Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dylan Covers: Blowin' In The Wind

Sam Cooke: Blowin' In The Wind [purchase]

When (Sam Cooke) first heard "Blowin' In The Wind" on the new Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album J.W. (Alexander) had just given him, he was so carried away with the message, and the fact that a white boy had written it, that he was almost ashamed not to have written something like that himself. It wasn't the way Dylan sang, he told Bobby Womack. It was what he had to say. "I'm going to write something," Sam told J.W. But he didn't know what it was.
--Peter Guralnick, Dream Boogie: The Triumph Of Sam Cooke, pages 512-13

That "something" turned out to be Sam Cooke's finest moment as a songwriter and one of the artistic high points of the 1960s, "A Change Is Gonna Come." But, before writing "Change," Sam took Dylan's civil rights anthem uptown, during his July 1964 gig at the Copacabana in New York City.

As a bonus, here's a video of Sam singing "Blowin' In The Wind" on the premiere episode of Shindig in September 1964. Keep in mind that this was probably one of the first televised instances of a black man being surrounded by dancing white chicks. No doubt tears of rage were shed all over the country that night.

blog comments powered by Disqus