Bob Dylan and… Johnny Cash – Travellin’ Thru Their Collaborations.

by Aaron Galbraith

These two giants of popular music have had quite a few interconnected moments through their long and illustrious careers. If I were to cover them all, this would end up a very lengthy article indeed. Instead I will try to touch on a few highpoints and throw in a few rarities along the way that you might not be aware of. I hope you enjoy!

Johnny Cash first covered a Dylan song on his 1965 album “Orange Blossom Special”. It includes three Dylan originals, “It Ain’t Me Babe”, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” and “Mama, You’ve Been On My Mind”. This is the first time that last track would appear on an album.

 

In 1969 Bob and Johnny collaborated on a new song “Wanted Man”. The song was recorded and released on the live “At San Quentin” album. A studio version also appeared on the 1971 soundtrack album “Little Fauss and Big Halsy”.

That same year a duet performance of “Girl From The North Country” appeared on Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” album.

Now, here’s a real rarity from 1975. This one is from the Earl Scruggs Revue album “Anniversary Special, Vol 1”.  Johnny sings lead on “Song For Woody” along with several others (Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is maybe one – is anyone out there able to help out with who all is singing here?). It’s a fine version that i’m sure most people won’t have heard before.

Next up in 1978 was the “Johnny & June” album. This was an album containing unreleased and rare tracks from over the years. It included an excellent version of “One Too Many Mornings” from 1964

Another, much different version of “One Too Many Mornings” appears on his 72nd(!!) album “Heroes” an album he recorded with Waylon Jennings in 1986.

“Wanted Man” appeared once more on the 1991 album “The Mystery Of Life”

In 1992 Johnny and June appeared at the “Bob Dylan – The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration” and performed a wonderful version of their classic single, “It Ain’t Me Babe”.

The night before the concert Johnny Cash appeared on Letterman and sang an amazing version of “Blowin’ In The Wind”.

As you’d imagine Bob and Johnny have covered the same songs numerous times over the years including “Delia’s Gone”, “I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know”, “The Little Drummer Boy”, “The Ballad Of Ira Hayes”, “Precious Memories”, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”, “O’ Come All Ye Faithful”, “The First Noel” and “Satisfied Mind”

Here is Johnny’s take of “They Killed Him” – a 1984 standalone single.

 

As far as Bob goes he has covered Cash on record twice. The first time was on the “Feeling Minnesota” Soundtrack album in 1996. Here is his version of June Carter Cash’s “Ring OF Fire”.

Then secondly on the 2002 Johnny Cash Tribute album “Kindred Spirits: A Tribute To The Songs Of Johnny Cash”. You can read about and listen to Bob’s contribution “Train Of Love” here.

I’d like to finish off with a few live performances by Bob of several Johnny Cash songs

Here is “I Still Miss Someone” from 1986.

And from the same year it’s “Give My Love To Rose”.

Now here are three from 1999.

Firstly “Folsom Prison Blues”.

Next up is “Big River”.

And lastly here is “I Walk The Line” done as a duet with Paul Simon.

I purposefully ignored the 1969 sessions so I hope this has whetted your appetite for “Travelin’ Thru, 1967–1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15”.

What else is here?

An index to our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page.  You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.

There is an alphabetic index to the 550+ Dylan compositions reviewed on the site which you will find it here.  There are also 500+ other articles on different issues relating to Dylan.  The other subject areas are also shown at the top under the picture.

We also have a discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook which mostly relates to Bob Dylan today.  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

And please do note   The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews.

 

 

 

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