Bob Dylan and his influence on the world

Bob Dylan


Robert Allen  Zimmerman, otherwise known as ” Bob Dylan”, was born to his father Abe Zimmerman on May 24 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. His father worked for the Standard Oil Co. At the young age of six years old they up and moved the family to Hibbing. There in Hibbing is where Dylan first taught himself how to play the piano and guitar. He started off playing in many high school rock bands and in 1959 he began at the University of Minnesota and this is when he first started performing in clubs and using the name he most known; “Bob Dylan.” That next year Dylan moved to New York and in 1961 is when Columbia signed Bob Dylan with his contract and the following year Is when his first album was released.

Bob Dylan is a folk rock singer-songwriter who started his career in the 1960s. Well known for his songs having to do with social issues such as civil rights. He aimed to get his opinion across through his music. His music was very much apart of what was going on around the world in the 60’s. Bob expressed what he wanted through his music and people caught on to is as an expressions of how they were thinking and feeling about current worldly events. Bob changed the way of music.

He was known for much more than being just a singer. It would be rare to have been a teenager of the 1960s and not know who he was. He effected a lot of worldly movements. Dylan was very much involved with the Civil Rights movement.


Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights movement is a very powerful and ‘heroic” time in America’s history. It is one that will never be forgotten. The goal of the movement was to give African-Americans the same citizenship as Americans. African-Americans were treated very poorly throughout history. Times had been so bad and heartbreaking to those of their race. For some African-Americans this will be something that they will always hold a grudge against. Times had been so bad that African-Americans weren’t even allowed to share the same bathrooms as whites and they even had their own drinking fountain because white people did not even want to touch anything that they had laid their hands on. Restaurants would not serve them, sports teams would not allow them to play and teachers wouldn’t even considering having them in their classrooms. Times were more than just tough for African-Americans. They were not given any right to vote or have a say on any current events going on and finally people were so fed up with the way that they were treated that they began to rebel. And this.. this is what all led up to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States of America.

Bob Dylan’s Involvement

On August 28, 1963 in Washington, D.C. on the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr gave his world-famous speech “I Have a Dream.” This speech took place during the time of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The dream was, in King’s words, “that white and black children would one day walk hand in hand and that one day sons of former slaves and sons of former slave-owners would be able to agree to live together.” At the world-famous speech one of the singing performances was by non-other than Bob Dylan himself. He performed to of his song’s title by “When the Ship Comes In” and “Only a Pawn in Their Game.”

 “Yes, how many years can some people exist Before there allowed to be freed?  Yes, how many times can a man turn his head Pretending he just doesn’t see?”


Bob Dylan had a great impact in the music world because he was “one of the first musicians to take an active role on ethical issues.” He was able to unite people with his sing writing. Through his music Dylan was able to gain attention of the officials in Washington and not only that but the youth in America. His goal was to bring everyone together. He wanted peace and freedom for everyone no matter their race. Bob Dylan took a huge part in moving towards the Civil Rights Movement.

As it is said Bob Dylan was “crowned as the laureate of a social movement, hailed as “the voice of a generation“.


Bob Dylan’s career in the early days and through 1963 was well-known for his thoughts and helping of the civil rights movement but as shown in 1964 he speaks out that he no longer wanted to be the voice of anyone. He no longer wanted to write music for people but ultimately he just wanted to write music about his feelings and anything else he felt in his heart. As said in an interview with a critic named Nat Hentoff Dylan says “Me, I don’t want to write for people anymore – you know, be a spokesman. From now on, I want to write from inside me …I’m not part of no movement… I just can’t make it with any organization…”

Where would we even be without music today? What would some of our biggest life events be if music wasn’t apart of? Imagine a birthday cake without a Happy Birthday song or a bride walking down the aisle of a silent church. Think about sitting in the car on a long road once everyone is too tired to talk. Think about the big smile that shoots upon your face when you’re brought back the memory of your favorite day lying out on the beach with you best friend that shoots upon your face when you’re brought back the memory of your favorite day lying out on the beach with you best . Maybe even the Christmas song your family listens to every year while decorating the Christmas tree. Music can jog so many different emotions within a person. In my eyes, music plays such a powerful part in our lives and quite frankly I’m not too sure where we would be without it. Not only does music make you feel but it makes you think. It can help you remember loved ones who are no longer around, it can make you dream of the future, it can help set you at ease when you are stressed out or having a bad day, it help you express your emotions when you’re at a loss of words. Music is so powerful and Bob Dylan knew just that. Dylan used his thoughts and put them into lyrics so that he express exactly what you felt about Americas struggles back in 1960s. He wrote about the way it felt to struggle and how to overcome them. Dylan used his music to express his opinion on racism and by doing so he grabs the attention of many other around him. This is the reason I was so drawn and interested in Bob Dylan and his work. What better way to express yourself than through music. Not only did he express himself but he effect a nation, he brought people together and made a difference and to me that is just amazing. No matter our shape, size, color or gender we are all human beings with feelings that should have every right to be free to express ourselves. We are all equals and that should never be forgotten. Bob Dylan was a part of making this movement a reality and for that he is heroic.



What is the Civil Rights Movement?

“I Have a Dream”