Song of the Day #3,379: ‘One Too Many Mornings’ – Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan

Day 17 of the 30 Day Music Challenge calls for a rather strange offering: ‘A Song That Features Your Favorite Artist.’

First of all, this requires me to have a favorite artist, which I think is an impossibility. My favorite artist at any given moment depends on what I’m listening to, my mood and a dozen other factors. Second, what exactly does “features” mean in this context? Is it the same as ‘A Song By Your Favorite Artist,’ in which case why not just say that? Or does my favorite artist have to be featured on somebody else’s track (in the now ubiquitous “feat.” sense)?

In order to fulfill today’s challenge, I made the decision to go with Bob Dylan as my favorite artist. He was, after all, my personal winner of the recent Montauk Madness tournament, so that should count for something.

And I decided to pick a song where Dylan was performing alongside somebody else. It’s not exactly Nicki Minaj contributing a rap break, but it’s not a solo track either.

My choice was this charming duet with Johnny Cash, pulled from a two-day recording session the lifelong friends held in 1969.

Down the street the dogs are barkin’
And the day is a-gettin’ dark
As the night comes in a-falling
The dogs will lose their bark
And the silent night will shatter
From the sounds inside my mind
Yes I’m one too many mornings
And a thousand miles behind

From the crossroads of my doorstep
My eyes start to fade
And I turn my head back to the room
Where my love and I have laid
And I gaze back to the street
The sidewalk and the sign
And I’m one too many mornings
And a thousand miles behind

It’s a restless hungry feeling
That don’t mean no one no good
When everything I’m a-sayin’
You can say it just as good
You’re right from your side
I’m right from mine
We’re both just one too many mornings
And a thousand miles behind

8 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,379: ‘One Too Many Mornings’ – Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I think the intent here is to find a song with a guest appearance from a favorite artist. One that doesn’t appear on your fave’s album and isn’t considered a release by that person. I’m not sure your pick meets that definition, though it would if the song appeared only on Cash’s album rather than being released jointly as a duet or appearing on Dylan’s album. So, for example, Billy Joel’s “Getting Closer” featuring Cyndi Lauper or, as a slightly more recent example, Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” featuring Christina Aguilera.

    My pick, however, comes a bit closer to the line, but still satisfies my definition. It is also, of course, timely given Tom Petty’s untimely death the other day. My selection is Stevie Nicks’ hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” It qualifies because it was released on Nicks’ debut album and was her first solo single.. it comes closer to the line because it was written by Petty and most of the Heartbreakers played on the track. It also was Petty’s highest charting song. I recently heard producer Jimmy Iovine talking about how the song came to be. He was producing (and dating) Nicks and also producing for Petty. Petty played him the song and he felt strongly it should be given to Nicks and, with Petty singing, it would be a big hit for the debuting solo career of Nicks. Iovine was right of course.

    • Clay says:

      These Cash/Dylan recordings weren’t released by either artist, so I think I can cheat and consider either one of them the “featured” artist. 🙂

  2. Rob says:

    As mentioned by Clay, my favorite artist can and does change every day … it all depends on my mood. Today, I am in an Americana frame of mind, so I offer you “Lipstick Sunset” by one of my favorite songwriters, John Hiatt. This was the first song I ever heard from him. The band is made up of Nick Lowe on bass, Jim Keltner on drums, and the master Ry Cooder on lead guitar. Cooder’s slide guitar solo on this song is heart-breaking. The song is lean, dry and dusty … an achingly beautiful.

  3. Peg Clifton says:

    Well I am a bit confused. I definitely have a favorite artist, Frank Sinatra, but he has to be singing with someone else? So I will go with his Duets album and pick “I’ve got you under my skin” that he sang with Bono.

  4. Maddie says:

    This is a really tough one, mostly because I don’t really have one permanent favorite artist yet. For the moment, though, I’ve been in a Carly Rae Jepsen mood and am eagerly anticipating her next album. I also love how her voice works as background vocals, so this awesome track by The Bleachers should pretty fully fit the “featured” definition for Carly:

  5. Peter says:

    Wow, excellent (as daughter Rosanne’s article in the NYT about gun control is…)! Am I the only one with favorite artists here? Well, I won’t mention them again (today, exceptionally ). I agree with Dana and would rather say that it is just a duet instead of a song that features a favorite artist. The song is a Dylan song, he is not featured, he wrote it. Complicated. The first song that came to my mind was this beauty. Written by Willie and supported by his guitar, sung by him and Kinky, but released on the Kinkster’s album. Who features who?

  6. Amy says:

    I knew immediately that I wanted a song that featured James Taylor, as I always loved when I would hear him lending his supporting vocals to Carly Simon or Carole King. When I went in search of the song I wanted to feature, I first came across this performance of “So Far Away” from 1971:

    Sophia will not be impressed that it brought me to tears. Still, since Taylor was featured on guitar but not vocals, I opted to make this next song my official choice. Perhaps it’s in the wake of Tom Petty’s death and the tragic shooting in Las Vegas, but both of these songs are making me quite emotional this evening. Enjoy!

    What a friendship and musical partnership to last for over five decades.

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