Discs 2 and 3 of Bob Dylan (featuring Johnny Cash) – Travelin’ Thru, 1967 – 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15 are centered around Dylan’s collaborations with American music icon Johnny Cash including the much sought-after Columbia Studio A sessions and on-stage performances at the Ryman Auditorium (May 1, 1969) for the recording of the premiere episode of The Johnny Cash Show (originally broadcast on ABC-TV on June 7, 1969).
“Bob asked me to be a guest on the album [Nashville Skyline],” Johnny Cash said later, “and I went to the studio and they just turned on the recorder for about two hours.” Columbia Studio A hosted two Dylan-Cash sessions: February 17 and 18, 1969 with a band that included rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Carl Perkins playing guitar on six tracks (including his own composition, “Matchbox”). One of the more intriguing sonic discoveries on Travelin’ Thru is “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright/Understand Your Man,” as two singular singer/songwriters pay mutual compositional and vocal tribute to each other.
The full-day Dylan-Cash duet session included the first known version of “Wanted Man” and the only version of the song ever sung by Dylan. The following week, Cash made it the opening song at his San Quentin concert. The session provides insight into the shared sensibilities of Dylan and Cash through a variety of covers including two Jimmie Rodgers medleys.
Although only one duet with Johnny Cash (“Girl from the North Country”) appears on Dylan’s original Nashville Skyline album, Cash penned the album’s GRAMMY Award-winning liner notes. A month after Nashville Skyline was released, Dylan made his first live TV appearance in five years on The Johnny Cash Show; that performance is also included here.
Producers: Jeff Rosen, Steve Berkowitz