Tag Archives: Bob Dylan

Beatles, Elvis, Dylan & Johnny Cash ► A Mega Monday Musical Appreciation.

When it’s Monday Musical Appreciation time, I consult several Day in Musical History sites, choose a topic, and write the post — all before most of my readers are awake.

I take pride in choosing a topic that morning, researching it, choosing tunes and pics that best illustrate that research, and then writing it up. It makes me feel like I’m back in the Citytv Newsroom and given an assignment to write. I like the pressure of it.

All of that is preface to say: I couldn’t choose a single event, person, or band today. Any one of the following could sustain its own stand-alone post. Additionally, the more I researched the date, the more I began to see points of synchronicity. That’s when I decided to wrap it all up in one big bow.

The following all occurred on May 1st:

Johnny Cash

On this day in 1956 Johnny Cash released “I Walk The Line”, his most recognizable tune. Thirteen years later — when he was a big star with his own tee vee show — he hosted Bob Dylan who sang 2 tunes and then a duet with Johnny Cash on “Girl From the North Country”, a song originally on the LP The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. The duet became the lead off track of Dylan’s Nashville Skyline LP.

On a personal note: This televised performance happened on my birthday and was my entry into Country music. If Dylan could cozy up to Johnny Cash, maybe there is something I was missing. I went out and bought the relatively recent Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison, which I fell in love with. I’ve been a Johnny Cash fan ever since.


Elvis Presley

Elvis was already an up-and-comer when, on this date in 1957, he appeared on the cover of the first issue of 16 Magazine. Many magazine covers would follow.

Ten years later, to the day, he wed 21-year old Priscilla Beaulieu — who he had met while in the Army almost 8 years earlier — in his suite at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. He was 11 years her senior.

The next year, on the same day, Elvis would release “Speedway”, the soundtrack album his latest boring movie of the same name, despite the appearance of Nancy Sinatra. The LP never went any higher than #82 on the Billboard LP charts.

Elvis would only make 4 more movies, none any better.

The Beatles

On this date in 1962, The Beatles began a month long stand at The Star Club, Hamburg, Germany. The Beatles have always pointed to the pressure of having to MAK SHOW under the relentless pressure of playing set after set, night after night, as when they solidified as a band. Listen to how tight they were before Beatlemania struck.

After they hit it big, The Beatles were offered money for licensing rights to everything from Beatles’ Wigs to lunchboxes. On this day in 1964, manager Brian Epstein accepted $140,000 from a bubble gum company to have their pictures inserted into the packages sold in ‘Merka.

Two years later, on this date in 1966, The Beatles gave their last last British at Empire Pool in Wembley, appearing as New Musical Express poll winners. Their performance consisted of  “I Feel Fine”, “Nowhere Man”, “Day Tripper”, “If I Needed Someone”, and “I’m Down”.

Who else appeared on this bill? If you were lucky enough to have gotten a ticket, you would have seen The Spencer Davis Group, The Fortunes, Herman’s Hermits, Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Small Faces, Dusty Springfield, The Walker Brothers, The Who and The Yardbirds.

1968 Paul McCartney and John Lennon watch Bill Haley play Royal Albert Hall in London.

Other items I would have included had I wanted to turn this post into an epic:

In 1930: Little Walter was born.

In 1955 Chuck Berry was signed to Chess Records.

In 1965 Spike Jones dies.

In 1967, Carl Wilson, of The Beach Boys’ is arrested by the F.B.I. for draft evasion.

In 1969, Jimi Hendrix was arrested at Toronto International Airport for drugs and was released on $10,000 bail.

May 1st was an epic day in music.

Memorial Day ► Monday Musical Appreciation

On this Memorial Day, let’s remember what’s really important: PEACE!!!

“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”
― George S. McGovern

“Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe. ”
― Arundhati Roy, Public Power in the Age of Empire

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
― Mother Teresa
“Well, I know,” she said. “You’ll pretend you were men instead of babies, and you’ll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we’ll have a lot more of them. And they’ll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs.”
So then I understood. It was war that made her so angry. She didn’t want her babies or anybody else’s babies killed in wars. And she thought wars were partly encouraged by books and movies.

So I held up my right hand and I made her a promise: “Mary,” I said, “I don’t think this book of mine will ever be finished. I must have written five thousand pages by now, and thrown them all away. If I ever do finish it, though, I give you my word of honor: there won’t be a part for Frank Sinatra or John Wayne.

“I tell you what,” I said, “I’ll call it ‘The Children’s Crusade.'”

She was my friend after that.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

“Anyone who thinks must think of the next war as they would of suicide.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor and Franklin
“The wars we haven’t had saved many lives.”
― William Stafford
“Melt all the tanks in the world and make them rubbish bins. They will be much more useful for the humanity!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Headlines Du Jour ► Monday, February 17, 2014

As we celebrate the birth of Jerry Lewis-muse Kathleen Freeman, let’s take a closer look at a few Headlines Du Jour from yesteryear:

1753 – In Sweden February 17 is followed by March 1 as the country moves from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.
1801 – An electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr is resolved when Jefferson is elected President of the United States and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives.
1819 – The United States House of Representatives passes the Missouri Compromise for the first time.
1933 – The Blaine Act ends Prohibition in the United States.
1959Project Vanguard: Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.
1965Project Ranger: The Ranger 8 probe launches on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. Mare Tranquillitatis or the “Sea of Tranquility” would become the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
1996 – In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, world champion Garry Kasparov beats the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match.

Now that that’s over with, let’s take a gander at today’s Headlines Du Jour:


Russians “brutally” arrest former Italian member of parliament at Sochi Olympics


Hospital charges shown to vary widely
Some bill more ‘because they can’


New details emerge on Colorado
marijuana operators raided by feds

Deep pockets and personal stories underpin Florida’s medical marijuana push


Kickstarter Hacked, Credit Card Data Safe


Murdoch’s ex-British paper boss Brooks to start phone-hacking defense


Would Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly be a good president in 2016 or not?


Why would a Michigan medical clinic block Fox News?



Election Thief Karl Rove Says Chris Christie Is What We Want In a President


Reviled by Republicans,
Ted Cruz is ‘So Hated,
He’s Going to Need
a Food Taster’


Al Capone’s gangster mansion on the market in Miami Beach


Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Not Talk to the Police


Rob Ford’s Toronto: where the buck doesn’t stop

If Ukrainians can protest their leader in weather even colder than Toronto’s, why are Torontonians content to let Rob Ford be mayor?


Michael Dorn Confirms He’s Working on a ‘Star Trek: Captain Worf’ TV Series

CBS developing new CSI
and EMS related Star Trek
television shows


Pastor dies after snake he was handling bit him


Bob Dylan and the Ethics of Market Fascism


Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of Not Now Silly, home of the
Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic, and your rest stop on the Information
Highway. Use our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in
today’s open thread.

Headlines Du Jour ► Sunday, December 8, 2013

While you were sleeping the Not Now Silly news team went creeping and crawling thru’ the internets with one mission in mind: Bring back nothing but the best in news headlines. Let’s get right to it with today’s Headlines Du Jour.



Unarmed Man Shot At By NYPD
Has Been Charged With Assault
Because Bullets Hit Bystanders



‘God Help Us’: Fox News Columnist Calls Pope Francis the ‘Catholic Church’s Obama’


Shanghai’s Choking Smog
Registers ‘Beyond Index’


Bob Dylan Stratocaster sets auction
record, sells for nearly $1 million


Axel Foley Is Coming Back To Detroit
In Another ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ Film


Glenn Beck Says Daughter Brainwashed
into Thinking he is Anti-Gay

◄◄ From the Wayback Machine ►►
The Day I Shook Hands With Glenn Beck


Mysterious Alien Planet in
Farthest-ever Orbit Discovered

UA Astronomers Discover
Planet That Shouldn’t Be There

Massive Black Hole Duo: Possible
Sighting by NASA’s WISE

Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of National Trufax, a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Not Now Silly,
home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use
our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today’s open

Bob Dylan Walks Out On Ed Sullivan

Dateline May 12, 1963 – Back in the day you couldn’t really say you were in Show Biz unless you had appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. As much as Bob Dylan was known as a Protest singer, he still craved Show Biz legitimacy. That’s why he allowed himself to be booked on the Sullivan Show on this day in 1963. However, always the contrarian, Dylan walked off the show before he was to appear.

Ed Sullivan was a Tee Vee institution. Beginning in 1948 as Toast of the Town, his show ran for 23 seasons — 22 of them in the same Sunday night time slot of 8PM. Entire families would gather around the only tee vee set in the house and watch one of the only 3 tee vee networks in existence. The Sullivan Show had something for everyone in the entire family. It was a variety show, in the Vaudevillian tradition; a solo singer might be followed by a ventriloquist, who was followed by a plate spinner, with a Big Band performance next, to be followed by a comedian, and then, maybe, wrapped up with a scene from a Broadway musical. In a classic example of Art imitating Life, this “Hymn for a Sunday Evening,” from “Bye Bye Birdie,” sums up the importance of an appearance on the Sullivan show.

In ’63 Dylan was just an up-and-coming singer/songwriter, barely known outside the small, cultish world of Folk enthusiasts. If people knew him at all it was from Peter, Paul and Mary’s cover version of Blowin’ in the Wind. His 2nd LP, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, with his own version of “Blowin’ In The Wind,” was just days away from being released. A Sullivan appearance would have been a huge boost to Dylan’s career and fame. However, according to the Official Ed Sullivan Show webeteria:

Bob Dylan was slated to make his first nationwide television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on May 12, 1963.  For the show, Dylan decided to perform “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues”, a satirical blues number skewering the conservative John Birch Society and the red-hunting paranoia associated with it.  A few days earlier, Bob Dylan auditioned the song for Ed Sullivan who seemed to have no issue with it. However, on the day of the show during the dress rehearsal, an executive from the CBS Standards and Practices department decided Dylan could not perform the song due to its controversial nature.  When the show’s producer, Bob Precht, informed Dylan of the decision, Dylan responded saying, “No; this is what I want to do. If I can’t play my song, I’d rather not appear on the show.”  Rather than choose a new song to perform or change the lyrics (as the Rolling Stones and the Doors on Ed Sullivan would agree to do), a young Bob Dylan walked off the set of the country’s highest-rated variety show.

The story got widespread media attention in the days that followed helping to establish Dylan’s public reputation as an uncompromising artist. The publicity Bob Dylan received from this event probably did more for his career than the actual Ed Sullivan Show performance would have. Unfortunately, this leaves us with no performance footage of Bob Dylan on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Here’s a live version of “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues,” which Dylan introduces by saying, “And, there ain’t nothing wrong with this song.”

No wonder they didn’t want the song performed on the show. In 1963 “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” would have still been politically explosive. However, Ed Sullivan was a known control freak, who had his fingers in every aspect of his show. It’s hard to believe he wasn’t part of this decision, if not the instigator. An alternative theory is that Sullivan found the song a bit too far for his family audience, but wanted to come off as Mr. Nice Guy, so he told Bob Precht to deliver the bad news to Dylan. Blaming the CBS Standards and Practices office was probably just Standard Operating Procedure at the time.

Regardless of who made the decision, it resulted in Dylan’s “boot heels to be wandering.”



A Musical Appreciation ► Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins

DATELINE January 10, 1935 – Ronald “Rompin’ Ronnie” Hawkins is born in Huntsville, Arkansas, just two days after Elvis Presley is born in Tupelo, Mississippi. Both carved out quite a niche in Rock and Roll, but Elvis’ story is better known. That’s a shame.

Ronnie Hawkins started his first band when he was studying Phys Ed at the University of Arkansas. Called The Hawks, it toured throughout several southern states. On the advice of Conway Twitty, who was one of the up and coming Rock and Rollers who played at a club Hawkins owned in Fayetteville, he began playing in Canada in 1958. The first place he played in Canada was the last place I lived in Canada: Hamilton, Ontario. Apparently he was a huge hit at the Golden Rail, near the corner of King and John Streets. It was this initial success that prompted Hawkins to move to Canada.

The Hawks were less thrilled with Canada and they all quit and went back to ‘Merka, except for Levon Helm, the good ol’ boy drummer. Ronnie Hawkins was forced to recruit a new set of Hawks. He found some good ol’ Ontario boys in Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson. This version of The Hawks was rehearsed within an inch of their lives by Hawkins, a notorious perfectionist. When, some 5 or 6 years later, this tight group of Hawks up and quit on Hawkins, they changed their name to The Band and worked with some barely known folk singer named Bob Dylan in a barely known town in upper New York named Woodstock.

This is why, in homage to their early mentor, Ronnie Hawkins appeared at The Last Waltz.

When the band called The Hawks quit to become The Band, Hawkins hired a new band, which he called “And Many Others.” When, some 4 years later, Hawkins fired “And Many Others” they took the name Crowbar. This was also in homage to Hawkins who told them as he sacked them, “You guys are so crazy, you could fuck up a crowbar in 3 seconds.”

Crowbar became one of Canada’s best-known bands, who had a huge hit in 1971 with “Oh, What A Feeling.”

John Lennon & friends bundled against the Canadian cold

I wasn’t as lucky as John Lennon, who hung out at Ronnie’s farm signing his Bag One lithographs while planning a peace festival. However, I was still fortunate enough to meet Ronnie Hawkins twice. Both times he had me laughing so hysterically, my sides hurt.

The first was soon after he appeared as a special guest vocalist on a spoken word LP by Xaviera Hollander, still in the flush of success following the publication of The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. Hawkins was helping her promote the GRT release and appeared on my show at Radio Sheridan, the college campus station. During the interview he swore more than I had ever heard anyone swear before, telling one obscene joke after another.

This was only a week after Xaviera Hollander simulated giving me fellatio under the table during her interview about the LP. As Station Manager I was called on the carpet for the “inappropriate” content of the Hollander interview. Now Ronnie Hawkins had me in stitches and he was being far more obscene than Xaviera had been. As I doubled over in side-splitting laughter, I couldn’t help but think the administration was going to revoke our license to operate. Luckily nothing happened. Either the admin didn’t get wind of it, or John Bromley decided we were a lost cause.

The next time I ran into Ronnie Hawkins was more than 15 years later. I was working at Citytv by then and heard a loud voice coming from a room that was normally locked and used for storage. I peeked inside and Ronnie Hawkins was pacing the room all by himself, rehearsing some words that he was expected to tape for MUCHMusic, which was broadcast out of the same building. He noticed me in the doorway and stopped, so I reintroduced myself to him and reminded him of the interview and how much I feared being called up in front of the administration for it, but it would have been worth it.

While not acknowledging whether he remembered me or not, he started off on a series of obscene one-liners that didn’t stop until he was fetched 15 minutes later for his close-up.

There are two stories I’ve heard about Ronnie Hawkins and I pray to the Flying Spaghetti Monster neither of them are apocryphal:

After Ronnie Hawkins had his first brush with fame, he decided he deserved a Rolls Royce. He went to the Rolls Royce dealer on Bay Street in Toronto looking like a Hippie and the saleman treated him like something that had stuck to the bottom of his shoe. He wouldn’t even let Hawkins have a test drive. Imagine that! Hawkins left and came back a short time later. He slapped — in cash — the asking price of a Rolls Royce on the hood of one and drove it out of the showroom.

The second story is from when Hawkins was hiring the [not yet] The Band to be The [replacement] Hawks. As incentive he apparently said, “Sign up with me boys and you’ll get more pussy than Frank Sinatra.”

Happy Birthday, Ronnie Hawkins!!!

Here’s a Ronnie Hawkins documentary for those who want to know more:

Happy Birthday Lenny Bruce

Dateline October 13, 1925 – Leonard Alfred Schneider is born in Mineola, New York. By the time Lenny Bruce died in 1966 he had changed the face of comedy forever. However, more importantly, he changed the face of The First Amendment and Free Speech forever.

“I rode with him in a taxi once,only for a mile and a half. Seemed like it took a couple of months”

– Bob Dylan about Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce had many run-ins with the authorities over obscenity in his night club act. According to the WikiWackyWoo:

 On October 4, 1961, Bruce was arrested for obscenity at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco; he had used the word cocksucker and riffed that “to is a preposition, come is a verb”, that the sexual context of come is so common that it bears no weight, and that if someone hearing it becomes upset, he “probably can’t come”. Although the jury acquitted him, other law enforcement agencies began monitoring his appearances, resulting in frequent arrests under charges of obscenity.

Bruce was arrested again in 1961, in Philadelphia, for drug possession the same year, and again in Los Angeles, California, two years later. The Los Angeles arrest took place in then-unincorporated West Hollywood, and the arresting officer was a young deputy named Sherman Block, who would later become County Sheriff. The specification this time was that the comedian had used the word schmuck, an insulting Yiddish term that is an obscene term for penis.[citation needed]

In April 1964, he appeared twice at the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich Village, with undercover police detectives in the audience. On both occasions, he was arrested after leaving the stage, the complaints again pertaining to his use of various obscenities.

A three-judge panel presided over his widely publicized six-month trial, prosecuted by Asst. Manhattan D.A. Richard Kuh, with Bruce and club owner Howard Solomon both found guilty of obscenity on November 4, 1964. The conviction was announced despite positive testimony and petitions of support from – among other artists, writers and educators – Woody Allen, Bob Dylan, Jules Feiffer, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, William Styron, and James Baldwin, and Manhattan journalist and television personality Dorothy Kilgallen and sociologist Herbert Gans. Bruce was sentenced, on December 21, 1964, to four months in a workhouse; he was set free on bail during the appeals process and died before the appeal was decided. Solomon later saw his conviction overturned; Bruce, who died before the decision, never had his conviction stricken. Bruce later received a full posthumous gubernatorial pardon.

“Lenny Bruce died from an overdose of police”
– Phil Spector

 Much of what Lenny Bruce said is as true today as it was when it came out of his mouth:

Take away the right to say “fuck” and you take away the right to say “fuck the government.”

The only truly anonymous donor is the guy who knocks up your daughter.

If something about the human body disgusts you complain to the manufacturer.

The kind of sickness I wish Time had written about, is that school teachers in Oklahoma get a top annual salary of $4000, while Sammy Davis, Jr. gets $10,000 a week in Vegas.

All my humor is based upon destruction and despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease and violence, I’d be standing on the breadline right in back of J. Edgar Hoover.

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God. 

 A Jew, in the dictionary, is one who is descended from the ancient tribes of Judea, or one who is regarded as a descendant from that tribe. That’s what it says in the dictionary, but you and I know what a Jew is: One Who Killed Our Lord… there should be a statute of limitations for that crime.

The liberals can understand everything but people who don’t understand them.

Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it.

If you’re from New York and you’re Catholic, you’re still Jewish. If you’re from Butte Montana and you’re Jewish, you’re still goyisch. The Air Force is Jewish, the Marine Corps dangerous goyisch. Rye Bread is Jewish, instant potatoes, scary goyisch. Eddie Cantor is goyisch, George Jessel is goyisch-Coleman Hawkins is Jewish.

“Bruce stands up against all limitations on the flesh and spirit, and someday they are going to crush him for it.”
– The New York Post

Some of what Lenny Bruce said is just outright funny:

I won’t say ours was a tough school, but we had our own coroner. We used to write essays like: What I’m going to be if I grow up.

Some of what Lenny Bruce said is just poignant:

I’ll die young, but it’s like kissing God.

This is one of Lenny Bruce’s most famous routines:

“But like all the truly important people in the world, he’s dead but he”ll live on.”
– Ralph J. Gleason

I first learned to love Lenny Bruce when Frank Zappa released The Berkeley Concert on his Straight label. It’s still worth a listen:

Lenny Bruce had a life worth exploring. If you are unfamiliar with his life and troubles with the law, this is a good place to start.