80 Years – Bob Dylan Birthday Special celebrates Bob Dylan who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than 6 decades. Born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941, Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist. Some of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963) and “The Times They Are a-Changin’” (1964) became anthems for civil rights and anti-war movements.
In 1965 and 1966, Dylan drew controversy when he adopted electrically amplified rock instrumentation, and within 15 months recorded three of the most important and influential rock albums of the 1960s: Bringing It All Back Home (1965), Highway 61 Revisited (1965), and Blonde on Blonde (1966).
In July 1966, Dylan withdrew from touring after a motorcycle accident. During this period, he recorded a large body of songs with members of The Band, released as The Basement Tapes in 1975. In the late 60s and early 70s, Dylan explored country music and rural themes. In the late 1970s, he became a born-again Christian and released a series of albums of contemporary gospel music before returning to his rock-based idiom in the early 1980s.
Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mind marked a renaissance for his career. He has released five critically acclaimed albums of original material since then, the most recent being Rough and Rowdy Ways (2020). Backed by a changing lineup of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the “Never Ending Tour.”
Since 1994, Dylan published eight books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. He has sold more than 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. He has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, ten Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. Dylan has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2008, the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded him a special citation. In 2016, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”