Bob Dylan: More than just a singer

By in Celebrity Leaders


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“Yes, how many years can some people exist Before there allowed to be freed?  Yes, how many times can a man turn his head Pretending he just doesn’t see?”

If we were you are alive in 1960s and a teenager it would be impossible not to know Bob Dylan.  Even though he appeared to be a singer he was so much more than that; with his influence he would a whole generation.  Bob Dylan was a folk singer was involved with the Civil Rights Movement and even performed with other prominent singers.  His impact in the music world by being one of the first musicians to take an active role on moral issues.  Dylan was essential, by getting uniting people through his music.  If Dylan was not around there are many movements that might not have been as successful if they did not have a pop culture icon like Dylan being an advocate.



Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota.  At an young age it was clear that Dylan was musical gifted.  By the age of Dylan could play the piano, the harmonica, and the guitar.  In 19 dylan dropped out of college and moved to New York to to begin his music career and to be closer to folk singer Woody Guthrie., Woody Guthrie, a famous American Folk Singer,  who was Bob Dylan’s idol.


Bob Dylan’s first major accomplishment was when after he signed with Columbia Records in the 1960s after he moved to New York.  In 1963 he released the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.  This marked the begin of his American folk music.  This album also marked the begin of Dylan most original and songs.  It contained some of his most popular songs, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “Don’t Think Twice”, and “It’s Alright and A Hard Rains a-Gonna Fall”.  These songs and many other songs also displayed Dylan’s skill at writing important messages that the common man could understand and feel connected.

Bob Dylan a few years later along with a select few musicians participated int the March on Washington.  By having Dylan at the March on Washington he helped the event gain attention from not only the officials at Washington but also from the American Youth.

Finialy Bob Dylan established his versitile by going electric.  By going electric this marked another way Dylan was able to successful at changing music genres and still being popular.  However many of his folk music fans were upset by this becuase they felt as though Dylan betrayed.  THey were so angry that the 1965 Newport Folk Festival they booed him off Stage.

Leadership Qualities

Bob Dylan and the Support of Others

During one of Dylan’s he demonstrated the leadership skill of supporting others by supporting the civil rights activists .  He used his power and influence, and songs to support others.  With singing and writing about songs about the atrocities that these activists faced he was able to bring it into the public light.  At the same time Dylan also wrote songs about being brave and strong during these difficult times.  These type of sings helped create a form of community between the activist groups.  By doing this type of support he was able to help the Civil Rights movement stay strong and continue to make strides toward equality.

Bob Dylan and Learning to Question

Beginning with his sophomore album, Freewheelin‘, marked the start of Bob Dylan openly questions things he felt was unjust.  But his songs not only made him question but also his listeners and fans.  In such songs as Blowin in the wind ,which in he questioned why northern politicans had yet done something about the African Americans, who were being oppresed in the country especially in the south.

Criticism of Bob Dylan

Like any leader Bob Dylan had people who did not agree with based on his music and or his political activism.  Some of fans during the Newport Music Festival of 1965 were so angry at decision to go full electric that he was not only booed off  the stage but also being hit with beer bottles among other objects.

Bob Dylan and the American Dream

Although Bob Dylan did not necessarily live the American Dream.  He helped to ensure others that previously did not experience the American Dream.  By doing this he lived his own veriso

photo by Columbia Records

photo by Columbia Records


n of the American Dream by making part of his dream come true.  By Bob Dylan caring he caused many young Americans to care too.

About the Author

Sarah Barnes is a freshman at Wagner College, located in Staten Island, New York.

For Additional information:

Bibliography “Bob Dylan Biography-Facts, Birthday, Life Story. Accessed November 7, 2013.

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez 1963 March on Washington.  Youtube vide., 9:55, posted by “AndreaNevesblog,” January 12, 2012,

“Bob Dylan-Mini Bio.”Jun 17, 2009. Video Clip. Accessed November 8, 2013. Youtube. 3: 57.      v=wueasc28nO0

Bob Dylan. “Blowin’ in the Wind” in Freewheelin’. Warner Brothers Records.1962.

Louis P. Masur,”Famous Long Ago”: Bob Dylan Revisited, American Quarterly , Vol. 59, No. 1 (Mar., 2007), pp. 165-177, The Johns Hopkins University Press,

Robert A. Rosenstone,”The Times They Are A-Changin'”: The Music of Protest, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 382, Protest in the Sixties (Mar., 1969), pp. 131-144

boundary 2, Vol. 29, No. 1 (Spring, 2002), pp. 97-123 Duke University Press,