Bob Dylan

Biography of Bob Dylan
Credits: Xavier Badosa / CC BY 2.0

Bob Dylan Biography

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and painter, and poet considered one of the most prolific and influential figures of his generation in popular music of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. he was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24, 1941, and his birth name was Robert Allen Zimmerman. He grew up in the iron hills of megabit, in Hibbing. He is the son of Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice stone.

In his childhood he showed great interest in music and poetry, he knew firsthand the American traditional music of European origin; he also learned to play the guitar and the piano. He formed several bands. his first group was influenced by Elvis and jerry lee Lewis.

In 1959, he began his studies at the university of Minnesota, where he would dabble into the so-called American folk music, usually visiting nightclubs where the music he liked was played, so he spent more time singing, playing the guitar and the harmonica than studying.

He became passionate about the poetry of Dylan Thomas, which is why, in homage to him, he chose his artistic name: Bob Dylan. In that time, he decided to drop out of school to devote himself completely to music.

In the year 1961, he moved to New York, where he began to sing in the cafes of Greenwich village, where folk fans met. The young singer caught the attention of the most important figures of the genre, whom he admired and who soon considered him one of their own. Bob Dylan’s lyrics had high poetic content, which transmitted messages that gave a new meaning to popular music. his protest songs not only reflected people’s feelings towards contemporary issues but created them, earning the title of the voice of their generation.

In march of 1962, Bob Dylan published his debut album with Columbia, composed of traditional folk, blues, and gospel material with two compositions of his own: “song to woody” and “talking’ New York”. the album did not have much commercial success.

Dylan also recorded several songs under the pseudonym of blind boy grunt for broadside magazine, a magazine and folk record company. He also used other pseudonyms: Bob Landy to play piano in the blues project, an anthology published by Elektra records in 1964 and tedham porterhouse to play the harmonica on the album ramblin’ jack eliott.

In August of 1962, he took two important steps in his musical career. He changed his legal name to Bob Dylan and signed a representation contract with Albert Grossman who was his manager until 1970.

A year later, in 1963, he would release his second album “the freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” which had a great impact. Among the songs of this album highlights blowin ‘in the wind, soon became a generational anthem and was quickly translated into several languages ​​becoming a figure of international projection.

In 1964, his third album was released “the times they are a-changin’.”

In 1965, he would release his album “highway 61 revisited” which includes the song like a rolling stone, which a true exponent of genuine rock and roll, marked the beginning of Dylan as a rocker.

Dylan secretly married the former model Sara Lowndes on November 22, 1965.

On June 1, 1966, he conquered Europe from the Olympia music hall in Paris. On July 29th of the same year, he would suffer a motorcycle accident and had to step aside from the stage for a few years.

In 1970, the film “little fauss and big halsy” was released. the film was directed by Sidney j. Furie and soundtrack by Bob Dylan. Three years later Bob Dylan would help with the soundtrack for another movie: “pat garret and Billy the kid” directed by Sam Peckinpah.

In 1975, he would direct his only film “Renaldo, and Clara”, and three years later he would appear in a documentary directed by Martin Scorsese “the last waltz”. For this last work, the American director was inspired by the historic farewell concert of the band, the group that between the mid-1960s and the middle of the next accompanied Bob Dylan in many of his recitals.

The songs of Bob Dylan of the 1980s were based mainly on his religious concerns, and his lyrics would acquire a remarkable depth. Dylan would go on the tour for a series of concerts called like “a musical retrospective” in which he sang the repertoire of popular songs of the decade of years 60.

Bob Dylan began the decade of the nineties recording under the red sky, a radical change of position with respect to his predecessor, oh mercy. The album included rock songs with seemingly simple lyrics such as “under the red sky” and “wiggle wiggle” that was the subject of criticism by the music press.



Throughout his career, he has received awards such as doctor honoris causa by Princeton university, various Grammy and the lifetime achievement award in recognition of his artistic career. Commander of the order of French arts and letters.

In 2001, he would win an Oscar for the best original song and a golden globe for things have changed, a theme included in the soundtrack of the movie the wonder boys, directed by Curtis Hanson. In 2006, he received two new Grammy awards for modern times, a disc released that same year and awarded as the best contemporary folk album. In addition, he would receive recognition as the best rock soloist for his work on his song “someday baby.”

In June 2007, the musician was awarded the prince of Asturias award for the arts, and a year later received an honorary recognition of the Pulitzer prize for his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by his lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power. In May 2012, he received the presidential medal of freedom from president Barack Obama. November 2013 was the year when Bob Dylan would receive the award of the legion of honor from the French minister of education Aurélie Filippetti.

In February 2015, Dylan accepted the musicares person of the year award from the national academy of recording arts sciences, in recognition of his artistic and philanthropic contributions to society.

On October 13, 2016, the Swedish academy awarded him the Nobel prize for literature for creating a new poetic expression within the great tradition of American song. the New York times newspaper reported that Dylan, at 75, is the first musician to win is the award. a year later, in 2017, the secretary of the Swedish academy, Sara Danius announced that the academy had met with Bob Dylan in a private ceremony in Stockholm, taking advantage of the presence of the singer to give two concerts in the city, during which the academy congratulated him for the award, and Bob Dylan received his medal and diploma: “twelve members of the academy were present. now the name of Bob Dylan is inscribed as the first musician in history to receive the” Nobel prize for literature. ”



  • 1962: Bob Dylan
  • 1963: the freewheelin´Bob Dylan
  • 1964: the times they are a-changin´
  • 1964: another side of Bob Dylan
  • 1965: bringinf it all back home
  • 1965: highway 61 revisited
  • 1966: blonde on blonde
  • 1967: john wesley harding
  • 1969: nashville skyline
  • 1970: self portrait
  • 1970: new morning
  • 1973: pat garrett & billy the kid
  • 1974: planet waves
  • 1974: before the flood
  • 1975: blood on the tracks
  • 1976: desire
  • 1976: hard rain
  • 1978: street legal
  • 1979: slow train coming
  • 1979: Bob Dylan at budokan
  • 1980: saved
  • 1981: shot of love
  • 1983: infidels
  • 1984: real live
  • 1985: empire burlesque
  • 1986: knocked out loaded
  • 1988: down in the groove
  • 1989: Dylan & the dead
  • 1989: oh mercy
  • 1990: under the red sky
  • 1992: good as i been to you
  • 1993: the 30th anniversary concert celebration
  • 1993: world gone wrong
  • 1995: mtv unplugged
  • 1997: time out of mind
  • 2001: love and theft
  • 2006: modern times
  • 2009: together through life
  • 2009: chistmas in the heart
  • 2012: tempest
  • 2015: shadows in the night
  • 2016: fallen angels
  • 2017: triplic

Most Popular

To Top