NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Wednesday marked 45 years since Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline hit turntables around the world.
It was one of three records Dylan recorded in Nashville during the late 1960s. In doing so, he helped introduce the wider musical world to the incredible talent of Nashville session players.
"Bob Dylan first came to Nashville in 1966 to record his album Blonde on Blonde," said Country Music Hall of Fame Museum Editor Michael Gray.
"And he obviously had a good experience recording here so he decided to come back and do John Wesley Harding," said Charlie Daniels. "But for some reason the other two albums he made, seemed like, were not as associated with Nashville as Nashville Skyline was. Of course I'm sure the name, for one thing, had something to do with it."
"The record label at first was opposed to him having Nashville in the title, by Dylan insisted on it," added Gray. "They were afraid it might hurt sales to have Nashville in the title, but it turned out to be one of Dylan's best-selling albums."
After the success of Nashville Skyline, many pop stars came to Nashville to record their albums, including Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez and Neil Young.
"The reason they all came to Nashville was pretty pure and simple. It's because Nashville had like the greatest musicians," Gray said.
Nashville Skyline includes a duet with Johnny Cash, who won a Grammy for writing the liner notes for the album.
"With Bob Dylan's late 60s recordings in Nashville he really did change the city in a lot of ways," Gray concluded.
Another testament to Dylan's influence on the Nashville music scene: at 77-years-old, Charlie Daniels is currently on tour to support his new record Off the Grid—Doin' it Dylan, an album of Dylan covers.