The Evolution of Bob Dylan

Watch Dylan's evolution from bright-eyed folk revivalist to 1980s wash-up to a genius on a true Never Ending Tour
Sigmund Goode/ Michael Ochs Archive

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Traditional Folk Revivalist: 1960-1962

When Bob Dylan arrived in New York City in the freezing cold winter of 1961 his repertoire was mostly old folk songs, some dating back 100 years – not surprising, since the folk revival was reaching its peak at the time, with mainstream acts like Joan Baez and the Kingston Trio generating lots of press attention.

On many of his earliest recorded concerts Dylan seems to be channeling the very spirit of Woody Guthrie and other folk icons. These made for compelling shows, but he soon realized that to move himself (and the movement) forward he'd need to start penning originals. One of his first was "Song to Woody," a tribute to Woody Guthrie. 

By Andy Greene


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