Bob Dylan was an American Idol. Robert Allen Zimmerman, now Bob Dylan, was born to his parents Beatrice (mother) and Abram (father). He grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. He has a little brother named David, and they went to high school together. Dylan started out performing after he graduated in 1959. Performing folk songs in cafes under the pseudonym “Bob Dillon” was how his journey to stardom began. He quickly gained a following through verbal advertisements of people who enjoyed his performances. He gained an extremely rare review published in the New York Times in 1961; rare because critics from a highly esteemed news outlet didn’t often go to cafe performances for any random artist.
After the story published by the New York Times blew up, Dylan was signed by Columbia Records and then got his surname legally changed to Dylan. Bob Dylan’s first record was released in 1962 and only contained two original songs on the track. The genre of the album was folky and old school. It contained covers of folk songs sung in Dylan’s raspy voice among the two originals and was extremely popular. He often wrote what he called “scrap songs” where he complained and whined in a way he didn’t want to put effort into writing and putting into albums. Most of his songs are about issues with people feeling entitled and complaining about their so-called drab lives. His writing style was considered folksy, something you would hear from an older relative or a story, explained using metaphors and similes.
On October 13, 2016, Dylan received the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’ (“Bob Dylan Biography” 2018). This was controversial to many, believing others were more deserving of the title. The Nobel Committee offered the award in the American Literature category for the first time since 1993. He also received an Academy Award in 2000 for his original song “Things Have Changed” from Wonder Boys. In total, Dylan received eleven Grammy’s and has eight works in the Grammy’s Hall of Fame. Dylan’s most popular works are “Like a Rolling Stone”, “Forever Young” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’”. Most of his works relate to how he is a nonconformist and refused to listen to what people told him. Once his company offered for him to take vocal lessons to allow him a steadier voice. He refused, he believed it was his unique voice that drew people into his music.
Bob Dylan got married to Sara Lownds, a retired Playboy Bunny. They were married in 1965, not soon after Lowndes became pregnant with their first child. They had a rocky marriage full of deceit, supposedly one-sided on Dylan’s part. The marriage was over in 1977 when Lownds went down to breakfast to find Dylan and his girlfriend in the living room. In contrast to this series of events, she claimed Bob was a good father even when absent at times. Dylan’s youngest son with Lownds, Jakob Dylan a musician revealed in an interview that Dylan was a kind and caring father. ‘If people want to talk about Bob Dylan, I can talk about that,’ reluctant to reveal anything personal to a journalist. ‘But my dad belongs to me and four other people exclusively. I’m very protective of that.” The time period Dylan started in was called “The Revolution” as things were changing around the world such as communism beginning to dissolve in Europe.
Bob Dylan challenged what people thought music was, how lyrics should be written, and how an artist should dress and act. He inspired many other artists, including his own son, and continues to inspire the artists today. He came a long way from Minnesota, an identity change, the battle of what people thought was normal, and even went on to win awards and be the father of five children. As society changed and its ideals with it, Dylan continued to produce music that had an impact on everyone. Bob Dylan is still alive today and even has said he is actively working on projects. The 77-year-old is still fighting societal norms even now.
- “Bob Dylan.” Biography, 16 Apr. 2018, https://www.biography.com/people/bob-dylan-9283052. Accessed 6 Sept. 2018.
- Kooper, Al. “Bob Dylan | Biography, Songs, Albums, & Facts.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 Aug. 2018, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bob-Dylan-American-musician. Accessed 6 Sept. 2018.