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BOB DYLAN


Bob Dylan, original name Robert Allen Zimmerman, (born May 24, 1941, Duluth, Minnesota, U.S.), American folksinger who moved from folk to rock music in the 1960s, infusing the lyrics of rock and roll, theretofore concerned mostly with boy-girl romantic innuendo, with the intellectualism of classic literature and poetry. Hailed as the Shakespeare of his generation, Dylan sold tens of millions of albums, wrote more than 500 songs recorded by more than 2,000 artists, performed all over the world, and set the standard for lyric writing. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.


He grew up in the northeastern Minnesota mining town of Hibbing, where his father co-owned Zimmerman Furniture and Appliance Co. Taken with the music of Hank Williams, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Ray, he acquired his first guitar in 1955 at age 14 and later, as a high school student, played in a series of rock and roll bands. In 1959, just before enrolling at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, he served a brief stint playing piano for rising pop star Bobby Vee. While attending college, he discovered the bohemian section of Minneapolis known as Dinkytown. Fascinated by Beat poetry and folksinger Woody Guthrie, he began performing folk music in coffeehouses, adopting the last name Dylan (after the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas). Restless and determined to meet Guthrie—who was confined to a hospital in New Jersey—he relocated to the East Coast.


Dylan’s eponymous first album was released in March 1962 to mixed reviews. His singing voice—a cowboy lament laced with Midwestern patois, with an obvious nod to Guthrie—confounded many critics. It was a sound that took some getting used to. By comparison, Dylan’s second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (released in May 1963), sounded a clarion call. Young ears everywhere quickly assimilated his quirky voice, which divided parents and children and established him as part of the burgeoning counterculture, “a rebel with a cause.” Moreover, his first major composition, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” served notice that this was no cookie-cutter recording artist. About this time, Dylan signed a seven-year management contract with Albert Grossman, who soon replaced Hammond with another Columbia producer, Tom Wilson.


In April 1963 Dylan played his first major New York City concert, at Town Hall. In May, when he was forbidden to perform “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” on Ed Sullivan’s popular television program, he literally walked out on a golden opportunity. That summer, championed by folk music’s doyenne, Joan Baez, Dylan made his first appearance at the Newport Folk Festival and was virtually crowned the king of folk music. The prophetic title song of his next album, The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964), provided an instant anthem. Millions jumped on the bandwagon when the mainstream folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary reached number two on the Billboard pop singles chart in mid-1963 with their version of “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Dylan was perceived as a singer of protest songs, a politically charged artist with a whole other agenda. (Unlike Elvis Presley, there would be no film of Dylan singing “Rock-a-Hula Baby” surrounded by bikini-clad women.) Dylan spawned imitators at coffeehouses and record labels everywhere.


In June 1965, consorting with “hardened” rock musicians and in kinship with the Byrds, Dylan recorded his most ascendant song yet, “Like a Rolling Stone.” Devoid of obvious protest references, set against a rough-hewn, twangy rock underpinning, and fronted by a snarling vocal that lashed out at all those who questioned his legitimacy, “Like a Rolling Stone” spoke to yet a new set of listeners and reached number two on the Billboard chart. It was the final link in the chain. The world fell at Dylan’s feet. And the album containing the hit single, Highway 61 Revisited (1965), further vindicated his abdication of the protest throne.


In 1967 the Band moved to Woodstock to be closer to Dylan. Occasionally they coaxed him into the basement studio of their communal home to play music together, and recordings from these sessions ultimately became the double album The Basement Tapes (1975). In early 1968 Columbia released a stripped-down album of new Dylan songs titled John Wesley Harding. At least partly because of public curiosity about Dylan’s seclusion, it reached number two on the Billboard album chart (eight places higher than Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, released in 1967). In January 1968 Dylan made his first postaccident appearance at a memorial concert for Woody Guthrie in New York City. His image had changed; with shorter hair, spectacles, and a neglected beard, he resembled a rabbinical student. At this point Dylan adopted the stance he held for the rest of his career: sidestepping the desires of the critics, he went in any direction but those called for in print. When his audience and critics were convinced that his muse had left him, Dylan would deliver an album at full strength, only to withdraw again.



All supporting facts from Wikipedia,google searches photo


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