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Bob Dylan

He is considered one of the greatest writers in modern music.


He is probably the first singer-songwriter in history, and although his roots are strongly in folk music, he has influenced many generations of musicians from a wide variety of genres.


We do not claim to cover about 60 years of Bob Dylan's glorious career, but we will try to focus on important milestones in the life of one of the most influential musicians of our generation, with 50 interesting facts:



1. He was born in Minnesota into a Jewish immigrant family, on May 24, 1941.


2. The name given to him at birth is Robert Allen Zimmerman, but his Hebrew name is Shabtai Zisel son of Abraham and Rachel Rebecca Zimmerman.


3. As a child he used to listen a lot to the radio, especially to blues and country stations from New Orleans and later also to rock and roll stations.


4. He formed his first band when he was in high school, it was called "The Golden Chords". Dylan and his bandmates mostly played cover versions of songs by Little Richard and Elvis Presley.


5. In 1959 he began studying at the University of Minneapolis, then also began playing with local folk musicians and using the stage name "Bob Dylan".


6. Although it is known that Dylan chose the stage name as inspiration from his favorite Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, Dylan denied it.


7. In 1961 he left school and moved to New York to seek his fortune in music, hoping to meet with his idol - Woody Guthrie as well.


8. He played in pubs and small cafes in Greenwich Village, until the New York Times reporter who attended one of his shows wrote about him in 1961 that he was an artist bursting with talent. Just a month later he was already signed to Columbia Records.


9. His first album "Bob Dylan" was released in 1962 and included a mix of covers of old folk, blues, and gospel songs, with a bit of original material.


10. In 1963 he releases his second album "The Freewheelin 'Bob Dylan". The album features iconic songs such as "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" and "Blowin 'in the Wind" which became the anthem of the civil rights movement and anti-war movements.


11. At that time Dylan also became a significant activist in the civil rights movement. He appeared at the movement's conferences and among other things at the famous conference in Washington where Martin Luther King gave the historic "I Have a Dream" speech.


12. In 1964 Dylan releases the album "The Times They Are A-Changin". In the album, Dylan presents political views and writes on topics such as the murder of civil rights activist Madgar Everes, the disintegration of the traditional mining and farming communities, and the murder of a servant by her master.


13. During the Beatle's visit to the United States in August 1964, Dylan met the four members who adored him. In that encounter, Dylan exposes "The Beatles" members to marijuana for the first time.


14. In 1965 Dylan releases the album "Bringing It All Back Home" which includes the songs "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and "Maggie's Farm". In this album, Dylan uses an electric guitar for the first time. The album was heavily influenced by the Beatles who were influenced by Dylan themselves.


15. Later that year Dylan shows up at the Newport Folk Festival. It was not his first appearance there, but it was Dylan's first "electric" appearance. He was accompanied by guitarist Mike Bloomfield and keyboardist Al Kooper. The audience did not like Dylan's electric set and shouted scorn at him.


16. Back in 1965, Dylan released the album "Highway 61 Revisited" which includes the song "Like a Rolling Stone" one of the most influential songs in modern music. It is interesting to note that in almost sixty years of their career Dylan has never been able to make it to the first place, and even this iconic song did only reach second place.


17. After the release of the album, Dylan was looking for a band to perform with. He teamed up with The Hawks which later changed its name to "The Band". Dylan went on an electric tour with them, but the angry crowd that was expecting the folk-acoustic Dylan, was Booing them off the stage with whistles.


18. In 1966, Dylan returned to the studio to work on the double album "Blonde On Blonde" together with members of the "band". The album released in June 1966 is considered a classic album that is included on many lists as one of the greatest records of all time.


19. In July 1966 Dylan had a serious motorcycle accident, which affected him and caused him to disappear from the public eye.


20. At that time he moved with members of "The Band" to live in a big pink house called "Big Pink", where they began recording together dozens of demos, some of which were released almost a decade later on an album called "The Basement Tapes".


21. In 1967 Dylan released the album "John Wesley Harding" which included the song "All Along the Watchtower". The song will get a memorable cover version by Jimi Hendrix.


22. In 1969, the country-style album "Nashville Skyline" was released, in which Dylan also performed a duet with singer Johnny Cash. The hit "Lay Lady Lay" from it exposed Dylan to another circle of new fans from the country genre.


23. In 1970 Dylan releases the album "Self Portrait". The self-portrait that appears on the album cover was painted by him.


24. That same year he collaborated with George Harrison on writing two songs for Harrison's triple masterpiece album "All Things Must Pass".


25. In 1971 Dylan releases his first book "Tarantula". Dylan will later release additional books including two children's books.


26. Dylan has also released since 1994 eight books that include paintings and drawings made by him.


27. In August 1971 Dylan appeared in surprise at the charity show The "Concert for Bangladesh" organized by George Harrison. The show was recorded by Phil Spector and released on a triple album "The Show for Bangladesh". Dylan performed five songs on it, accompanied by Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Leon Russell.


28. In 1973 Dylan starred as a supporting actor in the film "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid". He also wrote the song "Knockin 'On Heavens Door" for the soundtrack.


29. In 1974, Dylan returns to collaborate with The Band. He releases the album "Planet Waves" which includes two versions of the song "Forever Young" which is considered a classic.


30. He later goes on a tour with them, which was recorded on the double album "Before the Flood".


31. After the tour, it was reported in the media that Dylan and his wife had separated. Dylan filled a small red notebook with songs about his marriage problems, which became the album "Blood on the Tracks" released in 1975.


32. In 1976 Dylan releases the album "Desire" which includes the song "Sara" which was written about his first wife and the mother of four of his children - Sara Lownds. The album opens with the masterpiece "Hurricane" written about boxer Robin Carter nicknamed the Hurricane and charged with a triple murder in New Jersey. Dylan visited Carter in prison and was convinced that the allegations against him were false, and wrote the song to show he is innocent.


33. In 1978 Dylan released the album "Street Legal" which included pop-inspired music from the period.


34. In 1979 Dylan declared that he was reborn as a Christian. That same year he releases the album influenced by Christian gospel "Slow Train Coming". The one who plays with him on the album is none other than Mark Knopfler.


35. The story of the connection between Dylan and Knopfler begins when Dylan heard the "Dire Straits" song "Sultans of Swing". In March 1979 he arrives for their last performance at the Roxy Club in Los Angeles. Dylan approaches Knopfler after the show and offers him to play on his next album. Knopfler immediately agrees and recommended "Dire Straits" Drummer Pick Withers and they both play on the aforementioned album.


36. In 1982, Dylan returned to Judaism and began studying at the Chabad Chassidim Center in Brooklyn. On the inside cover of the album "Infidels" from 1983, Dylan is shown on the Mount of Olives.


37. In the same year he celebrates his eldest son Jesse's Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall.


38. In 1987, Dylan first appeared in Israel. He will return to perform here in 1993 and 2011.


39. In 1988 he was inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame". Bruce Springsteen was the one to deliver the opening speech in the ceremony.


40. That same year Dylan co-wrote and sang with Bono the song "Love Rescue Me" which appeared on the U2's album "Rattle and Hum".


41. That same year he co-founded with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty the supergroup "Traveling Wilburys".


42. In 1992 Dylan marked 30 years since his debut album in a grandiose performance that included a long list of guest artists such as Neil Young, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Tom Petty, "The Band", Eddie Vedder, and Sheryl Crow.


43. Believe it or not but despite the tremendous amount of material Dylan released during his career, he did not win a Grammy for Best Album until 1997 with the album "Time Out Of Mind". This is just one of 11 Grammy Awards that Dylan has won during his career.


44. In 2000, Dylan won an Oscar for the song "Things Have Changed" from the movie "Wonder Boys".


45. In 2008 Dylan became the first musician in the world to win the Pulitzer Prize.


46. ​​In 2009 Dylan releases his 33rd studio album - "Together Through Life". The album jumps straight to number one on the Billboard 200 and makes Dylan, then 68, the oldest artist to reach number one on this chart.


47. In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Dylan the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It is the highest civilian decoration in the United States.


48. In 2016 he also became the first musician to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.


49. During his illustrious career as a solo artist Dylan has released 39 studio albums, 26 mini-albums, and 12 live albums.


50. For nearly 60 years of activity, Dylan has written more than 1,000 songs.


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