Young But Daily Growing

Bob Dylan 1956-1960




Olof Björner


A summary of recording & concert activities,

releases, tapes & books.



Beskrivning: Beskrivning: bobmin60s



© 2001 by Olof Björner

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2      CALENDAR.. 3

3      RECORDINGS. 3

4      SONGS 1960. 4

5      SOURCES. 4


6.1        General background.. 4

6.2        Article compilations. 5

6.3        Selected articles. 5



1             INTRODUCTION

These are the first years from which we have Bob Dylan recordings. The first recording from 1958 is no more than two school kids playing around with a tape recorder, but interesting nevertheless. The second recording is questionable and reveals a singer with a voice very much unlike the one we hear just a couple of months later. 1960 was spent mostly in St Paul, rehearsing, as it were, for Greenwich Village.


2             CALENDAR

24 December 1956

Robert Zimmerman, Howard Rutman & Larry Kegan records eight songs at Terlinde Music in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Robert Zimmerman and John Bucklen make a number of home tapes where they talk and sing. Fragment of one of these tapes were included in the BBC documentary about Highway 61.

10 January 1959

Robert Zimmerman performs at the dance following the Hibbing International Falls basketball game.

May 1959

Robert Zimmerman is recorded in Ric Kangas’ home in Hibbing, Minnesota.

January 1960

Dylan starts to perform at the Purple Onion Pizza Parlour in St Paul, Minnesota.


Dylan performs regularly with "Spider" John Koerner at the Ten O'Clock Scholar, singing songs like They Called The Wind Maria.


A recording is made in Karen Wallace's apartment in St Paul. The tape contains 27 songs and shows a singer with a country voice a la Hank Williams rather than the later nasal Woody Guthrie impersonation. There are however different opinions about the genuineness of this tape. Michael Krogsgaard omits it in his "Master of the Tracks". Clinton Heylin and Glen Dundas accept it as a Dylan recording.


Dylan appears regularly on the Purple Onion and The Bastille in St Paul, singing songs like Go Down You Murderers, Sinner Man, House Of The Risin' Sun and Man Of Constant Sorrow. His first compositions are written including One Eyed Jacks and Greyhound Blues.


Dylan plays piano in a strip-joint called "The Gilded Garter" in Central City, Colorado. He hangs out at the Denver coffee house "The Exodus", where he first meets Jesse Fuller.

Early September

Dylan reads "Bound For Glory" by Woody Guthrie.


First undisputed and circulating Dylan performance, besides the 1958 home taping, is taped in Dylan's apartment on 15th Avenue South in Minneapolis, a place he shared with High Brown. The Guthrie influence is already very notable.


Dylan continues to perform at The Purple Onion and The Bastille in St Paul.


Dylan leaves St Paul and Minneapolis and goes to Chicago, playing in coffee houses and at student parties. He is now performing almost only Woody Guthrie songs.



3             RECORDINGS

1958              Bob Dylan’s Home in Hibbing Minnesota

May              The apartment of Karen Wallace, St Paul Minnesota. "The St Paul tape"

September    Most probably Dylan's apartment on 15th Avenue South, Minneapolis.
"Minnesota Party Tape"

For details about these tapes please refer to the corresponding session pages in Still On The Road.


4             SONGS 1960

Blackjack Blues 

Rumoured composition.

Everytime I Hear The Spirit 

Rumoured composition.

Greyhound Blues 

Rumoured composition.

Hey, Little Richard

Appears on the 1958 home tape with John Bucklen.

One Eyed Jacks 

Appears on the St Paul tape from May. Clinton Heylin takes this as evidence for the tape's authenticity. Ten lines from the lyrics are reprinted in Shelton's book, page 54, with Dylan's permission.

Talkin' Hugh Brown 

Appears on the Minnesota Party Tape.



5             SOURCES


Tim Dunn

I Just Write 'Em As They Come.
Annotated Guide to the Writings of Bob Dylan

A Not-A-Ces Publishing Venture 1990.

Glen Dundas

Tangled Up In Tapes — 4th Edition

A Recording History of Bob Dylan

SMA Services, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada 1999. Softcover 334 pages.

Clinton Heylin

A Life In Stolen Moments.

Bob Dylan Day By Day 1941-1995.

Schirmer Books 1996, 404 pages.

Clinton Heylin

Bob Dylan, The Recording Sessions 1960-1994

St. Martin's Press, 1995, 233 pages.

Michael Krogsgaard

Positively Bob Dylan
A Thirty-Year Discography, Concert & Record Session Guide 1960-1991.
Popular Culture, Ink. 1991. 500 pages



6.1       General background

Michael Gray

Song & Dance Man III. The Art Of Bob Dylan

Cassell 1999. Hardback 918 pages (!!)

Clinton Heylin

Behind The Shades. A Biography.

Summit Books 1991, 500 pages.

Daniel Kramer

Bob Dylan. Citadel Press (hardback) or Pocket Books. Great photo book from 1964-1965.

Anthony Scaduto

Bob Dylan. An intimate biography. New American Library 1973

Eric von Schmidt,  Jim Rooney

Baby, Let Me Follow You Down. The Illustrated Story of the Cambridge Folk Years. Anchor Books 1979.

Robert Shelton

No Direction Home. The Life and Music of Bob Dylan. New American Library 1986.

Howard Sounes

Down The Highway. The Life Of Bob Dylan. Groove Press 2001.

6.2       Article compilations

Carl Benson (ed)

The Bob Dylan Companion — Four Decades of Commentary.

Schirmer Books, New York 1998. Softcover 306 pages.

Craig McGregor (ed)

Bob Dylan. A Retrospective.

William Morrow 1972

Elizabeth M. Thomson (ed)

Conclusions On The Wall. New Essays On Bob Dylan.

Thin Man 1980

6.3       Selected articles

If You Can Tell A Bigger Lie - On The 1960 St Paul Tape - article by Paul Loeber in Fourth Time Around #1 (1982).

The Continuing Story Of The St Paul 1960 Tape  -article by Gavin Diddle in Fourth Time Around $2 (1983).

A Conversation with Tony Glover – by Glen Dundas, On The Tracks #2 (Fall/Winter 1993)

Bill Marinac Interview – by Laurie McCuistion, On The Tracks #8 (Fall 1996)

Bob Dylan's Boyhood Homes in Duluth and Hibbing – The Telegraph 41 (Winter 1991)

Clinton Heylin on The May 1960 St Paul Tape – The Telegraph 40 (Autumn 1991)

David Moton Interview – by Lynda Knudsen, On The Tracks #16 (Spring 1999)

John Bucklen Interview – by Dave Engel, On The Tracks #8 (Fall 1996)

My Friend Bob – John Bucklen, The Telegraph 56 (Winter 1997)

The Wanted Man Interview: Jaharana Romney (aka Bonnie Beecher, the Girl From The North Country) – The Telegraph #36