Bob (2008) Dylan Biography
Artists' website: www.bobdylan.com
Bob Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota on 24th May 1941. He grew up in the mining town of Hibbing and played in a number of rock and roll bands as a high school student. In 1959 he enrolled at the University of Minneapolis but left after his freshman year.
1961 In January, Dylan moved to New York City where he visited his idol Woody Guthrie in hospital and performed in the folk clubs of Greenwich Village. Following a performance at New York's Gerde's Folk City in September, Dylan received public recognition through a review by critic Robert Shelton in The New York Times. Dylan's talents were brought to the attention of A&R producer John Hammond and in October he signed a contract with Columbia Records.
1962 In March, Dylan released his first album, 'Bob Dylan'.
1963 Dylan's second album, 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan', including songs like 'Blowin' in the Wind' and 'Don't Think Twice, It's Alright' helped establish him as a singer and songwriter. He soon became an important figure in the national folk movement. 'Blowin' in the Wind' was released by Peter, Paul and Mary and reached number two on the American music charts in July. In the same month, Dylan performed at the Newport Folk Festival. It was also during 1963 that Dylan became prominent in the civil rights movement, singing at protest rallies with Joan Baez. On 28th August he sang at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the civil rights rally at which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous 'I Have A Dream' speech.
1964 Dylan felt increasingly constrained by the folk and protest movement and his fourth album, 'Another Side of Bob Dylan', released in August 1964, showed a move away from protest songs to ones of a more personal and poetic nature.
1965 Dylan released 'Bringing It All Back Home', which included the use of electric instruments and signified his departure from folk music toward rock and roll. In April, Dylan began a tour of Britain and the hysteria surrounding him was captured in the film documentary, 'Don't Look Back' (1965), directed by the filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker. Dylan's single 'Like a Rolling Stone' was released on 20th July and became his first major hit. Five days later he performed at the Newport Folk Festival, backed by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, where he showcased his new electric sound and received a mixed response from the audience. In September, Dylan began touring backed by the Hawks - who later become known as The Band.
1966 In April, Dylan began a tour of Australia and Europe, which culminated in a raucous and notorious confrontation between the singer and fans during a concert at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in Britain. On 29th July near Woodstock, New York, Dylan crashed his motorcycle. Although the extent of his injuries were not known, he disappeared from public view for many months. He would not tour again for eight years.
1967 In spring, The Band moved to Woodstock to be closer to Dylan and he recorded with them in the basement of their house. The tracks produced were widely bootlegged and only legitimately released in 1975 as 'The Basement Tapes'.
1968 On 20th January, Dylan made his first live appearance, following the accident, with The Band at a memorial concert for Woody Guthrie in New York City.
1969 In May, Dylan appeared on the first episode of Johnny Cash's new television show, singing several songs as duets with Cash. Dylan rejected requests to perform at the 'Woodstock Festival' and instead topped the bill at the 'Isle of Wight Rock Festival' on 31st August.
Bob (2008) Dylan Description
Bob Dylan is one of the most influential and, at times, controversial figures in the music world of the last five decades. Over the last forty-eight years he has released forty-six albums and written over five hundred songs including 'Blowin' in the Wind', 'The Times They Are A-Changin', 'Like a Rolling Stone', 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' and 'Make You Feel My Love'. Selling over 110 million records around the world, his songs have been covered more than three thousand times by artists as diverse as Sonny and Cher, The Byrds, the Rolling Stones, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Jarrett, Guns N' Roses, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Marley, Pearl Jam and Neil Young.
Bob Dylan's music has been recognised and honoured with many awards. He received an honorary doctorate of music from Princeton University, New Jersey in 1970 and from St Andrews University, Scotland in 2004. In addition to winning numerous Grammy Awards, his song 'Things Have Changed' from the film 'Wonder Boys' (2000) won him an Academy Award in 2001 and his 2009 album, 'Together Through Life', entered the charts at number one in the UK and America, and charted Top Five in many other countries around the world.
From his performances in Greenwich Village coffee houses, festivals and rallies in the early 1960s, to his stadium concerts of the 1970s and his subsequent worldwide tours, Bob Dylan has built his musical reputation on the strength of his live appearances. He has played no fewer than one hundred shows a year since 1988 and has performed alongside other major artists such as Joan Baez, Tom Petty, George Harrison, the Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.
Although Bob Dylan is best known as a singer and songwriter, he is also a writer, film director, actor, radio broadcaster and artist. His experimental collection of writings, 'Tarantula', was published in 1970 and his autobiography 'Chronicles: Volume One', released in 2004, became an international bestseller. Bob Dylan has both directed and acted in a number of films, making his first appearance in 'Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid' (1973) and more recently in 'Masked and Anonymous' (2003). A collection of Bob Dylan's drawings and sketches, made while on a tour of America, Europe and Asia between 1989 and 1992, were published in 'Drawn Blank' in 1994. These drawings were re-worked and first shown at a museum exhibition in Germany in autumn 2007, and at Halcyon Gallery, London in 2008.
In April 2008, Dylan received a Special Citation Pulitzer Prize 'for his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power'.