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American Rambler with Colin Woodward

May 9, 2020

Dr. Court Carney returns to the podcast to talk about Bob Dylan. Court is not only a fan, he has taught a class on Dylan at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he is a professor of history. 

Court's interest in Dylan began when he listened to his dad's copy of Nashville Skyline thirty years ago. In grad school, he took a deeper dive into the Zimmerman catalog by absorbing such classics as Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks, and John Wesley Harding.

Court has also been fascinated by the Dylan-Guthrie connection, which has taken him to archives in Tulsa to examine Guthrie's personal papers. Guthrie died in 1967, by which time Dylan had retreated to Woodstock, NY, to recover and reconceptualize his art and music. While in Woodstock, Dylan began recording with The Band. What emerged was a new kind of American roots music.

In a country founded on legends and self-made men, Court and Colin examine the myth vs. reality of Dylan. They also tackle such questions as: how political was he? Is his Christmas album worth listening to? Was he really seriously injured in a motorcycle crash? And is "Rainy Day Women 12 & 35" a drug song? Dr. Carney explains all!