Page by: Author / Chronologer  Craig Pinkerton
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Talkin' New York
source:  line recording

Pretty Peggy-O
In The Pines
Gospel Plow
1913 Massacre
Backwater Blues
Young But Daily Growing
Fixin’ To Die
Talkin’ Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre
Man On The Street
This Land Is Your Land
Talkin’ Merchant Marine
Black Cross
Freight Train Blues
Song To Woody
Talkin’ New York

This is simply a classy package from one of the preeminent manufacturers. The disc itself is a beautiful knock off of the Columbia six eye label. The front is a white on black reproduction of a concert poster. The insert is reversible, and it could be inserted so that a white poster on the back side of the insert becomes the front. For some reason, this poster was printed upside down, so the insert needs to be rolled 180 degrees as well to bring the image upright. The tray liner is a black and white image of young Bob in concert, but the back cover is the  Pièce de résistance. In keeping with the knock off of the first LP label printed on the disc, this back cover is a knockoff of the first LP cover itself. A beautiful full color outtake photo from the session fills the entire cover in much the way the original did. The songs are printed in red to the right of the photo just as they were on that release. All in all, a first rate effort. This seventy seven minute recording presents the full show from the tiny one hundred seat venue that was only half full. Half of the show has circulated for years in a very good quality mono directly from the PA head, but this is the best to date. Bob seems only slightly nervous a few times, but the majority of these people are friends and fans from the coffee house, so he can be at ease for the most part. This show is several months before his first album would be released (it had not yet even been recorded), so he was mainly known by word of mouth of the patrons of Gerde’s Folk City. Barely over a month earlier, the famous Robert Shelton article in praise of Dylan had appeared in the New York Times, so there could have been a few at the show that were unfamiliar with Bob that had come because of the Shelton hype, but this is speculative conjecture, at best. He is very talkative throughout. At times he continues to talk as he walks away from the mic, showing his lack of microphone skills at this early stage. This is not a recording that you will want to put in rotation on your player, but it is fascination for what it is. The constant talking is one of the highlights. Bob shows his sly sense of humor throughout that at times takes a little bit of inside knowledge and thought to understand. For instance, before Black Girl (In The Pines), he talks of getting slightly lost on the way to the show by taking the subway to 156th street and walking. The joke is that it's a 100 block walk. Then he tells the funny joke about not knowing the songlist well (as they were coppied from the lists of others). After two minutes of talking, Bob then spends thirty seconds geting his harmonica, and begins the song, only to begin talking again after a 30 second guitar/harp intro. He introduce the song's unprincipled main character, and then adds "eleven years old". He continues with this off beat brand of humor and talkativeness through the remainder of the show. At times, the talk makes for slightly awkward moments, such as when he says that he used to spend time with Woody Guthrie. The room is pin-drop quiet, and you can hear the disappointment in his voice as he was expecting a round of applause. Nevertheless he continues with a great interpretation of Woody's 1913 Massacre. The inside joke here is that he will later perform his own  Song To Woody, having taken not only the exact tune, but also the exact phrasing and vocal nuances. This helps make it one of the many highlights of the release. Another highlight is to hear Dylan singing, essentially three versions of another Guthrie tune. If you've not heard Guthrie's Talking Merchant Marine, you can see a mid 1960'S performance by Ramblin' Jack Elliott here from Pete Seeger's TV  series called Rainbow Quest. It's obvious how much of the song Dylan borrowed for his own Talkin’ Bear Mountain and Talkin’ New York. It's interesting, as well, to hear all three of those in the same set.
Another highlight is getting to hear Dylan sing Young But Daily Growing. He says that it's a "straight imitation" of Liam Clancy "without the Irish accent". Dylan's voice is smooth and melodic and it defiantly shows another side of Bob Dylan... another direction that the young singer could have chosen. Fixin' To Die is nearly perfected into the final version that he would record in a couple of weeks for the first album. This is a fascinating release that opens a portal in time to listen to a good imitator and interpreter of Guthrie and Clancy, with the hindsight knowledge that in a matter of weeks he would be writing and recording Blowin' In The Wind, Girl From The North Country, Masters Of War, and Hard Rain among others. The magical events, whatever they were, that transpired within those few weeks is the stuff of legend. © 2008 CD Pinkerton -
View enlarged images below 

Carnegie Chapter Hall, NYC, NY - Nov. 4, 1961

Manufacturer / Catalog No.
Scorpio     /    BD-08020
Disc matrix:  NEW YORK CITY CONCERT 1961

Aug. 2008
8 stars
Other commercial Carnegie releases:
Acoustic Troubadour
His Gotham Ingress
In The Pines
The Dylan's Root(s)
Hard Times In NYC

Bob's Boots ref  #

Thanks to Terry Farrington for scans

© 2008 CD Pinkerton - 

A CBS moment in history
by Dr.CD Pinkerton

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In 1948, Columbia pioneered the Long Playing (LP) micro-groove which proved the perfect format for orchestral music that never properly fit on the earlier 78 RPM releases. This is the "six eye" label that CBS introduced in 1955. The 'modern' looking logo was the record company's statement that it was "moving into the modern age" by signing popular artists such as The Four Lads, Tony Bennett, and Johnny Mathis. Before this time, Columbia concentrated primarily on classical music, and showed little interest in pop artists until competing Labels RCA, Mercury, and others forced them to get with the times or get left behind. The six eye version continued through 1962 with the release of Dylan's first album. It's interesting to note here that a 78 RPM recording could only hold three or four minutes recording time per side. To accommodate longer recordings, several discs were released as a set. This set was issued in a cardboard album with as many sleeve pages as were required to accommodate the set. Once the 331/3 RPM long play was introduced, it could hold an entire album worth of music. Both the terms 'LP' and 'album' then became synonymous with this format, and remain the popular vernacular to this day. As for the eye... in 1951, The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) was looking for a logo for it's television network. Creative Director Bill Golden came upon the "All Seeing Eye" of Shaker art, and it developed from there. Originally intended to represent the eye of the camera, it quickly evolved to be seen as the eye of the network on the world, the eye of the viewer, etc. When it was introduced on the record label, it had legs. Many people saw this as the legs of a stationary motion picture camera eye, but others viewed it as an eye in motion. Therefore, it became known as the "walking eye logo". In fact, even hardcore collectors then and now failed to realize that the CBS eye also resembled a phonograph record. The legs are actually a giant stylus playing the record that was actually the logo of the parent company. It was all a bit ingenious, but over the heads of most.