Born on May 24, 1941 as Robert Allen Zimmerman
He learned how to play the harmonica and guitar when he was young and formed his first band called Golden Chords when he was in high school. He attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where he studied art and pursued his dream to become a performer at the same time. Soon, Bob Dylan was making a name for himself as he performed in various venues in New York City. He was eventually signed by Columbia Records in 1961 with John Hammond producing his debut album that came out the following year.
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, his second album under Columbia, was a success. The album also showcased Dylan's ability as a singer/songwriter. Included in the album is the song "Blowin' in the Wind" which Peter, Paul and Mary later covered. In 1966, he went on a British tour with The Hawks as his backing band. Other extensive tours, like the Rolling Thunder Revue and The Never-Ending Tour followed.
Other Songs He Wrote:
Other well-known songs he wrote include: "Mr. Tambourine Man," (The Byrds) "Like a Rolling Stone," (his song that successfully broke the 3-minute song-length rule) "Positively 4th Street," "Rainy Day Women," "Lay Lady Lay," "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" and "Hurricane."
Love Life/Personal Struggles:
In the early 1960's, Dylan was romantically linked to Joan Baez. His first marriage was to Sara Lowndes, a model. He was injured in a motorcycle accident on July 29, 1966. He disappeared from limelight after the accident but continued to record demoes with his band. Their recording sessions later came out in an album, The Basement Tapes, in 1975. Dylan re-emerged in 1967 with the album John Wesley Harding.
His stage surname of "Dylan" is said to have been taken from the first name of one of his favorite poets, Dylan Thomas. Aside from being a gifted singer/songwriter, musician and performer, he is also a painter. During the course of his fruitful career, Dylan's songs were influenced by different genres including blues, R&B, pop, country and rock n'roll. His songwriting was influenced by singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie and poet John Keats, to name a few.