CBS is proud to introduce a major new figure in American folk music—Bob Dylan.
Excitement has been running high since the young man with a guitar ambled into a
recording studio for two sessions in November, 1961. For at only 20, Dylan is the most unusual
new talent in American folk music.
His talent takes many forms. He is one of the most compelling white blues singers ever
recorded. He is a songwriter of exceptional facility and cleverness. He is an uncommonly
skillful guitar player and harmonica player.
~Stacey Williams (“Bob Dylan” LP. liner notes – March 1962)
Dylan comes across as obsessed with the romance of dying, but the speed, energy and attack
in his guitar, harmonica and voice show how fresh and excellently ‘unprofessional’ he was.
Yet what comes through from the album as a whole is a remarkable skill and more than a hint
of a highly distinctive vision.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)
54 years ago Dylan did his 4th recording session for “The Time They are A-Changin'”
I heard the sound that Gordon Lightfoot was getting, with Charlie McCoy and Kenny Buttrey. I’d used Charlie and Kenny both before, and I figured if he could get that sound, I could…. but we couldn’t get it. (Laughs) It was an attempt to get it, but it didn’t come off. We got a different sound… I don’t know what you’d call that… It’s a muffled sound.
~Bob Dylan to Jann Wenner November 29, 1969
49 years ago today Bob Dylan started recording “John Wesley Harding”.
Some background from wikipedia:
Dylan went to work on John Wesley Harding in the fall of 1967. By then, 18 months had passed since the completion of Blonde on Blonde. After recovering from the worst of the results of his motorcycle accident, Dylan spent a substantial amount of time recording the informal basement sessions at West Saugerties, New York; little was heard from him throughout 1967. During that time, he stockpiled a large number of recordings, including many new compositions. He eventually submitted nearly all of them for copyright, but declined to include any of them in his next studio release (Dylan would not release any of those recordings to the commercial market until 1975’s The Basement Tapes; and by then, some of those recordings had been bootlegged, usually sourced from an easy-to-find set of publisher’s demos). Instead, Dylan used a different set of songs for John Wesley Harding.
Columbia Recording Studios
New York City, New York
7 August 1963
The 2nd The Times They Are A-Changin’ session, produced by Tom Wilson
|Another session at Studio A was held the following day, this time yielding master takes for four songs: “Ballad of Hollis Brown”, “With God on Our Side”, “Only a Pawn in Their Game”, and “Boots of Spanish Leather”, all of which were later included on the final album sequence.