged sessions… and people have uploaded most of it on youtube…
Some background from wikipedia:
Nashville Skyline is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in April 1969 by Columbia Records.
Building on the rustic style he experimented with on John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline displayed a complete immersion into country music. Along with the more basic lyrical themes, simple songwriting structures, and charming domestic feel, it introduced audiences to a radically new singing voice from Dylan—a soft, affected country croon.
The result received a generally positive reaction from critics, and was a commercial success. Reaching number 3 in the US, the album also scored Dylan his fourth UK number 1 album.
Noah Gundersen and David Ramirez – Girl from the North Country (BobDylan)
Noah Gundersen (born May 31, 1989) is an American indie folk singer-songwriter from Seattle, Washington, and founder of the band The Courage. He also made one of the best albums in 2014, Ledges (we had it at number 16 at our year-end list).
David Ramirez is also a singer-songwriter (from Austin I think), Ramirez’s career has spanned 2 full lengths and 3 EP’s.
“I grew up on 90’s alternative radio. It was fun and easy. In college someone gave me a Ryan Adams record, which led me to discover folks like Bob Dylan.”
– David Ramirez
Noah Gundersen and David Ramirez perform Girl from the North Country live and in one-take for an upcoming release of SerialBoxTV. Filmed at the Fremont Abbey in Seattle, Washington: