Listen To A Pair Of Jerry Garcia’s Earliest Known Recordings

 Photo by Jerry Melrose

Advertisement
Advertisement

Jerry Garcia’s earliest known performances have been collected for the upcoming extensive box Before The Dead, due out on Round Records on May 11. Huffington Post premiered a pair of tracks from the upcoming release which are among the earliest known recordings of the future Grateful Dead co-founder.

The forthcoming five-LP limited edition and four-CD archival project includes recordings made by Garcia from 1961 to the summer of 1964. The collection presents Garcia performing with Sara Ruppenthal Katz (Garcia’s first wife), and as a member of the bands Black Mountain Boys, Hart Valley Drifters, Asphalt Jungle Mountain Boys and Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers. Accompanying the music is a 32-page book presenting track-by-track essays, listening notes, other essays, rare photos and memorabilia. Author and Grateful Dead publicist Dennis McNally and documentarian Brian Miksis co-produced and curated Before The Dead, which also includes Miksis’ extensive liner notes.

Huffington Post premiered Garcia and his career-spanning writing partner Robert Hunter performing at their friend Brigid Meier’s 16th birthday party on May 26, 1961, in Menlo Park, California. According to HuffPost, “Meier’s father worked at the Stanford Research Institute and had access to their Wollensak reel-to-reel tape recorder,” which led to his taping an 18-year-old Garcia.

Advertisement

“As you listen to this and as you listen to people listen to him, you realize that at 18, he had this presence,” McNally told Huffington Post. “People were just glued to him. Even at 18, people are just attracted to him as a presence.”

Garcia and Hunter can be heard performing the traditional “All My Trials” and “Trouble in Mind” by the jazz pianist Richard M. Jones. Listen to the pair of tracks from 1961 below:

[All My Trials]

Advertisement

[Trouble In Mind]

Before The Dead Tracklist

SIDE ONE:

Bob and Jerry
May 26, 1961
Brigid Meier’s Sixteenth Birthday Party
Menlo Park, California

  1. Santy Anno
  2. I Got A Home In That Rock
  3. Oh, Mary Don’t You Weep
  4. All My Trials
  5. I Was Born Ten Thousand Years Ago
  6. Blow The Candles Out
  7. Rake And A Rambling Boy
  8. Trouble In Mind

SIDE TWO:

Jerry Garcia, Marshall Leicester, and Robert Hunter
July 1961
Boar’s Head Coffeehouse, Carlos Book Stall
San Carlos, California

  1. Brown’s Ferry Blues
  2. Jesse James
  3. Jerry Garcia and Unknown Musician
    Summer or Fall 1961
    Boar’s Head Coffeehouse, Carlos Book Stall
    San Carlos, California

  4. Down In The Willow Garden
  5. Long Lonesome Road
  6. Railroad Bill
  7. The Wagoner’s Lad
  8. Katie Cruel
Advertisement

SIDE THREE:

Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers
June 11, 1962
Boar’s Head Coffeehouse, Peninsula Jewish Community Center
San Carlos, California

  1. Cannonball Blues
  2. Little Birdie
  3. Sally Goodin
  4. Hold That Woodpile Down
  5. Legend Of The Johnson Boys
  6. Shady Grove
  7. Sweet Sunny South
  8. Man Of Constant Sorrow

SIDE FOUR & FIVE

Hart Valley Drifters
Fall 1962
KZSU Radio Studio A, Stanford University
Stanford, California

  1. Band Introductions
  2. Roving Gambler
  3. Ground Speed
  4. Pig In A Pen
  5. Standing In The Need Of Prayer
  6. Flint Hill Special
  7. Nine Pound Hammer
  8. Handsome Molly
  9. Clinch Mountain Backstep
  1. Think Of What You’ve Done
  2. Cripple Creek
  3. All The Good Times Have Past And Gone
  4. Billy Grimes, The Rover
  5. Paddy On The Turnpike (Boys, My Money’s All Gone)
  6. Run Mountain
  7. Sugar Baby
  8. Sitting On Top Of The World
Advertisement

SIDE SIX:

The Wildwood Boys
February 23, 1963
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

  1. Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms
  2. Jerry’s Breakdown
  3. Standing In The Need Of Prayer
  4. Mule Skinner Blues
  5. Saturday Night Shuffle
  6. Pike County Breakdown
  7. The Little Sparrow
  8. We Shall Not Be Moved

SIDE SEVEN:

Jerry and Sara
May 4, 1963
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

  1. Deep Elem Blues
  2. Will The Weaver
  3. I Truly Understand
  4. Long Black Veil
  5. The Man That Wrote That Home Sweet Home Never Was A Married Man
  6. Foggy Mountain Top
Advertisement

SIDE EIGHT:

Black Mountain Boys
Fall 1963
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

  1. Barefoot Nellie
  2. She’s More To Be Pitied
  3. Noah’s Breakdown
  4. Who Will Sing For Me?
  5. Black Mountain Boys
    January 10, 1964
    Top of the Tangent
    Palo Alto, California

  6. Salt Creek
  7. Monroe’s Hornpipe (Jody’s Hornpipe)
  8. Rosa Lee McFall
  9. John Hardy/Closing Theme
  10. Black Mountain Boys
    March 6, 1964
    Top of the Tangent
    Palo Alto, California

  11. Katie Kline
  12. Walkin’ The Dog

SIDE NINE:

Black Mountain Boys
March 6, 1964
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

  1. Paddy On The Turnpike (Boys, My Money’s All Gone)
  2. Love And Wealth
  3. Sourwood Mountain
  4. If I Lose
  5. Homestead On The Farm (I Wonder How The Old Folks Are At Home)
  6. Stoney Creek
  7. Salty Dog Blues
  8. Love Please Come Home
  9. Make Me A Pallet On The Floor
  10. Darlin’ Allalee

SIDE TEN:

Black Mountain Boys
March 6, 1964
Top of the Tangent
Palo Alto, California

  1. In The Pines
  2. Raw Hide
  3. Black Mountain Rag
  4. True Life Blues
  5. Medley: Devil’s Dream–Sailor’s Hornpipe
  6. Black Mountain Boys
    Spring 1964
    Top of the Tangent
    Palo Alto, California

  7. Drink Up And Go Home
  8. Asphalt Jungle Mountain Boys
    Summer 1964
    Top of the Tangent
    Palo Alto, California

  9. These Men Of God
  10. Roll On Buddy
  11. Goodbye Old Pal
  12. Back Up And Push

Note: The 4-CD Edition is comprised of the following – CD 1: Sides 1 & 2; CD 2: Sides 3, 4 & 5; CD 3: Sides 6, 7; and CD 4: Sides 8, 9 & 10

Advertisement

Related Articles

Featured Articles


More articles