This is one of the earliest recordings of Dylan playing a Dylan original. He recorded it on December 22, 1961, in the midst of his first year in New York City.
Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota, and grew up in Hibbing from the age of six onward, but he traveled to New York in January 1961. He went there to visit folk-music legend Woody Guthrie
, who was Dylan's musical idol, and to plug himself into the city's music scene, where he was far more likely to be discovered and land a record deal. This ended up being the first chapter in his launch to stardom (and eventual immortality), but he returned to Minnesota twice during that first year - once in August and once in December.
On that December visit, he recorded a few songs at the apartment of Bonnie Beecher, who was his friend and also the possible subject of "Girl From The North Country
." That tape survived and went on to become known as the Minnesota Hotel Tape because Beecher's apartment was nicknamed the Hotel.