May 2: Bob Dylan 3rd Slow Train Coming Recording Session 1979
It’s in my system. I don’t really have enough time to talk about it. If someone really wants to know, I can explain it to them, but there are other people who can do it just as well. I don’t feel compelled to do it. I was doing a bit of that last year on the stage. I was saying stuff I figured people needed to know. I thought I was giving people an idea of what was behind the songs. I don’t think it’s necessary any more. When I walk around some of the towns we go to, however, I’m totally convinced people need Jesus. Look at the junkies and the winos and the troubled people. It’s all a sickness which can be healed in an instant. The powers that be won’t let that happen. The powers that be say it has to be healed politically.
~Bob Dylan (to Robert Hilburn – Nov 1980)
Slow Train Coming was a collection of songs Dylan had originally intended to donate to backing singer Carolyn Dennis.
~Clinton Heylin (The Recording Sessions)
The first 2 recording sessions for “Slow Train Coming” had only resulted one master take for the album – Precious Angel (recorded the previous day).
(oo) What you want
(oo) Baby, I got
(oo) What you need
(oo) Do you know I got it?
(oo) All I’m askin’
(oo) Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home
(just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)
While the inclusion of “Respect” — one of the truly seminal singles in pop history — is in and of itself sufficient to earn I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You classic status, Aretha Franklin’s Atlantic label debut is an indisputable masterpiece from start to finish.
~Jason Ankeny (allmusic.com)
Jan 22: Aretha Franklin released “Lady Soul” in 1968
…1968’s Lady Soul proved Aretha Franklin, the pop sensation, was no fluke. Her performances were more impassioned than on her debut, and the material just as strong, an inspired blend of covers and originals from the best songwriters in soul and pop music.
~John Bush (allmusic.com)
“(Jim Dickinson is)…. that magical musical maestro from Memphis…. he was the kind of guy you could call to play piano, fix a tractor, or make red cole slaw from scratch.”
“There are cool cats and there are cool Memphis cats but no one, not Elvis, not Jerry Lee, not even the Wolf came close to epitomizing Memphis and cool like Jim Dickinson did. He was the Top Cat Daddy, an inspiration, a mentor and my friend.
If you knew his music and understood his role as one of the links between black and white culture and between blues and rock and roll, you know what I’m talking about. If he is unfamiliar to you, now’s as good time as any to get to know him, even though he’s checked out of the motel.”
-Joe Nick Patoski
John Brown (from his great 1972 album “Dixie Fried” – words by Bob Dylan):
James Luther “Jim” Dickinson (November 15, 1941 – August 15, 2009) was an American record producer, pianist, and singer who fronted, among others, the Memphis based band, Mudboy & The Neutrons.
In the late 1960s, Dickinson joined with fellow Memphis musicians Charlie Freeman, Michael Utley, Tommy McClure and Sammy Creason; this group became known as the “Dixie Flyers” and provided backup for musicians recording for Atlantic Records. Perhaps their best-known work was for Aretha Franklin’s 1970 Spirit in the Dark.
In December 1969, Dickinson played piano on The Rolling Stones’ track “Wild Horses” at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama
In 1972 Dickinson released his first solo album, “Dixie Fried”, which featured songs by Bob Dylan, Furry Lewis, and the title song by Carl Perkins.
In 1974 he produced Big Star’s Third
Co-produced with Alex Chilton on the 1979 Chilton album Like Flies on Sherbert.
He has produced Willy DeVille, Green on Red, Mojo Nixon, Neon Wheels, Jason & The Nashville Scorchers, The Replacements,Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and The Dick Nixons, among many others
in 1977 an aural documentary of Memphis’ Beale Street, Beale Street Saturday Night, which featured performances by Sid Selvidge, Furry Lewis and Dickinson’s band Mud Boy and the Neutrons.
He has also worked with Ry Cooder, and played on Dylan’s album Time Out of Mind. He played keyboards, Wurlitzer electric piano, pump organ on “Love Sick”, “Dirt Road Blues”, “Million Miles”, “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven”, “Til I Fell in Love with You”, “Not Dark Yet”, “Can’t Wait”, and “Highlands”
In 1998, he produced Mudhoney’s, Tomorrow Hit Today.
Introducing himself – from www.artistshousemusic.org:
I’m not one to interpret my own songs, but if you can’t figure out ‘What I Say’, then something’s wrong. Either that, or you’re not accustomed to the sweet sounds of love.
The feel comes from gospel but the resulting witty, elegant essay on rhythm and sex and why they’re inseparable is purely pagan.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock & Soul)
February 18, 1959
Soul, blues, gospel, rock and roll
“What’d I Say” (or “What I Say“) is a song by American rhythm and blues (R&B) musician Ray Charles, released in 1959 as a single divided into two parts. It was improvised one evening late in 1958 when Charles, his orchestra, and backup singers had played their entire set list at a show and still had time left; the response from many audiences was so enthusiastic that Charles announced to his producer that he was going to record it.
After his run of R&B hits, this song finally broke Charles into mainstream pop music and itself sparked a new sub-genre of R&B titled soul, finally putting together all the elements that Charles had been creating since he recorded “I Got a Woman” in 1954. The gospel influences combined with the sexual innuendo in the song made it not only widely popular but very controversial to both white and black audiences. It earned Ray Charles his first gold record and has been one of the most influential songs in R&B and rock and roll history. For the rest of his career, Charles closed every concert with the song. It was added to the National Recording Registry in 2002 and ranked at number 10 in Rolling Stone‘s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.
“Ray would call and say that he had a few songs but he wouldn’t usually comment on them beforehand. He called me up before he brought “What’d I Say” in and said, “I think you might like this one pretty well.” That constituted a rave from him and it was very easy to record. It was hardly a song: it was an extended rhythm lick with a few jingle-like verses: “See that girl with the red dress on, She can do the Birdland all night long”, not exactly Shakespearian innovation. He had strung a few lines together but the essence of that record was the boiling rhythm track and the exchanges between himself and the Raelets.” – Jerry Wexler (Co-owner of Atlantic Records & legendary producer)