For anyone with experience following the life and career of the legendary songwriter Bob Dylan, one thing has likely become abundantly clear: the man is hard to pin down.
Whether he’s being cagey in interviews, taking a song in whatever direction he wants, or just spiritually wriggling free from any challenge, Dylan is often like a ghost.
And that’s why it’s surprising to see the man in collaboration with anyone. Even if those collaborators are other big names like Johnny Cash or the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys.
Nevertheless, Dylan has worked with others and there are songs to prove it, which is the exact subject we’re going to dive into here today. So, without further ado, let’s check out seven songs that (surprisingly) featured the great Bob Dylan.
1. “One Too Many Mornings” with Johnny Cash
The two friends and iconic artists collaborated on a few songs together, as chance would happen. On this one, you can hear how Dylan was perhaps even trying to sound like the smooth, deep-voiced Cash. And along with this cover of one of Dylan’s songs, the two also sang together on “Wanted Man,” which you can check out here (and includes a little recording of June Carter, too).
2. “Crazy Love” with Van Morrison
Another big name that Dylan worked with was the popular songwriter Van Morrison on this version of Morrison’s song, “Crazy Love,” which you can check out below. Two big, elastic voices join together on this sticky single.
3. “In Ain’t Me Babe” with Joan Baez
The two former lovers not only had chemistry off stage but on it, too. Here, Dylan and Baez perform one of his tunes at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964. In the recording, Baez calls for Dylan from the stage and the two go into a rendition of Dylan’s classic, “It Ain’t Me Babe.” One wonders what a whole album from the two might have sounded like.
4. “(Is Anybody Going To) San Antone” with Doug Sahm
Regarded as one of the main songwriters from Texas, Sahm joined forces with Dylan on this rendition of “(Is Anybody Going To) San Antone.” There is a big slide guitar, fiddles, and their two voices blending in a bit of Tex-Mex Honky-Tonk. Check out the recording below and let your musical mind be blown.
5. “Pancho and Lefty” with Willie Nelson
Wouldn’t you just love to be in a room where two big-name artists such as these come together to talk about what songs they’d like to sing? Dylan and Nelson together. Here, the two offer a rendition of the song “Pancho and Lefty.” Special shout-out to Nelson’s guitar, Trigger, too.
6. “End Of The Line” with The Traveling Wilburys
It almost seems like a fever dream that this band even exists. With giants like Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Roy Orbison in the mix, one wonders how this group even manifested. Nevertheless, it did and in this super-catchy song, Dylan sings and strums his acoustic.
7. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” with The Grateful Dead
If you follow music long enough, you hear stories about Dylan and the Dead trying to get together to record songs, perhaps even an album together. Allegedly, the Dead got upset with Dylan during those sessions because he wouldn’t stick to any rhythm or come in at the right times. Well, no matter. The two got together on stage to perform this song from Dylan’s catalog. What a doozy.