11th March 1962 – Bob Dylan ‎– Folksinger’s Choice (Live Radio Performance With Cynthia Gooding)

11th March 1962 - Bob Dylan ‎– Folksinger's Choice (Live Radio Performance With Cynthia Gooding)

Bob Dylan
Cynthia Gooding Interview
New York, WBAI – FM Radio
March 11, 1962

From the studios of the New York Radio Station WBAI -FM for the Folksingers Choice program. The interviewer and regular program presenter was Cynthia Gooding (CG). There is confusion about the exact date of the recording and even over whether the programme was eventually broadcast. What we actually hear is the unedited version of the studio session. Dylan and Gooding chat between each of the 11 songs, a duration of around one hour. Dylan continues to expound his ‘alternative biography’ and his tall stories have become quite stereotyped. Gooding is a receptive listener and there’s an obvious magic between the two. She had met Dylan on a number of occasions previously, going back to 1959 when they both attended a party after one of her concerts. Apparently Dylan sang to her and she was much impressed. Later, when she saw Dylan perforning at the Folk City in New York, she commented.

” People listen … he talks and he laughs and just when they are about to catch him in a lie, he takes out his harmonica and blows them down.”

Was she fully aware of Bob's penchant for tall stories when she interviewed him?

Transcribed from tape source.

Track 1: Lonesome Whistle Blues

CG: That was Bob Dylan. Just one man doing all that. Playing the … er … mouth harp and guitar because, well, when you do this you have to wear a little sort of, what another person might call a necklace.

BD: Yeah !

CG: And then it’s got joints so that you can bring the mouth harp up to where you can reach it. To play it. Bob Dylan is, well, you must be twenty years old now aren’t you?

BD: Yeah. I must be twenty. (laughs)

CG: (laughs) Are you?

BD: Yeah. I’m twenty, I’m twenty.

CG: When I first heard Bob Dylan it was, I think, about three years ago in Minneapolis, and at that time you were thinking of being a rock and roll singer weren’t you?

BD: Well at that time I was just sort of doin’ nothin’. I was there.

CG: Well, you were studying.

BD: I was working, I guess. l was making pretend I was going to school out there. I’d just come there from south Dakota. That was about three years ago?

CG: Yeah.?

BD: Yeah, I’d come there from Sioux Falls. That was only about the place you didn’t have to go too far to find the Mississippi River. It runs right through the town you know. (laughs).

CG: You’ve been singing … you’ve sung now at Gerdes here in town and have you sung at any of the coffee houses?

BD: Yeah, I’ve sung at the Gaslight. That was a long time ago though. I used to play down in the Wha too. You ever know where that place is?

CG: Yeah, I didn’t know you sung there though.

BD: Yeah, I sung down there during the afternoons. I played my harmonica for this guy there who was singing. He used to give me a dollar to play every day with him, from 2 o’clock in the afternoon until 8.30 at night. He gave me a dollar plus a cheese burger.

CG: Wow, a thin one or a thick one?

BD: I couldn’t much tell in those days.

CG: Well, whatever got you off rock ‘n roll and on to folk music?

BD: Well, I never really got onto this, they were just sort of, I dunno, I wasn’t calling it anything then you know, I wasn’t really singing rock ‘n roll, I was singing Muddy Waters songs and I was writing songs, and I was singing Woody Guthrie songs and also I sung Hank Williams songs and Johnny Cash, I think.

CG: Yeah, I think the ones that I heard were a couple of the Johnny Cash songs.

BD: Yeah, this one I just sang for you is Hank Williams.

CG: It’s a nice song too.

BD: Lonesome Whistle.

CG: Heartbreaking.

BD: Yeah.

CG: And you’ve been writing songs as long as you’ve been singing.

BD: Well no, Yeah. Actually, I guess you could say that. Are these, ah, these are French ones, yeah?

CG: No, they are healthy cigarettes. They’re healthy because they’ve got a long filter and no tobacco.

BD: That’s the kind I need.

CG: And now you’re doing a record for Columbia?

BD: Yeah, I made it already. It’s coming out next month. Or not next month, yeah, it’s coming out in March.

CG: And what’s it going to be called?

BD: Ah, Bob Dylan, I think.

CG: That’s a novel title for a record.

BD: Yeah, it’s really strange.

CG: Yeah and hmm this is one of the quickest rises in folk music wouldn’t you say?

BD: Yeah, but I really don’t think to myself as, a you know, a folk singer, er folk singer thing, er, because I don’t really much play across the country, in any of these places, you know? I’m not on a circuit or anything like that like those other folk singers so ah, I play once in a while you know. But I dunno’ I like more than just folk music too and I sing more than just folk music. I mean as such, a lot of people they’re just folk music, folk music, folk music you know. I like folk music like Hobart Smith stuff an all that but I don’t sing much of that and when I do it’s probably a modified version of something. Not a modified version, I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just there’s more to it, I think. Old time jazz things you know. Jelly Roll Morton, you know, stuff like that.

CG: Well, what I would like is for you to sing some songs, you know, from different parts of your short history. Short because you’re only 20 now.

BD: Yeah, OK. Let’s see. I’m looking for one.

CG: He has the, I gather, a small part of his repertoire, pasted to his guitar.

BD: Yeah. Well, this is you know actually, I don’t even know some of these songs, this list I put on ‘cos other people got it on, you know, and I copied the best songs I could find down here from all these guitar players list. So I don’t know a lot of these, you know. It gives me something to do though on stage.

CG: Yeah, like something to look at.

BD: Yeah. I’ll sing you, oh, you wanna hear a blues song?

CG: Sure.

BD: This one’s called Fixin’ To Die.


Read More at:









A1(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle
A2Conversation Pt.1
A3Fixin’ To Die
A4Conversation Pt. 2
A5Smokestack Lightning
B1Conversation Pt. 3
B2Hard Travelin’
B3Conversation Pt. 4
B4The Death Of Emmett Till
B5Conversation Pt. 5
B6Standing On The Highway
C1Conversation Pt. 6
C2Roll On, John
C3Conversation Pt. 7
C4Stealin’, Stealin’
C5Conversation Pt. 8
D1Makes A Long Time Man Feel Bad
D2Conversation Pt. 9
D3Baby Please Don’t Go
D4Conversation Pt. 10
D5Hard Times In New York Town

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