Bob Dylan Facts: All You Need To Know About The Famous Personality | Kidadl


Bob Dylan Facts: All You Need To Know About The Famous Personality

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Are you also a fan of his track 'Like a Rolling Stone' and his electric guitar skills?

Bob Dylan has a special place in the hearts of all music lovers, however, not many of his fans know his real name! He is a passionate songwriter and singer who won the hearts of many people in different countries with his music and tours.

He has won Grammys and several other awards for his music works and albums. Bob Dylan made some of the biggest hits in the '70s and '80s. Even today the songs off his famous albums are still played and covered by many aspiring artists. Bob Dylan reached many generations of music lovers with his folk music and will continue to be a famous name long into the future.

Here are some Bob Dylan facts that you might find interesting, regarding his early life and his career achievements, the real name of this famous singer, and the awards and appreciation received by him.

The Early Life Of Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan was born in May 1941 in Minnesota. He was raised in Hibbing city. His real name was Robert Allen Zimmerman.

Bob Dylan was born to Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice Stone. His parents were Jewish. Thus, Bob Dylan was raised in a strong community that followed Jewish traditions and was bonded with love.

He grew his love for music in his childhood days. He gradually drifted towards American folk music and blues and developed a particular passion for that genre. It is also surprising to know that Bob Dylan was actually inspired by the works of Elvis Presley when he grew up in Hibbing. Elvis was a huge influence and idol for Bob Dylan during his teenage years. Along with Elvis, Woody Guthrie was another singer that Bob Dylan considered an idol. He spent time listening to music from a very young age and developed an avid interest in music.

Asa child he also loved listening to the radio and spent long hours listening to music played on various radio stations. Since radio was the only means of entertainment during those days, this is how Bob Dylan found his passion for songs and music during childhood.

He was known as Robert Allen Zimmerman back in his childhood days. He went to Hibbing High School and along with academics, he also enjoyed music activities. He joined many musical bands and played shows with them as a student. Later he got admitted into the University of Minnesota for higher studies in 1959.

The quest for music didn't break during his college years either. He started playing music for many bands while studying at the university. He started doing gigs and performing at cafes and coffee houses where he showcased his talent and passion for music. This was believed to be just the beginning of his glamorous career in music.

In his university years, Bob Dylan played many genres of music out of which folk music was his forte. He thus became active in playing music in Dinkytown which was well known for its folk music circuit. He was a great fan of Roy Orbison whose music was a mix of all genres and he loved listening to him on the radio.

What are some fun facts about Bob Dylan?

Apart from music, Bob Dylan was also interested in writing poems and expressing them in the form of verse. He was a man of words who found a rhythm in writing and was known to have written some incredible poems.

As a child, Bob Dylan was influenced by the Beat Generation and its early authors. He was also inspired by modernist poets.

Although his music career was reaching new heights, Bob Dylan didn't have a stable personal life. In 1965, he married Sara Lownds and they had four children. However, they later divorced in 1977. He also had a relationship with the well-known singer Carolyn Dennis and married her in 1986, but this too ended in divorce in 1992.

Bob Dylan's first live concert with an electric guitar did not go down well with fans. In 1965 he played at the Newport Folk Festival but this was not received well.

His fanbase also included the popular band the Beatles. Bob Dylan became best friends with George Harrison and collaborated on songs like ‘If Not For You’ and ‘I’d Have You Anytime’. The Concert For Bangladesh in 1971 was arranged by George Harrison and included a live performance by Bob Dylan. In 1988, Bob Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the E Street Band including Bruce Springsteen and many other famous musicians.

Dylan's music career spans five decades. Many of his songs were major hits in the '60s. Music lovers believe that Bob Dylan is an acquired taste but the sale of over 100 million of his albums is worth noting. The net worth of Bob Dylan is estimated to be around $350 million.

Like many musical artists, he too had a tumultuous relationship with alcohol. However, he has been sober for around three decades. You will be interested to know that Bob Dylan also has a Whiskey Collection. It is a special collection called ‘Heaven’s Door’ and it was released in 2018.

In 1966, he was in a motorcycle accident. The causes of the crash were not known but he was out of public eyes for many years after the accident. It is believed that he was never hospitalized for the incident but he took those years to rest and come back with a renewed energy. During this time of isolation, he formed a new band that recorded ‘The Basement Tapes’. These songs were not immediately released to the public, however, later when they were released it was revealed that he had changed his songwriting style after the incident.

David Bowie and Bob Dylan seem to have many offscreen controversies and conflicts of opinions. It is rumored that Dylan had stolen many of David Bowie's musicians and performed his tours with them. He also wanted David Bowie to produce the album 'Infidels' for him but David Bowie was not so supportive of Dylan. In one of the interviews with Bowie at the time, he clearly stated that he hated the young American.

Bob Dylan also became friends with Johnny Cash in 1964 at the Newport Folk Fest. They performed together on many songs. Johnny Cash also sang covers of many of Dylan's songs.

Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne also had a group of songwriters who wrote for many singers and bands. George Harrison and Tom Petty were also among the group. However, only Dylan and Jeff Lynne are still alive of the people in this group.

Hank Williams was also a good friend of Dylan and both have appreciated each other's work. The reference of Hank Williams was mentioned by Dylan in many interviews, books, and music. However, Dylan had to share his fame and glamor phase along with Joni Mitchell who was also a famous singer during this time. Because of this, they had a tense and competitive relationship.

Dylan wanted to expand his fan base since he wasn't a national singing icon yet. In order to attract a big audience and fan following he decided to appear on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’. He hoped that this show would gain him a wider loyal group of followers and inspire other artists to make covers of his songs.

But on May 12, 1963, Bob Dylan walked off the show. This gained him even more followers. The performance on that show never happened. However, walking off the show gained him a lot of attention and attracted an even bigger fanbase.

What is Bob Dylan known for?

His debut album was released in 1962 and was named Bob Dylan. This album was made of two compositions by Dylan himself and contained a few folk songs. However, the album did not do well. The sales of a mere 5000 copies indicated that he wouldn't be Columbia Records' new star.

His producer John Hammond had complete faith in him and helped Bob Dylan to discover his songs and explore his songwriting style. This led to the release of his second album ‘The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan’ in 1963.

This album, released in 1963 named ‘The Freewheelin’ was a massive hit in both the UK and the US. This album comprised many genres. It was a mix of love songs, protest songs, and the blues which had a social message. This album was loved by his audience and tapped the many specific music interests of a range of audiences. This was the beginning of the popularity of Bob Dylan. In the '60s Bob Dylan gained popularity and became well known as a songwriter and singer.

He also participated in the civil rights movement during that time. In 1965, he released the single ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ which was a big hit. He also directed a movie 'Renaldo and Clara' starring his ex-wife Sara and Joan Beaz. However, this did not do well. 

He later appeared and starred in movies and films in the '70s. He also composed many songs for these films. He starred in ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’ which was a 1973 drama.

He started his world tour with his band. In 1978 he went on a world tour for a year. He performed music concerts in many countries like Japan, the US, Europe, and Australia. During that year the total number of shows he did was 114! This world tour gave him earnings of $20 million.

Bob Dylan's first album to become the first major hit was ‘Blonde on Blonde’. It was a commercial success in his music career. It appeared at number nine on the famous Billboard 200 chart. This album also went double platinum.

Another album of Bob Dylan was ‘Blood On The Tracks’ released in 1975, which is considered as his greatest work in music. This album is still counted as one of the 500 greatest albums among the Popular Rolling Stone list. This album appeared at no. 1 on the billboards list.

Bob Dylan wrote songs on personal feelings, religious faith, and many philosophies that he found attractive. When Bob Dylan grew an interest in the Christian faith he wrote songs on it and gave light to the Christian philosophy and drew many people into believing in a religious path. This led to the release of the album ‘Slow Train Coming’ in 1979. Surprisingly this was a no. 1 in Australia. Bob Dylan was now globally famous for his music and folk songs.

The 1980s were the years of touring and collaborating with other artists and music bands like Tom Petty and Heartbreakers. His successful hit albums during this time were ‘Knocked Out Loud’, ‘Oh Mercy’, and ‘Infidels’. He was no longer the top musician but still continued performing his work and touring.

This was the time when he released ‘Time Out of Mind’ in 1997 which was a surprise hit for his fans and he won three Grammys in 1997 for the album. Bob Dylan was a passionate singer who continued performing and releasing albums and stage shows into his '60s. He even released the album ‘Tempest' in 2012 which shows his deep-rooted love for music.

Columbia Records did not officially release certain recordings until the year 1975.

What is Bob Dylan's real name?

Bob Dylan was a name acquired by himself. He was born Robert Allen Zimmerman. Usually, a lot of artists like to use pseudo names while they work or perform their art. There are many actors and singers who do not use their real names but have developed certain nicknames or stage names.

Their work is therefore known by their newly acquired name and later becomes an identity of the artist. Similarly, this was the case with Bob Dylan. He started performing his initial music gigs as Robert Allen Zimmerman. But later he changed it to Bob Dylan when he started performing actual concerts.

His interest and passion for music made him realize that he could not pursue an academic career and thus Bob Dylan decided to quit college. In 1960 Bob Dylan went to New York City and in 1961 he finally started to pursue a career in music and learned formal lessons in music. Then he began playing at clubs and exploring the exciting New York City life.

He also experimented with the spelling of the name Dylan. He used various spellings such as Dillon. In one of his interviews, he mentioned that the name Dylan was inspired from his childhood when he was inspired by the poet Dylan Thomas. Thus he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan in 1962.

Awards And Honors Of Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is a name that was common among many awards. He has received numerous awards for his work in music. Bob Dylan has won 11 Grammy Awards.

In 1998 Bob Dylan won three Grammy Awards. His most recent award was for his album ‘Someday Baby’ in 2007 for the Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance category and for the ‘Best Historical Album’ in 2017. Apart from Grammys, Bob Dylan also won the Academy Award for the Best Original Song for ‘Things have Changed’ from the album ‘Wonder Boys’ in 2000.

Bob Dylan has also bagged the reputed Nobel Prize too. The highest achievement of his work was when Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016 for creating a new expression of the poem along with the traditional American song.

Bob Dylan is also the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. This medal is considered to be the highest and most prestigious civilian award in the United States.

Kidadl Team
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Kidadl Team

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