The St. Paul tape

May 1960

Gotta Travel On
Doney Gal
I'm A Rovin' Gambler
Go Down You Murderers
Bay Of Mexico
The Two Sisters
Go Way From My Window
This Land Is Your Land
Go Tell It To The Mountain
Fare Thee Well
Pastures Of Plenty
Saro Jane
Take This Hammer
Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
The Great Historical Bum
Mary Ann
Every Night When The Sun Goes In
Sinner Man
Delia's Gone
Wope de Alano
Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet?
Abner Young
500 Miles
Blues Yodel No 8 (Muleskinner Blues)
One Eyed Jacks
Columbus Stockade Blues
Payday At Coal Creek

This tape was recorded in the apartment of Karen Wallace in St. Paul, Minnesota in May of 1960. It used to be a matter of controversy over whether or not this tape was truly a young Bob Dylan, but I believe the matter has finally been settled and the tape has been authenticated. It's easy to see why there was doubt, though, because the singer sounds very little like the Dylan we're familiar with. The singing sounds very affected and (dare I say it?) phoney. Chalk it up to youth and the struggle to find a style, I guess. Still, this tape, or what can be heard of it that is, leaves much to be desired. Most of the songs are just fragments and the sound quality is so abysmal that it's nearly impossible to tell what songs are actually being sung. The number of songs listed above would indicate a much longer tape than its 36 minutes, but that's because, as I say, it's so fragmentary.

A small portion of this tape appears in excellent sound quality on a separately circulating "sampler" tape that Karen Wallace was using as a sales device. According to Clinton Heylin's book, The Recording Sessions, Wallace wanted $10,000 for the original reel tape. There were no buyers and Karen Wallace has since disappeared, along with the tape. It looks like all we have for now is the "armpit" tape. For historical reasons, this is a shame, but for artistic considerations it's no big loss. This tape is only for completists.

More information on this tape from the Bob Dylan Free Tape Library.


  • I Was So Much Younger Then [Dandelion]

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