Dylan / Blonde on Blonde: 'That Thin Wild Mercury Sound' (Daryl Sanders book, Oct. 2018)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by HominyRhodes, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. WowBobWow

    WowBobWow Forum Resident

    Location:
    Texas,USA
    I was on the fence about getting the book, but I'm really impressed that the author himself showed up to talk obscure Dylan facts. Ordering a copy for myself for Christmas. :tiphat:
     
  2. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Hominy, it is my impression based on what Charlie and the others told me, the piano would have been closer to the control room, but still fairly close to the wall, although not right up against it.
     
  3. TimeandTempo

    TimeandTempo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Daryl,

    Excited to see your book on audible. Just downloaded. Here’s to the next 7 hours of entertainment!
     
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  4. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    Man, your Happyland Archives seem to be second only to the great Library of Alexandria -- thank you for digging out those images and posting them here. I've never see that first sheet before, but a detail from the second one emerged awhile back, in color:

    [​IMG]

    I, too, was curious about Mort T.'s possible involvement with the Blonde recording sessions, since he'd been a fixture at the Bradley/Columbia studios going all the way back to the 1950s, and it's known that he engineered other sessions with Bob Johnston -- including the zany musical antics released on the classic Moldy Goldies album, which featured most of the Nashville Cats who'd played on the Dylan sessions, and was released in June of '66, the same month as Blonde on Blonde:

    [​IMG]
    (a poor photo of the mono white label promo and stereo copies in my collection)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I've spent a little time trying to decode exactly who's playing and singing what on the record, but I don't have it all figured out yet -- I would absolutely love to hear the original session tapes for this album (imagine what the outtakes sounded like) which I reckon was recorded shortly after Blonde on Blonde was completed, when Dylan's single of "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" was starting to get some radio airplay; perhaps Daryl could ask Mac Gayden or Charlie McCoy about their involvement with the project?

    BTW: The entire album is up on Utube, I think, and an MP3 version is for sale on Am_zon, with samples.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MOLDY GOLDIES

    Colonel Jubilation B. Johnston
    And His Mystic Knights Band And Street Singers

    Attack The Hits

    COLUMBIA CL-2632 mono / CS-9332 stereo
    released June 1966

    PRODUCED BY BOB JOHNSTON
    leader & vocalist: Colonel Jubilation B. Johnston
    engineer: Mort Thomasson
    recorded c. April-May 1966, Columbia Studios, Nashville

    with performances by
    Charlie McCoy, Kenny Buttrey, Henry Strzelecki, Hargus 'Pig' Robbins, Mac Gayden, Wayne Butler [all of whom played on Blonde on Blonde]
    plus: Darrell Glenn, Arlene Harden, Norma Jean, Jerry Smith, Brenton Banks, George Tidwell, Tommy Hill, Lamar Fike, Mort Thomasson (and others?)

    Bang Bang (lead vocal Norma Jean)
    Monday, Monday
    How Does That Grab You, Darlin' (lead vocal Norma Jean)
    Good Lovin'
    Leaning On The Lamp Post (lead vocal ???)
    Daydream

    Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35 (lead vocal "R. Lean" = Arlene Harden)
    Secret Agent Man (lead vocal Lamar Fike??)
    (You're My) Soul And Inspiration (duet, Bob Johnston & "Durl Glin" = Darrell Glenn, with Mort T. 'recitation')
    Hang On Sloopy
    The Name Game

    (LINER NOTES)
    Other members of the legendary Mystic Knights:

    Charlie "Bugs" McCoy: Guitar, harmonica, 2nd pop bottle, trumpet, co-arranger

    Henry "Big Irish" Strzelecki: Electric bass, mouth organ

    Kenneth "Sledgehammer" Buttrey: Field drums, broken snare drums, tambourine, 3rd pop bottle

    One-Finger Mac Gayden: Trying to play guitar

    Wayne "Tailgate" Butler: Terror-stricken trombonist

    "Taps" Tidwell: Trumpet and bartender

    Jerry Smith: Player piano

    Brenton "Ping-Pong" Banks: Table-tennis champion and part-time violinist

    Hargus "Pig" Robbins: Lead pop bottle and assistant substitute old upright pianist

    Durl Glin: Three-quarter tambourine, his very own thumbs and legit vocals (formerly connected by telephone to the Metropolitan Opera)

    Princess La Mar Fike: Male coloratura soprano and shady background singer

    Tummy "Mole" Hill: Vocal background and hits his left leg with a stick

    Mortuary Thomasson: Dulcet-toned recitation and tired engineer

    The Swamp Women --

    The Incomparable R. Lean: Female basso profundo
    Luscious Norma Jean Owen: The Singing Lady

    And, of course, His Majesty
    COLONEL JUBILATION B. JOHNSTON: Demolition expert 3rd class, planned and led the gallant charge on these hits; was awarded the medal of the Brass Spittoon with cluster for this dangerous mission
     
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  5. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    On the lower sheet, that would be Mort Thomasson. Jim is Jim Williamson. I knew Jim was an assistant engineer on the sessions, meaning he operated the four-track tape machine, but I was told Mort never worked in Studio A, that he only worked in the Quonset Hut. I'll add Mort to the credits in the second printing. On the top sheet, JW is also Jim Williamson. I can't tell for sure what the initials are under mixer on the top sheet. Can you tell?
     
  6. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    "S.C." = Shelby Coffen??
    [​IMG]
    (quote) "Men in recording studio control room. [L to R] Owen Bradley, Dub Allbritten, who managed Brenda Lee, arranger and saxophonist Bill Justis or Decca Records, executive Sydney Goldberg. Man standing on far right Bradley Studio, engineer Shelby Coffen, man seated at right is Decca Records, executive Marty Salkin, seen in other pictures in Nashville for the National Country Music DJ Convention, . Based on sheet music held by Bradley, this is the Brenda Lee session for the song It's Never Too Late. Bradley Studio, (Quonset Hut) in Nashville TN. c. 1961 (Photo by Elmer Williams/Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum/Getty Images)


    Another Getty Images shot, c. 1950s, of the Quonset Hut/Studio B control room, with Mort T. on the left, and Owen Bradley next to him; not sure who the other two guys are.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Thanks for clearing that up.
     
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  8. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    This thread turned into one of SHF's Greatest Hits instantaneously.


    How do you find these things?! Rhetorical question only. This album might be more fun 40Funky Hits.
    The whole thing reads like one of Dylan's nonsense lyrics. His zaniness must have left a dull impression on their minds in Nashville. I say that in a nice way.
     
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  9. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Has nothing to do with anything but I've always wondered why Dylan's face is off-focus on the cover of Blonde and Blonde. It's a thing with him.
     
  10. MikeM

    MikeM Senior Member

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    I can certainly confirm this, as I once owned a copy of this single. I found it ca. 1967-68 at an electronics store where the local radio station, for whatever reason, used to dump some of their 45s they no longer wanted.

    It had the "Positively 4th Street" label, but someone at the station had crossed it out (rather aggressively!) and written "NO!" in big letters. Somehow I knew what this was — I think the only way I could have was that it had been mentioned in Hit Parader — so I snatched it up. No question, the "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" alternate take was on the A-side.

    I auctioned it off a few years later for what was I'm sure at the time a pretty hefty sum, but in retrospect I wish I had held onto it.
     
  11. smiecz

    smiecz Forum Resident

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  12. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man


    ...and Daryl reports it all in his book. He interviewed Jerry in 2016. He has interviewed everyone it is possible to interview for this book. It's remarkable...!!
     
  13. Percy Song

    Percy Song Tom's Tambourine Man

    Was it this one, by any chance?

    [​IMG]

    #
     
  14. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    There are fourteen tracks on Blonde on Blonde, and I'm utterly fascinated by the backstories of all those recordings. Describing Dylan's final thirteen-hour session for the album, which began in Studio A in Nashville on Wednesday evening, March 9, 1966, and ended the next morning around 7:00 a.m., Daryl S. offers up some new information about who played what on "Most Likely You Go Your Way."

    Based primarily on the account(s) of Al Kooper, I'd always thought that Charlie McCoy played trumpet AND bass at the same time while recording the track. The dual-instrument feat was a crowd-pleaser during his live performances with the Escorts (as shown in the photo below -- there is also at least one live YT video of the reunited Nashville Cats from recent years that showcases Charlie on bass & trumpet) but according to Daryl's interviews with McCoy and Wayne Moss in TTWMS, Charlie played trumpet only on the track, meaning that the bass part must have been done by Henry Strzelecki, or possibly by Joe South.

    I suppose Charlie could have been demonstrating his musical abilities to Al K. before the tapes rolled, and that was the impression that stuck with him as the years went by, but it seems that both Charlie and Wayne are adamant that it's not Charlie playing bass on the master take, so I guess that's that -- yet another fascinating piece of new information from Daryl's book.
    [​IMG]
    (caption) "Charlie McCoy, leader of the Escorts combo, switches from trumpet to guitar and back again to the delight of the younger crowd of 5,000 during a rock 'n' roll Centennial Park concert sponsored by the The Tennessean, June 27, 1965." (photo by J. T. Phillips /The Tennessean)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  15. MikeM

    MikeM Senior Member

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    Nope. I'm almost certain the one I had was a regular red-label, as opposed to a white promo label. And the markings on it were definitely more pronounced than this.

    I also had (may still have, I'm not sure) a white-label promo of the legitimate "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window" single, which in itself I understand is somewhat rare.
     
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  16. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Hominy, I'm inclined to think Al is right about this, but I chose to include both his remembrance and the remembrances of Charlie and Wayne because Charlie insists he didn't play both instruments. Charlie says he demonstrated for Al that he could do both a few years later when Al came back to town to record some sides for his first solo album. My research indicated Henry Strzelecki didn't arrive until 9 p.m. that night, so if it wasn't Charlie, it would have been Joe South on bass.
     
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  17. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    For anyone interested, I will be appearing on Friday, October 26, at 1 p.m. EDT on Rolling Stone Music Now, the magazine's weekly SiriusXM radio show on Volume channel 106. I'll be on for the full hour talking with Rolling Stone senior writer Brian Hiatt about my book, and midway through the show, guitarist Wayne Moss will be joining us for a segment. (If you don't subscribe to SiriusXM, the show will be available as a free podcast in the iTunes store after it airs.)

    You also can listen to my appearance on Acme Radio's "Roots Now" program hosted by music journalist Barry Mazor at this link:

    http://acmeradiolive.com/programs/r...XC7q4K5frtzvGkZnQ5f6AQXtDE6fRcZs-jW_57auP1le0
     
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  18. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    Haha, so I guess I misspoke when I said "that's that," huh?

    From looking at the Krogsgaard notes, and listening to the Cutting Edge recordings, I got the impression that the final night's session didn't really start to get rolling until after 9 p.m. that Wednesday night. I pictured them finishing up "Most Likely" and then "Achilles" between 9 and midnight, and then taking a little break and getting a little "goofy" before "Rainy Day Women," while waiting for trombonist Wayne Butler to arrive. I see now that you did leave the possibility open for Al Kooper's account to be the accurate one.

    And that's an interesting aside that Charlie and Al worked together again a few years later -- Kooper really took a shine to working in Nashville, didn't he?
     
  19. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    Will definitely check those out.
     
  20. Claudio Dirani

    Claudio Dirani Forum's hostage

    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil

    Hey Daryl
    Looking forward to getting your new baby!
    Just a question: will it be available on paperback?
    cheers
     
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  21. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Thanks, man. It will be available in paperback at some point in the future. It is my understanding there will be at least a second printing in hard cover.
     
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  22. Claudio Dirani

    Claudio Dirani Forum's hostage

    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    Amazing!
     
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  23. Claudio Dirani

    Claudio Dirani Forum's hostage

    Location:
    São Paulo, Brazil
    Wow, Bob! That makes two of us (spending!)
    :D
     
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  24. Daryl Sanders

    Daryl Sanders Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville
    Hominy, based on Krogsgaard's notes and my interviews, my impression is they began working on "Most Likely" not too long after the call time of 6 p.m. I think "Achilles" was recorded before midnight, and they began work on it before Henry Strzelecki arrived, that's why Charlie is playing bass.

    Yeah, Al liked Nashville. You knew Al lived here for a good chunk of the ’90s, right?
     
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  25. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago
    Yes, I did read that, and I know that he wasn't the only one who relocated there -- our Chicago-area native son John Prine seems to really dig the place, too. :)
     
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