Bob Dylan

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Winning Nomination

Bob Dylan's mark on history is in some ways immeasurable. He gave a generation a voice and spurred them into political action. He revolutionized rock and roll and echoes of his influence can still be heard in modern popular music. But much of what Dylan was came from his humble beginnings in the North Country of Minnesota. The state is embedded in his legacy--its history of populist, liberal politics, its down-to-earth spirit. And Dylan himself has certainly left his mark here. The ghost of Dylan still haunts the vibrant Minneapolis music scene, and many local citizens remember him from his days at the University of Minnesota. For these reasons and many more, Dylan deserves his place among the 150 forces that shaped our great state.
~Michael Herman, Shoreview, MN

Runner-up Nominations

I nominate Bob Dylan because he was a famous singer, and his first song was Blowin in the Wind. The song got popular. Bob Dylan was born in Duluth in 1941 and Bob Dylan was named Robert Zimmerman.
~David Galvan, Minneapolis, MN

Bob Dylan transformed America by writing protest songs. He wrote hist first song at the age of 21. It's one of the most known protest songs. It's called Blowin in the Wind. He was a big part of Minnesota because he grew up in Duluth. He also learned how to play 3 instruments when he was growing up in Minnesota. Bob Dylan is one of America's best composers.
~Keegan Johnson, Minneapolis, MN

I nominate Bob Dylan for the Minnesota 150, because he helped blend the electric guitar with folk music to create the greatest sound of this century. Dylan helped transform the world's music and it was noticed when Like a Rolling Stone was named the greatest song by Rolling Stone magazine. Finally, Dylan stood for Minnesota's never give up attitude in his song Hurricane where he tried to free Ruben Carter and in 1965 when he was booed at the Newport folk festival for bringing his electric guitar.
~Mark Albers, Lake City, MN

Bob Dylan has helped the world explore the meaning of life itself - the context in which we live, our connection with God, our relationships with others, and our self-identities. Above all, he challenges us to think and is able to reach all generations and all socioeconomic groups with his discerning perspectives on life. In 1998, Time named him as one of the most influential Americans of the 20th century. His Like a Rolling Stone was named the best Rock 'n Roll song of the 20th century by the Rolling Stone and his Blowin in the Wind was named the best folk song of the 20th century by Mojo Magazine. He has received so many forms of recognition worldwide - including the Kennedy Center honors, numerous Grammys, an Oscar, etc. -that it would be a shame for us to overlook such an important native son. He makes the world a better place to live.
~Velma Lashbrook, Eden Prairie, MN

He transformed the world of music. He was one of the first singer/songwriters. He had the first music video and rap song with subterranean homesick blues. He went from small-town boy to big-time star.
~Steve Orsis, Rochester, MN

You'll probably get a lot of nominations for this guy, but here's another one:

Bob Dylan's influence worldwide is undeniable. Bob Dylan altered folk, rock and country music in a way no other popular musician has been able to match. As a performer, he changed our expectations for what makes song lyrics interesting, he went electric, thank goodness, and he was one of the first people to make the 'benefit concert' cool. He showed us that change is good. From tunes to poems to autobiography, he's also one of the world's greatest writers. Bob Dylan has kept the world entertained for more than 44 years and is just as influential today as he was when he was 20.
~Emily Boettge, Edina, MN

Voice of a generation. What else can you say!
~ Phil Styrlund, Apple Valley, MN

His music helped to unite the anti-war movement during the Vietnam war. His songs have been adapted by other notable musicians such as the Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix.
~Brianna Mesang, Eau Claire, WI

No one writes lyrics like Dylan.
~Ron Ratliff, Edina, MN

Folk and rock music, Mr. Zimmerman has put more than one spot in this state on the national map.
~Wade Wutschke, New Brighton, MN

His music and influence is timeless. Everyone knows Dylan.
~Debra Wagner, Minneapolis, MN

One of the greatest songwriters to ever live, Bob Dylan's impact on music and his observations on society are and continue to be something fellow Minnesotans should be very proud of.
~Lisa Pederson, Spring Park, MN

Because he was the voice of the youth during the Vietnam War, and he's just sweet.
~Tyler Shantz, minneapolis, MN

Robert Zimmerman forever changed the way we, as US citizens looked upon our government and other cultural aspects in our environment. He did this through musical poetry, which was heard around the world!
~ Pete Swenson, St. Paul, MN

He was a visionary of the Sixties! He led a revolution that has changed all of our lives forever. His music and words are still spoken and many live by them. Today he is still touching and affecting even though he isn't trying!
~Noah Gottlieb, Eden Prairie, MN

Not only the voice of a generation, Dylan continues to chronicle the human condition in a way no other poet or songwriter ever has.
~Becky Chabot, Eden Prairie, MN

He transformed more than our state and started a revolution of ideas in music and thought.
~Angela Huber, Fridley, MN

He put his syle of music on the map...and Minnesota is well known for its creative abilities.
~Kathleen Wall, St. Paul, MN

The man who took the music of his time and branched it in another evolutionary direction that influences musicians today whether they know it or not.
~Jesse Larson, St. Louis Park, MN

Bob Dylan helped to shape the music for more than a generation, his music was poetic and revolutionary. His music spoke of social issues and helped to raise public awareness.
~Dore Wagner, Webster, MN

He was the first singer in Minnesota who could actually sing!

In the English-speaking world there are very few artists who stand head and shoulders above all others in their chosen field. Shakespeare is one. Dylan is another.
~Steve Dub

He made Minnesota what it is by his music and is a huge inspiration to all folk singers around.
~Riley Callow, Hopkins, MN

Back on August 6th of this year, my daughter and I stopped at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and the featured artist was Bob Dylan. They had a wonderful display to honor Dylan. He has such a wide spectrum of talents, not just musical, but visual and literary arts. Dylan has carved the path for many, many talented artists to emerge from this great state.
~Karen Altmann, Montgomery, MN

His roots are in Minnesota and in his music.
~Dennis Lynch, Maplewood, MN

He opened people's eyes, he spoke what we were thinking, and he never conformed to others' ideals. Who else did all that and still managed to become a living lengend? Nobody.
~Heidi Hermes, St. Louis Park, MN

His music and poetry influenced EVERYone who came after him. His influence on music cannot be over emphasized. He is truly the greatest poet ever from Minnesota.
~Jocaiah Spahr

Greatest music ever!
~Kevin Callaghan, Chanhassen, MN

Bob Dylan will be regarded by the peoples of the future as one of the if not the most influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, his songwriting having inspired and changed the lives of millions of people, and his sublime way with words having created the acutest delineation of what it means to be human since Shakespeare and Milton. We are lucky to be living at the same time as this world-changing poet and performer.
~Paula Radice, Hastings, England

Like a 'rolling stone'.
~Henry Padgett, Saint Cloud, MN

Bob Dylan was born in Minnesota. His folk/ rock music became the music of the Sixties and was one of the leading forces behind what became Rock and Roll.
~Wendy Mattera, Tonka Bay, MN

Just a very talented person.
~Rebecca Kroening, Minneapolis

What else can you say. A music legend that came from our own state.
~Karen Murphy, Fergus Falls, MN'

Everyone in the Whole world knows who Bob Dylan is...there is NOBODY like him.
~Janice Erickson, Brooklyn Park, MN

Bob Dylan rocks!
~Carly Tuohy, Rochester, MN

Bob Dylan, must be very obvious.
~Duane Marvin Halvorson, Hugo, MN

He put Minnesota on the musical map, providing the world with his views on life.
~James R. Larsen, Denver, Co

Bob has changed the way the world thinks along with writing some of the most prolific songs of our generation.
~Brian Borman, Maplewood, MN

Bob Dylan created the counter culture of the 60s. His poetic and yet sometimes apocalyptic vision inspired an entire generation of songwriters. He made it acceptable to blatantly question authority where before it was a veiled rebellion. Bob's music recorded what was best about America as well as its worst. He is the greatest living American poet of all time. He is one part Woody Guthrie, one part Ginsberg, and one part John Brown telling us all to shove it to the man and learn to live out loud with out fear.
~Scott Herold, Saint Paul, MN

Bob Dylan not only made Minnesota a musical Mecca, but he gave voices to those of us who had no way of being heard.
~Kathleen Gustafson, Bloomington, MN

Who knew a young kid from one of the most remote parts of our state could influence an entire generation and change the face of music forever?
~Justin Diehl, Minneapolis, MN

Bob Dylan is one of the greatest poets and singers of all time. If he is not a legend to Minnesota then you guys are idiots.
~David Gnau

Dylan helped bring traditional folk music into the present, and pushed it forward so that it could grow and continue to be the music of common folks.
~Charlie Parr, Duluth, MN becoming one of the most reknowned singer/songwriters of all time. his music and writings were not limited to his performances. Bob Dylan has shaped musicians and music since his debut into the music world.
~Jenna Lyons, Minneapolis, MN

Bob Dylan - Music.
~Patty Decker, New London, MN

I graduated with Bob from high school in Hibbing in 1959.
~Tony Petrick, Virginia, MN



(1941- )

"The Times They Are A-Changin'"

With his unconventional voice and hard-edged lyrics, Bob Dylan made a name for himself as a folksinger whose 1962 "Blowin' in the Wind" set a standard for protest songs. Born Robert Zimmerman, he grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota, and moved to Minneapolis in 1959 to attend the University of Minnesota. He attended few classes, spending most of his time listening to music and performing in coffeehouses. Zimmerman—soon known as Dylan—dropped out of the university after his freshman year, and headed for New York City.

Within a few years Dylan had released two albums and had a string of hits. But he soon resisted being a spokesperson for his generation, and his music reflected his ambivalence. His 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home departed from the sense of social concern that marked his earlier work. Equally shocking to his fans was his movement away from the purely acoustic sound of most folksingers—an electric band backed half the songs on his new album.

Dylan's stubborn refusal to be pinned down—or even tracked down—continues. Now a best-selling memoirist with a Grammy and an Oscar, he still defies categorization. Even on the subject of his early influences, he's like quicksilver. "I'm North Dakota-Minnesota-Midwestern," he said in 1997. "I'm that color. I speak that way. I'm from someplace called the Iron Range." Yet five years later, in a conversation with a National Geographic reporter, he said "I never was a kid who could go home."

Resource Links

Bob Dylan: Biography and Much More from

Bob Dylan : Library : MNHS.ORG

Bob Dylan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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