Bob Dylan born Robert Allen Zimmerman ; May 24, is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than 50 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the s, when songs such as " Blowin' in the Wind " and " The Times They Are a-Changin' " became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture. Following his self-titled debut album in , which mainly comprised traditional folk songs , Dylan made his breakthrough as a songwriter with the release of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan the following year. For many of these songs, he adapted the tunes and phraseology of older folk songs. In and , Dylan drew controversy when he adopted electrically amplified rock instrumentation, and in the space of 15 months recorded three of the most important and influential rock albums of the s: Bringing It All Back Home , Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde Commenting on the six-minute single " Like a Rolling Stone " , Rolling Stone wrote: "No other pop song has so thoroughly challenged and transformed the commercial laws and artistic conventions of its time, for all time.
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Hailed as the Shakespeare of his generation, Dylan sold tens of millions of albums, wrote more than songs recorded by more than 2, artists, performed all over the world, and set the standard for lyric writing. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 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 at age 14 and later, as a high school student, played in a series of rock and roll bands. In , 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. He quickly built a cult following and within four months was hired to play harmonica for a Harry Belafonte recording session. His singing voice—a cowboy lament laced with Midwestern patois, with an obvious nod to Guthrie—confounded many critics.
No one person composed a piece; it evolved through generations of communal care. In recent years, however, folk music has increasingly become the quite personal—and copyrighted—product of specific creators. More and more of them, in fact, are neither rural nor representative of centuries-old family and regional traditions.
Bob Dylan. Published: 13 Aug Published: 4 Aug Published: 24 Jun Kitty Empire's album of the week Bob Dylan: Rough and Rowdy Ways review — enthralling, mischievous — and very male 4 out of 5 stars. Is it a last boomer hurrah? Published: 20 Jun Bob Dylan's Rough and Rowdy Ways: discuss his five-star new album. Published: 19 Jun Carmine Street Guitars: tuning up with New York's finest plank-spankers.