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Folksinger's Choice Live

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BOB DYLAN Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to ... Read more in Amazon's Bob Dylan Store

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Folksinger's Choice + Studs Terkel's Wax Museum + Finjan Club
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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Aug 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Leftfield Media
  • ASIN: B003SM1Z24
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,851 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle
2. Fixin' To Die
3. Smokestack Lightnin'
4. Hard Travelin'
5. The Death Of Emmett Till
6. Standing On The Highway
7. Roll On, John
8. Stealin', Stealin'
9. Makes a Long Time Man Feel Bad
10. Baby Please Don't Go
11. Hard Times In New York Town

Product Description

Not yet 21 and with his first album still unreleased, a largely unknown Bob Dylan was invited by New Yorks WBAI radio to perform a live broadcast for Cynthia Goodings Folksinger s Choice programme on March 11th 1962. This legendary recording, available here for the first time, illustrates perfectly the scope and manner of Dylan s live repertoire in the months leading up to his debut release. In addition to the three originals, all newly minted by Dylan, he covers songs by the likes of Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie and Big Joe Williams, but interestingly does not perform any tracks that would feature on his first record just weeks from release at the time of this broadcast. Folksinger s Choice also contains the only known Dylan performances of Smokestack Lightning, Hard Travelin and Roll On, John and features the first known outings of The Death Of Emmett Till and Standing On The Highway The 11 songs performed are liberally interspersed with chat between Bob and Cynthia, however, far from spoiling the show, this only go to enhance one of the best early recordings we have of Bob Dylan, making this CD an incredibly important early document.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Johnny D on 18 Aug 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This radio recording really is a gem and it's simply marvellous that it has survived intact for nearly 50 years and now, out of the blue, has been released on CD (back then, tape was routinely re-used and this recording could easily have been lost forever). The audio quality is excellent. Cynthia Gooding, who is obviously very impressed with Dylan, has managed to put him completely at ease and has him laughing and joking during the interview sessions between each song. Apart from great renditions of songs from his early repertoire, this is a truly historic recording of the young Dylan. He was 20 years old and hadn't yet released his first album. To add to its importance, the broadcast contains the only known Dylan performances of three of the songs - Smokestack Lightning, Hard Travelin' and Roll On, John. At the very end of the broadcast Gooding asks Dylan if he'll still be wearing his corduroy cap when he's rich and famous. Bob replies, "Oh, I'm never gonna become rich and famous".

If you don't buy another CD this year, buy this one.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By James B. Spink HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Aug 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Folksinger's Choice was a radio show on New York FM station WBAI hosted by Elektra recording artist Cynthia Gooding. This CD issues the radio performance featuring Bob Dylan from March 11th 1962 and presents Bob singing live in the studio with Cynthia interviewing him between tracks. The singing tracks and interview tracks are all numbered so the CD actually contains 21 tracks, 10 more than listed on the cover - making it slightly tricky to play a specific music track. The CD runs for just under an hour at 57:30.

The audio quality is pretty good, considering the age of the material, and is reasonably produced by Leftfield Media with an eight page booklet giving recording details and a full write-up for each track. I never heard the bootleg versions of this material so I cannot directly compare the audio quality, but this new release sounds like it is taken from a studio source tape rather than an off-air recording.

As an historic document this set stands up really well and features the twenty year old Bob just before the release of his first album. The material ranges easily from folk to blues to country with three Dylan originals to show the promise of the career to come. This CD is one all Bob's fans will enjoy and the music - if not the interviews - stand up to repeated playing. Bob's fans are in for an even bigger treat later in the year when Columbia issue the artist's first eight albums as a limited edition MONO box set. Many of the mono mixes are far superior to the stereo versions as owners of the original vinyl LP versions may well remember. Until then this Folksinger's Choice CD will have to keep Bob's fans happy!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Harvey Randall on 16 Oct 2010
Format: Audio CD
This historic release of a radio show broadcast in March 1962 (but probably taped at the end of February) shortly before the long-delayed release of his debut album finds Dylan in fine form in the convivial company of interviewer Cynthia Gooding, and spinning a few autobiographical yarns along the way including the one about being a 'clean-up boy' (whatever that is) in a carnival. The interviews are illuminating, but it's the material performed by Dylan that makes this special. If he was thinking about promoting the debut album then the thought lasted the length of just one song, 'Fixin' To Die' being the only title here to feature on that record. There are just 2 truly original compositions- one of the earliest known airings of the newly composed 'Death Of Emmett Till' (which takes Gooding's breath away on hearing it- mine too!) & 'Hard Times In New York'. The latter had been in the man's repertoire since November 1961 & the Minneapolis recording from December 1961 can be found on The Bootleg Series 1-3. He also made a demo of this song for Leeds Music in January 1962, which is about to be issued on The Bootleg Series 9: The Witmark Demos (even though it was NOT a Witmark demo!). This live radio version is one of its last known performances. The rest are covers, 2 of which ('Lonesome Whistle' & 'Baby Please Don't Go') were recorded at the very first Freewheelin' session along with 'Death Of Emmett Till' but none of the tracks from that session made it on to the album. 'Standing On The Highway' was also previously recorded as a Leeds demo but whether it counts as a Dylan original is contestable since it is really a precocious rewrite of Robert Johnson's 'Crossroad Blues' with Dylan changing not much more than the odd word or phrase.Read more ›
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Gizmophobic VINE VOICE on 17 Aug 2010
Format: Audio CD
I'd to look twice at this one. Since there is no track list up yet I'm assuming this the same cd as the bootleg I've had for about 10 years. It's got almost the same cover and exactly the same title. Originally issued by Yellow Dog in 1992 it is a pristine recording of an hour long radio show broadcast in March 1962-(Clinton Heylin reckons the actual
recording took place in mid Feb and I'm not going to argue with him..). The host on the show was Cynthia Gooding, a folksinger herself and clearly smitten by Bob's youthful charm. She interviews him between Bob singing 11 complete
songs. They are: Lonesome whistle blues, Fixin to die, Smokestack lightnin, Hard Travelin, Emmett Till, Standing on the Highway,Roll on John, Stealin, Long time man feel bad, Baby please don't go,Hard times in NY town. Some are unique in that there are no other versions of Dylan doing them,only a couple made his subsequent debut album, all are worth having. What makes the cd (my one anyway) essential is the interview itself. Dylan myths start right here. The
gushing Gooding laps up Bob's tales about running away from home as a kid,joining a carnival, etc. etc. He barely keeps from laughing throughout.
All in all this is classic early Dylan-check the tracklist against mine, some titles may have slightly different names,but if it rings at all true to the above, don't think twice its brilliant.
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