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Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter. He has been considered the Shakespeare of his generation and is often recognized as one of the finest singer-songwriters.
See the fact file below for more information on Bob Dylan, or you can download our 25-page Bob Dylan worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Robert Allen Zimmerman (born in Duluth, Minnesota, on May 24, 1941), better known by his stage name Bob Dylan, is an American folk singer.
- In the 1960s, he moved from folk to rock music, adding the intellectualism of classic literature and poetry to rock-and-roll lyrics, mostly about boy-girl romantic innuendo.
- Dylan currently resides mainly in Malibu, California, but he owns other properties all around the world. He maintains a homestead near the northwestern outskirts of Minneapolis, allowing him to visit his relatives and acquaintances in the Twin Cities.
- Bob Dylan is among the finest songwriters in history. With songs such as “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Blowing in the Wind”, he has sold over 125 million albums and won ten Grammys.
- Dylan dropped out of college and moved to New York in 1961 owing to his passion for music. During this period, he performed in Greenwich Village, and a year later, he signed with Columbia Records.
- Dylan has been married twice, from 1965 to 1977 to Sara Lownds and then from 1986 to 1992 to Carolyn Dennis, and has six children. He celebrated his 81st birthday on May 24, 2022.
- In the late 1990s, he went to hospital with chest problems, and was diagnosed with histoplasmosis, a fungal illness. This progressed to pericarditis, a condition that causes the tissue around the heart to expand and become uncomfortable. According to Express.co.uk, Dylan said, “I’m just glad to be feeling better. I thought I’d be seeing Elvis”.
- On October 13, 2016, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
- In 2001, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song – Motion Picture for “Things Have Changed” from Wonder Boys.
- In 2000, he received a Polar Music Prize.
- He won the Prince of Asturias Awards in 2007.
- In 2008, he received the Pulitzer Prize Special Citations and Awards.
- Many people associate Dylan’s career with folk and blues music, but in 1965, his music shifted to rock-and-roll with the addition of an electric guitar.
- In 1975, Dylan participated in a tour unlike any other; he was a member of The Rolling Thunder Revue, a traveling circus with noteworthy members such as Allen Ginsberg and Joni Mitchell. After his divorce and baptism, Dylan also experimented with gospel music during the 1970s.
- In 2012, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama, who said “There is not a bigger giant in the history of American music”. This was the first time a musician had won the prestigious award.
- Dylan has sold tens of millions of albums and has been hailed as the Shakespeare of his period.
- He has penned approximately 600 songs that over 2,000 artists have recorded and performed worldwide, and established the benchmark for lyric writing.
- With “Murder Most Foul”, Bob Dylan scored his first-ever no. 1 song on a Billboard Chart. The 17-minute song about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy debuted at the top of the Rock Digital Song Sales chart.
- Bob Dylan was involved in the Civil Rights Movement and was one of the first musicians to adopt a moral stance. Dylan’s songs united people.
GRAMMY HALL OF FAME
|1963||“Blowin’ in the Wind”||folk|
|1965||“Like a Rolling Stone”||rock|
|1965||Blonde on Blonde||rock|
|1965||“Mr. Tambourine Man”||rock|
|1965||Highway 61 Revisited||rock|
|1966||Bringing It All Back Home||rock|
- All his songs were recorded under Columbia Records.
LITTLE KNOWN FACTS
- Bob Dylan isn’t his only alias. Before he became Bob Dylan, he was Bobby Vee’s pianist Elston Gunn. Dylan has also been Tedham Porterhouse, Blind Boy Grunt, Robert Milkwood Thomas, Boo Wilbury, Sergei Petrov, and Jack Frost.
- Dylan was a minor when he signed with Columbia at age 20. The young composer claimed to be an orphan to avoid having his parents co-sign the contract.
- John H. Hammond signed Dylan despite a vice-president at the label deeming his singing voice “horrible”.
- His American TV debut flopped. Steve Allen interviewed Dylan in 1964. Only one audience member applauded when he announced “Hattie Carroll”.
- Bob Dylan is a polymath. He is interested in many things besides writing songs. In 2011, he said, “I like to fix up old cars, ride horses, and sailboats. I’m also learning to cook and can do some gardening.” He also does a lot of painting.
- Bob Dylan almost appeared in a musical. He and poet Archibald MacLeish collaborated on a musical performance of The Devil and Daniel Webster in 1970, but Dylan withdrew after a creative disagreement with MacLeish.
- After Elvis died, Dylan was devastated. He said he “went over my whole life. I went over my whole childhood. I didn’t talk to anyone for a week after Elvis died. If it wasn’t for Elvis and Hank Williams, I couldn’t be doing what I do today.”
- Bruce Springsteen inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
- Bob Dylan’s voice changes affected by his smoking and he couldn’t sing some of his songs in his album, Nashville Skyline, but then Bob Dylan develop a baritone country croon when he quit smoking.
- Dylan’s first songs were about current events, like “Blowin’ in the Wind”, which was about civil rights, and “Masters of War”, which was about the Vietnam War.
- Dylan’s songs became increasingly about how he felt and how he tried to understand the world.
- In his Malibu beach bungalow, The Traveling Wilburys were established.
- At Dylan’s California house, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne recorded Harrison’s B-side “Handle with Care”. The recording session was so successful that they decided to continue working together. The Traveling Wilburys was the only group he ever joined.
- In 2004, Dylan received an honorary doctorate in music from St. Andrews. This was his second such distinction.
- Dylan is renowned for recording songs in a single take, as he did with his number two hit, “Rainy Day Women”.
- He performed for an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group. Dylan, who has been both a Jew and a Christian, performed in support of the Lubavitcher sect, demonstrating his spiritual independence.
- His younger sibling is involved in the music industry. David Zimmerman is a record producer.
- Once, Dylan performed a concert for one person. As part of a Swedish film series in 2014, Dylan and his band performed for one superfan at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.
- Charlie Chaplin is among his most significant influences.
- In 1961, Dylan stated that he was “always conscious of the Chaplin tramp”. He released Modern Times forty years later as a tribute to Chaplin’s 1936 movie.
10 LESSONS FROM BOB DYLAN’S MUSIC
- Whether you’re a diehard admirer or only listen to his songs sometimes, you can learn something from Bob Dylan’s wise insights. These are one of the things that make Dylan famous and motivate people through his songs. Below are his famous lines.
|“I think women rule the world and that no man has ever done anything that a woman either hasn’t allowed him to do or encouraged him to do.”||“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”|
|“People seldom do what they believe in, they do what is convenient, then repent.”||“Every pleasure’s got an edge of pain. Pay your ticket and don’t complain.”|
|“When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.”||“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.”|
|“You can never be wise and be in love at the same time.”||“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.”|
|“Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you’d like to act.”||“Life is more or less a lie, but then again, that’s exactly the way we want it to be.”|
Bob Dylan Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Bob Dylan across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching kids about Bob Dylan, who is one of the finest American singer-songwriters.
Complete List of Included Worksheets
Below is a list of all the worksheets included in this document.
- Bob Dylan Facts
- Create My Profile
- Sounds Like
- Steps to Victory
- Show Me What You’ve Got!
- Timeline of Greatness
- Old Is Gold!
- Helping a Superstar
- Share Your Thoughts
- Be Extraordinary
- Bob Dylan
Frequently Asked Questions
What made Bob Dylan unique?
Bob Dylan was a folk musician who worked on the Civil Rights Movement and performed with other well-known artists. He changed the music industry by being one of the first musicians to take a political stand. His work helped connect people and create change.
Is Bob Dylan religious?
After he had already been identified as a Jew, in 1978 he decided to convert to Christianity. Dylan became an evangelical Christian and released three gospel albums: Slow Train Coming, Saved, and Shot of Love. For a period of time, he refused to sing his secular songs at concerts.
Who are Bob Dylan’s closest friends?
Bob had two friends who were not in the music industry. They were Larry Kegan and Louis Kemp. They all met at a Jewish summer camp when they were teenagers. Louie said, “I would say Larry and I were his best friends.”
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Link will appear as Bob Dylan Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 8, 2022
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.