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Bob Dylan

On 24/05/1941: Bob Dylan was born in Malibu, California. His birth name was Robert Allen Zimmerman. He was influenced by rock musicians such as Elvis Presley and Little Richard. He formed his own bands including, The Golden Chords and a group where he called himself Elston Gunn. It was when he was attending the University of Minnesota that he started to be known under the name "Bob Dillon", whilst he performed in nearby caf├ęs. The name is supposed to have derived from the main character in the tv series Gunsmoke.
In 1960 he dropped out to move to New York, so that he could spend time with his ailing idol Woody Guthrie. He visited Guthrie in hospital regularly and would also became a regular of the Greenwich Village music scene.
In 1961 he signed with Columbia Records after one of his performances got a rave review in The New York Times. He changed his name legally to Dylan.
His first album "Bob Dylan" was released in 1962 and featured mostly covers, with only two original tracks.
His next two album's "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" established him as the definitive voice of the 60's protest movement. It was also during this time that he had a relationship with another prominent voice of the movement, Joan Baez, who he would also write for.
In 1964 he released "Another Side of Bob Dylan", where he moved away from the more previous more political material.
In 1965 he shocked some of his more traditional folk fans when he released "Bringing It All Back Home" that featured an electric half as well as acoustic. He was even booed when he performed electric for the first time at Newport Folk Festival. He followed "Bringing It All Back Home" with "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Blonde on Blonde" where he became even more innovative.
In 1966 he suffered a near fatal motorbike accident and spent the next year in seclusion. His next albums "John Wesley Harding" and "Nashville Skyline" were a bit more mellow.
The albums "Self-Portrait" and "Tarantula" followed but were not received well by the critics.
In 1973, he appeared in the film "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid", where he also wrote the soundtrack. The soundtrack included the classic " "Knockin' on Heaven's Door".
1974 saw him return to touring and he released "Planet Waves", which was his first number one album. His next two "Blood on the Tracks" and "Desire" would hit the number one spot too. One of the tracks on "Desire" was "Hurricane" which Dylan wrote to publicise the cause of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who had been convicted of a triple homicide, with many expressing doubt to his guilt. Carter got a retrial in 1976, but was convicted again. The track "Sara" on the album was part of an unsuccessful attempt for Dylan to win back his wife Sara Lowndes.
In 1979 he declared himself a born-again Christian and released the evangelical "Slow Train Coming", which won him his first Grammy.
In the eighties, he started touring full time. The albums "Infidels", "Biograph", "Knocked Out Loaded" and "Oh Mercy" were released. "Oh Mercy" was particularly successful.
He joined George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne to form The Traveling Wilburys, who he record two albums with.
In 1989 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1994 he won another Grammy for "World Gone Wrong".
In 1997 he received three Grammy's for the album "Time Out of Mind" and became the first rock star ever to receive Kennedy Center Honors.
In 2000 he recorded the track "Things Have Changed" for the film "Wonder Boys", it would win a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
2006 saw the release of "Modern Times", "Together Through Life" was released in 2009 and in 2010 he released a bootleg album called "The Witmark Demos".
2012 saw the album "Tempest" released.
In 2015 he released a cover album called "Shadows in the Night".

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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