The Best Bob Dylan 70th Birthday Tributes

Check out these essays, lists and videos honoring the living legend

May 25, 2011 8:30 AM ET
The Best Bob Dylan 70th Birthday Tributes
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Rolling Stone is not alone in celebrating the 70th birthday of Bob Dylan. Several publications and blogs have done their own tributes to the living legend, with each putting their own spin on the man's incredible legacy and place in popular culture. Here's a roundup of some of the best we've seen so far this week.

Forever Young? In Some Ways, Yes - David Hadju's essay in the New York Times argues that for Dylan – and many of his other iconic peers who are, would be or are about to turn 70 – their most important birthday was in fact their 14th, which happened right around the time rock and roll began in the mid-1950s.

A Tribute to Bob and Other Musicians Who Rock Well Past Rocking-Chair Age - Joe Gross of the American-Statesman in Austin, Texas was on a similar wavelength with this tribute to Dylan and other artists such as Leonard Cohen, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn and Neil Diamond who are still going after all these years.

Audio slideshow: Bob Dylan at 70 - In this piece assembled by the BBC, early Dylan biographer Michael Gray reflected on the impact of Dylan on popular culture.

Seventy On Seventy: The 70 Best Bob Dylan Songs, A To Z - The Village Voice's David Yaffe has put together his own list of Dylan's 70 best tunes, though he makes a point of not ranking the songs. "How could one make an empirical case about whether 'Like a Rolling Stone' was better than 'Just Like a Woman' or 'Tangled Up In Blue'? All these songs are perfect for what they are, a bliss that defies hierarchy," says Yaffe.

Bob Dylan’s 10 Best Infrastructure Songs - The Infrastructurist, a site focused on roads, transportation and cities, has put together a list of Dylan's best songs related to that subject, including songs such as "Highway 61 Revisited," "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry," and "From a Buick 6."

What Does Bob Dylan's Music Owe to His Fans? - Slate's John Dickerson ponders Dylan's apparent disdain for those who attempt to decipher the meaning of his songs.

A Bunch of Great Dylan Covers - eMusic's 17 Dots blog has assembled a set of their favorite covers of Dylan songs, including interpretations by Johnny Cash, Nancy Sinatra, Van Morrison and PJ Harvey.

Happy 70th Birthday, Bob Dylan - In this radio segment, NPR's Neal Conan reads a tribute to the singer and plays a recording of the man performing the classic "My Back Pages."

RELATED: Bob Dylan Birthday Blowout

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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