May 24: This day, that year in music history

Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles, in this 2012 file phto. Image Credit: AP

Born this day, that year: Bob Dylan


Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Bob Dylan, (real name Robert Allen Zimmerman) was born in Minnesota. He was raised Jewish, but became a born-again Christian in the late 1970s.

Having recorded over 40 albums and won every conceivable award, including a Nobel Prize in 2016, Dylan’s contribution to modern pop music cannot be quantified.

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Bob Dylan Image Credit: AFP

His song craft crossed boundaries and broke down social barriers while his singing style was non-chalant and totally dismissive of what people perceived as having a good voice.

Dylan, who took his named from the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, made a modest beginning when he released his eponymous debut album in 1962, which featured most covers and only two original songs including the poignant ‘Song to Woody,” which was inspired by his idol and collossal folk figure, Woodie Guthrie.

Although it was critically acclaimed, it was with his sophomore effort, ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ that he would establish himself a a singer of extraordinary song-writing ability and imagination.

The album featured several epic songs led by the timeless classic ‘Blowing in the Wind’, ‘Girl from North Country’, ‘Don’t Think Twice its Alright’ and ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’.

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Bob Dylan Image Credit: AFP

The rest is history as Dylan reeled off one masterpiece after the other before hitting a purple patch in the 70s when he released an incredible 11 albums, among them arguably one of his greatest recording, 1975s ‘Blood on The Tracks’.

‘Tangled up in Blue’, ‘Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts’ and ‘If You See Her, Say Hello’ are Dylan at his creative best.

His last album was ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’, which he released in June 2020 during the height of the global pandemic.

In 2016 Dylan was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first American to win the award since American novelist, essayist and college professor Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford) won it in 1993.

Dylan has also earned 12 Grammy Awards.