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November 4 – 1961 – Bob Dylan – Carnegie Chapter Hall (His First New York Concert)

November 4 - 1961 - Bob Dylan - Carnegie Chapter Hall (His First New York Concert)

This concert took place in the “small” Carnegie Hall in November 1961. This hall is really nothing more than an annex to the bigger, more prestigious Carnegie Hall. The crowd was supposed to have been pretty small for this early concert, but they seem very enthusiastic. Dylan himself seems very friendly and talkative, if a little nervous, and seems to be attempting to hone his stage craft a little bit. His stage patter is amusing and self-effacing. For instance he talks about the set list taped on his guitar and says he looked at other set lists on other singers’ guitars and copied down some of those songs, and so some of them he doesn’t know too well. In fact he does all of these songs very well and it’s easy to see why he attracted so much attention in his early years.

November 4 - 1961 - Bob Dylan


  • Pretty Peggy-O
  • In The Pines
  • Gospel Plow
  • 1913 Massacre
  • Backwater Blues
  • A Long Time A-Growin’
  • Fixin’ To Die


Pretty Peggy-O

Backwater Blues

1913 Massacre


Bob Dylan – Fixin’ To Die 

Bob Dylan – Freight Train Blues


Bob Dylan – Talkin’ New York

Gospel Plow


Bob Dylan – Talkin’ Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues

 I just returned from the wilds of Oregon (more on that in another post)
where "New Morning", "Planet Waves" and the Unplugged Sessions will be
remembered as the "theme" music of the trip, & "One Too Many Mornings" from
"Hard Rain" the theme song.
   Due to time constraints prior to departing, I could'nt post this ten days
ago. Anyway, what follows is the entire contents of the program for BDs first
NYC concert, at Carnegie Chapter Hall on November 4, 1961. The original
program is a 6x9, 4 page foldout w/a great, boyish shot of our man on the
front page above the concert info. Dylan self-penned his biography on the
inside,  and it is uproariously funny. Read on:

  Bob Dylan - Folk Festival

Page 2&3:                    Bob Dylan
         Bob Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1941. He was raised in
Gallup, N.M. and before he came to NY earlier this year, he lived in Iowa,
S. Dakota, N. Dakota and Kansas. He started playing carnivals at the age of
14, accompanying himself on guitar and piano. He picked up the harmonica about
2 years ago.
        The University of Minesota gave him a scholarship. He went there for
some five months, attended some dozen lectures and left. He learned many blues
songs from a Chicago street singer named Arvella Gray. He also met a singer,
Mance Lipscomb, from the Brazos River country of Texas, through a grandson
that sang rock and roll. He listened a lot to Lipscomb. He heard Woody Guthrie's
album "Dust Bowl Ballads" in South Dakota. In fact, Bob Dylan has sung old
jazz songs, sentimental cowboy songs, top 40 Hit Parade stuff. He was always
interested in singers and did'nt know the term "folk music" until he came to
New York.
       "People have to name it something so they call it folkmusic-now very
few people singing that way. Being taken over by people who don't sing that
way. It's all right but don't call it folk music. Stuff I do is nearer to
folkmusic. Now singing old blues and Texas songs. I don't want to make a lot
of money, want to get along...I sing the kind of music I sing... people have
to be ready and have seen me once already. People often say first time that
this isn't folkmusic. My songs are'nt easy to listen to. My favorite singers
areDave Van Ronk, Jack Elliott, Peter Stampfel, Jim Queskin (sic), and Rick
VonSchmidt. I can offer songs to tell something of this America., no foreign
songs - the songs of this land that are'nt offered over Tv and radio and very
few records."




On the evening of November 4, 1961, 10 months after arriving in New York and nine days after signing with Columbia Records, Bob Dylan performed 22 songs at Carnegie Chapter Hall in New York City, an auxiliary practice room to the main, very prestigious central concert hall.

Dylan had been making a reasonable name for himself in the folk community around NYC’s Greenwich Village since his arrival in the city, and had achieved good reviews playing in the area’s coffee bars and folk cellars, most notably from Robert Shelton on the New York Times.


– See more at:


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