Musicians Heroes

Bob Dylan

by Bronwyn from North Carolina

Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1991, is one of the most influential musicians of our time. He overcame stereotypes, critics, and the mainstream music of his generation to invent a style of his own that has since inspired many. He has written and sung many chart toping hits and is still actively writing today. His latest album, "Modern Times" came out at #1 on the charts and was later named Album of the Year by "Rolling Stone" Magazine. I personally love his music and his innovative lyrics that are still unique today. He created a genre all his own and despite the negativity he got throughout his career, he kept going and has become a legend in American music today.

Bob Dylan was raised in a relatively quiet town: Hibbing, MN. He learned to play the guitar and harmonica from a young age and went on to study art at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. When he began performing folk songs, he changed his stage name to Dylan, after the poet Dylan Thomas, to escape antisemitic negativity. Columbian A&R signed Dylan in the fall of 1961 and produced his debut album which dropped in 1962. Throughout that year, he continued writing a plethora of songs and performed many gigs.

By 1964, Bob Dylan was already a household name due to exposure from folk singers like Peter, Paul & Mary, and Joan Baez. His writing style and composing was far beyond the other musicians of his era. He started to add more R&B and Blues to his music, also. Moving fast, he then turned to a more electric, rock and roll style that fans felt alienated by. These supportive fans felt that Dylan had turned his back on his folk roots and left them in the dust as his style change became more and more evident and hit the breaking point when he played the Newport Folk Festival. Even though this group of fans lost faith in Dylan, he was already becoming a big hit with the growing rock and roll community. In 1965 his music took on another change, as Dylan began to incorporate more Pop into his style. Between 1964 and 1966, over 100 artists had covered his songs. After a motorcycle accident, his writing style changed once again and was not heard for almost ten years. When he finally released a new album, it was not widely accepted, but followed it up with a very popular one soon after.

Over the next forty years Dylan accomplished a lot. He recorded and released many hit singles and albums that became world-wide hits. He began a Never-Ending tour that has since performed hundreds of shows to thousands of fans. He continues touring well into the year 2008. His style and lyrics have inspired countless artists since. He has won countless awards including being inducted into the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME and he also won a very special PULITZER PRIZE. His music will be heard for years and years to come. His legacy has affected the industry as we know it today and will continue to influence those involved in it. Bob Dylan became a legend that will be remembered forever.

Page created on 8/15/2008 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 8/15/2008 12:00:00 AM

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Wikipedia. "Bob Dylan." [Online] Available

Thomas, Stephen. "Bob Dylan." [Online] Available

Rock&Roll, Hall of Fame. "Bob Dylan." [Online] Available