Dylan got his start out of the artistic hotbed of early-1960s Greenwich Village in New York City, drawing inspiration from a variety of protest singers and poets, and perhaps none more so than his idol, Woody Guthrie. In just a few short years, Dylan was beloved internationally as a folk singer, having earned his popularity with songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’.”
Once he had found a large audience, Dylan showed his true genius and ability to reinvent himself. By “going electric,” Dylan tore a gaping hole in the divide between the folk and rock ‘n roll genres, experimenting with new sounds and abstract songwriting techniques. Classics such as “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “All Along the Watchtower” and “Like A Rolling Stone” emerged from this creative period, challenging his fans to open their minds just as much as he challenged his country to take a long and hard look at itself. The number of artists these works inspired is truly beyond measure.
More than four decades have since passed, with Dylan having survived a broken neck from a horrific motorcycle accident and countless miles of touring in promotion of over two dozen album releases. While his songwriting may have evolved, the core foundation of his music remains as solid as ever. His appreciation for the downtrodden is still evident through his charitable outreach through programs such as Feeding America. Bob Dylan continues to be many things, but the most important of these is the message he has come to symbolize: People who look out for each other and who are unafraid to stand up to injustice will always find a way to shape the world for the better.