Monday, May 31, 2021

Some Of Your Bob Dylan Comments

Folks definitely enjoyed re-reading or discovering our 2004 SONGS OF BOB DYLAN Series ...

Some even enough to offer some commentary of their own ...

As you might expect, just about EVERYBODY with any kind of music street cred was celebrating Bob Dylan’s 80th Birthday on Monday (May 24th) in some fashion.


Here are some of the more interesting pieces we came across (while we were devoting an entire week to The Songs Of Bob Dylan right here in Forgotten Hits):


I loved Gary Pig Gold’s list of 80 Reasons To Celebrate Bob Dylan’s 80th Birthday.


Harvey Kubernik’s entire piece was outstanding … but THIS is the one that really caught my eye … so I just HAD to run it.  Extremely well done.  Glad you enjoyed it as well.  (kk)


Hi Kent,

Enclosed are a couple of YouTube videos to add to the Bob Dylan Birthday Party!



When you hear a song, it often times reminds you of a time and place, as when I hear "Like A Rolling Stone."  It reminds me of being in a roadside cafe in Morris, Manitoba, just before returning to the States with some of my Class of ’65 classmates from a weekend in the Whiteshell Forest Reserve on the Manitoba / Ontario border. 

It was burgers and fries on the table and Bob Dylan on the jukebox!  Burgers n' fries in Canada are known as "Nips n' Chips" -- and if you haven't had french fries with white vinegar on them, as is their custom there, you haven't lived!  But, meanwhile, back to a place when "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now!" 

For me "Like A Rolling Stone" remains tied with "Lucille" by Little Richard as my top favorite songs of all-time.  But in a photo-finish with "Like A Rolling Stone," "My Back Pages" is certainly right at the wire, too, when it comes to greatness.  Enclosed is a version of that song played by legendary artists that certainly validate its importance and stature in the Dylan catalog. 

Thank-you to you and Forgotten Hits for the Bob Dylan 80th Birthday Tribute to certainly one of America's most prolific composers and poets.



Tim Kiley


Wow, what a GREAT clip!  Everybody’s at the top of their game on this one (and some of those guys are pretty good, right?!?!)  Thanks so much for sending.  (kk)

In honor of Bob Dylan's 80th, I'm sending you some material you may have already heard.  If you haven't, you're in for a treat.
This is the way I've heard this story: I tried to get it as correct as possible.
In 1962, some folks at Harvard U. decided to put together an LP to make some money for the school, so they rounded up some artists who were currently part of the folk scene, to contribute to the LP, which was on a label called "Broadside". The LP was titled "Broadside Ballads", and came out in 1963.
I found a copy of the LP back many years ago, and it was fantastic. I kept some of the entries, of which three were by a fellow who went by the name "Blind Boy Grunt". His voice and style were instantly recognizable.  He went by that name because at that time, he was under contract with Columbia Records as Bob Dylan.
There were three of his pieces on the LP:
1. * I Will Not Go Down Under the Ground" (3:38) by Happy Traum; written by Dylan, who sings backing vocal and plays guitar.  It was later re-titled as "Let Me Die in My Footsteps", and was released on the Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" LP in 1965. This song, along with three others on that LP, were found to be too controversial for Columbia, and were replaced by alternate tunes.  A few copies having the "banned" songs got out to stores.
2.  "John Brown", by Blind Boy Grunt (4:18); there were no re-takes when recording this LP, so mistakes stayed on the record, and no "second takes" were allowed. During this song, Dylan stumbles over the lyrics TWICE, at the start and also near the end.
3.  ** "Only a Hobo" /  "Talkin' Devil"  (Total 2:50).  "Hobo" ends at 2:00; then he ends "Talkin' Devil" abruptly, and states that there are only two verses to it.  

In spite of the "rawness" of the recording, this is great stuff.

The LP was re-issued some years later, but due to Dylan's contract with Columbia, his three pieces were removed from the re-issue.

Again, another story I never knew … but VERY cool that he would do something like this so early in his career with a new recording contract just barely under his belt!

I found a bit more on this here:

Essentially, everything that you told us with a few more details thrown in for good measure.  Thanks, Mike!  (kk)

FH Reader Ken Voss (who published the Jimi Hendrix Fanzine / Newsletter) sent in these pieces as they pertain to Bob Dylan …


According to a story in Showbiz, Billboard metrics say Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower” has surpassed “Hey Jude” as 1968’s biggest hit.

In October of 1968, the Hendrix single reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was Hendrix’s highest-charting single, spending some 12 weeks on the chart. Meanwhile, The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” topped the charts for two months straight in late ’68, rode the charts for nearly five months, and reigned as the year’s biggest hit when Billboard crunched the numbers.

Now, decades later, Billboard has named Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower” as the biggest hit to come out of 1968.

In its 2014 “Revisionist History” series, Billboard altered the parameters of its chart histories on its top hits from the years prior to 2004. The idea was to bring in the digital sales data along with a song’s airplay on TV, film, and internet programs.

That allowed Billboard to get a picture of a hit song’s legacy in the 21st century. Adding those metrics, “All Along the Watchtower” surpassed every hit from 1968 — “Hey Jude” included — using that system. (Note: Billboard did cite the delay until 2010 of The Beatles’ catalogue going online as well as “All Along the Watchtower’s” licensing deals as difference-makers.)

One industry figure pointed out another factor to Billboard: the accessibility of “All Along the Watchtower” in relation to other Hendrix classics. And compared to the extended singalong at the end of “Hey Jude,” the argument goes that Hendrix’s signature song simply aged better.

Over the years, even Rolling Stone has acknowledged Hendrix’s version of the Bob Dylan song the greatest cover of all time.

Dylan certainly thought Hendrix made a lot out of the track. “(Hendrix) took some small songs of mine that nobody paid any attention to and brought them up into the outer limits of the stratosphere, turned them all into classics,” Dylan said in a 2015 speech to Rolling Stone. “I have to thank Jimi. I wish he was here.”

I’m not sure I buy into all of this … for one thing, there was NO record bigger than “Hey Jude” in 1968 … having been there at the time, I can only promise you that its complete dominance of the charts and radio were inescapable.  (And, for the record, Jimi’s version of “All Along The Watchtower” only peaked at #20 in Billboard, not #5.  In fact, its Billboard showing was its WEAKEST amongst the three major trade publications … Cash Box and Record World both put it at #18.)  I would have to see this Billboard article to understand their reasoning.  (As we have seen FAR too often recently, Billboard has been rewriting history … and this is flat out wrong for a publication of this stature and credence to do so.  Billboard has long been considered “The Music Bible” … and this recent reworking of their charts and eliminating ALL rock and roll music prior to the date that THEY came up with The Hot 100 is discouraging.  Rock And Roll was alive and well and stronger than ever before Billboard finally got around to upgrading their chart methodology … and the music shouldn’t have to pay the price for Billboard’s lax in becoming contemporary and definitive.  The charts that existed before August 4th, 1958, should stand as tabulated using the tools available at the time.  (They seem to have no problem with comparing those vintage charts with their charts today which use a COMPLETELY different method of tabulating the hits.)

As for the greatest cover song of all time, until very recently I have always placed this honor on Joe Cocker’s version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” … I had never heard a more creative or inventive interpretation.

But after we did our TOP 3333 MOST ESSENTIAL CLASSIC ROCK SONGS OF ALL TIME Poll last year, I discovered (for the first time) the Disturbed version of Paul Simon’s “The Sound Of Silence” … and I would now have to rank those two at the top of my list.  (EDITOR'S NOTE:  You'll see and hear more on Disturbed's version of "The Sound Of Silence" later this week in Forgotten Hits.)  kk

Story from Jimi Hendrix fanzine Voodoo Child #117, spring 2021

MusiCares speech:

Jimi Hendrix Plays Bob Dylan

All Along the Watchtower – Dylan has credited Hendrix for his interpretation, and actually when Dylan plays it live these days he borrows from the Hendrix arrangement.

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window – While a minor hit for Dylan in 1965 in the U.S., it reached Top 20 status in the U.K. in January of 1966. Looking for an extra song to record during one of the BBC sessions by the Jimi Hendrix Experience (October 17, 1967), Hendrix chose this song and later incorporated into many of his live sets in 1968.

Drifter’s Escape – Another song that Hendrix pulled off the John Wesley Harding album, which has always been touted as an album making a major influence on him. It wasn’t until three months before his death in 1970 before he embarked on a version but has been released posthumously a number of times Including the albums Loose Ends and South Saturn Delta.

Like a Rolling Stone – This song became another iconic treatment of Dylan when he included it in the debut appearance of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in the United States at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.  The song had already become part of the Experience’s performances during their early 1967 performances in the U.K. and had remained in the Experience’s live repertoire into 1969. Hendrix attempted a studio version in a session on March 1, 1967 but, ironically, a studio version of this track was never released.

Tears of Rage – A song co-written by Dylan along with Richard Manual, the Dylan version emerged as part of his so-called “basement tapes” of 1967. While Hendrix never performed the song live, nor did he attempt a studio version, he was found doing a rough demo take in the spring of 1968 in his Drake Hotel apartment which has posthumously been included on the Hendrix West Coast Seattle Boy box set.

All Along the Watchtower – (official audio)

All Along the Watchtower – (official promo video)

Like a Rolling Stone – (Monterey)

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window -

Drifter’s Escape -

Tears of Rage -

Ken Voss

You can link to Ken’s Jimi Hendrix Facebook Page here:

Jimi Hendrix Information Management Institute -

Best Classic Bands names these tracks to be The Ten Most Blatant Bob Dylan Imitations …

(Betcha haven’t heard … or heard OF … at least half of them!!!)  kk


Thanks for posting DON'T THINK TWICE by the Wonder Who. Always did like that record. And yes, I do have their followup to that.

Larry Neal

You’ll find the music of Bob Dylan on Broadway later this year when “Girl From The North Country” opens on October 13th at the Belasco Theater …

Hi Kent,

Great write up on Bob Dylan. Happy Birthday Bob!

I agree with the songs you chose as your favorites but the one song, to this day, I always remember these particular lyrics:

"Go to him he calls you, you can't refuse. When you ain't got nothing, you've got nothing to lose. You're invisible now, you have no secrets to conceal".....

(Like A Rolling Stone).

Keep Rockin' -



>>>DIDJAKNOW?: It's reported that some pressings of MANFRED MANN's hit THE MIGHTY QUINN showed the title of the song as QUINN THE ESKIMO ... but I've never seen one. MOST copies that I've seen show the "official" title as: THE MIGHTY QUINN (QUINN THE ESKIMO) ... what does YOUR 45 say?!?!?  (kk)


C’mon, Kent ... 

Don’t you remember that WLS' Larry Lujack told the band they were listing the wrong title and they changed it and it became a huge hit!


Oh, wait, that was a different but somewhat similar Lujack story about the New Colony 6!

BTW, if you ever flipped the Quinn 45 over and played the B side like I did back then, you know that stations WERE playing the correct side of this 45!  (Yet, I love it and used the opening part often to open my radio show in the 80's).

I think maybe Chuck Buell brought the B side with him to WLS from KIMN Denver and Clark Weber (famous for his not being able to pick a hit) said "THAT song is a hit!  Great job, Chuck!  You're hired!"

Clark Besch


I hope you’re getting a nice response to your Dylan series.  It really is good, covering the artist and his songs from the Forgotten Hits perspective.

Rick O’Dell

The response has been very good … and readership has been up significantly this past week, so folks have been spreading the word.

When this series first ran back in 2004, Forgotten Hits was still only distributed by email … but had already grown significantly.  (In fact, in 2004 those emails were sent by The60sShop, my old AOL screen name when, at the time, you were limited to mailing to just 200 email addresses at a time, even with a bulk mail account.  I would have to take each daily “send” and forward it another seven or eight times just to get it to all the subscribers we had back then.)  The website wouldn’t start until four years later … but this particular series never actually ran there until now.  (The plus side of the website, of course, is that now ANYBODY can stumble across it!  lol)

I told Rick privately that in order to prepare for rerunning this, I made a HUGE commitment and ordered “The Complete Bob Dylan Album Collection” … 47 CD’s covering his career at Columbia Records.  (Prior to this I only had three greatest hits CD’s and “Nashville Skyline” … so this was a big move for me!  Lol)

I’ve decided to take in the whole Bob Dylan experience from the beginning and listen with a new set of ears in an effort to gain an even greater appreciation for his work.  Rereading this series right along with you, I was really inspired by all that Phil (Calotoonz) wrote at the time … and I can’t even give him proper credit because I never even knew his last name!  (Back then, EVERYBODY only went by their screen names … nobody shared “real” information with each other the way our little Forgotten Hits Family has grown today.)

So, if anybody out there from the good old days DOES happen to know Phil’s last name, please send it to me so I can properly credit and offer thanks for all that he did.  And if, by the same token, you know how to get ahold of him, please do and let him know that his work is now up on the site for all to enjoy again after all these years.  (kk)

As a lifelong Dylan fan, your running feature was just sensational. Terrifically well-researched. Loved it!  Thanks!  David Salidor


I think we may have missed one somewhere along the way ... and it's one of my favorites ... 

So here's Bob Dylan's 1979  #24 Hit "Gotta Serve Somebody" ...