Episode 5: The Ballad of Bob and J.R.
A quick prologue: we stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, where they opened up a very cool exhibit in March of 2015.
Then we move on to Newport, Rhode Island, where Pete Seeger is about to introduce Johnny Cash, an established country star playing for the first time to a folk festival audience. After a rough beginning, the show goes very well.
Afterwards, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan—mutual fans—meet for the first time and begin a lifelong friendship.
We then spend some time getting to know the Man in Black; we learn about the family tragedy that moved J.R. Cash to write and make music. We find out the real origins of “Folsom Prison Blues.”
We leave Johnny Cash in Memphis for the meantime, and head north to Hibbing, Minnesota and check in on young Robert Allen Zimmerman. As a teen, Bobby is a leather-jacketed Rock N Roll rebel; but he takes on a new name and identity when he discovers folk music as a freshman at the University of Minnesota. He hears Woody Guthrie, decides he has to meet him, and makes his way to New York City to do just that.
We use the lives and music of these two legends to tell about the events of the early Sixties in America. Bob Dylan plays before a tiny crowd in Mississippi and a huge one in Washington DC. Johnny Cash heads to the Far East on a USO tour and hears ominous rumors of new war brewing. And more.
We also talk about that whole Bob Dylan: Voice of a Generation thing.
We end up back where we started. It’s one year later, at Newport, summer of 1965. Bob Dylan plugs in, and Rock N Roll will never be the same.
Another side of Bob Dylan? We think it’s the TRUE side of Bob Dylan. But you can draw your own conclusions.
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SHOW NOTES & CREDITS
Songs from Episode 5
Bob Dylan: “Walking Down the Line,” from The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare And Unreleased) 1961-1991, 1994 Sony/BMG Records
Johnny Cash, “Walking the Blues,” from The Fabulous Johnny Cash, 1958, Columbia Records
Bob Dylan: “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” from Bringing it All Back Home, 1965 Columbia Records
Pete Seeger: “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” from Waist Deep in the Big Muddy and Other Love Songs,1967 Columbia Records
Johnny Cash: “Big River,” single released 1958, Sun Records
Johnny Cash: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” from Orange Blossom Special, 1965 Columbia Records
Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, (Written by Hank Snow): “I’m Movin’ On,” from Out Among the Stars, 2014 Legacy Records
Johnny Cash and the Cash Family: “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” from 20 Songs of Faith, 2014 K-Tel Records
Johnny Cash: “I’ve Been Everywhere,” from American II: Unchained, 1996 American/Warner Bros. Records
Gordon Jenkins: “Crescent City Blues,” from Seven Dreams, 1953 Decca Records
Eddie Cochran: “Summertime Blues,”
Bob Dylan: “With God on Our Side” from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1963 Columbia Records
Johnny Cash: “Cry, Cry, Cry,” from Johnny Cash and his Hot and Blue Guitar, 1957 Sun Records
Johnny Cash: “Folsom Prison Blues,” from Johnny Cash and his Hot and Blue Guitar, 1957 Sun Records
Johnny Cash: “Get Rhythm” single released (B-Side) 1956, Sun Records
Johnny Cash: “I Walk The Line,” from Johnny Cash and his Hot and Blue Guitar, 1957 Sun Records
Johnny Cash: “Ring of Fire” from Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash, 1963 Columbia Records
Bob Dylan: “House of the Rising Sun,” from Bob Dylan, 1962 Columbia Records
Bob Dylan: “Song to Woody,” from Bob Dylan, 1962 Columbia Records
Bob Dylan: “Talkin’ New York Blues,” from Bob Dylan, 1962 Columbia Records
Bob Dylan: “Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall,” from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1963 Columbia Records
Bob Dylan: “Blowin’ in the Wind,” from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1963 Columbia Records
Bob Dylan: “Oxford Town,” from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1963 Columbia Records
Bob Dylan: “Only a Pawn in Their Game,” from The Times They Are A-Changin’, 1964 Columbia Records
Bob Dylan: “Like a Rolling Stone,” from Highway 61 Revisited, 1965 Columbia Records
The Byrds: “Mr. Tambourine Man” (Written by Bob Dylan), from Mr. Tambourine Man, 1965 Columbia Records
Jimi Hendrix: “All Along the Watchtower” (Written by Bob Dylan), from Electric Ladyland, 1968 Reprise Records
Manfred Mann: “The Mighty Quinn” (Written by Bob Dylan), from The Mighty Quinn, 1968 Fontana Records
Guns N’ Roses: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (Written by Bob Dylan), from Use Your Illusion II, 1992 Geffen Records
Beck: “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat” (Written by Bob Dylan), from War Child Presents: Heroes, 2009 Astralwerks Records
Rage Against the Machine: “Maggie’s Farm” (Written by Bob Dylan), from Renegades, 2000 Epic Records
Bob Dylan: “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” from Bringing it All Back Home, 1965 Columbia Records Books
Dawidoff, Nicholas (1997): In the Country of Country: A Journey to the Roots of American Music
Dylan, Bob (2004): Chronicles, Volume 1
Guralnick, Peter (2015): Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock N Roll
Guthrie, Woody (1943): Bound for Glory
Hentoff, Nat (2010): Fifty years of Playboy Interviews: Bob Dylan (Note: interviews first published in 1968 and 1976)
Hilburn, Robert (2014): Johnny Cash: The Life
Prial, Dunstan (2006): The Producer: John Hammond and the Soul of American Music
Rotolo, Suze (2004): A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Shelton, Bob: (1986, revised 2010): No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan
The Wild One, directed by Laszlo Benedek, 1953 Columbia Pictures
Walk The Line, directed by James Mangold, 2005 Twentieth Century Fox
No Direction Home, directed by Martin Scorsese, 2005 Paramount Pictures
The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, directed by Murray Lerner, 2007 BBC Films
Online Sources, by Topic in Order of Appearance
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville: http://countrymusichalloffame.org
Reviews of the Dylan & Cash and the Nashville Cats Exhibit:
Huntington's Disease Society of America: http://hdsa.org
Sound by John Michael Berry
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