May: Bob Dylan A Coffeehouse in Minneapolis 1961 (audio)

bob dylan 1961

The May tape has never enjoyed the same popularity [as the December tape – The Minnesota Hotel Tape]. Partly because of the low quality of the original recording, and partly due to a remarkably uninspired performance. One of the first times that a young Bob would hear himself on tape, nerves, inexperience, and limited repertoire would result in, at best, this mediocre offering. The tape is significant, however, not only for its historical importance, but also as a standard to compare the December tape. A short seven months that separate the two. A lifetime that separate the two. The interim shows the explosive growth from a kid with a guitar to a Folk Phenomenon.

Unidentified coffeehouse
Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 1961

Released in the UK on Minneapolis Party Tape, 30 April 2012.

  1. Ramblin’ Round (Woody Guthrie)
  2. Death Don’t Have No Mercy (Revd. Gary Davis)
  3. It’s Hard To Be Blind (trad.)
  4. This Train Is Bound For Glory (Big Bill Broonzy, arr. by Woody Guthrie)
    First four songs:
  5. Harmonica solo
  6. Talking Fish Blues (Woody Guthrie)
  7. Pastures Of Plenty (Woody Guthrie)
  8. This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie)
  9. Two Trains Runnin’ (McKinley Morganfield)
  10. Wild Mountain Thyme (trad.)
  11. Howdido (Woody Guthrie)
  12. Car, Car (Woody Guthrie)
  13. Don’t Push Me Down (Woody Guthrie)
  14. Come See (Woody Guthrie)
  15. I Want My Milk (Woody Guthrie)
  16. San Francisco Bay Blues (Jesse Fuller)
  17. A Long Time A-Growin’ (trad.)
  18. Devilish Mary (Bess Lomax Hawes)
  19. Railroad Bill (trad.)
  20. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (A.P Carter)
  21. Man Of Constant Sorrow (trad.)
  22. Pretty Polly (trad.)
  23. Railroad Boy (trad.)
  24. James Alley Blues (Richard Brown)
  25. Bonnie, Why’d You Cut My Hair?

  • Track 5 is also called The Butcher Boy and Died For Love
  • Track 9 is also called Still A Fool
  • Track 12 is also called Riding In My Car
  • Track 15 is also called I Want It Now
  • Track 17 is also called Young But Daily Growing, Long A-growing and The Trees They Grow So High

…He wrote a couple of fooling around songs – he wrote one when I cut his hair, which made me so angry!
He came to my apartment and said, “It’s an emergency! I need your help! I gotta go home an’ see my mother!” He was talking in the strangest Woody Guthrie-Oklahoma accent. I don’t konw if she was sick, but it was an unexpected trip he had to make up to Hibbing and he wanted me to cut his hair.” He kept saying, “Shorter! Shorter! Get rid of the sideburns!” So I did my very best to do what he wanted and then in the door come Dave Morton, Johnny Koerner and Harvey Abrams. They looked at him and said, “Oh my God, you look terrible! What did you do?” And Dylan immediately said, “She did it! I told her just to trim it up a little bit but she cut it all off. I wasn’t looking in a mirror!” And then he went and wrote that song “Bonnie, why’d you cut my hair? Now I can’t go nowhere!” He played it that night in a coffeehouse and somebody told me recently that they had been to Minnesota and somebody was still playing that song, “Bonnie, Why’d You Cut My Hair?” It’s like a Minnesota classic! And so I’ve gone down in history!
~Jaharana Romney (formerly Bonnie Beecher) to Markus Wittman, May 1989

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One thought on “May: Bob Dylan A Coffeehouse in Minneapolis 1961 (audio)”

  1. Hey, trust you guys at allDylan to dig up nicer postings than the rest of ’em out there. Thanks on May Day !

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