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Sunday Folk Flashback – Tom Paxton – Outward Bound

Outward Bound So this morning I finally finished the move of my iTunes library from my desktop to the laptop. As a result, I took the iPod with me when I went to Wawa. Lately I’ve been re-recording some old albums and Tom Paxton’s 1966 release Outward Bound is one of them, so I decided to give it another listen. The album is pure early Paxton with some good anti-war songs like “My Son John”, social satire “Talking Pop Art”, and love songs “One Time and One Time Only”. In his review at AllMusic Richie Unterberger writes:

What the album does not have are compositions on the level of his best early songs, like “The Last Thing on My Mind” and “Bottle of Wine.” If you want earnest romantic folk, you’re much better off with Gordon Lightfoot or Ian & Sylvia; if you want stirring protest folk, you’d do much better with Phil Ochs and early Bob Dylan; and if you want humor, the Holy Modal Rounders, or for that matter, Ochs and Dylan are preferable. Read More

I would disagree with Richie and say that at least two of the songs are as good as his early songs both “Outward Bound” and “Leaving London” have stood the test of time and are great songs and I may even include “One Time and One Time Only”! While I do agree that there are songs that tend to get dated like “Talking Pop Art” and “Is This Any Way to Run an Airline?” they never fail to bring a smile to my face!! Here’s a link to the song “I Believe, I Do” which is still appropriate for today, especially for viewers of Fox News!!

For those of you who, unlike me, have not been listening to Tom over these last 40 plus years, here, some background:

Thomas Richard “Tom” Paxton (born October 31, 1937) is an American folk singer and singer-songwriter who has had a music career spanning more than fifty years. In 2009, Paxton received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.[1][2]


Paxton’s songs have demonstrated enduring appeal, including modern standards such as “The Last Thing on My Mind”, “Bottle of Wine”, “Whose Garden Was This”, “The Marvelous Toy”, and “Ramblin’ Boy”. Paxton’s songs have been recorded by Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, The Weavers, Judy Collins, Sandy Denny, Joan Baez, Doc Watson, Harry Belafonte, Peter, Paul and Mary, Marianne Faithfull, The Kingston Trio, The Chad Mitchell Trio, John Denver, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, Willie Nelson, Flatt & Scruggs, The Move, The Fireballs, and many others (see covers). He has performed thousands of concerts around the world in such places as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and all over the United States; and his songs have been translated into various languages. Paxton enjoys a strong relationship with fans throughout the world. Continue Reading

Now maybe you’ve never heard Tom sing his songs but you may have heard one of these people do a Paxton song……

Pete Seeger
The Weavers
Judy Collins
Joan Baez
The Carter Family
Johnny Cash (with Diana Trask)
Doc Watson
Harry Belafonte
Dave Van Ronk
Simon & Garfunkel
Eric Andersen
José Feliciano
Peter, Paul and Mary
The Kingston Trio
The Chad Mitchell Trio
Bob Gibson
Plácido Domingo
John Denver Arlo Guthrie
Carolyn Hester
Nanci Griffith
Sandy Denny
Marianne Faithfull
Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner
Willie Nelson
Flatt & Scruggs
J. D. Crowe
The Dillards
Hank Snow
Charley Pride
Hank Locklin
Jean Shepard
Bill Anderson
Chet Atkins
Glen Campbell
Tony Rice Herb Pedersen
Neil Diamond
Mel Tormé
Anne Murray
Dion DiMucci[17]
Tiny Tim
Pat Boone
Bobby Darin
Au Go-Go Singers (featuring
Stephen Stills and
Richie Furay)
Gene Clark
Gram Parsons
Clarence White
Rick Danko
Hoyt Axton
Mary Hopkin
Marie Fredriksson Anne Hills
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
Vera Lynn
Jim and Jean
Glenn Yarbrough
The Highwaymen
Wally Whyton
Cry, Cry, Cry
Dennis Brown
Nana Mouskouri
Fred Åkerström
Joe Dassin
The Pogues
The Fureys
The Rovers
Delroy Wilson
Noel Harrison
The Spinners Daniel O’Donnell
Val Doonican
Sharon, Lois & Bram
Larry Groce
Chris de Burgh
The Vejtables
The Move
The Seekers
The Fireballs
Clear Light
The Irish Rovers
Paddy Reilly with The Dubliners
Danny Doyle
Bobby Vinton
Kate Wolf
Schooner Fare
Jim McCann
Johnny Cash
Tim Grimm
Hannes Wader (Last Thing On My Mind, in German)

Tom songs have been covered by so many people from so many countries that on a live recording of “Bottle of Wine” Tom sings a verse or two in French. He says he had to learn it in French because when he went to France, folks thought it was originally a French folk song!!

Anyway, I’d say that’s a pretty eclectic list wouldn’t you. A name that wasn’t familiar to me on the list was Greek singer Nana Mouskouri  Nana recorded a great cover of the song “Outward Bound” which I found on YouTube this morning, when was looking for a video of Tom performing the song. Here’s a video using her version of the song!!