Obviously ’60s Revisited Again
Bob Dylan: The Witmark Demos 1962-1964, The Bootleg Series Vol.9; The Original Mono Recordings (Columbia Records)
Way back in the early 1960s, my brother and I would buy Bob Dylan songbooks. They would usually, though not always follow an album’s release and be titled after the album title. These songbooks didn’t always include all the songs that were on a specific album, and quite often they’d have another song or two, usually something we’d never heard. Both of us probably could have sat down at the piano, read the music and figured them out, but that was too much like school and music was our escape from that. Some of these songs appeared on records by other singers. Dave Van Ronk, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Pete Seeger were probably the first to record unreleased Dylan songs, followed pretty quickly by Ian & Sylvia, Judy Collins and others. Then in 1964 (though the album may have not been released until early in ’65), a singer named Hamilton Camp recorded a several previously unrecorded Dylan songs on an album named Paths Of Victory. All we knew at the time about Hamilton Camp, who like Dylan played guitar and harmonica simultaneously, was that he was previously known as Bob Camp and had recorded an album with folksinger Bob Gibson. Later on we found out Camp was also a (usually comic) actor, and pretty good too. Two songs from that album (not the Dylan songs) would get big time radio play a few years later. “Get Together” was a huge hit for the Youngbloods, and Camp’s own “Pride of Man” would become an FM rock radio favorite in a version done by Quicksilver Messenger Service. Not long after Camp’s album, Odetta released Odetta Sings Dylan, which had a couple more of these previously unheard songs.