Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman 24 May, 1941) for the one or two of you that are not aware is an American singer-songwriter, musician and poet. He is one of America's most highly regarded popular songwriters, and his enduring contributions to the American Ĺ“uvre are comparable to those of Stephen Foster, Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, and Hank Williams.

Much of Dylan's best known work is from the 1960s, when he became a documentarian and reluctant figurehead of American unrest. Many involved in the civil rights movement found an anthem in his song "Blowin' In The Wind". Millions of young people embraced "The Times They Are A-Changin'" as a rallying cry of the decade.

Dylan expanded the vocabulary of popular music by incorporating politics, social commentary, philosophy and literature. In doing so he created a style which combines lyrical stream of consciousness with often absurdist social and political moralizing, defying folk music convention and appealing widely to the counterculture of the time. While expanding and personalizing musical styles, Dylan has nonetheless shown devotion to traditions of American song, from folk and country/blues to rock 'n' roll and rockabilly, to Gaelic balladry, even jazz, swing and Broadway.

When I was a young'un, my cousin Eddie turned me on to Dylan. I went out and bought Bringing It All Back Home and played it until the grooves in the record were worn out.

I hadn't listened to Dylan for many years. Heck I hadn't listened to most everyone. I'm a player not a spectator. However last year Martin Scorcese produced a documentary about Dylan's life. I was stunned at how many Dylan songs had made an impression on my youth. All these songs that I had learned to play the chords to on the guitar came back. I really appreciate the guy.

Happy Birthday Bob!

No comments: