25 Things You Should Know About Bob Dylan

 

1. He lived his first six years in Duluth, next 12 years in Hibbing, and a year or two in Minneapolis before launching his career in New York City.

18-1955-1956 Teenage Bowling League Champs,

2. In Hibbing, Bobby Zimmerman listened to R&B, country and rock on late-night radio stations from the South. In his high school yearbook, he proclaimed that he wanted to join Little Richard’s band.

 12-Bob Zimmerman, Camp Herzl, 1957.

3. The turning point in Dylan’s career was a New York Times review by Robert Shelton in September 1961. It led to his contract with Columbia Records.

Cafe_Wha_1961_with_Karen_Dalton_Fred_Neil_2

4. After recording his versions of blues and folk songs on his debut album, the 21-year-old Dylan showcased his own songwriting on his second one, 1963’s “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” — including “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Masters of War.”

 

5. Although he had a reputation in folk circles, it took artists covering his songs — Peter, Paul & Mary’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and the Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man” — to introduce Dylan to pop audiences.

 

6- Dylan delivered a 1-2 punch in July 1965, releasing the revolutionary single “Like a Rolling Stone” and then going electric at the Newport Folk Festival, setting off a controversy that’s still debated today.

Newport Folk Festival

7-  Bringing It All Back Home,” “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Blonde on Blonde” ranks as one of the most revered back-to-back-to-back outputs in rock history.

8- After recording exclusively in New York, Dylan headed to Nashville to make four disparate albums — the rocking “Blonde on Blonde,” the gentler “John Wesley Harding,” the country-ish “Nashville Skyline” and the curveball covers album “Self Portrait.

9- On July 29, 1966, Dylan reportedly crashed his motorcycle near his home in Woodstock, N.Y., and he disappeared — partly to recover and partly to get away from the burdens of superstardom. He did not appear in public for two years and did not hit the concert circuit again until 1974.

1966 bob dylan motorcycle accident

10- Director Sam Peckinpah created a part for Dylan in his 1972 movie “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” and featured Dylan’s song “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” Dylan has appeared in several documentaries, including his own 1978 epic “Renaldo and Clara.” He won an Oscar for the song “Things Have Changed” for “Wonder Boys” in 2000.

Billy the Kid bob dylan

11- After finishing “Blood on the Tracks” in New York, Dylan re-recorded half the album over Christmas in Minneapolis with Twin Cities musicians enlisted by his brother, David Zimmerman. The album, which explored the breakup of Dylan’s marriage, was released in January 1975 without updated liner notes, so the home-state players never got credit.

 

12- Having been raised in the Jewish religion, Dylan explored Christianity on three controversial albums — 1979’s “Slow Train Coming,” 1980’s “Saved” and 1981’s “Shot of Love.”

13. In 1988, Dylan joined the British/American supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. They made two well-received albums but never toured.

 

14. Dylan’s so-called Never Ending Tour started in 1988. It has featured more than 2,700 concerts. His longest break from the tour was three months. He averages 100 shows annually.

Bob Dylan

15. Launched in 1991, “The Bootleg Series” has offered previously unreleased songs and alternative versions. At 12 volumes, the recordings have shed new light on old albums and offered rare concerts from Royal Albert Hall and elsewhere.

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