Bob Dylan – The Roar Of A Wave (Hollow Horn Recording Artist Vol. 2)

The Roar Of A Wave (Hollow Horn Recording Artist Vol. 2)

Disc 1, Saturday Of Folk Music – July 29th, 1961:  Handsome Molly, Naomi Wise, Poor Lazarus, Mean Old Railroad, Acne.  Oscar Brand Folk Song Festival – October 29th, 1961:  Sally Gal, The Girl I Left Behind.  Broadside Show – May, 1962:  Ballad Of Donald White, The Death Of Emmett Till, Blowin’ In The Wind.  Billy Faier Show – October, 1962:  Baby Let Me Follow You Down, Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues, The Death Of Emmett Till, Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor.  Madhouse On Castle St. – January 4th, 1963:  Blowin’ In The Wind, The Swan On The River.  Skip Weshner – February, 1963:  Tomorrow Is A Long Time, Masters Of War, Bob Dylan’s Blues.  Oscar Brand Show – March, 1963:  Girl Of The North Country, Only A Hobo

Disc 2, Folksinger’s Choice – January 11th, 1962:  Lonesome Whistle Blues, Fixin’ To Die, Tell Me Baby, Hard Traveling, The Death Of Emmett Till, Standing On The Highway, Roll On John, Stealin’, Long Time Man Feel Bad, Baby Please Don’t Go, Hard Times In New York Town.  Stud Terkel’s Wax Museum – April 26th, 1963:  Farewell, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Bob Dylan’s Dream, Boots Of Spanish Leather, John Brown, Who Killed Davey Moore?, Blowin’ In The Wind

The Roar Of A Waveis the second volume in Hollow Horn’s Recording Artist series.  The first collected all of the publisher’s demos, and this one documents Bob Dylan’s various radio appearances between 1961 to 1963 in as good as quality possible.  This offers a rare glimpse into the transition from an obscure Midwestern folksinger to the cusp of his stardom and influence on pop music.  The first session on disc one is Dylan’s very first radio appearance.  Seven months after his arrival in New York, he appeared on the Saturday Folk Festival Broadcast on WRVR-FM radio.  This was a twelve hour hootenanny special recorded at Riverside Church in the Harlem section of New York.  The tape is in very good and clear mono and can be found on previous releases such as Alias-The Sideman Story Vol. 1 (Diamonds In Your Ear 38).  The first three songs are traditional folk numbers and afterwards he says, “This is a friend of mine Danny Kalb. He plays the guitar, sings, all that. I’m gonna play the harmonica. Stand aside.”  Kalb sings the vocals on “Mean Old Railroad,” a raunchy blues song.  Dylan shares the vocals with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott on the only original song of the set “Acne.”  This is a goofy do-wop number about losing a date to the prom because of acne.

The nine minute Oscar Brand appearance dates from later in the year, broadcast on WNYC on October 29th, 1961 and can also be found on Hardest To Find (Hard to Find Vol.4) (Treasure/Home Records 187071-3) released in 1996 and on disc four of I Was So Much Younger Then(Dandelion 075/076/077/078) in 2000.  Hollow Horn include the dialogue before the Woody Guthrie song “Sally Girl” where Dylan speaks about growing up in Gallup, New Mexico and traveling with the carnival.  The dialogue before the traditional “The Girl I Left Behind” has been omitted however.  This is followed by a fifteen minute session for “Broadside Show” on WBAI, the Pacifica station in New York.  Previous CD releases include Broadside (Gunsmoke Records GSR2) in 1995 and All Hallows Eve & More (Midnight Beat 079/080) paired with the October 31, 1964 show at the Philharmonic in 1996.  “The Ballad Of Donald White” and “Blowin’ In The Wind” were released on the vinyl Broadside Reunion (Folkways FR 5315) in 1972.  In fact those two songs are in good mono whereas “The Death Of Emmett Till” is in excellent but hissy stereo.  On the third and final song Dylan is joined by Pete Seeger, Gil Turner, Sis Cunningham. 

The twenty minute Billy Faier recording in October 1962 is the second WBAI session on this disc and has been released before on Paranoid Blues (Diamonds In Your Ear CD42) in 1990 and the strange Songs That Made Him Famous (Tuff Bites TB 95.1012) in 1995.  This recording includes some dialogue from Faier like where he requests Dylan to play “Paranoid John Birch Blues.”  “Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor” is the only non-original tune played during this session.  

The two songs from Madhouse On Castle Street is the only non-radio session in this collection.  Recording on December 30th, 1962 and January 4th, 1963, this was at the BBC Television studio in London, England.  The two songs can be found also on the first disc of I Was So Much Younger Then.  Five songs were recorded but “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me,” “Cuckoo Bird,” and an untitled instrumental have never surfaced.  “Blowin’ In The Wind” is in poor quality but the second, “The Swan On The River” (aka “Ballad Of The Gliding Swan”) is in very good mono but sounds incomplete. 

This is followed by another session for WBAI in New York.  Recorded for Skip Weshner and broadcast on the show “Wireless Waves,” this is a three song set in very good but slightly distorted stereo.  These songs appeared previously on Paranoid Blues and Songs That Made Him Famous.  The broadcast is thirty minutes long, but the interview between Weshner and Dylan has been edited out.  The host’s comments are still present including his calling “Masters Of War” “a pretty strong indictment.”  The third and final song “Bob Dylan’s Blues” gets a good laugh out of the people in the studio after the first line “well the Lone Ranger and Tonto were riding down the line/ fixin’ everybody’s troubles, everybody except mine / somebody must have told ’em I was doin’ fine.”

The first disc ends with the two songs from Dylan’s second appearance with Oscar Brand on WBAI broadcast on “The World Of Folk Music, Starring Oscar Brand” in May 1963 and was included also on I Was So Much Younger Then.  Dylan introduces “Girl From The North Country” by saying, “Thank you Oscar and this one’s called North Country Girl and it’s dedicated to all the north country girls.”  What follows is a beautiful debut of the classic.  Brand comes on afterward to introduce the next song by saying, “Now once again Mr. Bob Dylan and another original called Only A Hobo. A little background Bob?” Dylan says, “Well I guess some people go out in the streets every day you know. They look into their garage and they see their car. Other people can go out in the street an see their lilac trees. And other people can go out to their porch and water their plants. And err you can also go out in the street an see a hobo.”

The second disc contains two longer radio appearances.  The first is the hour long broadcast on Cynthia Gooding’s Folksinger’s Choice on WBAI, recorded on January 11th and aired on March 11th, 1962.  A previous release of this session appears on Folksinger’s Choice(Yellow Dog 017) issued 1992 in similar excellent quality.  Most of this session contains covers and are the only known Dylan recordings of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightening,” Woody Guthrie’s “Hard Travelin’,” and the traditional “Roll On, John.”  The third song was released officially on There Is No Eye: Music For Photographs (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings SFW CD 40091) in October 2001.  The final material included is his spring, 1963 session at Stud Terkel’s Wax Museum radio broadcast on WFMT in Chicago.  This was included on previous releases like Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall (Drive 3068) in 1989 and Before The Flood & After The Fire (Luna LU 9318) in 1993.  It is in very good stereo but the chats between Dylan and Terkel are edited out for time constraints.  The Roar Of A Wave is packaged in the Hollow Horn style digipack with interesting photographs, and is another fascinating release in this series. 

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  1. As always Hollow Horn churns out another top notch set in the third series of their double cd digipack sets,with the usual fantastic period photos, relevant track listings and superb sound quality these are the ones to own in my opinion.


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