Charlie McCoy was a session muso:
# “We always compare the song to a picture,” explained McCoy, whose harmonica blowing stood out for its velocity and melodic phrasing. “We’re just here to provide the frame, to make the picture look and sound good. If you didn’t learn that your career would be shot.”
# “As musicians you don’t get to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a session,” McCoy said, lounging in a chair at the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where a plaque attests to his achievements. “Only if they weren’t paying union rates.”
But Columbia, Dylan’s record label, had ordered him not to step foot in “backwards” Tennessee.
McCoy said: “The bible of that movement was Rolling Stone magazine and it was not kind to Nashville. Quotes like ‘cookie-cutter music, all business and no art, assembly line music’. But we were A-list musicians who knew how to get a lot of music, at high quality, in a very short space of time, on a small budget.