Bob Dylan

(b. 1941)

Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, singer and songwriter Bob Dylan is one of the most influential and revered figures in Folk and Rock. Among the most celebrated songwriters of the 20th century, Dylan is often credited with introducing literary and intellectual ambition into popular music. Dylan came to prominence as part of the American folk revival of the early 1960s, and has maintained an active career that spans five decades and over 30 albums.

Bob Dylan was a teenager when Rock and Roll exploded onto the American landscape in the mid-1950s and the young Dylan was an avid fan, teaching himself to play guitar and harmonica and performing with his high school band, the Golden Chords. By the time Dylan graduated and enrolled in the University of Minnesota, his early musical influences of Little Richard, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly gave way to a Woody Guthrie obsession that would eventually compel him to drop out of college to immerse himself in the Greenwich Village Folk-scene of New York in the early 1960s.

His performances eventually gained the attention of John Hammond at Columbia Records, who signed Dylan in 1962. What followed was a series of albums whose songs became enmeshed with the 1960s anti-war and Civil Rights movements and defined Dylan as "the voice of his generation": "Blowin' In The Wind," "Masters Of War," "A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall," " The Times They Are A Changin'," "With God On Our Side."

Dylan's 1965 Newport Folk Festival appearance marked a turning point in his career, with Dylan backed by a rock band and trading his acoustic guitar for a Stratocaster. He was famously greeted by boos from the purist crowd, but Dylan was just getting started: the subsequent album Highway 61 Revisited became a chart-topping hit, and produced the iconic "Like A Rolling Stone," which Rolling Stone magazine placed at No. 1 on the top of their list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Newport was far from the last time Dylan would confound expectations: in the decades since, over dozens of records and countless live performances, he's reinvented himself repeatedly, proving as mercurial and inscrutable as he is brilliant. Dylan is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, numerous Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award. He was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1989.

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