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Black Puerto Rican folksinger, part of the Cambridge and Greenwich Village folk scenes, marketed by Vanguard as some kind of "male Joan Baez," whose version of Jean Ritchie's "Nottamun Town" is the likely source of the tune used by Dylan for his "Masters of War."

I found a song of Jean Ritchie's called "Nottamun Town." It's sung in a minor key against a major, like a lot of these mountain songs. It sounds nice, but I just couldn't do it, so I changed the tune to minor and made sort of a drone sound with the guitar. Dylan loved this. I was playing at Gerde's and he would come in every night and ask me to sing it. He went over to Vanguard, and Maynard gave him a copy of my record. The next time I heard my tune -- which was my tune -- it was "Masters of War."

Eric von Schmidt & Jim Rooney, Baby, Let Me Follow You Down, Garden City, NY, 1979, p. 219.


From: jmf@deas.harvard.edu ( ghost )
Date: 25 Feb 1997

In this absolutely fascinating interview he gave a few weeks ago on WUMB-FM... he said his given name was Jack Washington Landron, the last name being his mother's, pronounced "Lan-*drone*."

He says thats the way his West Indian/Puerto-Rican grandmother gave it to the birth registrar, even though his father's last name is Washington, because putting the father's last name in the middle is the Spanish way of naming.

He used "Jackie Washington" for folk-singing & reverted to "Jack Landron" for what he at the time considered his real occupation, acting.

I believe they billed him at Passim as "Jackie Washington Landron".

The story of him & Jean Ritchie's husband, George Pickow, discussing getting together to sue Bob Dylan for copyrighting (as "Masters of War") the adaptation of "Nottamun Town" which Washington-Landron had worked up from Ritchie's version is much more interesting.

Washington-Landron says he thought "Sue together? Nah, that's *my* version! I'll sue alone!". But he never did...


From: tricia.j@aardvark.apana.org.au (Patricia Jungwirth)
Date: 11 Apr 1997

I noticed you had some information about Jackie Washington... and thought you might be interested in some more tidbits.

Did you know his first album (the one Dylan apparently "got" the "Nottamun Town" tune from) also featured "Babe, It Ain't No Lie," "Moonshiner," "The Girl I Left Behind"...?

A live album called "Jackie Washington at Club 47" featured (amongst others) -- "Babe, It Ain't No Lie," "Sugaree" and "Man of Constant Sorrow."

Possibly these were in the "repertoire" of any respectable (?) folkie at the time, but it's interesting. Or not?

I got this information from a later album I picked up, which has track listings of his first three albums on Vanguard. It's called "Morning Song" and among 12 tracks are "Lily of the West" and "Long Black Cadillac."

The cover states "all songs composed by Jackie Washington"!!!!
And he talks of suing Dylan. Ah well....

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