The Roots Of Some Popular Grateful Dead Songs

In addition to the Grateful Dead's repertoire of original songs, the band has performed and recorded tunes that have roots in variety of musical styles spanning decades and even centuries.Borrowing from rock,folk,blues,gospel,jazz,and even disco,they have created a colorful portrait of frontier gamblers,assassins,cowboys,thieves,drunkards,lovers,sai lors,and heroes. While some of the songs have appeared on the charts in altered incarnations, many have been passed down through generations in the farmhouses,freightyards,and shantytowns of the South and West.

"Dear Mr. Fantasy"was originally written and recorded by the British band Traffic.

Written and performed by Buddy Holly,"Not Fade Away" was also the Rolling Stones first hit in the United States.

"All along the Watchtower" was a Bob Dylan tune as well as a Top 40 hit for Jimi Hendrix,who recorded it on Electric Ladyland.

Country-and-Western star Merle Haggard penned the outlaw prison tune "Mama Tried".

With it's African-American origins,chant song "Iko-Iko" is popular around New Orleans and has been recorded by the Neville Brothers and Sugar Boy Crawford.

"Big Boss Man"was written by R&B artist Jimmy Reed,who had a hit with it in 1961.

Harry Belafonte made "Man Smart,Woman Smarter" a hit in 1965, although there is controversy about who actually wrote the song.

Skyrocketing up the charts in 1967, "I Second That Emotion" was originally a Smokey Robinson and the Miracles tune.

"Good Lovin",written by Arthur Resnick and Rudy Clark, was a Young Rascals hit.

"Cold Rain and Snow" has it's roots in the 1800's as a"white blues" song that came out of the Blue Ridge Mountain region.It was recorded by Obray Ramsey,but it's author is unknown.

The Grateful Dead have been doing "Ain't It Crazy" since the days of Mother McCree's Up-town Jug Champions. It was written by the late Sam "Lightnin" Hopkins, a Texas blues singer.

Written by blues great Willie Dixon,"Little Red Rooster" with all of it's sexual innuendo has also been recorded by the Doors and by the Rolling Stones.

A hit for Martha and the Vandellas in 1964,"Dancin'in the Streets" was recorded as a disco tune on Terrapin Station.

Country singer Marty Robbins shot to stardom after the 1959 release of "El Paso".

Jim Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas wrote "Me and My Uncle" but never recorded it. The song does,however, appear on a Judy Collins live album from the early 1960s.

First performed by Negro jug bands in the deep South,"New Minglewood Blues" is about a textile factory in Tennessee.After each recording of the song, another word was added to the title.

A Donna Godchaux classic, "You Ain't Woman Enough" was first recorded by Loretta Lynn.

'Morning Dew,"a chronicle of the cold war nuclear threat, was written by Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson. The song has been recorded by many other artists in one form or another, and others have been given false credit for writing it.

Kris Kristofferson's songwritting debut,"Me and Bobby McGee,"was a Roger Miller hit in 1969. Since then it has been recorded by Gordon Lightfoot,Janis Joplin,and Willie Nelson.

Many different forms of "Jackaroe" have been documented, some dating back to ancient Greek tales of a "maiden warrior" who dresses as a man to enlist in the navy to be with her lover.

"It Hurts Me Too" was written by the late Elmore James, one of the first blues artists to play electric slide guitar. The Song was released in a posthumous collection of James's work.

Written by Eric Clapton during his Derek and the Dominoes days, "Keep on Growing" was released on that band's Layla.

A PigPen classic, "Hard To Handle" was written by Otis Redding and has since been recorded by the Black Crowes.

"Deep Elem Blues" dates back to the 1930s and recalls the Prohibition-era red-light district in downtown Dallas, Texas. It was first recorded by the Lone Star Cowboys in 1933.

Although it was first written and recorded by Chuck Berry, "Around and Around" was a hit for the Rolling Stones in 1964.

"Don't Ease Me In" was first performed by Ragtime Texas in the twenties,but it was also popular with folk and jug bands in the 1950s and 1960s.

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