HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. DYLAN
Today, May 24th, is the birthday of one Mr. Robert Allen Zimmerman, born this day in 1941, in the town of Duluth Minnesota. Mr. Zimmerman is more widely known to his many friends and fans as Bob Dylan.
That means Bob Dylan is just a few months older than myself, and explains why I think of myself as having “grown up” with Mr. Dylan. Bob’s first LP, the self-titled “Bob Dylan” came out in the fall of 1962. I bought that album.
Over the years I have made many subsequent purchases, LP’s, Cassettes, and CD’s. There is still no way I have even remotely all of Bob’s recordings. I continue to find old ones or imports I didn’t know existed.
As a person as well as a musician Dylan was important on the nation’s scene from the first.
He was present at The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on August 28th 1963, for The March on Washington. Along with a few friends.
Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson sang "How I Got Over", Bob Dylan performed several songs, including "Only a Pawn in Their Game", about the culturally fed racial hatred amongst Southern whites that led to the assassination of Medgar Evers; and "When the Ship Comes In", during which he was joined by fellow folk singer Joan Baez, who earlier had led the crowds in several verses of "We Shall Overcome" and "Oh Freedom". Peter, Paul and Mary sang "If I Had a Hammer" and Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind". Marian Anderson sang at the march as well.
Along with the music, there were several speeches made by some interesting speakers. Mary Travers, of Peter Paul and Mary, reported held the baby of one of the speakers as it was his turn to speak.
Dr. Martin Luther King made his “I Have A Dream” speech that day.
Bob’s done so many songs that I like it would be impossible to begin to list them all. Rolling Stone Magazine, most recent issue, has made a list of “his 70 Greatest Dylan Songs” and while it is a pretty comprehensive list, it still can’t do Dylan’s music full justice.
I now give you a subjective list of my “Top Ten Twelve Bob Dylan Songs”, songs that mean the most to me personally.
WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE
LIKE A ROLLING STONE
A HARD RAIN’S A-GONNA FALL
ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER
MR. TAMBOURINE MAN
BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN
IT’S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE
POSITIVELY 4TH STREET
IF NOT FOR YOU
BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER
I have just proved that even the list of 70 songs that Rolling Stone published is not enough to do justice to Dylan’s prowess as a lyricist and musician. What on earth was I thinking, with only 12 songs? I’ll just listen to as many as I can.
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