|There are few musicians who have had a more powerful impact on folk, rock ’n’ roll and music in general than Bob Dylan. The legendary singer-songwriter is credited with pioneering several genres of music, including electric folk-rock, and he has proved a timeless showman as he has been recording and touring for more than 50 years. Furthermore, Dylan’s innovation and precision as a lyricist has transformed what it means to be a vocalist. With tireless touring, decades of experimentation and a commitment to writing about social change, Bob Dylan has made a permanent mark on American culture. Buy your Bob Dylan tickets now to experience this incomparable folk icon.
The early years
Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota, as Robert Allen Zimmerman, before he started performing at coffeehouses in college under his famous stage name. He grew up playing both guitar and harmonica and even formed a band in high school. Dylan drew inspiration from Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie, and found a passion for the blues while he studied at the University of Minnesota. The talented, young Dylan then spent the summer of 1960 in Denver, a period in which he learned a lot about showmanship and decided to pursue music professionally. By early 1961, Dylan set out for New York City and gained a following in the Greenwich Village folk scene.
By the fall of the same year, Dylan had received acclaim in the New York Times and was signed to Columbia Records shortly after. He released a self-titled debut album in 1962, but it was his sophomore record, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963) that highlighted his tremendous lyricism and originality. This album also temporarily pigeonholed the artist as a political protest musician, but Dylan quickly proved he had more versatility with Another Side of Bob Dylan, which was released in 1964.
During the entirety of this era, Dylan was writing more music than he could record himself, as well as music for other artists. He also began experimenting with the electric guitar and continued to crossover into genres outside of folk, including blues, R&B and rock ’n’ roll. In summer 1965, Dylan famously got booed off the stage of the Newport Folk Festival for performing with an electric guitar, a point that symbolizes his future road of continuous reinvention.
To the present
As of early 2015, Dylan had recorded 35 studio albums. In July 1966, the singer-songwriter was in a horrific motorcycle crash, and spent a year recovering while he continued to write music. Over the 1970s and 1980s Dylan continued to release albums consistently. In 1979, Dylan claimed himself a born-again Christian and followed the announcement with Slow Train Coming, an evangelical collection that won Dylan his first Grammy Award. A decade later, Dylan was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 1997, Dylan received Kennedy Center Honors, the nation’s highest prize for artistic excellence. That same year, Dylan racked up three more Grammys. He has continued to write and record music, and has showed no signs of slowing down as a performer.