From The Archives: Duluth Does Dylan

In youth's early days, Bobby was happy and free. (Duluth News-Tribune file photo)

Forty-five years ago, plus or minus a month and a half, the Duluth (Minn.) News-Tribune published a long feature on a hometown boy by the name of Bobby Zimmerman.

He was already Bob Dylan by then: The story was published following the mid-'63 release of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," just before the folksinging sensation's Carnegie Hall debut.

It's a great read, particularly as it relates to Bobby Zimmerman's transformation into Bob Dylan. "My son is a corporation and his public image is strictly an act," Abe Zimmerman tells the paper.

You can read the whole thing here.

Hat tip, by the way, to Amy Argetsinger, Reliable Source columnist and noted Dylanphile who earlier drew up a list of her Top 5 Dylan songs for This Very Blog. The story, Amy says, "is riveting, and well-reported, and a hell of a lot more sophisticated and aware than you'd expect from a small-town paper in 1963."


By J. Freedom du Lac |  December 1, 2008; 4:59 PM ET Dylan , Reading Room
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Surprisingly good piece, especially considering the year and newspaper. I was also impressed with Papa Zimmerman's openness to letting his son take a shot at a career in music. A lot of parents hated that idea at the time.

Posted by: samsessa | December 3, 2008 8:40 AM

I agree with the commenter it was an ungainly year, especially in music of new age America, and particularly considering the upheavals instore for that milieu. What seemed to me to alter Dylan's surge at the time and boost him toward more energy in his music especially was that harness harmonica. It kept him trying to catch up to two of the three simultaneous modes of genius, the strumming and singing; then there was the muse which seemed to sing some of the song with Dylan simply as the earth's representative, at the time.

Posted by: JohnPLopresti | December 3, 2008 9:42 PM

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