Bob Dylan: The man who gave new expression to American music

Bob Dylan’s songs provided the perfect mode of expression for demanding change.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 13, 2016 7:31 pm
Bob Dylan, Nobel prize 2016, Nobel prize in literature, Bob Dylan Nobel prize, who is bob dylan, Bob Dylan profile, Indian express The most noteworthy aspect of Dylan’s works is the way they dealt with social unrest. (AP Photo)

American singer and song writer Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel prize in literature. The pop music artist has been credited for “creating new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Dylan was born in May, 1941 to a Jewish middle class family in Minnesota. As a teenager, he was highly influenced by American folk music, particularly that of Woody Guthrie. He was also attracted to the modernist tradition in poetry.

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His first experience of performing music happened in the early 1960s when he moved to New York and started singing in cafes and clubs of Greenwich village. He signed his first album, ‘Bob Dylan’ in 1962 which was followed by a large number of music albums that changed the face of American music. Works like ‘Highway 61 revisited’ (1965), ‘Blood on the tracks’ (1975) and ‘Modern Times’ (2006) had a huge impact on the American music industry.

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The most noteworthy aspect of Dylan’s works is the way they dealt with social unrest. The decades in which he started flourishing was also the period of the American civil rights movements and the protests against war in Vietnam. Dylan’s songs provided the perfect mode of expression for demanding change.

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Apart from being a celebrated song artist, he is also a painter, actor and scriptwriter. In 2012, he won the Presidential medal for freedom from Barack Obama. Being an icon in American popular culture, Bob Dylan is an object of large body of secondary literature.