BBob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman), has been one of the most influential figures in American music for nearly 50 years, and was included in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, where he was called “master poet, caustic social critic, and intrepid, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation.” Beginning in February 1961, Dylan played at various clubs around Greenwich Village, eventually gaining recognition when Robert Shelton wrote a review in The New York Times about a show at Gerde’s Folk City. In August 1962, Dylan legally changed his name and signed a management contract with Albert Grossman. Grossman remained his manager until 1970 and is credited with getting the young performer’s career off the ground.
During the 1960s, Dylan’s songs, such as Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues, The Times They Are a-Changin’, and The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, became ballads of the times. In late 1964, Dylan’s musical style changed rapidly as he made the move from the folk scene to folk-rock star; in late 1965, he added electric instruments to his recordings. In July 1966, Dylan was involved in a motorcycle crash that ultimately led to an eight-year hiatus in touring and public appearances.
Dylan remains active today, both on tour and in the studio. His influence—both musically and culturally—places him atop the music world for all time.
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