Mental Floss

Mr. Tambourine Man, the #1 Hit 48 Years Ago

Chris Higgins
YouTube / BobDylanTV
YouTube / BobDylanTV / YouTube / BobDylanTV
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On this day in 1965, The Byrds topped the UK singles chart with their cover of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." It was the first time a Dylan song reached that spot, and it marked the mainstream emergence of "folk rock," in which rock sensibilities melded with folk lyrics. Tonight, let's look back at some memorable performances of the tune.

Bob Dylan, Newport Folk Festival, 1964

Dylan in fine form -- slightly forgetful, but somehow completely in charge. Introduced by Pete Seeger, Dylan's voice is beautiful, the performance is nicely filmed, and he was just 23. "Let me forget about today until tomorrow."

The Byrds, "Hullabaloo," 1965

"Cast your dancing spell my way; I promise to go under it." The Byrds and a roomful of screaming kids on NBC's short-lived "Hullabaloo."

For an alternate version, check out this TV appearance in which the vocal mix is all messed up until midway through the performance.

Odetta, 1965

No video, but a classic Odetta performance (plus standup bass) nonetheless.

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky With one hand waving free Silhouetted by the sea Circled by the circus sands Driving memory and fate Deep beneath the waves Let me forget about today until tomorrow

William Shatner, 1968

Yep, Shatner went there. Here's a fan video featuring seemingly random Star Trek stills set to Shatner's original audio from his 1968 album, The Transformed Man. "In the...jingle...jangle-mornin'...I'll come followin' ya." Far out, Captain.

PS22 Chorus, 2013

Wow. I wasn't expecting this level of sweetness.

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