Joyce and little Bo and I were living in Columbia, a small town about 35 miles south of Nashville. I was finally gettin' paid regular after another year in grad school. We (along with the bank) owned a big blue '65 Catalina four door. We had our first stereo (a Magnavox), our first color TV (RCA, I believe), a couple or three good friends (an artist, a writer, and a theater type), and at the time it seemed like we had the world by the tail. Maybe we did.
I still had lots of hair, even though it was already gray. I wore ties to work, big wide ones, double breasted sport coats, and my slacks were flared. Hell, everybody's slacks were flared. Our brains were even flared for awhile.
Sometimes on early Fall evenings we'd sit out under the car port and look at the spectacular sunsets courtesy of the strange smoke from the Monsanto Chemical company plant located on the outskirts of town. The sunsets looked absolutely, totally psychedelic, and we were not using drugs of any kind.
On weekends we and our friends drank Schlitz or Schoenlings' Little Kings Cream ale, ate ham sandwiches, discussed the Apollo program and the Vietnam War, pontificated about literature and art, and listened to the Weavers, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Credence on vinyl. As far as I can remember, we didn't listen to any of the Byrds' stuff.
I listened to the car radio as I drove to work every morning, but I don't remember hearing the following song anytime that fall. "You "Ain't Goin' Nowhere" was written (and recorded but not released commercially at that time) by Bob Dylan a year earlier. The Byrds put it on their album "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" and released it as the lead single in August of 1968.
I don't particularly care for the Byrd renditions available on youtube and would have preferred the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band version for use here, but their youtube takes weren't up to the high and exacting standards of the Post's musical staff either. So, that leaves Dylan's version. Which is pretty damn good.
If I had heard this song back then, I think I would have remembered it because of it's almost narcotic, swaying, euphoric melody which makes me want to hear it over and over again. I love the lyrics (especially "Genghis Khan and his brother Don"); the whole damn shebang just makes me feel happy.
UPDATE: Dylan video removed, so here's the Byrds instead...
If you've got some time on your hands, you can read about the Byrds' troubles in making this, their first country album, here. You can read about how and why Dylan wrote it here. The Byrds were really ahead of their time with this fusion of country and rock, predating such groups as the Eagles, America, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Creedence. It's all interesting stuff, so interesting that it took up about 3 hours of my time while I could have been knocking this out and hitting the sack a little earlier.
One thing that caught my eye while reading wiki about the Byrds who recorded almost half of the album in Nashville was their experience at the Grand Ole Opry. As the first long haired hippies to play the Opry, they were greeted with catcalls, heckling, and booing from the audience as they tried to sing Merle Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home." That's the way things were in middle Tennessee back in '68. We didn't need no stinkin' hippies messin' with our music. :-) Check out the whole story on wiki.