I’d heard Van Ronk back in the Midwest on records and thought he was pretty great, copied some of his recordings phrase for phrase. […] Van Ronk could howl and whisper, turn blues into ballads and ballads into blues. I loved his style. He was what the city was all about. In Greenwich Village, Van Ronk was king of the street, he reigned supreme.
-Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)
House of the Rising Sun:
No Direction Home” – Bob Dylan House of The Rising Sun:
“Jimmie Rodgers’ name stands foremost in the country music field as the man who started it all.”
– brass plaque at the Country Music Hall of Fame
The most inspiring type of entertainer for me has always been somebody like Jimmie Rodgers, somebody who could do it alone and was totally original. He was combining elements of blues and hillbilly sounds before anyone else had thought of it. He recorded at the same time as Blind Willie McTell but he wasn’t just another white boy singing black. That was his great genius and he was there first… he sang in a plaintive voice and style and he’s outlasted them all. ~Bob Dylan
He was a performer of force without precedent with a sound as lonesome and mystical as it was dynamic. He gives hope to the vanquished and humility to the mighty. ~Bob Dylan
He is the voice of wilderness in our heads. ~Bob Dylan
James Charles “Jimmie” Rodgers (September 8, 1897 – May 26, 1933) was an American country singer in the early 20th century known most widely for his rhythmic yodeling. Among the first country music superstars and pioneers, Rodgers was also known as “The Singing Brakeman”, “The Blue Yodeler”, and “The Father of Country Music”.
…. Actually we are soul mates. As far as guitar playing goes he never steps all over with fancy licks. Yeah, Mark was incredible. He helped make this record in a thousand ways, not only musically, which in itself would have been enough. Brilliant guy, I can’t say enough about him.
~Bob Dylan (Talking about Knopfler part in the making of “Infidels” – July 1983 to Martin Killer)
The most celebrated British guitar hero to emerge in the 1970s and ’80s, Mark Knopfler rose to fame as the leader of Dire Straits, and his songwriting and incisive guitar work played a decisive role in making them an international success story. At a time when punk and new wave were making technique for its own sake seem irrelevant, and metal was taking the guitar solo in noisier and unpredictable directions, Knopfler’s clean but dexterous picking proved there was still room for traditionalism and chops in mainstream rock & roll.
~Mark Deming (allmusic.com)
Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing (Alchemy Live – 1983):
Expression, pure expression. Without a guitar, I’m like a poet with no hands. Actually I can articulate much clearer on the guitar than anything else.
~Mike Bloomfield (Rolling Stone, April 1968)
When I’m playing blues guitar real well, it’s a lot like B.B. King. But I don’t know, it’s my own thing when there are major notes and sweet runs. You know I like sweet blues. The English cats play very hard funky blues. Like Aretha sings is how they play guitar. I play sweet blues. I can’t explain it. I want to be singing. I want to be sweet.
~Mike Bloomfield (Rolling Stone, April 1968)
Son House, Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield discuss and play the blues:
Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot becomes prime minister (and virtual dictator) of Cambodia after Prince Sihanouk steps down (April 2).
Israeli airborne commandos attack Uganda’s Entebbe Airport and free 103 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers of Air France plane; one Israeli and several Ugandan soldiers killed in raid (July 4).
19-month civil war ends in Lebanon after threatening to escalate to global level (Nov.).
US: US Supreme Court rules that blacks and other minorities are entitled to retroactive job seniority (March 24).
US: US Supreme Court rules that death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual and is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment (July 3).
US: Jimmy Carter elected US President (Nov. 2).
Movies: Rocky, Taxi Driver, Network, All the President’s Men
Deaths: Agatha Christie, Andre Malraux
Only one song per artist/group
The song must be released that specific year
Songs from live albums not allowed
Restricted to only 20 songs
As usual.. a lot of wonderful music was released in 1976, again hard to pick only 20.
Isis – Bob Dylan
Released on the album “Desire” – Jan 5, 1976. It was written by Bob Dylan in collaboration with Jacques Levy.
– I married Isis on the fifth day of May But I could not hold on to her very long So I cut off my hair and I rode straight away For the wild unknown country where I could not go wrong
Here is a great live version from 1976: