August 29, 2005

A Dylan Rarity

On Friday’s Democracy Now, Amy Goodman rounded out the broadcast by retrieving a gem from the Pacifica Radio archives:

In May of 1962, the legendary folksinger Bob Dylan came by the WBAI studios in New York to perform his rarely heard tribute to Emmett Till. This is one of the earliest known live recordings of Bob Dylan.
It was recorded within days of his 21st birthday. "The Ballad of Emmett Till" never appeared on an official Bob Dylan record and was only released on a compilation put out by Broadside Records (on which Dylan recorded under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt).

You can hear it here.

This is but a foretaste of the Dylan rarities soon heading our way. On September 26 and 27, PBS will broadcast the Martin Scorsese directed Dylan biography “No Direction Home,” focusing on the singer-songwriter’s life and music from 1961-1966.

This will be preceded by the release of the soundtrack this Tuesday. Volume 7 of the Bootleg Series, the new two-CD set features - among many other previously unreleased tracks - what is believed to be Dylan’s earliest recorded original song: "When I Got Troubles” from 1959.

Given the gathering storm of our present moment in history, it seems a ripe time to revisit the emergence of the force that is Bob Dylan. As always, The Bard’s timing remains uncanny.

Posted by mark at August 29, 2005 01:38 AM