A few years before Nashville Skyline was released, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash struck up a friendship that blossomed into a collaboration. Cash wrote the liner notes to Nashville Skyline, which took the form of a crackerjack poem celebrating his friend’s unique career.
Sample verse: “This man can rhyme the tick of time / The edge of pain, the what of sane / And comprehend the good in men, the bad in men / Can feel the hate of fight, the love of right / And the creep of blight at the speed of light.”
In 1969, following the stripped-down acoustic approach of John Wesley Harding, Bob Dylan threw his fans for another loop with the straight-up country album Nashville Skyline. But the musical genre was only half of the surprise… the real bombshell was Dylan’s velvety voice, a laid-back croon that was a far cry from his oft-imitated trademark whine.
I remember being told as a kid (thought I don’t remember by whom) that Dylan had gotten into a motorcycle accident and emerged with this new singing voice. That was close to the truth, chronologically, but it gave me the creepy impression that the accident itself had physically altered his vocal chords.