Bob Dylan

From ArticleWorld

Robert Allen Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan was born on May 24, 1941. Dylan, a native of Duluth, Minnesota, is credited as one of the most respected and versatile songwriters of his era.


Dylan spent most of his life in Hibbing, MN with his parents Abraham Zimmerman and Beatric Stone. As he grew up listening to the radio, Bob Dylan became heavily influenced by the blues and country music that he heard. Later he was also influenced by early Rock and Roll. He began his music career via several short-lived bands throughout high school.

At age 18, Dylan moved to Minneapolis and enrolled at the University of Minnesota. He continued performing while in college – mostly solo acts – just Dylan and his guitar playing his preferred style at the time: folk music. While Dylan dropped out of college after his freshman year, he still continued performing in the folk music circuit. Music exec John Hammond took notice of the young performer and signed him to a contract with Columbia records in 1961. Dylan released several album titles under the Columbia label including his first: Bob Dylan (1962) and The Times Thy Are A-Changin’ (1964). With his second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, he began establishing himself as a singer and songwriter, drawn primarily to writing protest songs. One of his more popular songs: Blowin’ In the Wind achieved well known status after it was recorded by folk music staples: Peter, Paul and Mary.

Making an Impact

The mid and late 1960’s marked the height of Dylan’s career and solidified his persona as a trend shifting songwriter. Dylan was known to use his lyrics to make statements about the events of the era. He was heavily involved in the civil rights movement. Political statements were evident in his music. In the mid 60’s, he began gravitating away from his folk music sound into a more electrically charged sound – much to the dismay of his fans. And yet, his albums flew off the shelves. Dylan very quickly became known as musically unpredictable. One never knew what would be on new album releases or performed at his concerts. Dylan continued recording with Columbia until his contract expired in 1973. He then signed with the Asylum label. He released several more albums under Asylum including the 1975 fan favorite: Blood On the Tracks.

New Found Faith/Dylan Today

Album releases and concert appearances ensued as normal until 1979 when Dylan became a born-again Christian. As a result of his new found faith, Dylan released three albums of Christian music. By 1983, Dylan was again gravitating back toward secular music with his album release that same year: Infidels. While this album did indeed contain primarily secular music, it is speculated that subsequent albums contained subtler Christian themes throughout the music.

Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Throughout the 1990’s and currently, he continues to release albums, many of which seem to indicate a return to his folk music roots. He is expected to begin hosting a weekly XM Satellite hour long radio show on the Deep Tracks channel sometime in March of 2006.