Photograph by Rowland Scherman. National Archives at College Park.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan came to Greenwich Village in January 1961 and was signed to Columbia Records by September. Hailed as a folk singing prophet by 1963, he was called “Judas” at a concert in Manchester in 1966 for using electric instruments. About “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Dylan said, “I didn’t really know if that was a good or bad song. It felt right. But I didn’t know if it had any anthemic quality or anything.” Rolling Stone lists Bob Dylan No. 2 among the 100 greatest artists of all time, between the Beatles at No. 1 and Elvis at No. 3. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016.

All Writing

To live outside the law, you must be honest.

—Bob Dylan, 1966


In 2009 a twenty-four-year-old policewoman in Long Branch, New Jersey, responded to complaints about an “eccentric-looking old man” peering into a house. She asked the man his name. “I’m Bob Dylan,” he said. “I’m on tour.” Taking him for a liar, she put him in the back of her car and drove him to his hotel, where others confirmed he really was the musician. “I think he named a couple of songs,” she later recalled. “But I wouldn’t have known any of the songs.”

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