About Bob Dylan
Having penned some of the anthems of the 1960s' civil rights and anti-war movements, Bob Dylan will forever be a part of not just rock-and-roll history, but American history, as well. By defying pop music conventions and exploring a variety of musical genres, Dylan carved his own path through the mass of popular culture. His success is evidenced in the multiple awards and accolades he has received, including the Pulitzer Prize jury citing his impact as "marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."
Following his stated high school ambition “to follow Little Richard,” Dylan took an interest in American folk music while at the University of Minnesota. It was during his time on the Dinkytown folk circuit that he shifted his name from Robert Zimmerman to Bob Dylan, inspired by the poetry of Dylan Thomas.
In 1961, at the end of his freshman year, Dylan moved on to New York City in hopes of meeting his idol, an ailing Woody Guthrie. He did just that and vowed to become “Guthrie's greatest disciple.” Falling into the thriving Greenwich Village folk scene, it wasn't long before Dylan caught the ear of producer John Hammond who signed him to a deal with Columbia Records.
Although his debut album did little business, the follow-up, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, started making some inroads. Filled with protest songs inspired by Guthrie as well as Pete Seeger, the album's most visible track was “Blowin' in the Wind,” which would go on to become a worldwide hit for Peter, Paul, and Mary. Joan Baez also brought Dylan into the limelight through her performances and recordings of his songs.
Dylan kept the political themes flowing through The Times They Are a-Changin', but then lightened his mood for Another Side of Bob Dylan. Then, with 1965's Bringing It All Back Home, he went electric. That year also saw the release of the single "Like a Rolling Stone" which hit number two on the U.S. charts and has been counted by Rolling Stone magazine as the greatest song of all time. Pressures from the folk movement and fairly consistent touring started mounting. In 1966, Dylan crashed his motorcycle and turned the accident into an excuse to withdraw from the public. He wouldn't tour again for eight years. He continued to record, however. ....read more
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