I would like to continue by presenting some rarer releases. First up, a look at the ‘Cream of the Crop’ label.
Cream of the Crop Records were run out of Chapel Hill, NC, also home of the Pied Piper catalogue many of us remember:
I only found three bootleg releases for Cream of the Crop, I differentiate between bootleg and official releases here, as they released at least one official album as well, an album called Store Bought by The Blazers that came out in 1977 (# 7956).
Image shot at 1974 Chicago Stadium show
Year of release: 1975 – Matrix: BD #1 / BD #2 340
Source: Dylan/Cash sessions from 16 & 17 February 1969 at CBS studios, Nashville. This was the first release of this material. LP is rated as “a very rare piece” on bobsboots.com, as well as “7 stars” for quality.
However, it would be improved upon by the better sounding Dutch bootleg The Dylan Cash Session just a few weeks later (“pressed from a very clean sounding tape source. It includes the track ‘Blue Yodel # 4’ not found on the former, but deletes ‘T for Texas’ “).
Originals have a laminated cover and blank labels.
In 1977, Vicki Vinyl copied the Cream of the Crop LP and reissued it on her Dragonfly label, with the cover of the Dutch original (causing a track list/LP content mismatch due to the two track difference described above). It also exists with Ruthless Rhymes labels, as many Dragonfly labeled releases do.
bobsboots.com comments on the Dragonfly version: “The sound quality is inferior to the original. It uses the same basic cover, however, as the original Dutch version of the same name. The only cover difference is that the image on this front cover is slightly larger and much darker than the original.”
When this title was reissued again “from the press of GLC and TMOQ” the Dutch LP was used again as the original “pressed on all new master plates.”:
1979: On black and white floral design labels with a ‘I’ & ‘II’ designating each corresponding side.
1983: With a 10×12 insert and a purple smoking pig label.
1984: As LXXXIV Series # 34. The cover is a plain white jacket with a 10×12 insert of a photo of Dylan backstage in 1964 and the smoking pig logo. The back is stamped “ltd-100” with an individual number 1-100. The virgin vinyl is translucent green, pink, or splatter vinyl.
From wikipedia: “Sometime during that session, country legend Johnny Cash stopped by to visit. A friend and label-mate of Dylan’s as well as an early supporter of his music, Cash had been recording next door with his own band. The two wound up recording a series of duets, covering Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” as well as Cash’s own “I Still Miss Someone”. None of these were deemed usable, but Cash returned the following day to record more duets.
The session on February 18 was devoted exclusively to duet covers with Cash. “One Too Many Mornings” and “I Still Miss Someone” were revisited, and rejected yet again. “Matchbox”, “That’s All Right Mama”, “Mystery Train”, “Big River”, “I Walk the Line”, and “Guess Things Happen That Way” — all made famous by celebrated Sun recordings performed by Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, and Cash himself — were all attempted on February 18, but none of these were deemed usable. Covers of Jimmie Rodgers’ “Blue Yodel #1” and “#5” [missing on the Cream of The Crop LP], Cash’s “Ring of Fire” (written by his wife, June Carter, as well as Merle Kilgore), “You Are My Sunshine”, “Good Old Mountain Dew”, the traditional ballad “Careless Love”, the traditional hymn “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”, “Five Feet High and Rising”, and “Wanted Man” (a song written by Dylan specifically for Cash) were also attempted, but all were rejected. There was little enthusiasm for any of these tracks, but one duet of Dylan’s, “Girl from the North Country” (which originally appeared on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan), was ultimately sequenced as the album’s opener.”