Why does Dylan like – Red Cadillac and a black moustache

By Aaron Galbraith and Tony Attwood

“Red Cadillac and a black moustache” was recorded by Bob Dylan for the “Good Rockin’ Tonight” Sun Records tribute album. Of all the Sun Records songs he picks one neither of us hade ever heard of!  Here’s Bob’s version…

https://youtu.be/hpat4YUfdKg

This album sets out to record the legacy of Sun Records, the label through which Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis got their start.

The album was released in November 2002 and disc 1 contained…

  1. That’s All Right – Paul McCartney
  2. Mystery Train – Jeff Beck/Chrissie Hynde
  3. My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It – Jimmy Page/Robert Plant
  4. Blue Suede Shoes – Johnny Hallyday
  5. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On – Elton John
  6. Blue Moon Of Kentucky – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  7. Sittin’ On Top Of The World – Van Morrison/Carl Perkins
  8. Don’t Be Cruel – Bryan Ferry
  9. Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache – Bob Dylan
  10. Just Walkin’ In The Rain – Eric Clapton & The Impressions
  11. Lonely Weekend – Matchbox Twenty
  12. Who Will The Next Fool Be? – Sheryl Crow
  13. It Wouldn’t Be The Same Without You – Chris Isaak
  14. I Walk The Line – Live
  15. Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee – The Howling Diablos
  16. You Win Again – Mandy Barnett

Aaron made the comment above about track nine, and the same thought hit Tony – we both knew all of these tracks, except this one.

Here is the original version by Bob Luman

Having won a talent contest Luman got a spot of Louisiana Hayride and with his backing band called the Shadows he recorded “All Night Long”  with “Red Cadillac and a Black Mustache” as the B side.  He didn’t release it as a single until 1974.

But it was the Warren Smith version of the song that Dylan featured on his radio show, and it seems that it came out as a recording on Sun.

This version certainly has a Sun feel but it doesn’t look as if it became a hit. Indeed some of the comments made on the site above suggest it wasn’t even released at the time of recording.  Certainly the Wiki page on Smith has no mention of the track as a single.

Bob Dylan seems to have a real love of tracks that sound like this – the beat, the slight echo, the crooner’s voice adjusted to be part country part rock, and of course Bob always likes the obscure, the songs others have not found.

So let’s go back to the start.  Here are the lyrics

Who you been lovin’ since I been gone
A long tall man with a red coat on
Good-for-nothing-baby you’ve been doing me wrong
Who you been lovin’ since I been gone
Who you been lovin’ since I been gone

Who’s been playing around with you
A real cool cat with eyes of blue
Triflin’ baby are you being true
Who’s been fooling around with you
Who’s been fooling around with you

Somebody saw you at the break of day
Dining and a-dancing in the cabaret
He was long and tall, he had plenty of cash
He had a red cadillac and a black moustache
He held your hand and he sang you a song
Who you been lovin’ since I been gone
Who you been lovin’ since I been gone

 

Here’s the video that was put together for the release of the collection…

 

If you would like to read more, there is an index to some of the articles in this series here.   A catalogue of all the indexes is to be found below the picture at the top of the page.

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2 Responses to Why does Dylan like – Red Cadillac and a black moustache

  1. Aaron G says:

    And of course Bob had been covering the song live since 86

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hZjp1ckECd0

  2. PJ says:

    You neglected to mention the best cover of it (other than His Bobness’, of course) by the great Robert Gordon. Saw him do it live a few years ago, and his voice perfectly suits the rockabilly feel of this great song. No “triflin’ baby” he.

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