This is NOT breaking news. There's been a lot of hub bub about this over the last several years. The title of this record was taken from a book about black-face mintrelsy and the white American working class of the 19th century. There was the revelation that Dylan lifted lyrical passages from a Japanese novel about a gangster's dying confession. Then, the Dylan sleuths uncovered a variety of references to everything from F. Scott Fitzgerald to the musical appropriations illustrated below. I prefer appropriation, the post-modern term for borrowing, although some will claim it is outright theft. Maybe it is. Or maybe it's homage, which Dylan has paid to everyone from Woody Guthrie to Elvis over the course of his career. He's an artist after all, and to deny that he is partially the sum of everything that he has consumed, is to miss the point. When the Beach Boys released "Surfin' USA," they over-zealously gave Chuck Berry a co-writing credit. It does bear a thematic resemblance to "Sweet Little Sixteen," but so does half of the catalog of numerous rock 'n roll bands. Chuck Berry learned it for T-Bone Walker and Louis Jordan, and they learned it from those before them, and so on.
Listen: GONE Gene Austin mp3
Listen: GONE Bob Dylan mp3
Listen: GONE Big Joe Turner mp3
Listen GONE Bob Dylan mp3
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