Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Stanley Brothers and Rank Strangers To Me

Bob Dylan recorded the song Rank Strangers To Me on his 1988 album Down In The Groove, and has performed it live on many occasions. The song was written by Albert Brumley, who is perhaps best known for writing the joyful and much-loved gospel song I’ll Fly Away. Dylan probably heard multiple artists perform Rank Strangers, but there’s no doubt he would have been very familiar with the version recorded by the Stanley Brothers. Currently on YouTube is a beautiful film clip of Ralph and Carter Stanley and musical colleagues doing this very song. Take it away, boys. Continue reading “The Stanley Brothers and <em>Rank Strangers To Me</em>” »

Bob Dylan sings Things Have Changed at AFI Tribute to Michael Douglas

Bob Dylan and his band performed Things Have Changed at the American Film Institute’s tribute to Michael Douglas on June 11th this year. It was broadcast on TV Land Prime last night. No matter how I twist my rabbit ears, I can’t seem to get that channel, so I was pleased to find it on YouTube this morning. See below. You might subtitle it, “Bob shows the world he can still play guitar.” Continue reading “Bob Dylan sings <em>Things Have Changed</em> at AFI Tribute to Michael Douglas” »

Old Cronkite departs

I was sittin’ home alone one night in L.A.,
Watchin’ old Cronkite on the seven o’clock news.
It seems there was an earthquake that
Left nothin’ but a Panama hat
And a pair of old Greek shoes.
Didn’t seem like much was happenin’,
So I turned it off and went to grab another beer.
Seems like every time you turn around
There’s another hard-luck story that you’re gonna hear
And there’s really nothin’ anyone can say
And I never did plan to go anyway
To Black Diamond Bay.

In 1975, Walter Cronkite could be described (by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy) as “old Cronkite” without any real irony — it probably seemed like he’d been on American TV forever at that point (he was the anchor of the CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981). Thirty four years after that song was written, old Cronkite will get no older, passing on at the age of 92.

As for his politics and so forth, we’ll speak no ill of the dead today. And as the man said, “there’s really nothin’ anyone can say.”

Listen to Black Diamond Bay via YouTube: