CHARACTERS

Curiosities you may not know about Bob Dylan, who turns 82 today

Robert Allen Zimmerman was born in Duluth on 24 May 1941 and grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota. 

Distinguished not only as a singer-songwriter but also as a writer, poet, painter, sculptor and radio host, Dylan has established himself as one of the most important international figures in the arts, winning numerous awards and honours in a variety of fields, including Oscar, Pulitzer, Medal of Freedom and Nobel.

Here are some interesting facts you might not know about Bob Dylan, who turns 82 today!

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Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan!
Robert Allen Zimmerman was born in Duluth on 24 May 1941 and grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota. Distinguished not only as a singer-songwriter but also as a writer, poet, painter, sculptor and radio host, Dylan has established himself as one of the most important international figures in the arts, winning numerous awards in a variety of fields, from the Academy Award (2001) to the Nobel Prize in Literature (2016) and the Pulitzer Prize (2008).
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Bob Dylan's real name
As many know, Dylan's real name is Robert Allen Zimmerman. The singer-songwriter has said that he started using the pseudonym 'Dylan' early in his career, when he was studying at the University of Minnesota and performing in folk clubs for a few dollars. Many fans claim that 'Dylan' is an homage to the poet Dylan Thomas. In an interview with the New York Times, however, the singer-songwriter denied this theory: in general, Dylan has always told little about his private life, including the origins of his pseudonym. In any case, Robert legally changed his name to 'Bob Dylan' in August 1962.
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As a young man, Bob Dylan had a bad reputation
In his college days, Bob was said to have been a very turbulent young man, and it seems that he sometimes committed some thefts against his classmates. Incidentally, the future singer-songwriter's first arrival in New York was also illegal, as he was transported as a stowaway on a goods train. Moreover, when signing with Columbia Records, Bob managed to avoid a clause in the contract, which required a parental signature in the case of a minor, by declaring to his producer and talent scout, John Hammond, that he was an orphan!
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Bob Dylan 's first appearance on television was a failure
Dylan's first time on TV in the United States was during an episode of the 'Steve Allen Show' in 1964. When the singer-songwriter announced that he was playing 'Hattie Caroll', only one viewer in the studio audience applauded him, while the others greeted him very coolly.
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Bob Dylan never reached the top of the rankings Billboard
Strange but true, Bob Dylan has never had a number one single on the historic Billboard chart, despite having written and sung so many hit songs. The singles that came close to the top are 'Like A Rolling Stone' and 'Rainy Day Women #12 & 35', which reached the number two position in 1965 and 1966.
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CBS initially did not want to publish "Like a Rolling Stone"
'Like a Rolling Stone' is one of the best-loved songs of all time and, according to some trade magazines, is also the best song of all time. Initially, however, CBS was sceptical about releasing it as a single, mainly because of its excessive length. The song, in fact, is about six minutes long: the first copies sent to radio stations had the song broken up on two sides of the 45 rpm record, with the first two verses and two choruses on one side of the record, and the rest of the song on the other, so DJs would have had to spin the record live to play it. Subsequently, a DJ in a New York club played the song and the reaction was very positive: the audience asked to play it many more times and so the record company decided to officially release the song.
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Bob Dylan Is a fan of rap music
Although this genre is very distant from Bob's artistic and musical style, it seems that the latter greatly appreciates rap: in particular, over the years, the singer-songwriter has praised artists such as Ice-T, Public Enemy, NWA and Run-DMC. Moreover, many believe that Dylan's 1965 song 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' can be considered a precursor to what would later become rap music.
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