Simply put, folk/rock songwriter and singer Bob Dylan changed popular music
at the DNA level. Born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota,
he adopted the name Bob Dylan when he began performing folk and country songs while
attending college. In 1961, Dylan signed his first recording contract; he would go on to
redefine modern songwriting, bringing it a new poetic depth, and becoming one of the
most influential figures in rock history.
In the early 1970s, fans and critics of Bob Dylan began to question the varied and
unpredictable nature of the singer’s recent releases. Much of that changed by mid-year
when he teamed with The Band. A North American tour culminated in the live double
album Before the Flood. In 1975 he set out on the road again, this time as part of the
Rolling Thunder Revue, a varied evening that featured some 100 performers including
Roger McGuinn, Joni Mitchell, and Joan Baez, with Sam Shepard and Allen Ginsberg
along for the ride. In 1976, Dylan notably appeared at The Band’s “farewell” concert,
and in late 1980 he returned to the stage with a repertoire that featured many of his
classic tunes. He remains the poet laureate of rock’n’roll.