Kitty Wells - Forever Young
While I’m in a Kitty Wells mood, take a listen to this righteous version of Dylan’s Forever Young. Apparently he wanted her to sing it - giving it to Kitty before he even laid down the track.
One of the most unusual releases in her career came when Capricorn Records, based in Macon, Ga., created a country music division and signed Wells to the label.
Phil Walden, founder of Capricorn Records, told me that rock promoter Bill Graham called him one day and said that folk-rock music star Bob Dylan wanted to meet then-Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter and asked Walden to arrange it.
Walden did just that at the governor’s mansion after a Dylan concert in Atlanta. Back at their hotel after the meeting, Walden told Dylan that he had signed country legend Wells to Capricorn and asked whether Dylan had any songs for her.
“He immediately said Forever Young,” Walden said, adding that it had not yet been recorded by anyone including Dylan.
“He later sent us a cassette of the song, and we recorded it (with Wells),” Walden said. “That was the days of underground radio when FM stations were coming into prominence. One of the biggest kicks I ever got was hearing rock radio stations play back to back Kitty Wells’ version of Forever Young and then follow it with Bob Dylan’s version.”
There’s also a great and lengthy article on the making of the entire record at No Depression, which reveals the band behind her:
Wells’ son-in-law, John Sturdivant, had arranged the session with Capricorn honcho Phil Walden, who recruited Dickey Betts and Chuck Leavell of the Allmans, Toy Caldwell of Marshall Tucker, and members of the band Cowboy, yet another Macon mainstay, for the date. They also nabbed Nashville ringer John Hughey, he of the slash-and-burn steel on such angst-ridden Conway Twitty odes as “The Image Of Me” and “How Much More Can She Stand”.