Feb 17: Bob Dylan’s 4th recording session for “Nashville Skyline (w/Johnny Cash) in 1969

bob dylan nashville skyline

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 4th recording session for ‘Nashville Skyline’ took place on February 17, 1969. Two master versions emerged.. the lovely “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” & “Nashville Skyline Rag”. Johnny Cash joined the session halfway through & they tried out “One Too Many Mornings”, “I Still Miss Someone” (Cash) & “Don’t Think Twice”. A video from one of the takes on “One Too Many Mornings” is available (& included in this post).. fantastic stuff!

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 HardingNashville 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.

bob dylan nashville skyline back

johnny cash & bob dylan

….. When sessions resumed on February 17, “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You” was the primary focus, and a master take was selected from a total of eleven takes. An instrumental, titled “Nashville Skyline Rag”, was also recorded at the beginning of the session, and it was later included on the album.

Sometime during that session, country legend Johnny Cash stopped by to visit. A friend and label-mate of Dylan’s as well as an early supporter of his music, Cash had been recording next door with his own band. The two wound up recording a series of duets, covering Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” as well as Cash’s own “I Still Miss Someone.” None of these were deemed usable, but Cash returned the following day to record more duets.

Bob Dylan Johnny Cash Nashville

Columbia Studio A
Nashville, Tennessee
February 17, 1969 –  2-5 pm..

Produced by  Bob Johnston.

Songs:

  1. Nashville Skyline Rag
  2. Nashville Skyline Rag
    Dylan and the band warm up with an instrumental jam (which appears on the album as
    “Nashville Skyline Rag,” although a warm up is just what it sounds like)
    ~Clinton Heylin (Life in Stolen Moments)
  3. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  4. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  5. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  6. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  7. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
    Jann Wenner: On Nashville Skyline, do you have any song on that that you particularly dig? Above the
    others.
    Dylan: Uh… Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You. ….

    The standout song here for me, the track that best captures (and transcends) the mood of the whole set, is ‘Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You’
    ~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)
  8. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  9. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  10. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  11. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  12. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  13. Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
  14. One Too Many Mornings
  15. One Too Many Mornings
  16. One Too Many Mornings
  17. One Too Many Mornings
  18. One Too Many Mornings
  19. One Too Many Mornings
  20. One Too Many Mornings
  21. One Too Many Mornings
  22. One Too Many Mornings
  23. One Too Many Mornings
  24. One Too Many Mornings
    Now this is a real GEM:
  25. I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash/Roy Cash Jr.)
  26. I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash/Roy Cash Jr.)
  27. I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash/Roy Cash Jr.)
  28. I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash/Roy Cash Jr.)
  29. I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash/Roy Cash Jr.)
  30. I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash/Roy Cash Jr.)
  31. I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash/Roy Cash Jr.)
  32. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
  33. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
  34. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

bob dylan nashville skyline 1969 5

Personnel

  • Bob Dylan (vocal, guitar & harmonica)
  • Bob Wilson (piano)
  • Charlie Daniels (guitar)
  • Charlie McCoy (bass)
  • Norman Blake (guitar)
  • Hargus “Pig” Robinson (piano)
  • Peter Drake (steel guitar)
  • Kenneth Buttrey (drums)
bob dylan charlie daniels nashville skyline recording sessions
Dylan & Charlie Daniels (right) during the recording sessions

14-34

  • Johnny Cash (shared vocal)

bob dylan nashville skyline 3

 

Related articles @ Alldylan:

References:

-Egil

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