Learn something new everyday: A Dylan/Old Crow co-write?

When I started typing this post I had no idea but today is Bob Dylan’s 66th Birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB.

This morning I was sitting here listening to the new cd, Two Bottles Of Wine by Jason Webley and Reverend Peyton. At the end of the cd is a cover song that I instantly recognized as Old Crow Medicine Show‘s, Wagon Wheel. Only, it’s labeled as Rock Me Mama (Bob Dylan Cover).


I am no Dylan expert but I thought if Wagon Wheel was actually a Dylan cover I would have known by now. This seemed like a job for Google. After a little looking I found this explination from OCMS’s Keith Secor:

“It’d be my pleasure to dispel the myth and rumor about the song Wagon Wheel, or “Rock Me Mama” as Bob Dylan himself called the song when he recorded it down in Mexico in 1972 for the soundtrack of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. This song was not released, and it was not finished either, this is a demo of a practice session of him, Rob Stoner, and a couple of gals doing the chorus over and over again while the bass player learns the bass line. That’s what I heard on a German bootleg about nine years ago in high school. And I wrote the lyrics to the song because I loved the chorus so much and I sung it in my head for maybe a year straight, and then just penned what I penned, which is something of an autobiographical story about just wanting to get outta town, gettin outta school, and just wanting to go play music. It’s sort of autobiographical like that. But yeah, it’s sort of a Bob Dylan co-write with about 25 years inbetween.”

Well there you go. As the late great Chris Thomas used to say, “That’s why you get up in the mornings. You never know what you might learn.”

Does anyone have a copy of that Dylan bootleg? I would really love to hear it. If you do please contact me.

Old Crow Medicine Show – Wagon Wheel
Jason Webley w/Reverend Peyton – Rock Me Mama

edit: Thanks to the overwhelming response from the folks over on Expecting Rain we can now hear the Dylan bootleg.

Bob Dylan – Rock Me Mama 

Finally. Here is another cover I found by the band Against Me!:
Against Me! – Wagon Wheel

14 thoughts on “Learn something new everyday: A Dylan/Old Crow co-write?”

  1. thanks so much for this post. the background info and the mp3’s are both equally amazing.. against me!? wow

  2. Excellent – I just did the same thing – looked at the writer credits on OCMS’s Wagon Wheel wondering if they wrote it and then googled – there’s a Wiki page up even!

    Thanks for posting the Dylan version – I’m just about to listen, but before I hear it I can really imagine the refrain as a basement tapes song


  3. Hi there. Any chance you can re-post these songs, or send them to me somehow? I love the OCMS version and have never heard Dylan’s. (I’m also stranded on a public computer for a few months and trying to re-build a little bit of a music library while I’m here, and would love to get the Old Crow version again too). Thanks so much- great posts in general.

  4. Could you repost these tracks – I’ve never heard the Dylan version. Thanks!

  5. Yeah, I as well would love to hear the dylan version. I have been searching for it for a while now, and am having a really hard time. Thanks man.

  6. If anyone knows where I can find an MP3 download (tried the links above and they don’t work) for the Dylan version, please email me at sogr8ful@yahoo.com – I have been looking for this song for a year+.

  7. One of the most beautiful morning of my life…
    The marvellous staff of Appalachian Mountain Club (Galehead Hut in the White Mountains) woke us up early in the morning with this beautiful song. The moment was very great and memorable! I am looking for a mp3 since this time… If somebody could send me at martin.croteau@sca.com I would very appreciate.

  8. Bob Dylan didn’t write “Rock me mama”. Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup wrote it and was singing it long before Dylan was even on the scene.

    1. Diane Murphy: Can you explain that a bit? Yes, the Crudup song contains those three words, but I can’t see other similarity in lyrics or the music?

    2. well, I’ve been listening more closely to the Crudup song now, and can recognize that the influence is there, but I have a hard time saying it is the same song. (?) Thanks.

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