Bob Dylan is certainly among the most influential singer-songwriters that ever lived. I imply, the guy has a Nobel Prize in literature.
However if we look at the start of his profession, to the very first set of tunes he tape-recorded and began offering commercially, the number of them were covers?
I’m not saying that simply due to the fact that Bob Dylan did covers that he suggests he took. My point is more nuanced: did he provide credit? Did he admire those folk heroes who he is basing on today?
To help understand, we’re looking at the 6 songs from Bob Dylan’s self-titled very first studio album.
# 6: “Tune to Woody”
Bob Dylan was a big fan of folk musician, artist, and writer Woody Guthrie. In reality, Bob Dylan went so far as to style himself after Woody Guthrie. In commemorating Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan wrote “Song to Woody,” among the few originals on the self-titled album.
Amusing enough, the tune for “Song to Woody” is straight lifted from Woody Guthrie’s tune “1913 Massacre.” Did Bob Dylan use the very same tune to pay tribute to Woody Guthrie? Or, did Bob Dylan decide to lift the melody due to the fact that it was just that great? Let me know what you think in the comments!
# 5: “Highway 51 Blues”
Composed by a blues pianist by the name of Curtis Jones, “Highway 51 Blues,” is another song Bob Dylan covered on his self-titled album. Curtis Jones’ vocals and piano playing is magnificent on this tune and sounds considerably various from the Bob Dylan cover.
I love listening to an initial tune that I’ve just heard covered. “Highway 51 Blues” is no exception. I constantly believed Bob Dylan composed this tune, but I’m happy to know that the original Curtis Jones song is simply as incredible and inspiring– even if it is on piano!
# 4: “You’re No Good”
A one-man band rockin’ a twelve-string, Jesse Fuller composed “You’re No Excellent.” Like my experience with “Highway 51 Blues,” I concerned like and appreciate the initial after I started doing this research.
While I can’t feature “You’re No Good” carried out by Bob Dylan or Jesse Fuller due to copyright, I can include Jesse Fuller’s “Railroad Blues.” He is one extraordinary, driving vocalist with a timeless acoustic blues noise.
# 3: “In My Time of Dyin'”
While Bob Dylan’s cover of this tune is stunning, if you trace everything the way back to the start … it’s even more sensational. The earliest recording of this song originates from Blind Willie Johnson.
Blind Willie Johnson has a voice that just sends out shivers down your spine. I have actually always liked his voice and I know you NEED to inspect out his efficiency of “In My Time of Dyin’.” Bob Dylan’s version is definitely the neater, cleaner, the more commercial noise of what Blind Willie Johnson produced and passed on.
# 2: “Fixin’ to Pass away”
It was sometime in college, when I was perhaps 18 or 19, that I first heard this tune covered by Bob Dylan. When I heard it, it sounded like Bob Dylan transformed into a totally different individual. His singing was just unlike the other songs he played.
As I came back to this tune, I discovered that this song was composed by Bukka White. I was shocked due to the fact that Bukka White is such an amazing played that you NEED to examine out. With a distinct style and voice, Bukka White is plainly being directed by Bob Dylan in his cover of “Fixin’ to Die.” Let me understand what you believe in the comments though!
# 1: “See That My Tomb Is Kept Clean”
Composed by Blind Lemon Jefferson, this song has actually become a standard in the American songbook. So lots of artists have covered this song for many years, and some much better than others. To provide you a sense of Jefferson’s design, I played “One Penny Blues” for you.
While Bob Dylan’s version of “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” resembles Blind Lemon Jefferson’s, it’s simply a various version entirely.
So … is Bob Dylan a song burglar? No.
But follow me down this train of idea:
Bob Dylan selecting these songs was a method of him at the same time honoring and making his mark on the folk world.
If you wish to see more of the notes I have on this episode, make sure to visit Acoustic Life today!
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