Every week Rich Terfry looks back at a great song from the good ol’ days. In 1965, Bob Dylan recorded a song -- inspired by The Beat Generation, Chuck Berry, scat songs of the '40s and talking blues of the depression-era -- that John Lennon considered so great, it made him want to give up!
The song is called "Subterranean Homesick Blues." The lyrics of the song are delivered in the talking blues style, which is essentially the same as the rapping we know today.
Dylan was a student of older folk and blues traditions and well-versed in the ways of the talking blues. But when his song was released, most who heard it had never heard anything like it before.
This song so captured the public's imagination, it became Dylan's first top 40 hit. It's also significant in that it's one Dylan's first electric pieces. Have a listen to Rich Terfy's full account of the creation of "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
Rich Terfry is a big fan of the Talking Blues and offers up these recommendations in his talking blues playlist.
Hank Williams, "Men with Broken Hearts"
Woody Guthrie, "Talking Fish Blues"
Chris Bouchillon, "Born in Hard Luck"
Tex Williams, "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)"
Red Foley, "Playin' Dominoes and Shootin' Dice"
Townes Van Zandt, "Fraternity Blues"
Here are some other great editions of Rear-View Mirror:
Little Eva, "Loco-Motion"
Elvis Costello, "Watching the Detectives"
Jimmy Cliff, "The Harder They Come"
The Verve, "Bittersweet Symphony"
Roberta Flack, "Killing Me Softly with his Song"
R.E.M., "Radio Free Europe"
Radiohead, "No Surprises"
Led Zeppelin, "Ramble On"
Bob Dylan, "Visions of Johanna"
Glen Campbell, "Wichita Lineman"
The Velvet Underground, "Sweet Jane"
Jefferson Airplane, "White Rabbit"
The Beatles, "Rain"
James Brown, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"
Rolling Stones, "Beast of Burden"
John Cougar Mellencamp, "Pink Houses"
on May 07, 2012