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27 May 2011

Playlist for May 27th, 2011

This past week, one of the great American songwriters celebrated his 70th birthday.

Robert Zimmerman was born on May 24th, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota.

After enrolling at the University of Minnesota, Zimmerman began playing at local folk music clubs and eventually took up the moniker of 'Bob Dylan', partly due to his admiration of the poet Dylan Thomas.  About two decades later, Dylan explained the name switch by saying....

"You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free."

Dylan became an icon in the early 1960's folk movement, but became disillusioned soon thereafter.

At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival on Sunday, July 25th, Dylan, along with a band that included members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, took the stage with electric instruments, forever changing Dylan's role in modern popular music (this despite the fact that Dylan had been recording electric since the beginning of his career.  For example, listen to the song Mixed Up Confusion, featured on the compilation Biograph).

Our playlist this week is filled with tunes from (what I consider) one of the greatest periods of Dylan's career, from the beginning of the electric period, 1965 to the end of 1969.  It was during this period that Dylan recorded with music greats such as Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield, Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels and, more famously, the Band.