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Tuesday, March 26, 2013


"Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" is a song that has its birth right here in the bay area; Berkeley folkie Anne Bredon wrote it in the late '50's, and while performing it on Berkeley radio station KPFA it was picked up by Janet Smith. It was at a Smith performance where Joan Baez heard the song and requested Janet Smith to provide her with a recording of the song. It's unclear whose ding it was, but when Baez' version was released on her massive selling, massively influential In Concert Part 1 LP, it was credited to "traditional". Eventually, the Baez record was amended to the proper writers credit.

The Plebs, from the outskirts of London, were formed in 1964 by former members of The Nashville Teens and Screaming Lord Sutch's Savages, and spent the year touring on their own and also backing Jerry Lee Lewis on several of his UK dates. The band only stuck around long enough to cut one 45, and the b-side was THEIR interpretation of "Babe"; once again credited to "traditional". It's a fabulous interpretation, and it showcases the mod r&b sound of the time in a brilliant way. Five years later another "traditional" credited version (and the most famous of all) was released by Led Zeppelin. Fortunately, many years later Anne Bredon was given her rightful songwriting credit, and an accompanying check for a massive amount of cash.

from 1964...


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