A Minneapolis man has donated some of the earliest recordings made by Bob Dylan to the Minnesota Historical Society.
Cleve Pettersen said he made the reel-to-reel tape at a Minneapolis apartment in 1960 after getting to know Dylan at coffeehouses in the Dinkytown neighborhood of Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota.
Dylan, briefly a student at the university, didn’t make any formal recordings until two years later. On the tape, he sings traditional folk songs by Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers and others.
Pettersen, a teenager when he invited Dylan to the apartment to record the songs, has been the sole owner of the tape ever since. But the tape’s existence has been well-known by music buffs and Dylan aficionados who have come to know it as the “Minnesota Party Tape.”
“The surfacing of this original recording should correct all the rumors and speculation circulating on the Internet and within the circles of Dylan followers and music critics,” said Bonnie Wilson, curator at the Historical Society.
The tape includes such songs as “Blues Yodel No. 8,” “San Francisco Bay Blues” and “Johnny I Hardly Knew You.”
The public can listen to the tape, copied onto CDs and cassettes, for free at the Minnesota History Center library in St. Paul, but making copies won’t be allowed.