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Highway 61 Revisited


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GUEST,mrbisok@aol 23 Apr 02 - 11:35 PM
Devilmaster 24 Apr 02 - 01:25 AM
IanN 24 Apr 02 - 05:49 AM
Rolfyboy6 24 Apr 02 - 06:37 AM
Jim Dixon 24 Apr 02 - 12:09 PM
Amos 24 Apr 02 - 12:20 PM
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Subject: Hiway 61 revisited
From: GUEST,mrbisok@aol
Date: 23 Apr 02 - 11:35 PM

It's Tuesday evening an no one has yet posted any recognition of the NY Times article on Highway 61 from Friday, April 19th edition (found in a new "Times" section called Escapes). Article title (the lead article BTW of the section) "Driving the Blues Trail In Search of a Lost Muse." The piece, complete with a road map, traces the towns along Mississipi's Highway 61 (it actually starts in Memphis Tenn) where those blues legends lived and played. It's really a travel article but shows an understanding and gives information on the birth-places of the blues. Damn, I never realized it before! That Dylan album title of four decades ago referred to this Mississippi road! Please respond: did you know that?

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Subject: RE: Hiway 61 revisited
From: Devilmaster
Date: 24 Apr 02 - 01:25 AM

Yep... I always believed that 61 was the road that delta blues made its way to the north... cause if I'm not mistaken, (I might be) it goes pretty much right to chicago.

When I went with a friend to New Orleans in 2000 for Mardi Gras, we took 61 north to memphis, as we went through some of my cd collection. Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Blind Blake, etc.

Went looking for the crossroads also. :) I am already going to hell, so I doubt the devil was going to bother making a deal.


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Subject: RE: Hiway 61 revisited
From: IanN
Date: 24 Apr 02 - 05:49 AM

There was a UK TV programme tracing all the blues players who lived/played along this road. Can't remember much about it though other than a fascinating story about a female blues singer (who?) who stumbled out into the road when drunk and was run over.

Also Dylan claims that his love of music was born by the "radio waves travelling up highway 61" (or something lioke that!)

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Subject: RE: Hiway 61 revisited
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 24 Apr 02 - 06:37 AM

Sure, but I lived on the other legendary highway of the blues: Hwy 51. And 61 was just to the west.

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Subject: Lyr Add: HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED (Bob Dylan)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Apr 02 - 12:09 PM

The article you mention is posted at the New York Times site. Click here.

I assume this is US Highway 61 that is being described. There could be any number of Interstate, state, and county highways with that number.

Despite what it says in the lyrics to 61 HIGHWAY, US Highway 61 begins in Forest Lake, MN, or thereabouts, and ends in New Orleans, LA. (I think it formerly began in Duluth, but the northern part of it was replaced by Interstate 35 and lost its identity.)

Through much of its route, it follows the Mississippi River. It is particularly beautiful between St. Paul, MN and La Crosse, WI, a route that I travel frequently. Since Bob Dylan was born in Duluth, I always assumed it was the Minnesota part of Highway 61 that inspired the song, “Highway 61 Revisited.” However, I have just reviewed the lyrics, and I don’t see any clear connections to any particular place. But if anyone wants to try interpreting the song for me, I’d be happy to read what you have to say. Does anyone know if Bob Dylan actually visited the Delta? Before 1965, I mean.

Copied from :

(Bob Dylan, 1965)

Oh, God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son.”
Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on.”
God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want, Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’, you better run.”
Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”
God says, “Out on Highway 61.”

Well, Georgia Sam he had a bloody nose.
Welfare Department they wouldn’t give him no clothes.
He asked poor Howard, “Where can I go?”
Howard said, “There’s only one place I know.”
Sam said, “Tell me quick, man. I got to run.”
Ol’ Howard just pointed with his gun
And said, “That way, down on Highway 61.”

Well, Mack the Finger said to Louie the King,
“I got forty red white and blue shoestrings,
And a thousand telephones that don’t ring.
Do you know where I can get rid of these things?”
And Louie the King said, “Let me think for a minute, son.”
And he said, “Yes, I think it can be easily done.
Just take everything down to Highway 61.”

Now the fifth daughter on the twelfth night
Told the first father that things weren’t right.
“My complexion,” she said, “is much too white.”
He said, “Come here and step into the light.” He says, “Hmm, you’re right.
Let me tell the second mother this has been done.”
But the second mother was with the seventh son
And they were both out on Highway 61.

Now the rovin’ gambler he was very bored.
He was tryin’ to create a next world war.
He found a promoter who nearly fell off the floor.
He said, “I never engaged in this kind of thing before,
But, yes, I think it can be very easily done.
We’ll just put some bleachers out in the sun
And have it on Highway 61.”

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Subject: RE: Hiway 61 revisited
From: Amos
Date: 24 Apr 02 - 12:20 PM

You guys gotta know that the 'Cat has its own version of this conversation with God, starring Max himslef; you have to imagine the same steel electric whine and rhythm in the background. Lyrics are here in the Mudcat Songbook.



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