Thursday, August 10, 2023

My early assumption that “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” was an old folk song

In October 1971, when I was seven years old, Joan Baez released her version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". Although I had grown up surrounded by the music my parents were listening to (Bob Dylan, Baez, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors), I must have never listened to The Band until I was in my mid-to-late teens, because for many years I assumed that Baez had recorded an old folk song from the nineteenth century. When I finally listened to The Band's eponymous 1969 album that features the song, I was surprised to discover that it had only been written by Robbie Robertson (1943-2023) for that album. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 10 August 2023)

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