About This Program

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.”

Rob Silber
Rob Silber
Rob Silber hosts Rock Therapy on WPKN. View his schedule.
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Joseph Celli
Joseph Celli
Joseph Celli is an American musician and composer specializing in contemporary and improvised music for oboe and English horn. In addition, he plays the Yamaha WX7 MIDI breath controller, as well as double reed instruments from several Asian cultures.
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Lisa Sahulka
Lisa Sahulka
WPKN Board of Directors On-Air Fundraising Director
Lisa is a programmer, board member and on-air fundraising director for WPKN 89.5 FM, named best radio station for music by Connecticut Magazine.
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Annette Szczesiul
Annette Szczesiul
What inspires me about ‘PKN is that amidst all the differences, there is a beautiful core sharing values, mutual inspiration, spirit, heart, humor and never-ending goofiness!
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Caroline Doctorow
Caroline Doctorow
Singer-songwriter Caroline Doctorow has been called a great champion of American folk music. Her most recent album Dreaming in Vinyl reached #2 on the national folk radio airplay charts. Her retrospective of the work of ’60s folk icons Richard and Mimi Fariña titled Another Country received critical acclaim. She has opened for The Band, Alison Krauss, and Tim O’Brien, among others.
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Valerie Richardson
Valerie Richardson
WPKN Board of Directors Program Director
WPKN has been an essential part of my life for more than thirty years. I grew up listening to freeform radio in northern Virginia, hit the airwaves at university, and found a lot of kindred souls when I became involved with WPKN.
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Sam Hopkins
Sam Hopkins
For as long as I can remember I’ve been listening to WPKN. It’s the only radio station I’ve ever really listened to. And now, to be a new programmer, it’s more than a dream come true. The A-List, (Monday’s 2-6 AM) started with my good friend, and fellow WPKN programmer Vinny, (he hosts the Tuesday morning edition of the show) and I went to the WPKN studio after class one day.
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Al Bell
Al Bell
Al Bell celebrates the Blues and R&B, playing songs in accordance with his own unique desire to hear one creative piece in juxtaposition with the next. And, it works. Al’s love of music is an expression of joy and delight that will brighten your day.
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Steve di Costanzo
Steve di Costanzo
WPKN General Manager
Music has always been front and center for me. It’s beyond therapeutic.
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Kevin Gallagher
Kevin Gallagher
WPKN Board of Directors, Long Island Director
Kevin Gallagher likes to dig. Ask him to tell you about his life, and don’t be surprised if he digs up a tale about traveling the world with the Eurythmics or that he’s been digging WPKN since he became a DJ in 1972.
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Robert Fried
Robert Fried
Rob Fried is the Founder and Executive Director of Connecticut based music charity organization, Band Central with a mantra to show up, get down and do good. Learn more about his activities on his website.
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Pete Stewart
Pete Stewart
WPKN Board of Directors Public Service Director
Pete Stewart hosts Stream of Consciousness and Soul & Funk. WPKN programmer since 1988, currently doing a semi-weekly eclectic music program, Mondays 4-7 PM.
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Eric Cocks
Eric Cocks
Eric Cocks is an artist, & part-time astronaut (mainly on weekends), hosts Connections on WPKN. 2nd Facebook page.
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Scott Harris
Scott Harris
Scott has worked in radio since his college days. When he came to WPKN 89.5 FM Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1973, Scott hosted a weekly blues music program that through the years featured an increasing number of public affairs interview segments. That show became Counterpoint in 1987 and airs on Monday evenings.
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howard thompson
howard thompson
WPKN Board of Directors Music Director
Howard Thompson serves on the WPKN Board of Directors as the Music Director and hosts the rocking program, ‘PURE.’
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David Golden
David Golden
I showed up at the WPKN studio as a college student and never went away. In the intervening years, I’ve served on various station boards and committees, hosted a bunch of live music, and hopefully kept you company. Bring your favorite mug and hang out.
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Alec Cumming
Alec Cumming
I’m a child of the early sixties who grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, a scrappy town that reminds me in many ways of Bridgeport, which has been my home base since 2015. With the help of my two older sisters, we grew up together in the 1960s, the most exciting and adventurous decade for music in our lifetimes.
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Colette Rossignol
Colette Rossignol
WPKN Board of Directors Chair
Colette started at WPKN in 1982 presenting “Capital Radio” and continues on programming both a Rock-N-Roll and her “Blues for Bob and You” show.
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