Tag Archives: Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid

July 16: Bob Dylan released Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid in 1973


BF: Why does your voice change so much? From the country albums to Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid to the way you sound on tour…
Bob Dylan:  That’s a good question. I don’t know. I could only guess, if it has changed. I’ve never gone for having a great voice, for cultivating one. I’m still not doing it now.
~Ben Fong-Torres interview (Jan 1974)

TC: Your music often seems to get ignored as compared with the emphasis that’s placed on the lyrics, but there have been some really nice instrumental passages like Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid, for example.
Bob Dylan: Yes, I just did a bunch of tracks with Dave Stewart that have no lyrics, and you don’t even miss the lyrics, really. They’re just different chord patterns that make up a melody. My records usually don’t have a lot of guitar solos or anything like that on them. The vocals mean a lot, and the rhythm means a lot, that’s about it.
~Toby Creswell interview (Jan 1986)

Here is the brilliant “Knocking On Heavens Door” scene from the movie:

Continue reading July 16: Bob Dylan released Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid in 1973

July 16 in music history

40 year anniversary for On The Beach by Neil Young (read more)

“Good album. One side of it particularly—the side with ‘Ambulance Blues’, ‘Motion Pictures’ and ‘On the Beach’ — it’s out there. It’s a great take.”
~Neil Young

The second in Neil’s ditch trilogy, On the Beach was also disavowed by Young and unreleased on CD until 2003. It is weirder but sharper than Time Fades Away, with harrowing lows and amazing highs, including the off-the-cuff, eight-minute folk jam “Ambulance Blues.”

Neil Young - on-the-beach

Bob Dylan: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (released July 16, 1973) (read more)

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid is the twelfth studio album and first soundtrack album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on July 16, 1973 by Columbia Records for the Sam Peckinpah film, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Dylan himself appeared in the film as the character “Alias”. Consisting primarily of instrumental music and inspired by the movie itself, the soundtrack included “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door“, which became a trans-Atlantic Top 20 hit. Certified a gold record by the RIAA, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid reached #16 US and #29 UK.

 William Bell (born July 16, 1939) is an American soul singer and songwriter, and one of the architects of the Stax-Volt sound. As a performer, he is probably best known for 1961′s “You Don’t Miss Your Water” (his debut single); 1968′s “Private Number” (a duet withJudy Clay, and a top 10 hit in the UK); and 1976′s “Tryin’ To Love Two”, Bell’s only US top 40 hit, which also hit No. 1 on the R&B charts. Upon the death of Otis Redding, Bell released the well-received memorial song “A Tribute to a King”.  WilliamBell
 Ellen Muriel Deason (August 30, 1919 – July 16, 2012), known professionally as Kitty Wells, was an American country musicsinger. Her 1952 hit recording, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”, made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country star. Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s.  kitty wells

Spotify Playlist – July 16

The Roots of Wagon Wheel aka Rock Me Mama

Bob Dylan In 'Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid'

Rock Me Mama/Wagon Wheel is a song originally sketched by Bob Dylan and later completed by Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show. Old Crow Medicine Show’s version was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 2013.

It is a big hit for Darius Rucker this year and nominated for a CMT award.


The chorus and melody for the song comes from a demo recorded by Bob Dylan during the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid sessions.It is part of the famous bootleg Peco’s Blues, the Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid Sessions.

Peco's Blues

He started work on the soundtrack for Pat Garret on January 20th, 1973 in Mexico City. The next month he moved over to Burbank, California and was joined by Roger McGuinn, drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Terry Paul. The sessions gave us Dylan’s big hit Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, after finishing that classic they ran through 2 versions of Rock Me Mama.

It was never finished, and they probably forgot all about Rock Me Mama . The sessions got out as bootlegs and that’s how Keith Secor got to hear it.

Peco's Blues (BACK)

Dylan had left the song as an unfinished sketch, Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show wrote verses for the song around Dylan’s original chorus. Secor’s additional lyrics transformed “Rock Me Mama” into “Wagon Wheel”. Secor has stated the song is partially autobiographical.

As Chris ‘Critter’ Fuqua of Old Crow told theislandpacket.com in May this year:
“ I’d gotten a Bob Dylan bootleg in like ninth grade and I let Ketch listen to it, and he wrote the verses because Bob kind of mumbles them and that was it. We’ve been playing that song since we were like 17, and it’s funny because we’ve never met Dylan, but the song is technically co-written by Bob Dylan. What’s great about “Wagon Wheel” is that it has grown organically. The popularity of it was all based on word of mouth. There was no radio airplay for it. We made a music video for it, but it wasn’t “November Rain” or anything. No one was like, “Oh my God, what’s this video about?” And 16 years later, it went gold, then Darius Rucker cut it.”


Keith Secor:
“It’d be my pleasure to dispel the myth and rumor about the song Wagon Wheel, or “Rock Me Mama” as Bob Dylan himself called the song when he recorded it down in Mexico in 1972 for the soundtrack of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. This song was not released, and it was not finished either, this is a demo of a practice session of him, Rob Stoner, and a couple of gals doing the chorus over and over again while the bass player learns the bass line. That’s what I heard on a German bootleg about nine years ago in high school. And I wrote the lyrics to the song because I loved the chorus so much and I sung it in my head for maybe a year straight, and then just penned what I penned, which is something of an autobiographical story about just wanting to get outta town, gettin outta school, and just wanting to go play music. It’s sort of autobiographical like that. But yeah, it’s sort of a Bob Dylan co-write with about 25 years inbetween.”

He works in the folk tradition that Dylan is definitely a part of, getting parts of melodies and lyrics and adding your own verses. He got the year wrong, it was in 1973.The version that he heard was probably the second version of the song, as he describes the chorus.
Continue reading The Roots of Wagon Wheel aka Rock Me Mama

Bob Dylan places/songs: Amarillo – Brownsville Girl


Well, we crossed the panhandle and then we headed towards Amarillo
We pulled up where Henry Porter used to live. He owned a wreckin’ lot outside of town about a mile
Ruby was in the backyard hanging clothes, she had her red hair tied back. She saw us come rolling up in a trail of dust
She said, “Henry ain’t here but you can come on in, he’ll be back in a little while”
~Brownsville Girl (from: Knocked Out Loaded)

amarillo map

From Wikipedia:

Amarillo /æməˈrɪlɵ/ is the fourteenth most populous city in the state of Texas, the largest in the Texas Panhandle and the seat of Potter County. A portion of the city extends into Randall County. The population was 190,695 at the 2010 census (105,486 in Potter County, and 85,209 in Randall). The Amarillo metropolitan area has an estimated population of 236,113 in four counties.

Amarillo, originally named Oneida, is situated in the Llano Estacado region. The availability of the railroad and freight service provided by the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad contributed to the city’s growth as a cattle marketing center in the late 19th century. Amarillo is the regional economic center for the Texas Panhandle, and is economically important to Eastern New Mexico and the Oklahoma Panhandle.


The city was once the self-proclaimed “Helium Capital of the World” for having one of the country’s most productive helium fields. The city is also known as “The Yellow Rose of Texas” (as the city takes its name from the Spanish word for yellow), and most recently “Rotor City, USA” for its V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft assembly plant. Amarillo operates one of the largest meat packing areas in the United States. Pantex, the only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility in the country, is also a major employer. The attractions Cadillac Ranch and Big Texan Steak Ranch are located adjacent to Interstate 40. U.S. Highway 66 also passed through the city.

Bob Dylan – Amarillo

Bob Dylan PG recording sessions

1. Recording sessions from February 1973:

Continue reading Bob Dylan places/songs: Amarillo – Brownsville Girl