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Archive of previous FEATURE items

2000 Feature Archive 2001 Feature Archive 2002 Feature Archive 2003 Feature Archive 2004 Feature Archive 2005 Feature Archive 2006 Feature Archive
January 2003......Marva Wright   •   Marva
February 2003......Artist Spotlight:  Joe Cocker
March 2003......You never thought you'd hear Dylan with an Irish accent, did you?
April 2003......Universal Soldiers  -  songs of  peace and protest
May 2003......Pete Drake   •   Pete Drake
June 2003......Steve Gibbons:  Before The Dylan Project
July 2003......Maxine Weldon   •  Right On
August 2003......Bob Does Dixie ~ Dixie Does Bob
September 2003......Artist Spotlight:  Julie Felix
October 2003......The Mike Leander Orchestra   •  The Folk Hits
November 2003......Folk City Citizens   •  Live! Folk City
December 2003......Church & School Group Albums

January, 2003 Marva Wright   •   Marva
CD (Australia) AIM  5010 CD,  Australia, 2000
Dylan covers: Gotta Serve Somebody (as Serve Somebody)  and  Knocking On Heaven's Door.
This CD may have been released by an Australian label, but it's pure New Orleans blues & soul, with songs by Dr. John, Huey "Piano" Smith and other New Orleans notables.  Marva began singing professionally in 1987, and is known as the Blues Queen in New Orleans.  The Dylan covers are back-to-back at #10 & 11.  Also covered is Robbie Robertson's The Weight.  The album, sometimes called “Let Them Talk,” was recorded in New Orleans between November 1999 and October 2000, and released by AIM in November 2000.
....amazon.co.uk........amazon.de....audio samples available at amazon.de

February, 2003 Artist Spotlight:  Joe Cocker     CLICK HERE FOR DYLAN COVERS COLLECTOR'S GUIDE TO JOE COCKER
I've always thought Joe Cocker's Dylan covers were among the best, his gravely vocals well suited for Bob's songs.  His first recordings were in 1964, fronting the band Vance Arnold & The Avengers, doing mostly Beatles and R&B covers.  It wasn't until 5 years later that his first solo album, “With A Little Help From My Friends”  was released.  On that first album Joe performed two Dylan covers, I Shall Be Released  and Just Like A Woman.  Later in the year the LP “Joe Cocker!” included  Dear Landlord.  Cocker's appearance at the original Woodstock festival is a highlight of his career,  and his performance of I Shall Be Released at the 1969 festival was finally released on the various artist CD “Woodstock Diary” in 1994.  In 1970 the live album “Live In L.A.” (which was not released in the U.S.) included a live version of Dear Landlord.  Also in 1970, another live album “Mad Dogs & Englishmen,” a document of Joe's tour with Leon Russell includes Joe & Leon singing a duet of Bob's Girl From The North Country.  Six years passed before Joe again covered Dylan, but he made up for the gap with two covers on “Stingray,” CatfishandThe Man In Me.  1978's “Luxury You Can Afford” featured Watching The River Flow.  Into the '80s,  and Joe chose the then unreleased Seven Days for his 1982 album “Sheffield Steel.”  A long break from Dylan covers ended with the 1996 album “Organic” which includes a great version of Dignity.  Joe's 1995 career retrospective (a.k.a. box-set) “The Long Voyage Home,”  includes previously unreleased live versions of I Shall Be Released, recorded at the Fillmore West, and Dear Landlord from Cobo Hall in Detroit ca. 1969.  Also on the 4-disc set are the regular album versions of Just Like A Woman and Catfish.  Previously, Joe Cocker has been represented at DYLAN COVER ALBUMS only by his inclusion on several various-artist collections,  see the ARTIST LIST.  (Note: this Artist Spotlight list is limited to official, major label albums.)

I Shall Be Released  •  Just Like A Woman  •  Dear Landlord  •  I Shall Be Released (Live, Woodstock)  •  Dear Landlord (Live, L.A.)  •  Girl From The North Country (Live)  •  Catfish  •  The Man In Me  •  Watching The River Flow  •  Seven Days  • Dignity  •  I Shall Be Released (Live, S.F.)  •  Dear Landlord (Live, Detroit)

March, 2003 You never thought you'd hear Dylan with an Irish accent, did you?
This month's feature was an overview of Dylan covers by Irish artists.  The page has been preserved HERE

April, 2003 ... Universal Soldiers  -  songs of peace and protest
3xCD (UK) (3-CD, Dressed To Kill  REDTK112,  1999,  UK)
This 40-track, 3-CD box from England presents a mix of pre-existing tracks and new recordings.  Although information about the individual songs is sparse,  I believe 3 of the 4 Dylan covers were recorded for this project.  Contributing artists range from the well-known to the unknown (at least here in the US.)  Use the  amazon  links for a full tracklist.  Some of the tracks have reappeared on other similarly themed collections.
The Times They Are A Changin'.....-- Richie Havens (from his 1994 CD “Cuts To The Chase”)
I Shall Be Released.....--- Beverley Sister
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall.....-- Arthur Brown
Blowin' In The Wind.....-- Vera Haime

May, 2003 ... Pete Drake   •   Pete Drake
US CD (CD: First Generation / Pete Drake Productions  FGCD 107,  1996,  US)
Pete Drake was known as "The King of The Talking Steel Guitar."  At one point his playing was featured on 59 of the top 75 songs on Billboard's Top Country Hits.  According to the liner notes of this CD, he had worked on this project for 20 years before his death in 1988.  He was never satisfied that it was finished, and it remained unreleased until 1996.  It could have been titled "Pete Drake Plays Dylan, The Beatles & Pete Drake"...  besides the 3 Dylan covers (see below,) there are 3 Lennon & McCartney (Hey Jude, Yesterday, Get Back) and 3 George Harrison (Something, Isn't It A Pity, Behind That Locked Door) covers plus 3 originals (Funny Bone, Pleading, Talking Steel Guitar.) 
Drake's steel guitar can be heard on Bob's “Nashville Skyline,” “John Wesley Harding” & “Self Portrait.” He also produced Ringo Starr's “Beaucoups of Blues” album.  There were false rumors that various Beatles and Bob had guested on these recordings.
The tracks are mostly instrumental with some vocal accents.
Lay Lady Lay  •  The Mighty Quinn  •  Country Pie

Available from:........amazon.co.uk........amazon.de

June, 2003 ...Steve Gibbons:  Before The Dylan Project
Before Steve Gibbons assembled THE DYLAN PROJECT in 1998,  he had already recorded several Dylan covers.
The live album “On The Loose” was recorded at The Dublin Castle, Camden Town, London.  Unfortunately no recording date is given.  The CD (Magnum Force CDMF 041) was published in 1991,  but vinyl versions have been available since at least 1986.  The Steve Gibbons Band included
To Be Alone With You  and Like A Rolling Stone  in their set. 
In 1993 Linn Records (AKD019)  released Steve Gibbons Band's “Birmingham To Memphis,” with it's cover of  Sweetheart Like You.  The Dylan Project performed both  Like A Rolling Stone  and Sweetheart Like You  on their live CD  LIVE AT CROPREDY FESTIVAL 1999.
Steve's very first album, “Short Stories,” a solo venture from 1971 was released on the small Wizard label and has become very collectable, and had never been reissued in any format.  His 1996 solo album “Stained Glass” has a similar story,  it was only available at gigs and never saw wide distribution.  Amazingly the 2 albums, separated by 25 years, have the same song as track #3, the Gibbons/Burton composition  The Last Farewell!
In 2002 Road Goes On Forever, the UK label that has reissued several of Steve Gibbons' albums, packaged the 2 solo albums together on a double CD (RGF/SGDCD 048) with several non-Dylan bonus tracks each.  There were no Dylan covers on the 1971 effort,  but “Stained Glass” offers 
You're A Big Girl Now  and Man In The Long Black Coat .

July, 2003 ... Maxine Weldon   •   Right On
US CD (LP: Mainstream  MRL 319,  1970 - U.S.)
Maxine Weldon is a versatile singer whose style blends jazz, blues & soul.  This, her debut album, leans towards soul.  As you can probably tell from the cover photo, Maxine is no quiet ballad singer...  the brass-driven choruses of...It Ain't Me Babe...and...Like A Rolling Stone...build to crescendos that will “shake your windows and rattle your walls”!
The album was produced by legendary producer Bob Shad for his Mainstream label.  Shad started his production career in the '40s,  and he produced many major jazz, blues, pop, rock and R&B artists.  He founded the Sittin' In With label in 1948 and Mainstream in the '60s.  He was producer for the debuts of Ted Nugent and Janis Joplin.
Three years later Maxine had switched to Columbia, where she released another Dylan cover on the single Looking For The Answer  b/w  Maggie's Farm.  Piano replaces the brass,  but Maxine still belts it out.  (Columbia  4-45803,  1973 - U.S.)
Maxine released a few more albums in the mid-70s, and was still active in the '90s, touring with the European production of the Broadway show Black and Blue from 1995-97.
Search for Maxine Weldon records at:  GEMM

August, 2003 ...Bob Does Dixie ~ Dixie Does Bob
On the Masked and Anonymous soundtrack  Bob Dylan performs the American traditional song Dixie.  During the folk boom of the early '60s,  Dixie often did Bob.  Dixieland that is.  The jazz idiom also enjoyed much popularity on college campuses during the same period, so it was natural that the two forms of folk & dixieland would be melded together, most famously by The Village Stompers.  Their 1964 album "Washington Square" yielded a big hit for them in the title track, but also contained a cover of  Blowin' In The Wind.  It was a true combination of the styles, as the track starts as a typical folkie instrumental cover, and then breaks into a dixieland romp.  The group also covered Don't Think Twice, It's All Right on "More Sounds of Washington Square" later in the year, and Mr. Tambourine Man on their 1965 album, "Some Folk, a Bit of Country and a Whole Lot of Dixie."  Spike Jones of course was well known for his musical comedy act as far back as the 1930s.  The New Band of Spike Jones was an early 60s try at playing straight dixieland jazz.  Jones also included Blowin' In The Wind, with less of the folk influence of the Village Stompers' version.   Bill Justis was best known for his instrumental hits Raunchy and College Man, and a string of "instrumental hits" albums, but on his 1964 "Dixieland Folkstyle" album he added a vocal chorus, making his version of Blowin' In The Wind the only vocal in this group.
WASHINGTON SQUARE - The Village Stompers - Epic BN 26078 / LN 24078
MORE SOUNDS OF WASHINGTON SQUARE - The Village Stompers - Epic BN 26090 / LN 24090
Epic BN 26161 / LN 24161
WASHINGTON SQUARE - The New Band of Spike Jones - Liberty LST-7338 / LRP-3338
DIXIELAND FOLKSTYLE - Bill Justis Dixieland Band & Chorus - Smash SRS 67047 / MGS 27047
The Village Stompers' Washington Square + More Sounds of Washington Square are available on 1-CD:

• • •
Search for these records at: GEMM

American-born Julie Felix settled in England after hitchhiking through Europe in the early sixties,  and became a major folk star in Britain.  By 1967 she was a regular on David Frost's television show, and a year later was host of her own variety show that featured many of the major music performers of the time.  She has released many albums for a variety of labels since 1964, many of which include Dylan covers, usually in pairs.
Her first album, "Julie Felix" included Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right  and Masters Of War, both were also included on the EP  Julie Felix Sings Bob Dylan & Woody Guthrie.  Her 1966 second album, simply titled "The Second Album," is a rarity in that it only has one Dylan cover,  When The Ship Comes In.  "Changes" came later in the year, with  One Too Many Mornings  and Love Minus Zero/No Limit.  "Flowers" was released a year later, with the Dylan pair  Chimes of Freedom  and  Gates Of Eden.  This World Goes Round & Round  included  This Wheel’s On Fire  and Fare Thee Well, also in 1967.  The next Julie Felix album to feature Dylan songs was 1974's "Lightning," with Father Of Night  and  I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine.  An abridged form of St. Augustine was also released as a single.  In the early '80s, Julie recorded a pair of albums in Sweden, with a pair of Dylan covers each:  Man Gave Names To All The Animals  and  the rarely covered  We Better Talk This Over  on "Colours In The Rain" (1980)  and  Blowin’ In The Wind  paired with Mr. Tambourine Man  on 1982's Blowin’ In The Wind.  The two Swedish albums have been reissued on the CD "El Condor Pasa," and "Blowin' In The Wind" has also been reissued alone on the retitled and abridged CD "Scarborough Fair."   Fast forward to 1998, and Julie again presents a pair of Dylan covers on the live CD "Live From The QEH Birthday Concert": The Times They Are A-Changin’  and  A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.

The "Julie Felix sings Bob Dylan" story concludes with 2002's Starry Eyed and Laughing... Songs by Bob Dylan, a double-CD of new recordings.   Click on the title for a track listing.

For the most part, the Julie Felix back catalog has not been reissued on CD.
Check  amazon.co.uk  for availability.

Some of her later CDs are available at: JULIEFELIX.COM

Search for Julie Felix records at: GEMM


October, 2003 ... The Mike Leander Orchestra   •   The Folk Hits
US CD Mike Leander was a producer, arranger and songwriter for Decca in England during the 60s.  He worked on Marianne Faithfull's early records, produced Joe Cocker's first single in 1964, and co-wrote some of Peter & Gordon's hits.  He also arranged The Rolling Stones'  As Tears Go By, after having worked on Faithfull's version.  His own version is included on this LP.  Later he was instrumental in the career of Gary Glitter.
This 1965 instrumental album (save a few chorale accents) featured three Dylan covers - surprisingly not including the ubiquitous Blowin' In The Wind.   Shown is the U.S. LP on the London label  (Stereo PS 453 / Mono LL 3453).

Mr. Tambourine Man,  It Ain't Me Babe  and The Times They Are A-Changin' .

Search for The Mike Leander Orchestra at:  GEMM

November, 2003 ... Folk City Citizens   •   Live! Folk City
US CD (Compose  S98020, US - 1968)
I found this LP just after seeing the DVD of the folk-music parody “A Mighty Wind.”  When I first heard the ending of Folk City Citizens' version of  .Don't Think Twice,  it sounded to me like it could have been an outtake from the movie, or an inspiration for it.  The album also includes a more typical, banjo & chorale performance of...Blowin' In The Wind.   This "Super Long Play" LP, with it's "over one hour of music" and the resulting loss of fidelity, was issued by Compose Records of New Jersey ca. 1968.  It claims to be an authentic recording live from the legendary Folk City club in Greenwich Village.  All that is said of the performers is that they are "six young people with a fresh style and rhythm who play and sing popular favorites as well as a few "sure to be" smashes of their own."  Wha’ happ’ned?!

Order "A Mighty Wind" DVD:....amazon.com...or...amazon.ca

Search for Folk City Citizens at:  GEMM

December, 2003 ...Church & School Group Albums
Here are some obscure Dylan covers.  These albums - and I am sure many more of their type - were produced by church or school groups, usually for fund raising or commemorative purposes.  They were never intended for wide distribution, and probably would never have travelled very from from their origins, before the advent of the internet.  No obscure Dylan songs can be found in these types of albums, and usually no great performances.

• The Geneva Avenue United Methodist Church is in San Francisco, CA.  This 1974 album by a mixed choir was issued to commemorate the congregation's 50th anniversary.  Blowin' In The Wind...is the Dylan cover.

• The Celebration Singers were comprised of high school and college youth from the Fort Worth, Texas area, and were sponsored by a local Church association.  Proceeds from the album were to be used to build a new Church center.  Blowin' In The Wind, again.  Year unknown.

• The Passports and The Tabooz were two choral groups from Bradford Junior College, west of Boston, Massachusetts.  The now defunct college later became co-ed, but in 1966 when this album was recorded it was an all girls school.  Each side of the album featured one of the groups, and The Passports included...The Times They Are A-Changin'...in their set.

• “Peace-Poverty-Race” was recorded by The Young People of Our Lady of Snows Church in Floral Park, New York, featuring music from their Christmas Eve Mass and their weekly Folk Masses.  You might not consider this renditon of  Blowin' In The Wind..aas a cover, since it has new overtly religious lyrics set to the familiar tune.  Year unknown, but sometime during the Vietnam War era.

Search for these albums at: GEMM

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