Many musicians have name checked Bob Dylan in their songs over the years - from David Bowie’s Song For Bob Dylan to the Counting Crows singing “I wanna be Bob Dylan” in Mr. Jones. But Dylan himself has used his songs sometimes to give a shout out to other artists.
This week, Laura talks us through some of the instances where Dylan has mentioned other musicians, some more surprising than others, and discusses what role these name checks play in the context of the song. This episode also features the live debut of the song Tombstone Blues!
A little correction: I initially say that the 1971 version of You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere was recorded for the Greatest Hits Vol. III, but it was the Vol. II. My mistake, it was actually the live version of Highlands at the end of the episode that was released alongside the Greatest Hits Vol. III.
Here is the Alicia Keys performance from the 2002 Grammy Awards.
If you want to listen to more of Link Wray’s excellent self-titled record, you can find it on Spotify here.
Here’s the solo version of Old Five and Dimers Like Me, recorded during the Hearts of Fire Sessions in 1986.
If I would have had time to play a Bo Diddley song, I probably would have played this one. More honourable mentions include Blind Willie McTell, Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry, and Leadbelly.
For more information on Bob Dylan’s relationship with Neil Young, this is an interesting link you might want to check out!
Thunder On The Mountain (snippet - full version here)
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere - The Byrds (snippet - full version here)
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (1971 sessions)
Sign Language - Eric Clapton
Black River Swamp - Link Wray
I Feel A Change Comin’ On (snippet - full version here)
Old Five And Dimers Like Me - Billy Joe Shaver
Yonder Come The Blues - Ma Rainey (snippet - full version here)
Tombstone Blues (Live at the Contemporary Songs Workshop, Newport Folk Festival, Freebody Park, Newport, RI - 24 July, 1965) - live debut!
Highlands (Live, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, Santa Cruz, CA, 16 March, 2000, released on the limited edition version of The Best of Bob Dylan Vol. 2)