To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
3 messages

Dylan given Hank Williams lyrics

20 Jan 09 - 04:35 PM (#2544359)
Subject: Dylan given Hank Williams lyrics
From: Wesley S

Our local newpapers music reporter says that Bob Dylan was given a box of song lyrics that Hank Williams Sr had with him when he died. With around 65 songs. And that the family has asked Dylan to be in charge of putting music to the lyrics. Supposedly Dylan has contacted some other writers like Steve Earle to work on the project.

Is this news to anyone else? It sounds like an interesting project. I just wonder if there is any truth to it.

20 Jan 09 - 09:30 PM (#2544632)
Subject: RE: Dylan given Hank Williams lyrics
From: oldhippie

It's possible. On one of Dylans earliest radio appearances (with Cynthia Gooding on WBAI in NYC 3-11-62) he started with "Lonesome Whistle Blues" so Dylan was already influenced by Williams. Ref: CD "Folksingers Choice", Yellow Dog 017.

21 Jan 09 - 05:19 AM (#2544831)
Subject: RE: Dylan given Hank Williams lyrics
From: Neil D

I don't know if this is in any way related but read the third parragraph from this article:
Mermaid Avenue is a 1998 album of previously unheard lyrics written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie, put to music written and performed by British singer Billy Bragg and the American band Wilco. The project was organized by Guthrie's daughter, Nora Guthrie. Mermaid Avenue was released on the Elektra Records label on June 23, 1998. A second volume of recordings, Mermaid Avenue Vol. II, followed in 2000. The projects are named after a song "Mermaid's Avenue" written by Guthrie. This was also the street in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York on which Guthrie lived.

During the spring of 1995, Woody Guthrie's daughter Nora contacted English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg about writing music for a selection of completed Guthrie lyrics. Her father had left behind over a thousand sets of complete lyrics written between 1939 and 1967; none of these lyrics had any music other than a vague stylistic notation.

According to Bob Dylan's autobiography, Chronicles, Woody Guthrie offered his unpublished songs to Dylan, but the young singer was unable to get them from Guthrie's family (he tells a story about a reluctant babysitter).
                      (end of Wikipedia excerpt)

   This would have been when Dylan was still unknown. When Dylan firt came to New York he visited Woody in hospital every week, singing to him, talking etc. Woody spent his last 11 years hospitalized with Huntington's Chorea. Dylan played his first important club set wearing a jacket given him by Woody. Sort of a symbolic passing of the mantle of greatness, I think.