Song:Girl From The North Country
DVD:The Johnny Cash TV Show
When Bob Dylan was recording Nashville Skyline, Johnny Cash dropped in and recorded a bunch of songs with him. Girl From The North Country was the only recording used on the album. The two also performed it on the debut episode of Cash's variety show. That's very unique. Dylan did not appear on variety shows. Dylan wrote Girl From The North Country in 1963 and it first appeared on his second album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Dylan wrote the song after visiting England in 1962 and spending some time with folksinger Martin Carthy. Dylan says he learned a lot from Carthy and Girl From The North Country is based on the traditional folk song Scarborough Fair. So it's a bit of a tribute to British folk songs. In Feb. 1969, Dylan went to Nashville to record Nashville Skyline as a tribute to country music. The musicians on the album were all Nashville session musicians. Johnny Cash was recording in the studio next door and the two decided to record together. They recorded about a dozen songs together but Girl From The North Country was the only recording that turned up on Nashville Skyline. They mostly recorded covers of songs from the 50s but none of them were ever released. They have turned up on bootleg LPs and CDs. Apparently most of the recordings were not considered usable. I guess it was a lackluster session. At the time, recording with Dylan was a big deal for Cash as he was just starting his new variety show. Sony has released a 2DVD collection of performance clips from The Johnny Cash Show. If you are looking for a budget CD, I recommend the Johnny Cash CD The Greatest Duets. Dylan's album Nashville Skyline is available but The Girl From The North Country doesn't turn up on Dylan comps. So obviously the recording was a much bigger deal for Cash. He also performed a duet of Girl From The North Country on his variety show with Joni Mitchell. Cash's daughter Rosanne Cash recorded it on her latest CD The List and she performed it when I went to see her last month. The recording is an interesting curiosity. Here's Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash performing Girl From The North Country on The Johnny Cash Show 1969. The Youtube version is out of sync.