Bob Dylan

Biography

Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman, 24.5.1941)

Bob Dylan is an American songwriter who rose to fame in the 1960s.

Bob Dylan: Childhood

Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota and was later raised near Lake Superior. He has a Jewish heritage.

Bob Dylan's first band was the Shadow Blasters, followed by The Golden Chords, who played cover versions of popular songs. In 1959, he played with Bobby Vee, hand-clapping and playing piano. That same year, he moved to the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Upon hearing Odetta, he traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic and his love of folk music, as opposed to rock 'n' roll, slowly grew. He began playing at coffee houses such as the 10 O'clock Scholar and became a part of the Dinkytown folk scene.

Bob Dylan: New York City & the Beginnings of Fame

In 1961, Dylan moved to New York City, intending to visit his hero, Woody Guthrie, who was in hospital there. Eventually, his music was heard by John Hammond, who signed him to Columbia Records.

Dylan's debut album was entitled Bob Dylan and was released in 1962. It featured folk and blues standard as well as two of his own songs. That year, he signed a management deal with Albert Grossman.

The second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan was an introduction to his protest songs, featuring one of his most notorious songs, 'Blowin' In The Wind'. He soon became a prominent figure in the Greenwich Village folk movement. Artists including the Hollies, Manfred Mann and Sonny and Cher had hits with Dylan's songs in the 1960s.

Bob Dylan often performed with Joan Baez at protest rallies and the pair were figureheads of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Dylan's next albums were the Times They Are A-Changin', followed by Another Side of Bob Dylan.

In 1965, Dylan released Bringing It All Back Home, featuring something of a style shift, with songs such as 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'. Appearing at that year's Newport Folk Festival, he played his electric guitar, apparently alienating a huge section of the audience.

Released in 1965, the single 'Like A Rolling Stone' reached number two in the US and number 4 in the UK. Shortly after, came Dylan's Highway '61 Revisited. The next year, Dylan travelled to Nashville and recorded Blonde On Blonde. His 1966 world tour culminated in the notorious gig at Manchester's Free Trade Hall, which saw one angry fan shout "Judas!" when Dylan played his electric guitar.

In 1967, after a break following a motorcycle accident, Dylan released the album John Wesley Harding, which included 'All Along The Watchtower', famously covered by Jimi Hendrix.

Dylan's 1969 release, Nashville Skyline was a country record, featuring Johnny Cash and the hit single 'Lay Lady Lay'.

Dylan's life as the critical darling ended abruptly in the early 1970s, when Greil Marcus famously asked "What is this shit?" in a Rolling Stone review of Self Portrait.

In 1972, Bob Dylan provided the soundtrack to Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, including the song 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door', which has been covered by over 150 artists. The next year, he signed with Geffen and released Picture Waves with The Band.

Following a marriage-break-up, Dylan released Blood On the Tracks in 1974, though it did not fare well with many critics, such as the NME's Nick Kent. In 1976, Dylan appeared at The Band's final performance, along with Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. The performance was released on the album the Last Waltz.

In the late 1970's, Dylan became a born-again Christian and released two Christian gospel albums, Slow Train Coming and Saved.

Though Dylan continued to release albums in the 1980s, much of it was overlooked, both commercially and critically. Of his more respected work of the era, 1983's Infidels stood out. In 1988, he was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, with a speech by Bruce Springsteen. His 1990 album Under the Red Sky was so poorly received that he did not make another album for seven years.

It was not until 2001's Love and Theft that Dylan fell back into favour with his audience, with many applauding its wide range of styles, including jazz, swing and lounge ballads.

In 2004, his autobiography Chronicles: Volume One reached number two on the New York Times bestseller list.

In 2006, Bob Dylan's Modern Times album reached number one in the US charts. The same year, he began hosting a weekly radio show, entitled 'Theme Time Radio Hour'. The show was later broadcast by the BBC.

In 2007, Todd Haynes wrote and directed the film I'm Not There, which was inspired by Dylan's life and music. A number of different actors played Dylan in the movie, most notably Cate Blanchett, but also Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Richard Gere. The same year, Dylan authorized the first ever official remix of one his songs. Mark Ronson had asked to remix 'Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine).'

In July 2008, it was announced by CBS that they would release a long-awaited bootleg series, entitled Tell Tale Signs: Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006.

Bob Dylan: Personal Life

In 1965, Bob Dylan married Sara Lownds. They had four children together: Jesse Byron, Anna Lea, Samuel Isaac Abraham and Jakob Luke. Bob also adopted Sara's daughter Maria Lownds. Bob and Sara divorced in 1977.

Bob Dylan then married his backing singer, Carolyn Dennis in 1986. They had one daughter, Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, in 1986. They divorced in 1992.

Read More

Bob Dylan's Lost Recordings Unearthed In New York Apartment

3rd July 2014 -

 News

A treasure trove of forgotten Bob Dylan recordings have been unearthed in the music icon's former apartment in New York.The boxes of acetates were discovered by the estate executor of the late owner of Dylan's...

Bob Dylan lyric sheet sold for $2.045 million

25th June 2014 -

 News

A lyric sheet for Bob Dylan's 1965 hit song 'Like a Rolling Stone' has sold for $2.045 million.The draft was bought by an unidentified bidder at auction house Sotheby's on Tuesday (24.06.14) and the sale...

Handwritten Lyrics To Bob Dylan's Iconic Anti-Establishment Song "Like A Rolling Stone" Sold For $2 Million

25th June 2014 -

 News

In an ironic twist of fate, the handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone have sold at at Sotheby's auction house in New York. The song is one of the most popular pieces...

Bob Dylan's Handwritten Lyrics Break Sales Record At Auction

24th June 2014 -

 News

The handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan song Like a Rolling Stone have been sold at auction for over $2 million (£1.25 million).The folk-rocker's scrawl has broken sales records for popular music lyrics snapped up at...

Lana Del Rey feels connected to late icons

16th June 2014 -

 News

Lana Del Rey claims she has a ''special relationship'' with Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.The 'Summertime Sadness' hitmaker - who recently admitted she wished she was already dead - says her ''most meaningful relationships'' are...

Alice Cooper praises musical megastars

2nd June 2014 -

 News

Alice Cooper is friends with his musical heroes.The 66-year-old rocker was lucky enough to meet many of his idols, from Frank Sinatra to John Lennon, over the course of his career and has always found...

Bob Dylan working on new album

14th May 2014 -

 News

Bob Dylan is working on a new album. The 72-year-old singer has treated fans on his website bobdylan.com by posting a cover of Frank Sinatra's 'Full Moon & Empty Hearts', which will reportedly be featured...

Bob Dylan Releases Surprise Frank Sinatra Cover

14th May 2014 -

 News

Folk legend Bob Dylan has unexpectedly released a cover of Frank Sinatra's track Full Moon and Empty Arms.The Like a Rolling Stone singer has followed in the footsteps of artists like Beyonce and has debuted...

Chuck Berry and Peter Sellars to receive Polar Music Prize

8th May 2014 -

 News

Chuck Berry and Peter Sellars will receive the 2014 Polar Music Prize.Rock 'n' roll legend Berry, 87, and American opera and theatre director Sellars, 56, will both be presented with the prestigious accolade by King...

Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics up for sale

1st May 2014 -

 News

Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics for 'Like a Rolling Stone' will be auctioned in June.The 72-year-old star's scribbled ideas for the 1965 hit single are to be sold at Sotheby's rock and pop music auction in...

Bob Dylan's Handwritten Rolling Stone Lyrics To Go Up For Auction

1st May 2014 -

 News

Handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan's classic hit Like A Rolling Stone are to be sold at auction in New York in June (14).Dylan wrote his career-changing song in pencil on small sheets of hotel stationery...

Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter Dies At 76

20th April 2014 -

 News

Boxing icon Rubin Carter, who was immortalised in song by Bob Dylan and portrayed onscreen by Denzel Washington, has died at the age of 76.The sportsman, known by his nickname Hurricane, had been battling prostate...

Music Fans Crown Ozzy Osbourne And Lady Gaga "Hardest Artists To Understand"

18th April 2014 -

 News

Music fans have named Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna in their top ten hardest artists to understand lyrically. 2000 people took part in the poll, which was created by Blinkbox music, a music streaming...

French Racial Hatred Charges Against Bob Dylan Dropped

16th April 2014 -

 News

Folk rocker Bob Dylan is no longer facing prosecution in France over allegations of inciting racial hatred in a magazine interview after the case was thrown out of court.Last year (13), local police launched an...

Marcus Mumford to pen unheard Bob Dylan tracks

27th March 2014 -

 News

Marcus Mumford is using unheard Bob Dylan lyrics for a new project.The Mumford and Sons frontman has penned new words to unfinished tracks written by the legendary folk singer in the late sixties during his...

Elvis Costello & Marcus Mumford Turn Lost Bob Dylan Lyrics Into New Album

26th March 2014 -

 News

Elvis Costello and Marcus Mumford have signed up to help music producer T Bone Burnett turn lost Bob Dylan lyrics into songs for a new tribute album.My Morning Jacket star Jim James and Rhiannon Giddens...

Alexandra Shulman wanted music career

18th March 2014 -

 News

Alexandra Shulman initially wanted to go into the music industry.The editor of British Vogue magazine confessed she was charmed by a young boy who worked in the ''music biz'' at a Bob Dylan gig when...

Elvis' Cape & Bob Dylan's Lyrics Are Highlights At Music Auction

17th March 2014 -

 News

The heavy cape Elvis Presley had to hang up before his Aloha From Hawaii special and the handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan's Lay Lady Lay are up for grabs at an ongoing Marvels of Modern...

Bob Dylan Thrills Boxer Pacquaio With Training Session Visit

14th March 2014 -

 News

Boxer Manny Pacquiao had a very special visitor check out a training session in Los Angeles on Thursday (13Mar14) - folk rock legend Bob Dylan.The fighter was preparing for his upcoming rematch with welterweight champion...

Charlie Daniels Paying Tribute To Bob Dylan With Covers Album

7th February 2014 -

 News

Country rocker Charlie Daniels is releasing an album of Bob Dylan covers to pay tribute to the folk icon.The veteran singer reveals he has always looked up to the Blowin' in the Wind hitmaker and...

Bob Dylan dominates Super Bowl ads

3rd February 2014 -

 News

Bob Dylan was used in two commercials during the Super Bowl last night (02.02.14). The 72-year-old musician appeared in an advert for the Chrysler 200, and also allowed the makers of low-fat yoghurt Chobani to...

Music Legend Bob Dylan Will Feature In Chrysler Super Bowl Commercial

30th January 2014 -

 News

Bob Dylan, a music pioneer since the 1960s, will be the latest high-profile personality to star in a Super Bowl ad for the upcoming sporting event.The 74 year-old singer/songwriter will appear in a new commercial...

'Bob Dylan In The 80s' Volume One To Be Released March 25th 2014

23rd January 2014 -

 Press

ATO Records is excited to announce the release of Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One on March 25. The brainchild of producers Jesse Lauter (Elvis Perkins, The Low Anthem) and Sean O'Brien (Dawes, PAPA),...

Biffy Clyro to headline at Isle of Wight 2014

10th December 2013 -

 News

Biffy Clyro is to headline at the Isle of Wight festival next year. The Scottish rock band - made up of Simon Neil, James Johnston and Ben Johnston - will take to the stage for...

Bob Dylan's Newport Festival Guitar Sets Auction Record As It Sells For Almost $1 Million

7th December 2013 -

 News

Bob Dylan, without knowing it, made history on Friday, 6 December, when the sunburst Fender Stratocaster he played during the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 was sold at auction for just short of $1 million....

Bob Dylan's Electric Guitar Sets Auction World Record

6th December 2013 -

 News

The guitar folk icon Bob Dylan used as he attempted to relaunch himself as an electric rock 'n' roll star in 1965 has gone under the hammer for a record-breaking $965,000 (£643,330).The legendary musician strummed...

Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man Lyrics Go Under The Hammer

5th December 2013 -

 News

The original hand-written lyrics to Bob Dylan's iconic track Mr. Tambourine Man are going under the hammer.The star scribbled the words to the 1965 song in a notebook, and the page featuring the original lyrics...

Bob Dylan in Hot Water Over Croat-Serbs, Nazi-Jews Comparisons

3rd December 2013 -

 News

Bob Dylan is allegedly facing legal action over comments he made regarding Croatians and Serbians in an interview with Rolling Stone. The CRICCF - a Croatian community organisation based in France – suggested the comments...

Bob Dylan Under Investigation In France For 'Racist' Remarks

3rd December 2013 -

 News

Iconic American singer/musician Bob Dylan has landed in hot water with the French authorities.The 72 year-old has been placed under judicial investigation in France for allegedly making racist remarks towards Croatians.The comments stem from an...

French Prosecutors Follow Up Bob Dylan Drama With Investigation

3rd December 2013 -

 News

French prosecutors have confirmed they are investigating comments Bob Dylan made in a magazine article after officials at the country's Council of Croats threatened legal action against the singer/songwriter.Bosses of the Croatian community organisation have...

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Comments

ritamay's picture

ritamay

After decades of believing my ideal man to be brown eyed and dark I just realised most of my exes possessed one or more Dylanesque feature. It wasn't deliberate but most had long, curly, light brown hair, and/or blue eyes - even the pout!!

6 months 2 weeks ago
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BOBBEE's picture

BOBBEE

I am at the worse possible place in my life. I watched the Martin Scorcese docu on Bob Dylan. I loved it! I bought my first CD and the Scorcese DVD. The late 60's 70's was my era BUT I was not there. So it has taken 40 or 50 years for me to find Bob Dylan and there is just something about him, his words, his personality that I felt about him as a young man. He made me laugh (in a good way.) This has become a good thing for me at this time. I want to see him but the baseball fields are too far away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope he comes to Jersey soon. His music, his words are wonderful one can't help but smile!thanxmarymiraglia2003@yahoo.com

7 years 11 months ago
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egygurl's picture

egygurl

im a 14 year old egyptian gurl who unfourtantly never went to a dylan concert cause he doesnt do any in middleeast anywayz after listining to only few song i know he is one of the greatest most intellctual artistic minds america has seen if i ever go 2 america i wouldlove to know alot more about this very smart person he even erased my anti-semtism if thats how you spell it

7 years 3 months ago
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Rrivkah18's picture

Rrivkah18

I don't want to say anything bad here, but SUZE ROTOLO's Memoirs are out of place at this time in her life. This was a pure money making scheme.

6 years 2 months ago
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woodstock's picture

woodstock

what about Time Out of Mind? I grew up with Bob Dylan's music, and I've been a fan since day one. Bob was born in '41 and I was born in '42 so I related to his music immediately. I'm a collector,(small time) mostly all cd's and some great posters. I have all 8 of the bootleg series and also the beautiful, beautiful set of The Traveling Wilburys and I'm current on everything he's recorded in the past, oh, I don't know, 20 years? maybe. So I'm thrilled that he's had this success late in life, and I say rock on little darlin' I'm hoping to get every single cd case and make a piece of art from them. Oh did you mention MTV Unplugged? The DVD from that gig is priceless. Oh did you mention The Kennedy Center honor? Or that he sang "The Chimes of Freedom" at Clinton's inauration, his appearance at Martin Luther King's march on Washington, and the I have a dream speech, August '63. The list is long my friends.

5 years 1 month ago
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voegelin's picture

voegelin

interesting mix of comments - straight out of a dylan song - a lost person who is found again, an islander and a trickster - Jokerman, Carribean Wind, Mozambiqueand Desoaltion Row all rolled into one and - o yeah - add one more freaky character (no offense to all the above because in dylan land to be freaky is to be cool) me - a guy from Australia with a dylan fixation for 30 years who just doesnt care about any bad press dylan gets - the man is simply beyond all that stuff - and likeus writing in this obscure column - ok about our own weirdness. congrats you guys and see you in the man's next great song

7 years 6 months ago
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Rrivkah18's picture

Rrivkah18

I would say that Bob Dylan spent $200,000.00 on his New Year's Eve Party. It is only a guess, but if he had alot of guests, I think that my guess is pretty much accurate.

6 years 6 months ago
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islander's picture

islander

the man is a living legend...he is awesome. I once was in one of his concert in Sydney, Australia..i'd say it's a lifetime experience. Though i'm from a small island in the middle of nowhere, his influence here musically and lyrically cannot be compared!!

7 years 9 months ago
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Rrivkah18's picture

Rrivkah18

I would like to help in rennovating the london lovenest, or what have you? I would try to "M'kadosh" the flat. This of course, is a spritual term, but I think that is what the "flat" needs!Peace to everyone!Rivkah

8 years 3 months ago
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