For their new record, Remedy, the string band Old Crow Medicine Show teamed up with Bob Dylan for the second time, co-writing the record’s first single “Sweet Amarillo” with Dylan even though they’ve never met him. OCMS frontman Ketch Secor first wrote alongside Dylan on the song “Wagon Wheel,” which came from a fragment that Dylan had recorded in Mexico during 1973 for the soundtrack to the film Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. OCMS had minor success with the song, which was then turned into a massive country hit by singer Darius Rucker.
Then Dylan sent the group another song fragment from the same session, which eventually became “Sweet Amarillo.” The band recorded it, sent back a tape to Dylan’s management, then received a suggestion from Dylan to move up the chorus and change the solo from a harmonica to a fiddle.
“Country music has a lot to learn from Bob Dylan. Country music has learned a lot from Bob Dylan already. Bob Dylan might be the most important country music maker in the 20th century. He may be the most influential country musician. But we don’t know it. We think it’s Hank [Williams Sr.],” Secor said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
While Dylan is most often thought of as a rock and roll pioneer, credited as being the man who made rock and roll an art form that could be taken seriously, Dylan of course has made music from a huge variety of genres throughout his career. Country music was always one of his biggest influences, from his folk days onwards, and he has a large body of great country music from throughout his career. Due to the renewed interest in Dylan’s country music through Old Crow Medicine Show, here’s a list of Bob Dylan’s best country songs.