Bob Dylan

 

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.