Tonight’s Show & Dylan’s Birthday

New albums from Emmylou Harris and Paul Simon:
Songs about baseball, Emmitt Till, & Blue Moons;
Music in memory of Phoebe Snow and Hazil Dickens:
Mississippi John Hurts songs;
and more….
BOB DYLAN’s BIRTHDAY: Meanwhile, I am continuing to think about Bob Dylan’s birthday and will repeat here what I posted a few weeks ago.  I don’t make much of it on the air every year – and I usually play enough of his music during the year to not really need an excuse to play more – but this will be his 70th. The actual day is May 24th so I will do whatever I do on May 22nd. What I’ve pulled out so far is Joan Baez” talking blues about Dylan called “Time Rag” – and Mike Seeger and Happy Traum playing banjo with him on “Hollis Brown” and “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” respectively.

Playing music on the radio by Dylan – or the handful of other super well-known folks I enjoy – does leave less time for those who more need the exposure, in whatever sense being on a show like mine might be potentially useful, and less time to hope to turn listeners on to musicians they may not know. When I do it, I often turn to some of their work that may be relatively obscure – lesser known songs by Dylan or The Dead or The Band, for example, or versions that may be lesser known. But then too there’s the great feeling when you’re listening to the radio and you hear a song – and maybe a specific version of that song – and simultaneously realize that you love it and you haven’t thought of it in years. So, I try for some of that too, though it has its own pitfalls.

An example is Jack Elliott’s “912 Greens” – the 7:23 version on the 1968 LP called Young Brigham with album notes by Johnny Cash, as opposed to the longer version that’s on a much more recent CD. To some people, it has that allure. I don’t find it quite as spellbinding as some do though I’m happy to hear it again from time-to-time. But, I know, or at least sense, that there are others who hear the first note and think, “Oh, no. Not this again.”

So, if there are certain versions of songs written, sung or about Bob Dylan you’d like to hear during the May 22nd show, please let me know.

 

1 Comment

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One Response to Tonight’s Show & Dylan’s Birthday

  1. John

    Here’s a note from Rich Delgado with great information about Phoebe Snow’s name and the Train of the same:

    John:

    Phoebe Snow was a fictional New York socialite traveler invented to promote travel on the Delaware, Lackawana and Western Railway (the Lackawana). Trains at the beginning of the 20th Century were normally pulled by steam locomotives burning wood, lignite, or bituminous coal and often produced large amounts of soot and cinders which would enter any open windows and cover passenger’s clothing. The Lackawana (as well as a few other New Jersey-Pennsylvania railroads) had vast anthracite mines and was trying to promote the use of anthracite fuel. The Lackawana used anthracite as fuel for most of its locomotives and wanted to promote both use of anthracite and travel on the Lackawana. Anthracite tends to have higher heat values per ton than the other fuels and to produce less soot and cinders than the other fuels.

    The reduced soot and cinder production of anthracite was considered militarily important and the government purchased anthracite for fuel to keep Pennsylvania anthracite mines in operation. This was discontinued around 1980 and until recently anthracite mining suffered a steep decline. Use in steel production has led to a recent resurgence in Pennsylvania anthracite mining.

    A well known Lackawana ad featured an image of Phoebe and a poem:

    Says Phoebe Snow
    about to go
    upon a trip to Buffalo
    “My gown stays white
    from morn till night
    Upon the Road of Anthracite”

    Rich Delgado

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