“Howlin’ Wolf’s second album brings together some of the blues great’s best singles from the late ’50s and early ’60s. Also available as a fine two-fer with his debut, Moanin’ in the Moonlight, the so-called Rockin’ Chair Album represents the cream of Wolf’s Chicago blues work. Those tracks afforded classic status are many, including “Spoonful,” “The Red Rooster,” “Wang Dang Doodle,” “Back Door Man,” “Shake for Me,” and “Who’s Been Talking?” Also featuring the fine work of Chess house producer and bassist Willie Dixon and guitarist Hubert Sumlin, Rockin’ Chair qualifies as one of pinnacles of early electric blues, and is an essential album for any quality blues collection.” – Stephen Cook (Allmusic)
May God bless and keep you always May your wishes all come true May you always do for others And let others do for you May you build a ladder to the stars And climb on every rung May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young
May you grow up to be righteous May you grow up to be true May you always know the truth And see the lights surrounding you May you always be courageous Stand upright and be strong May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young
May your hands always be busy May your feet always be swift May you have a strong foundation When the winds of changes shift May your heart always be joyful May your song always be sung May you stay forever young Forever young, forever young May you stay forever young
..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.
~Stacy Williams (“Bob Dylan” LP. liner notes)
Dylan’s first album can hardly be faulted. It is a brilliant debut, a performer’s tour de force,….
~Michael Gray (BD Encyclopedia)
Talkin’ New York:
March 19, 1962
November 20 and 22, 1961,Columbia Recording Studio, New York City, New York, United States
John H. Hammond
Bob Dylan is the debut album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in March 1962 by Columbia Records. Produced by Columbia’s legendary talent scout John H. Hammond, who signed Dylan to the label, the album features folk standards, plus two original compositions, “Talkin’ New York” and “Song to Woody”.
Man of Constant Sorrow:
The album was ultimately recorded in three short afternoon sessions on November 20 and 22 (1961). Hammond later joked that Columbia spent “about $402” to record it, and the figure has entered the Dylan legend as its actual cost. Despite the low cost and short amount of time, Dylan was still difficult to record, according to Hammond. “Bobby popped every p, hissed every s, and habitually wandered off mike,” recalls Hammond. “Even more frustrating, he refused to learn from his mistakes. It occurred to me at the time that I’d never worked with anyone so undisciplined before.”
Seventeen songs were recorded, and five of the album’s chosen tracks were actually cut in single takes (“Baby Let Me Follow You Down,” “In My Time of Dyin’,” “Gospel Plow,” “Highway 51 Blues,” and “Freight Train Blues”) while the master take of “Song to Woody” was recorded after one false start. The album’s four outtakes were also cut in single takes. During the sessions, Dylan refused requests to do second takes. “I said no. I can’t see myself singing the same song twice in a row. That’s terrible.”
The album cover features a reversed photo of Dylan holding his acoustic guitar. It is unknown as to why the photo was flipped.
In My Time of Dyin:
In less than one year in New York, Bob Dylan has thrown the folk crowd into an uproar. Ardent fans have been shouting his praises. Devotees have found in him the image of a singing rebel, a musical Chaplin tramp, a young Woody Guthrie, or a composite of some of the best country blues singers.
~Stacy Williams (“Bob Dylan” LP. liner notes)
“You’re No Good” – Jesse Fuller 1:40
“Talkin’ New York” – Bob Dylan 3:20
“In My Time of Dyin'” – trad. arr. Dylan 2:40
“Man of Constant Sorrow” – trad. arr. Dylan 3:10
“Fixin’ to Die” – Bukka White 2:22
“Pretty Peggy-O” – trad. arr. Dylan 3:23
“Highway 51” – Curtis Jones 2:52
“Gospel Plow” – trad. arr. Dylan 1:47
“Baby, Let Me Follow You Down” – trad. arr. Eric von Schmidt 2:37
“House of the Risin’ Sun” – trad. arr. Dave Van Ronk 5:20
“Freight Train Blues” – trad., Roy Acuff 2:18
“Song to Woody” – Bob Dylan 2:42
“See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” – Blind Lemon Jefferson 2:43
Bob Dylan – vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
John H. Hammond – production
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down:
By the time sessions were held for his debut album, Dylan was absorbing an enormous amount of folk material from sitting and listening to contemporaries performing in New York’s clubs and coffeehouses. Many of these individuals were also close friends who performed with Dylan, often inviting him to their apartments where they would introduce him to more folk songs. At the same time, Dylan was borrowing and listening to a large number of folk, blues, and country records, many of which were hard to find at the time. Dylan revealed in an interview in the documentary No Direction Home that he needed to hear a song only once or twice to learn it.
The final album sequence of Bob Dylan features only two original compositions; the other eleven tracks are folk standards and traditional songs. Few of these were staples of his club/coffeehouse repertoire. Only two of the covers and both originals were in his club set in September 1961.
Dylan stated in a 2000 interview that he was hesitant to reveal too much of himself at first.
See That My Grave is Kept Clean:
Bob Dylan did not receive much acclaim until years later. “These debut songs are essayed with differing degrees of conviction,” writes music critic Tim Riley, “[but] even when his reach exceeds his grasp, he never sounds like he knows he’s in over his head, or gushily patronizing… Like Elvis Presley, what Dylan can sing, he quickly masters; what he can’t, he twists to his own devices. And as with the Presley Sun sessions, the voice that leaps from Dylan’s first album is its most striking feature, a determined, iconoclastic baying that chews up influences, and spits out the odd mixed signal without half trying.”
However, at the time of its release, Bob Dylan received little notice, and both Hammond and Dylan were soon dismissive of the first album’s results.
Bob Dylan’s first album is a lot like the debut albums by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones — a sterling effort, outclassing most, if not all, of what came before it in the genre, but similarly eclipsed by the artist’s own subsequent efforts. The difference was that not very many people heard Bob Dylan on its original release (originals on the early-’60s Columbia label are choice collectibles) because it was recorded with a much smaller audience and musical arena in mind.
~Bruce Eder (allmusic.com)
Bob Dylan recorded master versions of “Dirge” (probably) & “Forever Young” on November 14 – 1973
Bob Dylan recorded master versions of “Mixed-Up Confusion”, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” & “Kingsport Town” on November 14 – 1962
German single cover
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
“So, I don’t know. I think so. It’s all in the heart, whatever keeps you that way. Keeps you forever young. Forever young doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t grow old, but you just have some contact with what put you where you are. You know, keep some type of contact. Anyway…”
~Bob Dylan (to Marc Rowland in Sept. 1978)
“This song should be sung every morning by every child in every school in every country”
…….Though there was enough material to fill an album, Dylan decided to hold one more session. On the 14th, The Band was called back to record two songs. The first was another arrangement of “Forever Young,” this time with Helm on mandolin and Danko on fiddle. This new version of “Forever Young” would create the second of two master takes for the song, and both of them would be included on the album.
The second song recorded on the 14th was “Dirge” (or “Dirge For Martha” as it was marked on the tape box). “Bob went out and played the piano while we were mixing [the album]. All of a sudden, he came in and said, ‘I’d like to try ‘Dirge’ on the piano.’…We put up a tape and he said to Robbie, ‘Maybe you could play guitar on this.’ They did it once, Bob playing piano and singing, and Robbie playing acoustic guitar. The second time was the take.”
from Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid
Village Recorder Santa Monica, California 14 November 1973 6th and last Planet Waves session
Engineer: Rob Fraboni
I hate myself for lovin’ you and the weakness that it showed
You were just a painted face on a trip down Suicide Road
The stage was set, the lights went out all around the old hotel
I hate myself for lovin’ you and I’m glad the curtain fell
1-5 Bob Dylan (guitar, harmonica, vocal).
1-3 Robbie Robertson (guitar), Rick Danko (bass), Richard Manuel (drums), Garth Hudson (organ), Levon Helm (mandolin).
4, 5 Robbie Robertson (mandolin), Rick Danko (fiddle), Richard Manuel (piano), Garth Hudson (organ), Levon Helm (drums).
6 Bob Dylan (vocal, piano), Robbie Robertson (guitar).