Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Covered By Bob: Big River

From the Basement Tapes, here are three Johnny Cash songs that Bob and the Band covered at Big Pink in the summer of 1967.

Big River

Written by Cash and recorded at Sun Studios in 1958, Big River went to #4 on the country charts. It has been covered by the Grateful Dead, Hank Williams and many others.


 This is an obscure Cash song that was also recorded at Sun Studios in 1957.

Folsom Prison Blues

One of the most recognizable Cash song, it was originally recorded in 1955 at Sun Studios.  Released again in 1968 as part of the At Folsom Prison album, it went to #1 on the country charts.

There is a lot of history between Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. They reportedly met several times during the 1960's, including at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964. There Dylan played Cash It Ain't Me, Babe and Mama, You Been on my Mind which Cash covered on his 1965 release Orange Blossom Special.

In Dylan's movie of Tour 66, Eat the Document, Cash turned up backstage before a show at the Capital Theater in Cardiff, Wales. As I remember it, Cash looked a little jumpy and resisted Bob's suggestion of a impromptu duet in the dressing room.

During the Nashville Skyline sessions in February of 1969, Cash joined Dylan in the studio. They sang a series of duets on country standards. When the album was released the Cash/Dylan version of Girl From the North Country was the first track on the album.

Later that year, Dylan was a guest on the first episode of the Johnny Cash TV Show. He sang I Threw It All Away, Living the Blues and Girl from the North Country with Cash. I remember watching the show very clearly. Bob looked great. Here is a clip from that night:

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