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Bob Dylan

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Bob Dylan
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI

On 13th Feb 1969, Bob Dylan recorded versions of “Lay, Lady, Lay”, at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. “Lay Lady Lay” was originally written for the soundtrack of the movie Midnight Cowboy, but wasn’t submitted in time to be included in the finished film. The song has gone on to become a standard and has been covered by numerous bands and artists over the years, including The Byrds, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, The Everly Brothers, Neil Diamond, Melanie, The Isley Brothers, Duran Duran, Hoyt Axton and Isaac Hayes amongst others.

His vast influence on music is matched only by Elvis Presley and The Beatles, (and even the Beatles’ shift toward introspective songwriting wouldn’t have happened without his towering influence). Dylan’s gift was to marry poetic lyrics with catchy tunes, and as a vocalist, he broke the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to perform, redefining the vocalist’s role in popular music in the process.

With his contemporaries, including McCartney, Jagger, Richards and Paul Simon, now also in their 70’s, the old troubadour is still working as hard as any of them. In the 20 years up to 2010, he performed 2,045 concerts, although he now made his shows so idiosyncratic that not more than half the audience could probably tell which particular Dylan classic he was performing at any given time.

Robert Zimmerman was born on 24th May 1941, in St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. He lived in Duluth until age six, when his father was stricken with polio and the family returned to his mother’s hometown, Hibbing, where Zimmerman spent the rest of his childhood.

Bob spent much of his youth listening to the radio – first to blues and country stations and later, to early rock and roll. He formed several bands while he attended Hibbing High School, including The Shadow Blasters and The Golden Chords. In his 1959 school yearbook, Robert Zimmerman listed as his ambition “To follow Little Richard“, with whom he was obsessed.

Following his graduation in 1959, he began studying art at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. While at college, he began performing folk songs at coffeehouses under the name Bob Dylan, taking his last name from the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

Finding his way to New York City in January of 1961, Dylan immediately made a substantial impression on the folk community. Initially inspired by the songs of Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie and Robert Johnson, Dylan incorporated in his early song lyrics a variety of political, social and philosophical, as well as literary influences, while drawing on many traditional folk song forms and melodies, including highly topical and witty ‘talking blues’ tales. They defied existing pop music convention, sometimes extended over many verses, appealing, along with the young Dylan’s persona, sometimes world-weary, sometimes mischievous, to the then-burgeoning alternative music scene, almost entirely folk-based.

Columbia Records A&R man John Hammond sought out Dylan on the strength of a review, and signed the songwriter in late 1961, producing Dylan’s eponymous debut album, a collection of folk and blues standards that surprisingly boasted only two original songs. Over the course of 1962 Dylan began to write a large batch of original songs, many of which were political protest songs in the vein of his Greenwich Village contemporaries. These songs were showcased on his second album, ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’.

Between April 1962 and April 1963 he claimed to have written more than 100 songs, being so prolific in this period that he said he was afraid to go to sleep at night, for fear he would miss a song.

Important Dates In The Life Of Bob Dylan:

On this day in music
23 May 2024
Sir Paul McCartney affectionately mocked Bruce Springsteen, as he presented him with a prestigious prize at the Ivor Novello Awards. Springsteen was in London, England to receive the ceremony's highest honour - a fellowship of the songwriting academy. He was the first international star to receive the award, and Sir Paul said he "couldn't think of a more fitting recipient... except maybe Bob Dylan. Or Paul Simon, or Billy Joel, or Beyoncé, or Taylor Swift" he added. "The list goes on." "He's known as the American working man," Sir Paul continued, "but he admits he’s never worked a day in his life."
9 Aug 2023
Canadian musician, songwriter, film composer, producer, actor, Robbie Robertson died at the age of 80, after a year-long battle with prostate cancer. He joined The Hawks in 1962 who became known as The Band. Bob Dylan and the Hawks toured the United States throughout 1965 and a world tour the following year. As a songwriter, Robertson is credited for writing 'The Weight', 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down', 'Up on Cripple Creek', 'Broken Arrow' and 'Somewhere Down the Crazy River'.
24 May 2023
American jazz bassist and composer Bill Lee died age 94. He was known for his collaborations with Bob Dylan ('It's All Over Now, Baby Blue') and Aretha Franklin and his session work as a "first-call" musician and band leader to many of the twentieth-century's most significant musical artists, including Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Harry Belafonte, Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Mamas & Papas, among many others.
7 Jul 2022
A one-of-a-kind re-recording of Bob Dylan singing his 1963 classic ‘Blowin’ In The Wind‘ sold at auction for £1.48million ($1.78million). The re-recording marked the first time in 60 years that Dylan had re-recorded the song that was released as part of the 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. The Ionic Original format used for the Dylan track was "lacquer painted onto an aluminum disc, with a spiral etched into it by music. This painting, however, had the additional quality of containing that music, which could be heard by putting a stylus into the spiral and spinning it".
30 Jan 2022
American session keyboard player Hargus "Pig" Robbins died at the age of 84. He was blind, having poked himself in the eye with a knife at age three and later learned to play piano at age seven, while attending the Nashville School for the Blind. He played his first session in 1957, with his first major recording being George Jones's 'White Lightning'. Robbins played on records for many artists, including Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, Charlie Rich, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, J.J. Cale, Mark Knopfler, Merle Haggard and Roger Miller.
29 Jan 2022
American drummer and vocalist Sam Lay died at the age of 86. He began recording and performing with prominent blues musicians, including Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Bo Diddley, Earl Hooker and Muddy Waters. In the mid-1960s, Lay joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Bob Dylan used Lay as his drummer when he introduced electric rock at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Lay also recorded with Dylan, notably on the album Highway 61 Revisited.
8 Dec 2021
American bass guitarist and record producer Robbie Shakespeare died age 68. He is best known as one half of the reggae rhythm section and production duo Sly and Robbie, with drummer Sly Dunbar. Regarded as one of the most influential reggae bassists, Shakespeare's work extended beyond the reggae genre, covering various pop and rock artists such as Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Joe Cocker, Yoko Ono, Serge Gainsbourg, and Grace Jones.
22 Sep 2021
American session musician, orchestra leader, and double bassist Bob Moore died age 88. He was a member of the Nashville A-Team during the 1950s and 1960s and performed on over 17,000 documented recording sessions, backing acts such as Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.
10 Jul 2021
American fiddle player Byron Berline died at the age of 77 of complications of a stroke. He joined The Flying Burrito Brothers in 1971, worked with Stephen Stills's band Manassas and played on ‘Country Honk’ on the Rolling Stones' album Let It Bleed. He also worked with many other artists including: Bob Dylan, Elton John, The Byrds, Janis Ian, Willie Nelson, John Denver, Rod Stewart, The Eagles and The Band.
24 Mar 2021
American drummer, percussionist, and songwriter Don Heffington died age 70. He was a founding member of the Los Angeles alternative country band Lone Justice, and was a session and touring musician for various artists, including Lowell George, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, the Wallflowers and the Jayhawks.
12 Nov 2020
Jim Tucker the original rhythm guitarist with American rock band The Turtles died age 74. He played with The Turtles from 1965 to 1968 and was featured on many of the band’s biggest hits, including the chart-topping 1967 classic 'Happy Together,' plus 'She’d Rather Be with Me' and the group’s 1965 cover of Bob Dylan's 'It Ain’t Me Babe.'
23 Oct 2020
American country music singer and songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker died of throat cancer age 78. He wrote 'Mr Bojangles' a hit for The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1970. Since then Walker's song has been recorded by many popular artists, including Garth Brooks, Chet Atkins, Jim Croce, Jamie Cullum, John Denver, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Elton John, Don McLean and Dolly Parton.
18 Aug 2020
Jack Sherman died age 64 of a heart attack at his home in Savannah, Georgia. He is best known as the second guitarist to have joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers, in between Hillel Slovak’s departure and return. He played on their debut album, and co-wrote much of their second album, Freaky Styley. He went on to collaborate with musicians such as Bob Dylan, George Clinton and Feargal Sharkey.
19 Jun 2020
Bob Dylan released his 39th studio album Rough and Rowdy Ways. It became Dylan's highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 in more than a decade and it marked his seventh consecutive decade of charting top 40 albums, making him the only artist to date to accomplish this feat.
10 May 2020
British bass guitarist John McKenzie died. He was a member of bands such as Global Village Trucking Company and Man and played on numerous singles, notably for Eurythmics, The Pretenders and Alison Moyet and was a touring musician with acts as diverse as Lionel Richie, Dr. John, Bob Dylan, Peter Green and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
7 Apr 2020
US folk and country singer John Prine died aged 73 due to complications from Covid-19. He released his debut album in 1971, and put out 19 studio albums in all. While wider mainstream success eluded him for years, he earned a sizeable following, including some of the 20th century’s greatest songwriters. Bob Dylan said in 2009: "Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mind trips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs."
26 Oct 2019
American musician Paul Barrere died age 71. He was a member of Little Feat, which he joined in 1972. Barrere later played with Phil Lesh and Friends and also toured with Bob Dylan.
10 Jul 2019
Bob Dylan super-fan Bill Pagel purchased the ultimate rock collectible: the Hibbing, Minnesota house where Dylan lived from 1948 to 1959. He bought the 1,600 square foot home from Gregg and Donna French, who had lived there since 1990 for $84,000. Pagel, a pharmacist in his late seventies, has run the Bob Dylan essential fan website boblinks.com since 1995.
30 May 2019
Singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor Leon Redbone died age 69. Redbone rose to fame in the '70s folk scene when Bob Dylan sought him out at a Canadian music festival. He later performed in several TV commercials, including Budweiser beer, in which he lay on a surfboard singing "This Bud's for You."
29 May 2019
Tony Glover, the influential blues harmonica player who was a longtime peer of Bob Dylan and helped teach Mick Jagger how to play, died of natural causes age 79. He also worked as a writer and critic, contributing to magazines Crawdaddy and Cream, while also writing extensively for Rolling Stone between 1968 and 1973.
1 Apr 2017
After months of uncertainty and controversy, Bob Dylan finally accepted the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature at a jovial, champagne-laced ceremony. The academy, which awards the coveted prize, ended prolonged speculation as to whether the 75-year-old troubadour would use a concert stopover in Stockholm to accept the gold medal and diploma awarded to him back in October.
23 Feb 2017
Jay Z was set to become first rapper inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame. Previous inductees include Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson. But no rapper had ever made the cut before. Jay Z would be inducted as part of the hall's class of 2017 alongside Max Martin, who has written songs for Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Ariana Grande.
11 Dec 2016
Bob Dylan said it was "truly beyond words" to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. In a speech read on his behalf at the ceremony in Sweden, he said he thought his odds of winning were as likely as him "standing on the moon". Patti Smith performed 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' at the ceremony. But the singer had to apologise during her rendition after nerves got the better of her and she forgot the lyrics.
29 Oct 2016
Bob Dylan said he accepted his Nobel Prize in literature, ending a silence since being awarded the prize earlier this month. He said the honour had left him "speechless". The foundation said it had not yet been decided if the singer would attend the awards ceremony in December.
13 Oct 2016
Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first songwriter to win the prestigious award. The 75-year-old rock legend received the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".
7 Oct 2016
The Rolling Stones played the first night of the Desert Trip festival, at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The event also featured Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and the Who. The six-day (split over two weekends) event rakes in $160 million, making it the highest-earning music festival ever.
14 Mar 2016
Sony ATV Music Publishing announced that it would buy out Michael Jackson's share of a joint music publishing venture for $750m. The purchase gave Sony the rights to about three million songs, including works by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Taylor Swift, but did not include Jackson's master recordings.
2 Mar 2016
Bob Dylan sold his personal archive of notes, draft lyrics, poems, artwork and photographs to the University of Tulsa, where they would be made available to scholars and curated for public exhibitions. The 6,000 item collection also included master recording tapes of Dylan's entire music catalog, along with hundreds of hours of film video.
14 Aug 2015
American record producer Bob Johnston died aged 83. Johnson produced a string of notable and highly influential albums including; Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait, New Morning, as well as Simon And Garfunkel: Sounds of Silence, Leonard Cohen: Songs from a Room and many others.
7 Jul 2015
Climate scientists from five leading universities found that 163 of Bob Dylan's 542 songs reference the climate – almost a third – making him the musician most likely to mention the weather in his lyrics. The Beatles came in at number two, mentioning the weather in 48 of the 308 songs they wrote.
9 Feb 2015
Bob Dylan turned the tables on his critics during a 30-minute speech, at the Musicares charity gala honouring his career. The 73-year-old, who rarely talks about his work, asked why critics complained he "can't sing" and sounds "like a frog" but do not "say that about Tom Waits?" The singer added, "Critics say my voice is shot, that I have no voice. Why don't they say those things about Leonard Cohen? Why do I get special treatment?"
3 Dec 2014
English keyboard instrumentalist Ian McLagan died of a stroke age 69. He was a member of Small Faces and the Faces and also worked with many other artists including with The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, Billy Bragg, Jackson Browne, Chuck Berry and Bruce Springsteen.
27 Oct 2014
The Pet Shop Boys' Always On My Mind was voted the top cover version of all time in a BBC Music vote. The song, written by John Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson, was first made famous by Brenda Lee and Elvis Presley in 1972. Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails' 'Hurt' came in second place, followed by The Stranglers' version of Dionne Warwick's 'Walk On By'. Jimi Hendrix's take on Bob Dylan's 'All Along The Watchtower' came fourth and Jeff Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah completed the top five.
24 Jun 2014
A working draft of Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone', set a record at auction after selling for $2m (£1.2m) at Sotheby's. The manuscript, said to be the only known draft of the final lyrics, was written in pencil in 1965 by the 24 year-old Dylan.
3 May 2014
American musician Bobby Gregg died aged 78. Gregg is best is known for his work as a drummer on several seminal 1960s songs, including Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' and Simon And Garfunkel's 'The Sound of Silence'. He was also temporarily a member of The Hawks, which later became known as The Band.
6 Dec 2013
The electric guitar played by Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival was sold at auction in New York for a record $965,000. The Fender Stratocaster had been in the possession of a New Jersey family for 48 years after Dylan left it on a private plane.
1 Dec 2013
Bob Dylan was placed under judicial investigation in France for allegedly provoking ethnic hatred of Croats. It followed a legal complaint lodged by a Croat association in France over a 2012 interview Dylan gave to Rolling Stone magazine. In the interview Dylan allegedly compared the relationship between Jews and Nazis to that of Serbs and Croats.
1 Dec 2013
Australian artist, cartoonist, songwriter and film-maker Martin Sharp died from emphysema aged 71. Sharp was called Australia's foremost pop artist.His psychedelic posters of Bob Dylan, Donovan and others, rank as classics of the genre. Martin co-wrote one of Cream's best known songs, ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses’, created the cover art for Cream's Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire albums, and in the 1970s became a champion of singer Tiny Tim.
17 May 2013
Bob Dylan was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Dylan, who was unable to attend the New York ceremony, said he felt "extremely honoured" and "lucky" to be admitted. Dylan's induction was decided by a vote of the Academy's 250 members.
30 Mar 2013
US music producer and pioneer of digital recording, Phil Ramone, died aged 79. Ramone was regarded as one of the most successful producers in history, winning 14 Grammy awards and working with stars such as Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Elton John and Paul McCartney. He produced the first major commercial release on CD, Billy Joel's 1982 album 52nd Street. Ramone had been in hospital for several weeks, where he was being treated for an aortic aneurysm.
28 Mar 2013
American rock guitarist and session musician Hugh McCracken died of leukemia in New York City at the age of 70. He appeared on many recordings by Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Billy Joel, Roland Kirk, Roberta Flack, B. B. King, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, The Monkees, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, James Taylor, Phoebe Snow, Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, Graham Parker, Eric Carmen, Loudon Wainwright III, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, The Four Seasons, Hall and Oates, Gary Wright and Andy Gibb. Because of such high demand for his work, McCracken declined Paul McCartney's invitation to help form his new band, Wings after appearing on his 1971 album Ram.
12 Mar 2013
Bob Dylan was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, marking the first time a rock musician had been chosen for the elite honor society. Officials in the Academy – which recognises music, literature and visual art – were unable to decide if Dylan belonged for his words or his music and instead inducted him as an honorary member like previous honorees Meryl Streep, Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese.
5 Sep 2012
Singer-songwriter Joe South, who had hits in the late 1960s and early ’70s, including 'Games People Play,' 'Walk a Mile in My Shoes' and '(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden,' died at home in Flowery Branch, Atlanta from a heart attack, aged 72. South also played on Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde album.
19 Apr 2012
Levon Helm, died of throat cancer aged 71. A drummer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Helm formed his own high school band, the Jungle Bush Beaters, at 17, he later joined The Hawks (who became Bob Dylan's backing group) who then became known as The Band. He sang on Band classics like 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,' 'Up on Cripple Creek,' 'Rag Mama Rag,' and 'The Weight.'
25 Nov 2011
Don DeVito, a longtime Columbia Records executive who produced the key Bob Dylan albums Blood on the Tracks and Desire died aged 72 after a 16-year battle with prostate cancer. DeVito had also worked with artists including Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Aerosmith. DeVito started off as a guitarist touring for Al Kooper, and had his own band, The Sabres, which later broke up mid-tour. According to Columbia, DeVito was stranded in Fort Smith, Ark., when he happened to meet Johnny Cash and developed what would become a lifelong friendship; Cash would later introduce DeVito to Dylan.
20 Oct 2011
US photographer Barry Feinstein, best known for taking enduring pictures of musicians such as Bob Dylan and George Harrison died aged 80. Feinstein was responsible for capturing more than 500 record sleeves, including Harrison's All Things Must Pass album and the cover photograph for Dylan's album The Times They Are A-Changin. The Rolling Stones sleeve for Beggars Banquet shot in a graffiti-covered toilet, was also Feinstein's work.
27 Sep 2011
Tony Bennett became the oldest living person to top the US album chart when the 85-year-old's 'Duets II' album went to No.1. The record, which featured collaborations with Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga, was also his first US No.1 in his 60 year career. The previous oldest performer to top the chart was Bob Dylan in 2009 with 'Together Through Life'. At the time he was 67-years old.
14 Sep 2011
It was reported that a Swedish Bob Dylan fan had been arrested for singing Bob Dylan songs outside his ex-girlfriends house. The love-sick man had also cobbled together a group of five other men to serve as vocal accompaniment for the late-night live performance, each of who donned hoodies with their hoods up. But soon after the man began to serenade his ex, who had previously taken out a restraining order against him, she called the police, leaving 50-year-old guitarist blowin in the wind. 'I had the idea that I'd play a Bob Dylan song for her,' the man told police. (No word on which song, unfortunately.)
21 May 2011
Bob Dylan came out on top as both the most inspirational individual for poets and the dream collaborative partner, in a survey carried out by The Foyle Poetry Society. The extensive survey questioned poets asking which musician and which genre of music most inspired their writing. The young people, aged between 11 and 17, from countries throughout the world also voted for artists such as Regina Spektor, David Bowie, Florence and the Machine, Leonard Cohen, Morrissey and Pete Doherty.
13 May 2011
'Like A Rolling Stone' was voted as Bob Dylan's best-ever song by Rolling Stone Magazine, who had asked the opinions of a panel of writers, academics and musicians to compile a poll to mark Dylan's 70th birthday on 24th May. 'Like A Rolling Stone', was described by U2's Bono as 'a black eye of a pop song', while Mick Jagger praised the simplicity of 'Desolation Row'. Keith Richards argued that the original 1963 solo version of 'Girl From The North Country', ranked 30th, was superior to Dylan's 1969 duet of the same song with Johnny Cash.
25 Feb 2011
Susan 'Suze' Rotolo, died from lung cancer. She was the one time girlfriend of Bob Dylan, and the inspiration of some of his early songs. Susan appeared in one of the decade's signature images, walking with Dylan arm-in-arm for the cover photo of his breakthrough album Freewheelin Bob Dylan.
10 Dec 2010
The original hand-written lyrics to Bob Dylan's 'The Times They Are A-Changin' sold at a New York auction for $422,500 (£267,400). Adam Sender, a hedge fund manager and art collector, outbid five others, placing telephone bids. The song, one of Dylan's most politically charged, was the title track of his 1964 album.
25 Nov 2010
A restaurant fell victim to a prankster who had them make 178 pizzas by claiming they were for singer Bob Dylan and his crew. An imposter wearing a fake pass for a Dylan concert called in an Antonio's restaurant and placed the huge order worth more than $3,900. He told the owner the pizzas were for Dylan and his crew who had appeared in concert in Amherst, Massachusetts. Staff at Antonios worked until 5.30am to make the pizzas - but were left stunned when no one returned to collect the order.
13 Sep 2009
Vera Lynn went to No.1 on the UK album chart with 'We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn'. At the age of 92 it made her the oldest living artist to achieve this feat with an album. The previous oldest living artist to top the charts was Bob Dylan, who at 67 saw his album 'Together Through Life' become number one in the UK earlier this year.
10 Sep 2009
A harmonica owned by Bob Dylan sold for £2,700 at auction in Norfolk, England, more than four times the guide price. The singer-songwriter had presented the chromonica harmonica, made by Hohner, to a member of his wardrobe department in 1974. Lifetime Dylan fan John Fellas, of Gorleston, Norfolk, who wore Dylan-style sunglasses while bidding, outbid fans from across the world for the instrument. The inside of the harmonica case was signed and dedicated by Dylan. It had is expected to fetch more than £600 at the sale by Barnes Auctioneers. Fellas told reporters he was still plucking up the courage to tell his wife about what he had done.
25 Aug 2009
Bob Dylan revealed during his weekly radio show broadcast on 6 Music, that he was speaking to a number of car companies about becoming the voice of their satellite navigation systems. The 68 year-old said he thought it be would be good for drivers to hear him saying things such as: "Take a left at the next street. No, a right. You know what, just go straight".
23 Jul 2009
On the afternoon of tonight's concert at First Energy Park, Lakewood, New Jersey, Bob Dylan was picked up by a young policewoman who had been alerted of a man who was 'acting suspiciously'. The police officer drove up to Dylan, who was wearing a blue jacket, and asked him his name, but she did not recognise him. When he was unable to produce any identification, Dylan was driven to his hotel where staff were able to vouch for him. The incident happened when Dylan decided to go for a walk in the afternoon while on tour with Willie Nelson who were due to perform at the local baseball stadium with John Mellencamp.
25 Jun 2009
A Sgt. Pepper souvenir poster bearing the signatures of all four Beatles sold for $52,500 (£31,720) at a pop memorabilia auction in New York City. Other musical items that went under the hammer were a set of Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics, which made $25,000 (£15,090) and a bass guitar owned by Kurt Cobain sold for $43,750 (£26,415).
16 May 2009
Bob Dylan went to No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Together Through Life’, his 33rd studio album. The album received two Grammy Award nominations in Best Americana Album category and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance category for 'Beyond Here Lies Nothin'. The album also is significant as the only album by Dylan to top the US and UK charts consecutively.
3 May 2009
Bob Dylan went to No.1 on the UK album chart with Together Through Life his seventh UK No.1 album. It was the singer, songwriter’s 33rd studio album, he last topped the UK chart with New Morning in 1970. His first No.1 in 1964, was The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Dylan now held the record, (previously held by Tom Jones), for the longest gap between solo number one albums.
2 May 2009
Bob Dylan mingled unnoticed with other Beatles tourists during a minibus tour to John Lennon's childhood home. He was one of 14 tourists to examine photos and documents in the National Trust-owned home, where Lennon grew up with his aunt Mimi and uncle George. Dylan who was on a day off on a European tour paid £16 for the public trip to the 1940s house in Woolton, Liverpool.
2 Dec 2008
American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a civil and human rights activist Odetta died of heart disease age 77. She influenced many of the key figures of the folk-revival of that time, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, and Janis Joplin. Time magazine included her song 'Take This Hammer' on its list of the 100 Greatest Popular Songs. Martin Luther King Jr. called her the queen of American folk music.
15 Aug 2008
US record producer Jerry Wexler, who influenced the careers of singers including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan died at his home in Sarasota, Florida aged 91. Wexler produced the Aretha Franklin hit 'Respect', the Wilson Pickett song, 'In the Midnight Hour' and helped Bob Dylan win his first Grammy award by producing the 1979 album, Slow Train Coming. He also coined the term ‘rhythm and blues’ while writing for Billboard magazine in the late 1940s.
26 Jun 2008
Total Guitar magazine voted Celine Dion’s rendition of the AC/DC track ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ as the world's worst cover version ever. In the best cover versions list, Jimi Hendrix was voted into first place with his version of the Bob Dylan song ‘All Along the Watchtower,’ The Beatles rendition of Twist and Shout (first recorded by the Top Notes), was in second place, followed by the Guns N' Roses version of the Wings song ‘Live and Let Die’.
15 May 2008
Neil Diamond reached the top of the US Billboard album chart for the first time in his career with Home Before Dark the 67-year-old's 29th studio album. His previous highest chart position was in 1973 when the soundtrack to the film Jonathan Livingston Seagull peaked at No.2. At the age of 67, Diamond became the oldest artist to have a US number one, the record was previously held by Bob Dylan in 2006 with Modern Times released when he was 65.
18 Nov 2007
US celebrity publicist Paul Wasserman, died aged 73 of respiratory failure. His clients included The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Paul Simon, Tom Petty and James Taylor. His career ended in 2000, when he was jailed for six months for swindling some of his friends by falsely claiming to be selling shares in investment schemes that he said were backed by stars like U2.
26 Oct 2007
1,730 guitarists played the immortal Bob Dylan classic, 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' in a bid to break a record in the state of Meghalaya, North East India. The guitarists hoped their achievement would earn them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The current Guinness World Record was held by a guitar-ensemble from Kansas City in the US when 1,683 guitarists, played Deep Purple's 'Smoke On The Water'.
17 Jun 2007
The Traveling Wilburys went to No.1 on the UK album chart with Collection. The line up of the Wilburys was: George Harrison (Nelson Wilbury), Jeff Lynne (Otis Wilbury), Roy Orbison (Lefty Wilbury), Tom Petty (Charlie T. Wilbury Jr.) and Bob Dylan (Lucky Wilbury).
14 Jun 2007
Bob Dylan won Spain's Prince of Asturias Arts Award, one of the country's most prestigious honours. Jury chairman Jose Llado called Dylan a 'living legend of popular music and the guiding star of a generation that dreamed of changing the world'. Previous winners of the annual prize include US film-maker Woody Allen.
16 Jan 2007
Bob Dylan and his brother David Zimmerman bought Aultmore House a mansion in the Scottish Cairngorms National Park, near Nethybridge, Inverness-shire. Dylan put the house back on the market in 2023. The 11-bathroom house with a large Victorian greenhouse, a walled garden, a fountain and a croquet lawn went up for sale for £3 million ($3.8m).
16 Sep 2006
Bob Dylan was at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Modern Times.’ Entering the U.S. charts at No.1, making it Dylan's first album to reach that position since 1976's Desire, 30 years prior. At 65, Dylan became the oldest living musician to top the Billboard albums chart. (85 year-old Tony Bennett broke this record in 2011 with his Duets album). The record also reached number one in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.
6 Jun 2006
Billy Preston died of kidney failure. The Grammy-winning keyboard player collaborated with some of the greatest names in the music industry, including The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Nat King Cole, Little Richard, Ray Charles, George Harrison, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan. Preston is among those sometimes known as the "Fifth Beatle". After befriending the group in 1962, Preston joined the Get Back sessions in January 1969. At one point John Lennon proposed the idea of having Preston join the band.
3 May 2006
The first Bob Dylan radio program was aired on XM Satellite Radio. Tracks played on his show included Blur, Prince, Billy Bragg, Wilco, Mary Gauthier, L.L. Cool J and The Streets.
22 Nov 2005
Poems written by Bob Dylan in his college days sold for $78,000 (£45,000) at a New York City auction. The 16 pages of poems were the first known time Robert Zimmerman used the Dylan name and came from his studies at the University of Minnesota during 1959-60.
14 Sep 2005
HMV stores in Canada removed Bob Dylan CDs from their shelves in protest at the singer's deal to only sell his new album in Starbucks after he signed an exclusive contract with the coffee giant. The chain has previously boycotted CDs by Alanis Morissette and The Rolling Stones to complain at exclusive deals.
5 Aug 2005
Bob Dylan's song 'Like a Rolling Stone' topped a poll of rock and film stars to find the music, movies, TV shows and books that changed the world. The 1965 single beat Elvis Presley's 'Heartbreak Hotel' into second place in a survey for Uncut magazine. Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher, Robert Downey Jr, Rolling Stone Keith Richards and Lou Reed were among those who gave their opinions.
23 Jul 2005
Queen's 1985 Live Aid performance was voted the best rock concert ever by over 7,000 UK Sony Ericsson music fans. Radiohead were voted the best festival act for their 1997 Glastonbury performance and Bob Dylan's 1966 Manchester Free Trade Hall gig won the best ever solo gig.
27 May 2005
Robbie Williams was voted into first place beating Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie to be named the best live solo artist. A UK nation-wide survey of 5,000 people saw the former Take That star beat music icons including Madonna, Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan. U2 were named best live band, ahead of Queen and Oasis, in a poll by Carling to celebrate the UK's live music scene.
12 Sep 2004
American drummer and arranger Kenny Buttrey died in Nashville, Tennessee, Worked with Neil Young, (Harvest, and After the Gold Rush), Bob Dylan (Blonde on Blonde, Nashville Skyline & John Wesley Harding), and Bob Seger, Elvis Presley, Donovan, George Harrison, Joan Baez, Dan Fogelberg, Kris Kristofferson, Jimmy Buffett, Chuck Berry and Area Code 615.
23 Jun 2004
Bob Dylan was awarded an honorary degree by the University of St. Andrews Scotland's oldest University and made a "Doctor of Music."
25 Jan 2004
Bob Dylan was paid by ladies underwear company Victoria’s Secret to fly to Venice in Northern Italy, to film a TV advertisement in an ancient palazzo with a scantily dressed model. Some fans were upset while others empathized with Dylan.
11 Oct 2003
Mojo magazine readers voted the studio session for Elvis Presley's debut single 'That's All Right' the most pivotal moment in rock history. Bob Dylan's switch from acoustic to electric guitars in 1965 came second, and 'White Riot, the debut single by The Clash released in 1977 was voted third.
22 Apr 2003
Songwriter Felice Bryant died of cancer. Wrote many hits with her husband Boudleaux including; The Everly Brothers, 'Bye Bye Love', 'All I Have To Do Is Dream', 'Wake Up Little Susie' and 'Raining In My Heart' a hit for Buddy Holly. Other acts to record their song include Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Tony Bennett, Simon And Garfunkel, Sarah Vaughan, Grateful Dead, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello, Count Basie, Dean Martin, Ruth Brown, Cher, R.E.M. and Ray Charles.
23 Feb 2003
Howie Epstein bassist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers died of a suspected drug overdose in New Mexico. He had replaced The Heartbreakers original bassist Ron Blair, Epstein also worked with Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Stevie Nicks, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Linda Ronstadt and Del Shannon.
3 Aug 2002
After an absence of 37 years, Bob Dylan returned to the Newport Folk Festival (now known as the Apple and Eve Newport Folk Festival) where he performed a 2 hour show of 19 songs, wearing a false beard and a wig. Songs played included: Subterranean Homesick Blues, 'Desolation Row', 'Positively 4th Street', 'The Wicked Messenger', 'Like A Rolling Stone' and 'Mr. Tambourine Man'.
10 Feb 2002
American folk singer Dave Van Ronk died aged 65. An important figure in the American folk music revival and New York City's Greenwich Village scene in the Sixties, he was nicknamed the "Mayor of MacDougal Street". Bob Dylan recorded Van Ronk's arrangement of the traditional song ‘House of the Rising Sun’ on his first album, which The Animals turned into a No.1 UK single in 1964, helping inaugurate the folk-rock movement.
16 Oct 2001
Two security guards were sacked after refusing to allow Bob Dylan into his own concert. Dylan who had demanded that security on his 'Love and Theft' tour should be tighter than ever didn't have a pass when he arrived backstage.
14 Jun 2000
American pianist and session musician Paul Griffin died aged 62. He recorded with hundreds of musicians from the 1950s to the 1990s. Griffin worked with Bob Dylan, Steely Dan, Don McLean, the Isley Brothers, Van Morrison, The Shirelles, and Dionne Warwick. He is best known for playing on the albums Bob Dylan albums Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, and Steely Dan's Aja.
30 Jan 2000
Gabrielle went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Rise'. The song used a sample from Bob Dylan's 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' giving Dylan his third UK No.1 as a writer, the other two being The Byrds version of 'Mr Tambourine Man' and Manfred Mann's 'The Mighty Quinn'.
10 Dec 1999
Rick Danko died in his sleep at his home near Woodstock, New York. The Canadian guitarist and singer joined The Hawks in 1963 who went on to work as Bob Dylan's backing band, (with Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson). Renamed The Band who released their 1968 debut Music from Big Pink (featuring the single ‘The Weight’). The Band released the 1978 concert film-documentary triple-LP soundtrack ‘The Last Waltz.’
17 Aug 1999
Led Zeppelin topped a chart of Britain's most bootlegged musicians, compiled by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), after identifying 384 bootleg titles featuring Led Zeppelin performances. The bootleg chart was complied from the BPI's archive of some 10,000 recordings seized over the past 25 years. The Beatles came in second with 320 entries, other acts listed included The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd.
25 Feb 1998
At Radio City Music Hall, Bob Dylan was handed three Grammys, including one for Best Album for 'Time Out Of Mind'. During Dylan's performance of the song, Michael Portnoy, hired as a background dancer, ripped his shirt off and jumped in amongst the band, revealing the words 'Soy Bomb' painted on his chest. Also in the evening, during Shawn Colvin's acceptance speech, Ol Dirty Bastard grabbed the microphone and made various observations such as "Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best" and "Wu-Tang is for the children". He was then escorted from the stage.
25 May 1997
Bob Dylan was diagnosed as suffering from histoplasmosis pericarditis, a fungal infection of the lung, and was admitted to hospital he stayed until June 2nd. Having just turned 56, Dylan later admitted: 'I really thought I'd be seeing Elvis soon'. Treated by drugs and rest, Bob was back on the road only 10 weeks later, for 22 American and Canadian shows.
1 Jan 1997
American singer songwriter Townes Van Zandt died age 52. His music has been covered by such notable and varied musicians as Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, Cowboy Junkies, Andrew Bird, Alison Krauss, and Gillian Welch. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered his song 'Pancho and Lefty', scoring a No.1 hit on the Billboard country music charts.
21 Dec 1996
The charity record 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' went to No.1 on the UK singles chart. With the consent of Bob Dylan musician Ted Christopher of Dunblane, Scotland wrote a new verse for the song in memory of the schoolchildren and teacher killed in the Dunblane massacre. The cover version of the song included brothers and sisters of the victims singing the chorus and Mark Knopfler on guitar.
27 Mar 1996
American drummer Howard Wyeth died of cardiac arrest at St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan aged 51. He worked with Bob Dylan, Don McLean, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell.
3 Nov 1995
Hootie and the Blowfish reached an out of court settlement with Bob Dylan for the group's unauthorized use of Dylan's lyrics in their song 'Only Want To Be With You'.
4 Dec 1993
Multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer, Frank Zappa died of prostate cancer. Zappa recorded many albums with The Mothers Of Invention as well a solo recordings including the 1969 album 'Hot Rats' and 1974 album 'Apostrophe'. Zappa recorded one of the first concept albums, 'Freak Out' released in 1966, it was also one of the earliest double albums in rock music (although Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde preceded it by a week). He married Adelaide Gail Sloatman, in 1967, they had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.
19 Apr 1993
American saxophonist and flautist Steve Douglas died aged 54. He recorded with Duane Eddy, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley Willy DeVille, Bob Dylan Ramones and others.
16 Oct 1992
Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary (of his recording debut) tribute concert took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Guest performers include Neil Young, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Ronnie Wood and Dylan himself.
29 Feb 1992
U2 kicked off their north American leg of the 'Zoo TV Tour', at The Lakeland Civic Centre Arena, Florida. Many acts have appeared here, including Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Rush and Bob Dylan. It was here where Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley was nearly electrocuted, during a concert on December 11, 1976.
26 Oct 1991
Legendary Rock concert promoter Bill Graham was killed when the Bell 206B JetRanger III helicopter he was riding in struck the top of a Pacific Gas and Electric transmission tower near Sears Point, northwest of Vallejo and exploded. The crash, which left the helicopter's wreckage dangling near the top of the towering structure, killed Graham, his girlfriend Melissa Gold and pilot Steve Kahn. Graham had founded the Fillmore theaters in San Francisco and New York and had played key roles in supporting such bands as The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Janis Joplin, The Band, Bob Dylan, The J. Geils Band, The Allman Brothers Band and The Rolling Stones.
20 Feb 1991
Bob Dylan was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 33rd annual Grammy' Awards. A starstruck Jack Nicholson introduced a purple-suited, fedoraed Dylan who said: "You know, it's possible to become so defiled in this world that your own mother and father will abandon you, and if that happens, God will always believe in your own ability to mend your own ways. Thank you!"
28 Feb 1989
Bob Dylan recorded the first sessions for the Oh Mercy album at The Studio, New Orleans, Louisiana. What became Dylan's 26th studio album, released by Columbia Records in September 1989 was produced by Daniel Lanois.
6 Dec 1988
American singer songwriter Roy Orbison died of a heart attack aged 52. Scored the 1964 UK & US No.1 single 'Pretty Woman', plus over 20 US & 30 UK Top 40 singles including ‘Only the Lonely’ and ‘Crying’. Formed his first band The Wink Westerners in 1949, was a member of The Traveling Wilburys (known as Lefty Wilbury) with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty and had the 1988 UK No.21 single 'Handle With Care'. Orbison endured a great deal of tragedy in his life. His first wife, Claudette died in a motorcycle accident in 1966 and two of his three sons, died in a house fire.
29 Jul 1988
American record producer and pedal steel guitar player Pete Drake died of lung disease. Worked with Elvis Presley, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Played on such hits as Lynn Anderson's ‘Rose Garden’, Charlie Rich's ‘Behind Closed Doors', Bob Dylan's ‘Lay Lady Lay' and Tammy Wynette's ‘Stand by Your Man’.
10 Jul 1987
Producer and record company executive John Hammond died. He brought Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen to Columbia Records. Hammond also worked as a producer with Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and Count Basie.
25 Jun 1987
Songwriter Boudleaux Bryant died. Wrote with his wife Felice, The Everly Brothers hits, 'Bye Bye Love', 'All I Have To Do Is Dream', 'Wake Up Little Susie' and 'Raining In My Heart' a hit for Buddy Holly. Other acts to record their song include Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Simon And Garfunkel, Grateful Dead, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Dean Martin, Ruth Brown, Cher, R.E.M. and Ray Charles.
4 Jul 1986
The second Farm Aid benefit concert took place at Manor Downs Racetrack, Manor, Texas. Held to raise money for family farmers in the US, the concerts were organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young. Artists who appeared included: Alabama, The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Emmylou Harris, Jason & the Scorchers, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Bon Jovi, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, Vince Neil and Willie Nelson.
25 Jan 1986
US manager Albert Grossman died of a heart attack while flying on Concorde from New York to London. He managed Bob Dylan (between 1962 and 1970), Peter, Paul and Mary, The Band, Janis Joplin and Todd Rundgren. Grossman built the Bearsville Recording Studio near Woodstock in 1969 and in 1970 he founded Bearsville Records.
22 Sep 1985
The first Farm Aid benefit concert was held before a crowd of 80,000 people at the Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois. Organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, the event had been spurred on by Bob Dylan's comments at Live Aid earlier in that year that he hoped some of the money would help American farmers. The star studded line-up of country stars included: Alabama, Hoyt Axton, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels Band, John Denver, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Roger Miller, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Willie Nelson, Charley Pride, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Rogers.
13 Jul 1985
At 12.01 Status Quo started the Live Aid extravaganza, held between Wembley Stadium, London and The JFK Stadium, Philadelphia. The cream of the world's biggest rock stars took part in the worldwide event, raising over £40million. TV pictures beamed to over 1.5bn people in 160 countries made it the biggest live broadcast ever known. Artists who appeared included Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, The Who, U2, David Bowie and Mick Jagger, Queen, Tina Turner, The Cars, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams, Hall and Oates, Lionel Richie and Led Zeppelin.
27 Apr 1985
USA For Africa started a three-week run at No.1 on the US chart with 'We Are The World'. The US artists' answer to Band Aid had an all-star cast including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon plus the composer's of the track, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
20 Apr 1985
The charity record 'We Are The World' by USA For Africa was at No.1 on the UK singles chart. The US artists' answer to Band Aid had an all-star cast including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon plus the composer's of the track, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
28 Jan 1985
The recording took place for We Are The World the US equivalent of Band Aid at A&M Studios in Hollywood. Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie the all star cast included Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Cyndi Lauper, Steve Perry and Bob Geldof.
8 Jul 1984
Bob Dylan's current European tour came to an end at Slane Castle, County Meath in Ireland. Dylan was joined on stage by Van Morrison and they duetted on It’s All Over Now Baby Blue. U2's Bono, who was sent to interview Dylan for the Irish rock magazine Hot Press, ended up duetting with Dylan on Blowin’ In The Wind and Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat. Carlos Santana also joined Dylan on stage and played guitar on the last seven songs of the set.
12 Nov 1983
Bob Dylan's Infidels album reached its highest position when it peaked at No.9 in the UK chart. Dylan's 22nd studio album was co-produced with Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler. Dylan had also approached Elvis Costello, David Bowie and Frank Zappa as possible producers.
2 Dec 1982
US folk singer David Blue died of a heart attack aged 41 while jogging in New York's Washington Square Park. Member of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue during the late 70s. He wrote ‘Outlaw Man’ covered by the Eagles on their 1973 Desperado album.
6 Jun 1982
Tom Petty, Crosby Stills & Nash, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks and Jackson Browne all appeared at The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California to a crowd of 85,000 fans at the six hour Peace Sunday, We Have A Dream antinuclear concert. Dylan was joined onstage with Joan Baez and duetted with her on Blowin’ In The Wind and With God On Our Side. The show was partly broadcast on ABC TV’s Entertainment Tonight program on the same day.
15 Mar 1982
Bob Dylan was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame at the 13th annual dinner held at the Hilton Hotel in New York City. After the ceremony Dylan gave a short interview to Jane Hansen, which was broadcast by NBC, TV in New York City.
30 Jan 1982
Blues singer, songwriter, guitarist Sam Lightnin' Hopkins died of cancer aged 70. In 1968, Hopkins recorded the album Free Form Patterns, backed by the rhythm section of the psychedelic rock band 13th Floor Elevators. Hopkins influenced Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. R.E.M. recorded a song named after him on their Document album.
2 Apr 1981
CBS records launched the 'Nice Price' series of back catalogue albums in the UK. The first batch priced at £2.99 included early albums by Bob Dylan, Santana, Billy Joel, ABBA, Janis Joplin and Simon And Garfunkel.
15 Feb 1981
American guitarist Mike Bloomfield was found dead in his car in San Francisco from an accidental heroin overdose aged 37. He was a member of the Paul Butterfield band and Electric Flag and had played on Bob Dylan's album Highway 61 Revisited. Bloomfield's Telecaster guitar licks were featured on Dylan's ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, and he appeared onstage with Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, where Dylan used Bloomfield and the Butterfield Band which marked Dylan's first use of an electric band in a live performance.
12 Jan 1981
It was reported that the White House had expanded its record library by including albums by Bob Dylan, Kiss and the Sex Pistols.
6 Oct 1979
'Gotta Serve Somebody' gave Bob Dylan his twelfth US top 40 hit when it entered the chart for the first time. Recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the song won Dylan the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Male in 1980.
20 Aug 1979
Bob Dylan released 'Slow Train Coming', an album of religious songs, including the Grammy Award winning single, 'Gotta Serve Somebody'. The album alienated many of his long time fans.
29 Mar 1979
After attending a Dire Straits show during their residency at the Roxy in Los Angeles, Bob Dylan asked Mark Knopfler and drummer Pick Withers to play on the sessions for his next album. Slow Train Coming was the album, recorded in Muscle Shoals in May of 1979, with Jerry Wexler producing. Dylan had first heard Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler when his assistant Arthur Rosato played him the single 'Sultans of Swing'.
15 Sep 1978
Bob Dylan kicked off his longest and most continuous US tour of his career in Augusta, Maine, playing the first of sixty-five gigs in sixty-two cities.
6 Sep 1978
Record producer Tom Wilson died. He worked with various US acts including Bob Dylan (The Times They Are a-Changin', Another Side of Bob Dylan, and Bringing It All Back Home), Frank Zappa (Freak Out!), Simon And Garfunkel (Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.) and The Velvet Underground, (White Light/White Heat).
15 Jul 1978
Bob Dylan with special guest Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading and Graham Parker all appeared at Blackbushe Aerodrome, Surrey, England. Reputedly this was the biggest ever UK audience for Bob Dylan, with over 200,000 fans attending.
7 May 1978
90,000 tickets were sold in eight hours for Bob Dylan's forthcoming London dates at Earls Court.
24 Jan 1976
Bob Dylan started a five week run at No.1 on the US chart with his 17th studio album Desire. The album features 'Hurricane', which protests the conviction of former middleweight boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter for triple murder in 1966, arguing his innocence.
3 Jan 1976
Bob Dylan's song, 'Hurricane', peaked at No.33 on the Billboard singles chart, helping to cause enough publicity to eventually get former boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter released from jail. The song promoted Carter's innocence and a movie about Carter's life, starring Denzel Washington, was released in 2000.
24 Mar 1975
Paul McCartney held a party on the Queen Mary at Long Beach in California to celebrate the release of the Wings album Venus And Mars. Among the 200 guests on board were George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Marvin Gaye, The Faces and The Jackson 5. The party was the first time McCartney and Harrison had been seen in public since the Beatles break-up.
8 Feb 1975
Bob Dylan went to No.1 on the US chart with his 15th studio album Blood On The Tracks, his second US No.1 album. The album has become one of Dylan's all-time best-selling studio releases, with a double-platinum US certification by the Recording Industry Association of America.
16 Feb 1974
Bob Dylan started a four week run at No.1 on the US album chart with Planet Waves, his first US No.1. The album was originally set to be titled Ceremonies Of The Horsemen, a reference to the song 'Love Minus Zero / No Limit', from the 1965 album 'Bringing It All Back Home'. When Dylan decided to change the title at the last minute, the release was delayed for two weeks.
18 Dec 1972
Bob Dylan starting filming his role in the American western drama Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid along with James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson. Dylan composed the score and songs for the film, most prominently 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'.
9 Jun 1972
Elvis Presley made entertainment history by performing four sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. George Harrison, John Lennon, David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Art Garfunkel were among music stars that attended the shows. The shows were recorded and became the album 'Elvis as recorded at Madison Square Garden'.
23 Mar 1972
The film of The Concert For Bangladesh featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton premiered in New York. The event was the first benefit concert of this magnitude in world history. The concert raised $243,418.51 for Bangladesh relief, which was administered by UNICEF. Sales of the album and DVD continue to benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
29 Jan 1972
The triple album The Concert For Bangladesh went to No.1 on the UK album chart. Organised by George Harrison to raise funds for the people caught up in the war and famine from the area. The set featured; Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar and members from Badfinger.
21 Sep 1971
The first edition of the new BBC TV music show 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' was aired. Presented by Richard Williams, the show included; film clips of Jimi Hendrix from Monterey Festival playing 'Wild Thing', Bob Dylan playing 'Maggies Farm', plus America and Lesley Duncan 'live' in the studio. The influential show went on to enjoy a run from 1971 to 1987. According to presenter Bob Harris, the programme derived its name from a Tin Pan Alley phrase from years before. When they got the first pressing of a record they would play it to people they called the old greys—doormen in grey suits. The songs they could remember and whistle, having heard it just once or twice, had passed the old grey whistle test.
1 Aug 1971
The Concert For Bangladesh organised by George Harrison to aid victims of famine and war in Bangladesh took place at New York's Madison Sq Garden. Featuring Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar and members from Badfinger. Harrison had to shell out his own money to maintain the fund after legal problems froze all proceeds. The triple album release (the second in a row by Harrison), hit No.1 in the UK and No.2 in the US and received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
20 Apr 1971
Five friends at San Rafael High School in California coined the term "4:20" as a euphemism for smoking pot. April 20th became a popular day to spark one up, as does 4:20pm. Fans of the Grateful Dead helped spread the phrase, the Boston song 'Smokin'' clocks in at 4 minutes, 20 seconds, and if you multiply the title numbers in Bob Dylan's 'Rainy Day Women #12 And #35,' you get 420.
28 Nov 1970
Bob Dylan's 11th studio album New Morning was on the UK charts, his 6th UK No.1. The album featured 'If Not For You' which was recorded by both George Harrison (on his 1970 album All Things Must Pass), and became the title track for Olivia Newton-John's 1971 debut album.
12 Sep 1970
Bob Dylan joined Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie at the Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California.
11 Jul 1970
Self Portrait gave Bob Dylan his fifth UK No.1 album. Released by Columbia Records, his tenth studio album was Dylan's second double album, and featured mostly cover versions of well-known pop and folk songs.
20 Sep 1969
UK music paper Melody Maker readers poll results were published. Winners included Eric Clapton who won best musician, Bob Dylan best male singer and best album for 'Nashville Skyline'. Best group went to The Beatles, Best single went to Simon And Garfunkel for 'The Boxer' and Janis Joplin won Best female singer.
30 Aug 1969
Two weeks after the Woodstock festival, the second Isle Of Wight festival took place. Over 150,000 turned up over the two days to see Bob Dylan, The Band, Blodwyn Pig, Blonde On Blonde, Bonzo Dog Dooh Dah Band, Edgar Broughton Band, Joe Cocker, Aynsley Dunbar, Family, Fat Mattress, Julie Felix, Free, Gypsy, Richie Havens, The Moody Blues, The Nice, Tom Paxton, Pentangle, The Pretty Things, Third Ear Band and The Who. Tickets 25 shillings, ($3.00). Celebrities who attended include Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, John & Yoko, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Jane Fonder, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton.
7 Jun 1969
Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell both appeared on the first ABC TV Johnny Cash Show from Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Dylan sang I Threw It All Away and Living The Blues and duetted with Johnny Cash on Girl From The North Country.
24 May 1969
Bob Dylan's album Nashville Skyline peaked at No.3 in the US chart. The singer's ninth album, it also scored Dylan his fourth UK No.1. The album featured 'Lay Lady Lay', which became one of Dylan's biggest pop hits, reaching No.7 in the US, his biggest single in three years.
1 May 1969
Bob Dylan recorded an appearance for The Johnny Cash Show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. After two solo numbers from Dylan, Johnny Cash joined him for a rendition of 'Girl From The North Country'. In this primetime show, Cash enjoyed booking contemporary performers as guests; Neil Young, James Taylor, Ray Charles and Eric Clapton were all booked to appear on forthcoming shows.
9 Apr 1969
Bob Dylan released his ninth studio album Nashville Skyline, which embraced country music. With liner notes by Johnny Cash, (who also appeared on the record), at the time of release it was dismissed by some critics as lightweight, but included 'Lay, Lady, Lay', a major hit single for Dylan. The album also gave Dylan his fourth UK No.1 album.
17 Feb 1969
Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash recorded 'Girl From The North Country' together in Nashville at CBS Studios. The track appeared on Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline' album.
13 Feb 1969
Bob Dylan recorded versions of 'Lay, Lady, Lay', at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. 'Lay Lady Lay' was originally written for the soundtrack of the movie Midnight Cowboy, but wasn't submitted in time to be included in the finished film. The song has gone on to become a standard and has been covered by numerous bands and artists over the years, including The Byrds, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, The Everly Brothers, Neil Diamond, Melanie, The Isley Brothers, Duran Duran, Hoyt Axton and Isaac Hayes amongst others.
16 Nov 1968
The Jimi Hendrix Experience went to No.1 on the US album chart with their third and final studio album Electric Ladyland. The double album included ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ ‘Voodoo Chile’ and a version of Bob Dylan's ‘All Along the Watchtower’. Hendrix expressed displeasure and embarrassment with this "naked lady" cover which was banned by several record dealers as "pornographic", while others sold it with the gatefold cover turned inside out.
2 Sep 1968
Jimi Hendrix Experience released a cover of the Bob Dylan song 'All Along the Watchtower', nine months after the original version hit the airwaves. The song became Hendrix’s biggest hit in the US, landing in the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 20, and, later, would influence Dylan’s live renditions of the song. In a 1995 interview with South Florida’s Sun Sentinel, Dylan described hearing Hendrix’s version: "It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn't think of finding in there."
1 Jul 1968
The Band released their debut album Music From Big Pink. The album, which features their first hit single 'The Weight', was recorded in studios in New York and Los Angeles in 1968, and followed the group's backing of Bob Dylan on his 1966 tour (as The Hawks).
9 Mar 1968
Bob Dylan started a ten week run at No.1 on the UK chart with John Wesley Harding. The album marked Dylan's return to acoustic music after three albums of electric rock music and was exceptionally well received by critics, also reaching No.2 on the US charts. The commercial performance was considered remarkable, considering that Dylan had made Columbia Records release the album without much publicity.
14 Feb 1968
Manfred Mann were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Bob Dylan song 'The Mighty Quinn' which was also a No.10 hit in the US. Dylan recorded the song in 1967 during the Basement Tapes sessions, but did not release a version for another three years.
21 Jan 1968
Jimi Hendrix recorded his version of the Bob Dylan song 'All Along the Watchtower' at Olympic Studios in London. Rolling Stone Brian Jones (percussion) and Dave Mason from Traffic (twelve-string guitar) both played on the session. The track was released in the US as a single in 1968, peaking at No.20.
9 Nov 1967
The first issue of Rolling Stone Magazine was published in San Francisco. It featured a photo of John Lennon on the cover, dressed in army fatigues while acting in his recent film, How I Won the War and the first issue had a free roach clip to hold a marijuana joint. The name of the magazine was compiled from three significant sources: the Muddy Waters song, the first rock ‘n’ roll record by Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.
6 Nov 1967
During a three hour session Bob Dylan recorded ‘All Along The Watchtower’ and ‘John Wesley Harding’ at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The Jimi Hendrix Experience later recorded their version of ‘All Along the Watchtower' on January 21, 1968, at Olympic Studios in London after Hendrix had been given a tape of Dylan’s recording by publicist Michael Goldstein, who worked for Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman.
3 Oct 1967
American singer, songwriter Woody Guthrie died after suffering from Huntington's Chorea disease. Guthrie was a major influence on Bob Dylan and American folk music. The 70s film 'Bound For Glory' is based on his life. His best-known song is 'This Land Is Your Land', which is regularly sung in American schools.
12 Jun 1967
Bob Dylan's album Greatest Hits peaked at No.10 in the US chart. The cover photograph of the album was taken by Rowland Scherman at Dylan's November 28th, 1965, concert in Washington, D.C., winning the 1967 Grammy award for Best Album Cover, Photography. The original album package also included Milton Glaser's now-familiar psychedelic poster depicting Dylan.
18 Aug 1966
Paul Jones left Manfred Mann just as ‘Pretty Flamingo’ was climbing the US charts. He was replaced by singer Mike D’Abo, who would take over lead vocals on the bands next hit, ‘The Mighty Quinn,’ a song written by Bob Dylan.
29 Jul 1966
Bob Dylan was riding his Triumph 55 motorcycle to a garage near his home in Woodstock, New York for repairs when the rear wheel locked. Dylan lost control and was thrown over the handlebars, suffering a broken neck vertebra. His recuperation led to a period of reclusive inactivity.
28 May 1966
All four Beatles spent the day with Bob Dylan in his room at the Mayfair hotel in London, England, watching rushes of D.A. Pennebakers's forthcoming documentary film, Dont Look Back, which covered Dylan's 1965 concert tour of the United Kingdom.
20 May 1966
Bob Dylan and The Band played at the ABC Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland. Some members of the audience were unhappy with Dylan ‘going electric’, and attempted to overpower the band by playing their own harmonicas.
18 May 1966
During his 1966 world tour, Bob Dylan and Robbie Robertson from The Band were filmed singing several songs in a hotel room in Glasgow, Scotland, the footage turning up in the film Eat The Document. The film was originally commissioned for the ABC television series Stage '66, but after Dylan edited the film himself ABC rejected it as 'incomprehensible for a mainstream audience'.
17 May 1966
During a UK tour, Bob Dylan appeared at The Free Trade Hall in Manchester. This was the concert where a member of the audience shouted out ‘Judas’ at Dylan unhappy with the singers move from acoustic to rock. Dylan replied with ‘You’re a liar’, the entire concert was eventually officially released in The Bootleg Series by Sony Music in 1999.
4 Feb 1966
Bob Dylan and The Band played at the Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky. This was the first date on a world tour which would become noted as Dylan's first that used electric instruments, after he had ‘gone electric’ at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.
22 Nov 1965
Bob Dylan married Sara Lowndes in a secret ceremony during a break in his tour. The marriage took place under an oak tree on a judge's lawn on Mineola, Long Island, New York. Sara who is the mother of singer Jakob Dylan filed for divorce on March 1st 1977.
1 Oct 1965
Bob Dylan appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He introduced his new touring band on this tour, made up of guitarist Robbie Robertson, organist Garth Hudson, bassist Rick Danko, pianist Richard Manual and drummer Levon Helm. They will become known simply as The Band.
28 Aug 1965
Bob Dylan played the first night of a 40 date North American tour at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in New York City. Dylan played the first set solo and was backed by a band consisting of Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Harvey Brooks and Al Kooper in the second set. This format, one acoustic and one electric set was kept through-out the tour.
26 Aug 1965
Sonny & Cher were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I Got You Babe', the duo's only UK No.1. Sonny Bono was inspired to write the song to capitalize on the popularity of the term "babe," as heard in Bob Dylan's 'It Ain't Me Babe'.
15 Aug 1965
The Beatles set a new world record for the largest attendance at a pop concert when they played in front of 55,600 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City. The Beatles were paid $160,000 for the show, the set list included: ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘She's a Woman’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’, ‘Ticket to Ride’, ‘Can't Buy Me Love’, ‘Baby's In Black’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘A Hard Day's Night’, ‘Help!’, and ‘I'm Down’. Two of the Rolling Stones were among the audience, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and later that evening; Bob Dylan visited The Beatles at their hotel.
14 Aug 1965
Sonny & Cher started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I Got You Babe'. Sonny Bono is said to have been inspired to write the song to capitalize on the popularity of the term "babe," as heard in Bob Dylan's 'It Ain't Me Babe'.
25 Jul 1965
Dressed in Carnaby Street threads, the ever-changing Bob Dylan plugged in for his headlining set backed by the Butterfield Blues Band at The Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. Folk music ‘purists’ tried to boo him off the stage, while the rest of the audience gave him an enthusiastic response. It is usually said that the reason for the crowd's hostile reception was Dylan's 'abandoning' of the folk orthodoxy, or poor sound quality on the night (or a combination of the two).
24 Jul 1965
The Byrds were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their version of the Bob Dylan song 'Mr Tambourine Man'. The first Bob Dylan song to reach No.1. The Byrds' recording of the song was influential in initiating the musical subgenre of folk rock, leading many contemporary bands to mimic its fusion of jangly guitars and intellectual lyrics.
20 Jul 1965
Bob Dylan released 'Like A Rolling Stone.' At 6:13, it was twice as long as the average pop song, but it nonetheless becomes Dylan's first big hit. Its confrontational lyrics originated in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned exhausted from a grueling tour of England. 'Like A Rolling Stone' peaked at No.2 on the US chart and No.4 in the UK.
26 Jun 1965
The Byrds went to No.1 on the US singles chart with their version of Bob Dylan's 'Mr Tambourine Man'. Only Roger McGuinn from the band played on the song, the drummer Hal Blaine who played on the track also played on 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'.
16 Jun 1965
Bob Dylan recorded 'Like A Rolling Stone' at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City, in the sessions for the forthcoming 'Highway 61 Revisited' album. Session musicians included Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, whose Hammond organ on 'Like A Rolling Stone' became one of rock's most recognizable sounds.
29 May 1965
Bob Dylan's album Bringing It All Back Home was at No.1 on the UK charts, his second UK No.1 album. The black and white pamphlet lying across the Time magazine with President Lyndon B. Johnson on the cover is a publication of the Earth Society, who saw its mission as protecting earth from collisions with comets and planets.
15 May 1965
Bob Dylan's single 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' peaked at No.39 in the US charts, giving Dylan his first US top 40 hit. John Lennon was reported to find the song so captivating that he didn't know how he'd be able to write a song that could compete with it.
9 May 1965
During a UK tour Bob Dylan played the first of two sold out nights at London's Royal Albert Hall. All four members of The Beatles were in the audience.
8 May 1965
The filming of the promotional film for Bob Dylan’s 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' took place at the side of the Savoy Hotel in London. Actors in the background were Allen Ginsberg and Bob Neuwirth. The original clip was actually the opening segment of D. A. Pennebaker's film, Dont Look Back, a documentary on Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England. In the film, Dylan, who came up with the idea, holds up cue cards for the camera with selected words and phrases from the lyrics. The cue cards were written by Donovan, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Neuwirth and Dylan himself. While staring at the camera, he flipped the cards as the song played.
27 Apr 1965
Bob Dylan was interviewed by BBC journalist and radio presenter Jack DeManio in the Savoy Hotel, London, for the BBC’s Home Service, which was broadcast on the Today programme the following day. Later on the 27th, Dylan and Joan Baez were filmed singing the traditional song Wild Mountain Thyme in the Savoy. Parts of the interview and the song were used in the film Dont Look Back.
17 Apr 1965
Bob Dylan's second studio album 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan was at No.1 on the UK chart. The album opens with 'Blowin' in the Wind', which became an anthem of the 1960s, and an international hit for folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary.
22 Mar 1965
Bob Dylan released his fifth studio album Bringing It All Back Home. The album was the first of Dylan's albums to break into the US top 10, and it also topped the UK charts later that Spring. The lead-off track, 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' became Dylan's first single to chart in the US, peaking at No.39. The album's iconic cover, photographed by Daniel Kramer, features Sally Grossman, wife of Dylan's manager Albert Grossman, lounging in the background. The artefacts scattered around the room include vinyl LPs by The Impressions and Robert Johnson.
22 Mar 1965
The Byrds released their version of Bob Dylan's 'Mr Tambourine Man'. The song's jangling, melodic guitar playing (performed by Roger McGuinn on a 12-string Rickenbacker guitar) was immediately influential and has remained so to the present day and the group's complex vocal harmony work became a characteristic of their sound. Leon Russell played piano on the track.
8 Mar 1965
Bob Dylan's single Subterranean Homesick Blues was released in the US. The lead track from his Bringing It All Back Home album, gave Dylan his first top 40 hit. Subterranean Homesick Blues is also noted for its innovative film clip, in what became one of the first 'modern' promotional film clips. The clip was shot in an alley behind the Savoy Hotel in London, the cue cards which Dylan holds were written by Donovan, Allen Ginsberg, and Dylan himself.
12 Feb 1965
Pye Records announced that they'd signed 'the British Bob Dylan', when they added Donovan to the label. The Scottish singer-songwriter produced a series of hit albums and singles between 1965 and 1970 and became a friend of leading pop musicians including Joan Baez, Brian Jones and The Beatles. He influenced John Lennon when he taught him a finger-picking guitar style in 1968.
13 Jan 1965
The first day of recording sessions for Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home album were held at Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. Dylan recorded Subterranean Homesick Blues and 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue'.
28 Aug 1964
After playing a show at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, New York, The Beatles met Bob Dylan for the first time at The Delmonico Hotel. Dylan and mutual journalist friend Al Aronowitz introduce the Fab Four to marijuana.
1 Aug 1964
Billboard Magazine reported that the harmonica was making a comeback in a big way thanks to its use by Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Bob Dylan.
9 Jun 1964
During an evening session, Bob Dylan recorded 'Mr. Tambourine Man' at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. This was the first session for Another Side Of Bob Dylan, which saw Dylan recording 14 original compositions that night. The Byrds later covered ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ as their first single, which reached No.1 on both the US & UK Chart. The Byrds' recording of the song was influential in initiating the musical subgenre of folk-rock, leading many contemporary bands to mimic its fusion of jangly guitars and intellectual lyrics in the wake of the single's success.
17 May 1964
Bob Dylan made his first major concert UK appearance when he played at the Royal Festival Hall in London with an afternoon show listed as a ‘Folksong Concert’. Dylan's 18-song set included the live debut of Mr. Tambourine Man and took place on a Sunday afternoon. In the interval, Dylan received a telegram from John Lennon seeking a meeting which never materialised.
10 May 1964
Bob Dylan arrived in Britain for his first major UK tour including a show at London's Royal Festival Hall on the 17th of this month.
3 Apr 1964
Bob Dylan made his first appearance on the UK charts with 'The Times They Are A-Changin''. Dylan wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the time. In January 1984, a young Steve Jobs recited the second verse of 'The Times They Are a-Changin'' in his opening of the 1984 Apple shareholders meeting, where he famously unveiled the Macintosh computer for the first time.
23 Oct 1963
Bob Dylan recorded 'The Times They Are A-Changin' at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. Dylan wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the time, influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads. In January 1984, a young Steve Jobs would recite the second verse of 'The Times They Are a-Changin' during his opening of the 1984 Annual Apple Shareholders Meeting, where he famously unveiled the Macintosh computer for the first time.
6 Aug 1963
In the evening at Studio A of the Columbia Recording Studio, New York City, Bob Dylan recorded the first session produced by Tom Wilson for the album The Times They Are A-Changin'. Dylan's third studio album was the first collection to feature only original compositions, the title track being one of Dylan's most famous. The album consists mostly of stark, sparsely-arranged story songs concerning issues such as racism, poverty, and social change.
27 May 1963
The album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was released by Columbia in the USA. Establishing Dylan as a leader in the singer-songwriter genre and a supposed spokesman for the youth-orientated protest movement, it reached No.22 in the US charts and No.1 in the UK charts. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan showcased Dylan's songwriting talent for the first time and propelled him to national and international fame.
17 May 1963
The first Monterey Folk Festival took place over three days in Monterey, California. The line-up included Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, and a young Jerry Garcia, who performed with The Wildwood Boys.
12 May 1963
Bob Dylan walked out of rehearsals for the US TV Ed Sullivan show after being told he couldn't perform his song 'Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues' due to it mocking the US military and segregation. CBS officials asked Dylan to substitute it for another song, but the singer reportedly said: 'No, this is what I want to do. If I can't play my song, I'd rather not appear on the show'.
12 Apr 1963
Bob Dylan performed his first major solo concert at the Town Hall in New York City. Dylan played a 24 song set including 'Blowin' In The Wind', 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall', 'Highway 51' and 'Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie'.
31 Dec 1962
During his first visit to the UK Bob Dylan played at the King And Queen pub in London. Dylan had arrived in the UK on 17th Dec after British TV director Philip Saville had heard Dylan perform in Greenwich Village, and had invited him to take part in a BBC television drama: The Madhouse On Castle Street.
29 Dec 1962
During his first visit to the UK Bob Dylan performed at The Troubadour in London.
23 Dec 1962
During his first visit to the UK Bob Dylan performed at the King and Queen pub in London’s West End, the singer songwriter’s third UK gig.
22 Dec 1962
During his first visit to the UK Bob Dylan performed at the Singers Club in London, the singer songwriter's second UK gig.
17 Dec 1962
Bob Dylan arrived in England for the first time; he played his first UK date the following night at the Troubadour Club in London.
6 Dec 1962
During sessions for the 'Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan' album, Bob Dylan recorded 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' and versions of 'Hero Blues', 'Whatcha Gonna Do', 'Oxford Town', and 'I Shall Be Free', at Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios in New York City.
2 Aug 1962
Robert Allen Zimmerman legally became Bob Dylan having signed a music publishing deal with Witmark Music on 12th July of this year, engineered by Albert Grossman.
9 Jul 1962
Bob Dylan recorded 'Blowin' In the Wind' at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City during an afternoon session. Dylan originally wrote and performed a two-verse version of the song, as in its first public performance, at Gerde's Folk City on April 16th, 1962. Shortly after this, he added the middle verse.
19 Mar 1962
Bob Dylan's debut album Bob Dylan was released in the Untied States. Initially poor sales led the record to be known around Columbia Records as ‘Hammond's Folly’ (John Hammond was producer of Dylan’s early recordings and the man responsible for signing Dylan). The album was praised by the New York City weekly newspaper Village Voice as an ‘explosive country blues debut’, but featured only two Dylan original compositions, 'Talkin' New York' and 'Song To Woody', the rest being old folk standards.
20 Nov 1961
Bob Dylan started recording his debut album over two days at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City
4 Oct 1961
Bob Dylan played a showcase at New York's Carnegie Hall to 53 people.
29 Sep 1961
Robert Shelton, wrote a glowing review of Bob Dylan's support slot at Gerde's Folk City in the New York Times, calling him ‘One of the most distinctive stylists to play Manhattan in months’. On the same day Dylan played harmonica at a recording session produced by John Hammond.
26 Sep 1961
The Greenbriar Boys started a two-week residency at Gerde's Folk Club in New York. The opening act was Bob Dylan.
24 Apr 1961
Bob Dylan appeared on Harry Belafonte's album 'The Midnight Special' playing harmonica on the title track. Dylan was paid a $50 session fee for this his first ever recording.
11 Apr 1961
Bob Dylan played his first live gig in New York City at Gerde's Folk City, opening for John Lee Hooker.
29 Jan 1961
Bob Dylan achieved his dream of meeting his idol Woody Guthrie when Guthrie was on weekend release from hospital where he was being treated for Huntington's Chorea. Dylan told him; ‘I was a Woody Guthrie jukebox’. Guthrie gave Dylan a card which said: ‘I ain't dead yet’.
23 Feb 1940
Woody Guthrie wrote the lyrics to 'This Land Is Your Land' in his room at the Hanover House Hotel in New York City. The song was brought back to life in the 1960s, when several artists of the new folk movement, including Bob Dylan, The Kingston Trio, Trini Lopez, Jay and the Americans, and The New Christy Minstrels all recorded versions, inspired by its political message.
7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Mark Headley

    November 7, 2019 at 3:34 am

    Many consider his influence UNmatched. I regard his songwriting gift not just marrying poetic lyrics to catchy tunes. Rather, as his Nobel Lit award recognized, how great those lyrics often were. I also regard his vocal performances influential not just because he didn’t have a conventionally sonorous voice. But as no less than Sam Cooke immediately recognized, how exceptionally authentic passion Dylan vocals commonly resonated. For me, his songwriting also could be masterful in its lyrical structure and in how well his music supported the lyrics. Hardly just poetic lyrics, catchy tunes, absent a conventionally good voice.

  2. Dale Moon

    November 8, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Man. I have been a Dylan listener. since 63., my. brother. was a. dylan fan then, i have turned o hundreds. Of people. On. To Dylan thru since. the years. Dylan. Rock’s.

  3. Pete Green

    May 24, 2020 at 11:58 am

    My two favorite songs are Love Minus Zero and Tangled Up in Blue. There are so many others that I love.

  4. Harold Snellen

    May 24, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    February 1974, one evening at 9 PM a friend showed up at my house in North Florida with two tickets to Dylan and The Band at the Hollywood Florida sportatorium the next day. He said I could have a ticket if I would take the 6 hour trip with my 68 Volkswagen van. We left around 10 PM and stopped near Cocoa beach to sleep a bit. The gig was at noon and we arrived at the venue around 7 AM. There were already over a hundred people in line.
    The doors opened at 11 and people were being checked for drugs going in. Joints and other contraband were being passed down the line as we moved to the entrance. Inside there were no seats so we all sat on the floor. Joints were moving back and forth down the rows.
    A silence fell over the crowd as if some palpable force were approaching, then Dylan and The Band hit the bare bones stage. The third song in the set was Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues. As I watched, Dylan turned into a pillar of light and the band melted into colors. I did mention the joints, but something outside of that was taking place for me. Years later I heard Ginsburg describe how Dylan onstage turns into a pillar of breath. Maybe that is what I witnessed. Needless to say I have been a “believer” ever since.

  5. David Lormand

    May 25, 2020 at 2:11 am

    Have loved his music for 59 years, named a son after him !

  6. Larry A Hiatt

    May 25, 2020 at 6:23 am

    When Dylan and The Band toured in 1974, I was beyond excitement with anticipation. The concert was in Seattle and since I lived in Portland, a buddy of mine and my girlfriend at the time decided to make the sojourn to see the concert(s). Note there were two concerts schedule: one around 1pm and another in the evening at 8pm. Luckily, the concert(s) weren’t a hard sell-out-some people were selling their tickets at less than face value. I say, luckily, because my buddy, Karl, had bought two tickets for the evening concert and my girlfriend, Chris, and I had bought tickets for the afternoon concert. So, we ended up buying another ticket for the afternoon concert and decided to catch the evening concert as well. But, that is not the funny part!

    Dylan and the band decided to open the afternoon show with Dylan’s song from the Blonde on Blonde album-“Most likely you go your way and I’ll go Mine” and they did the same song. And in the evening concert, they did same set. So, we heard Dylan and The Band sing the same song four times in one day. Funny! I relayed this story at the memorial service for my friend, Karl, in March of last year. I was quite touched when a couple of Karl’s nephews came up to me and said they could really relate to my memory of the day.

  7. Kerry Leighton

    October 14, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    I have been listening to Bob for nearly 55years and somehow the more I listen the better I like him and appreciate the gift he has given to the world. yes indeedy.

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