Dylan: Everything You Need to Know about Bob Dylan to Enjoy Todd Haynes’ Film I’m Not There

Bob Dylan Timeline

Bob Dylan has written over 500 songs, including: Blowin’ In The Wind, The Times They Are A-Changin’, All Along The Watchtower, Like A Rolling Stone, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Tangled Up In Blue, To Make You Feel My Love). His songs have been covered by over 2000 different artists including The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Guns N Roses, P.J. Harvey, Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder, The O’jays, Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, Duke Ellington, Buck Owens, Jimi Hendrix, U-2. He has released 46 albums, which combined have sold over 100 million records around the world.

A legendary touring artist, Bob Dylan has built his reputation on the strength of his live appearances; from the coffee houses in Greenwich Village in the 60’s to stadiums in the 70’s and sold out venues across the world into the year 2003. Since 1988, he has played no less than 100 shows a year from Bozman,Montana to Rio de Janeiro; from Melbourne, Australia to Singapore; to college students at the Jazzfest in New Orleans, to Pope John Paul in Rome.

May 24, 1941

Bob Dylan is born in Duluth, Minnesota.

September 1959

Attends classes at the University of Minnesota. Dylan begins performing at the Ten OClock Scholar, a local coffee house.

Fall 1960

Dylan borrows a copy of Woody Guthrie’s autobiography Bound for Glory. He soon becomes enthralled with the iconic troubadour, hunting down his recordings, emulating his singing style and adding his songs to his repertoire.

January 24, 1961

Bob Dylan arrives in New York City. He heads for Caf Wha in Greenwich Village, performing a couple of songs at the club’s hootenanny night.

April 11, 1961

Dylan makes his first major New York appearance at Gerdes’ Folk City, supporting John Lee Hooker.

October 26, 1961

After being rejected by several smaller labels, Dylan signs a recording contract for legendary Columbia Records A&R man John Hammond. He completes his first album in two three-hour sessions, recorded on November 20th and 22nd at a cost of $402; it will be released the following March.
ALBUM RELEASE: Bob Dylan 3/19/1962

July, 1962

Bob Dylan records Blowin’ In The Wind, the first in a series of publishing demos for Witmark Music.
ALBUM RELEASE: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan 5/27/1963

July 26-28, 1963

Dylan performs on three consecutive nights at the Newport Folk Festival. The same month, Peter, Paul, and Mary’s version of Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” peaks at #2 on the U.S. pop chart.

August 28, 1963

Dylan performs “Only A Pawn in Their Game” and “Blowin’ In The Wind” at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the historic civil rights rally at which Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

ALBUM RELEASE: The Times They Are A-Changin’ 2/10/1964
ALBUM RELEASE: Another Side of Bob Dylan 8/8/1964
ALBUM RELEASE: Bringing It All Back Home 3/22/1965

April 1965

The single Subterranean Homesick Blues is Dylan’s first chart single reaching #39 in the USA and #9 in the UK.

April 26, 1965

Dylan arrives in England to begin a British tour, which will be immortalized in filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker’s landmark documentary Don’t Look Back.

June 20, 1965

The Byrds’ electric version of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” tops the pop chart.

July 20, 1965

The single, Like A Rolling Stone is released, hitting #2 on the US charts after 12 weeks, #4 in the UK.

July 25, 1965

Dylan angers folk purists and excites others by performing a set of electric rock ‘n’ roll at the Newport Folk Festival, with backup by the Butterfield Blues Band. The set includes Like A Rolling Stone and a blistering performance of Maggie’s Farm.
ALBUM RELEASE: Highway 61 Revisited 8/30/1965

September 7, 1965

The single, Positively Fourth Street is released and peaks at #7 in the US Charts in 1966.

September 24, 1965

Dylan begins touring with the Hawks, later known as The Band, as his backup combo. Audiences are
divided over Dylan’s new electric presentation.

April 13, 1966

Bob Dylan begins 24 dates in Australia and the Europe. The tour arrives in the British Isles amidst a swirl of controversy. The shows are marked by boos, catcalls and walkouts prompted by Dylans insistence on playing electric music.
ALBUM RELEASE: Blonde on Blonde 5/16/1966

July 29, 1966

Dylan is injured in a motorcycle accident near his home in Woodstock, New York. While recuperating, he will take an extended hiatus from public appearances.
ALBUM RELEASE: Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits 3/27/1967

April 1967

With The Band, Dylan begins to record a wealth of new material in the basement of “Big Pink,” a house in Saugerties, New York. The recordings will come to be known as “The Basement Tapes,” and will be widely bootlegged before receiving an official release in 1975.
ALBUM RELEASE: John Wesley Harding 12/27/1967

January 20, 1968

Dylan performs with The Band at a pair of Carnegie Hall tribute concerts for Woody Guthrie, who passed away three months earlier.

October 18, 1968

Jimi Hendrix’s version of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” is released.
ALBUM RELEASE: Nashville Skyline 4/9/1969

May 1, 1969

Dylan records three songs for Johnny Cash’s TV variety show, including a duet with Cash.

June 9, 1970

Receives Honorary Doctorate from Princeton University.
ALBUM RELEASE: Self Portrait 6/8/1970

November 1970

Dylan’s surreal experimental novel Tarantula, written five years earlier, is finally published.
ALBUM RELEASE: New Morning 10/21/1970

August 1, 1971

Dylan performs at Madison Square Garden as part of the Concert for Bangladesh, a pair of all-star benefit shows organized by George Harrison.
ALBUM RELEASE: Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 11/17/1971

November 23, 1972

Dylan arrives in Durango, Mexico to begin shooting his acting debut in Sam Peckinpah’s revisionist western Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Dylan’s score for the film will produce the hit “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”
ALBUM RELEASE: Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid 7/13/1973

January 3, 1974

Dylan begins his first tour in eight years, accompanied by The Band. The tour will produce the live album Before the Flood.
ALBUM RELEASE: Planet Waves 1/17/1974
ALBUM RELEASE: Before the Flood 6/20/1974 (Before the Flood)
ALBUM RELEASE: Blood on the Tracks 1/20/1975
ALBUM RELEASE: The Basement Tapes 7/1/1975

October 30, 1975

In Plymouth, Massachusetts, Dylan launches the Rolling Thunder Revue, a multi-artist road-show that includes Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

December 8, 1975

The Rolling Thunder Revue stages “Night of the Hurricane” at Madison Square Garden, the first of two benefit shows for imprisoned boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the subject of Dylan’s song “Hurricane.”
ALBUM RELEASE: Desire 1/5/1976

May 23, 1976

The second-to-last show of the Rolling Thunder tour, a rain-soaked gig in Fort Collins, Colorado, is filmed as Dylan’s network TV special Hard Rain.
ALBUM RELEASE: Hard Rain 9/1/1976

January 25, 1978

Dylan’s directorial debut Renaldo and Clara, assembled from over 80 hours of footage shot on the first Rolling Thunder tour, is released theatrically. The four-hour film will receive a mixed response from critics and audiences.
ALBUM RELEASE: Street Legal 6/15/1978

April, 1979

Bob Dylan begins recording in Muscle Shoals with legendary R&B producer, Jerry Wexler. The resulting sessions create new controversy with songs that are firmly rooted in Gospel music and reflect Dylan’s spiritual explorations.

ALBUM RELEASE: At Budokan 4/23/1979
ALBUM RELEASE: Slow Train Coming 8/20/1979
ALBUM RELEASE: Saved 6/19/1980
ALBUM RELEASE: Shot of Love 8/12/1981

March 15, 1982

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame
ALBUM RELEASE: Infidels 10/27/1983
ALBUM RELEASE: Real Live 11/29/1984
ALBUM RELEASE: Empire Burlesque 5/30/1985
ALBUM RELEASE: Biograph 11/7/1985

1986

Tours with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Also does some select shows with The Grateful Dead.
ALBUM RELEASE: Knocked Out Loaded 7/14/1986
ALBUM RELEASE: Dylan & the Dead 1/18/1988

January 20, 1988

Dylan is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with Bruce Springsteen delivering his induction speech.

April 1988

An informal studio get-together with George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne results in the formation of the tongue-in-cheek super group the Traveling Wilburys, which will release two well received albums and produce the hit single Handle With Care.
ALBUM RELEASE: Down in the Groove 5/19/1988

June 6, 1988

Dylan begins a new commitment to extensive touring. Starting in 1988, Dylan performs an average 100 shows a year; a pace that he continues to this day.
ALBUM RELEASE: Oh Mercy 9/12/1989

January 30, 1990

French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, awards Bob Dylan with the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.
ALBUM RELEASE: Under the Red Sky 9/11/1990

February 20, 1991

Bob Dylan receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy Awards Ceremony in New York.
ALBUM RELEASE: The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 3/26/1991

October 16, 1992

Columbia Records stages an all-star 30th-anniversary Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden, with Dylan performing alongside an all-star cast that includes George Harrison, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and Lou Reed.
ALBUM RELEASE: Good as I Been to You 11/3/1992

January 17, 1993

Bob Dylan makes a surprise appearance at Bill Clinton’s Inauguration Concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. The same place where he sang at the March On Washington 30 years before. He sings Chimes of Freedom.
ALBUM RELEASE: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration 8/24/1993
ALBUM RELEASE: World Gone Wrong 10/26/1993

November 9, 1994

Bob Dylan releases Drawn Blank, his first published collection of Artwork. The book contains 92 pencil and ink drawings.
ALBUM RELEASE: Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 11/15/1994

December 14, 1994

The first broadcast of Bob Dylan Unplugged on MTV Networks.

February 1995

Release of Highway 61 Interactive; A best selling CD-Rom.
ALBUM RELEASE: MTV Unplugged 6/30/1995
ALBUM RELEASE: Time Out Of Mind 9/30/1997

October 16, 1997

Bob Dylan is awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish prize presented by the photographer Richard Avedon at the Lotus Club in New York.

December 7, 1997

Bob Dylan receives The Kennedy Centers Lifetime Achievement Award in Washington, DC.

February 25, 1998

Dylan wins three Grammy Awards for his 1997 album Time Out of Mind, including Album of the Year.
ALBUM RELEASE: Live 1966 Bootleg Series Volume 4 10/13/1998

May 15, 2000

Bob Dylan receives the Polar Music Prize at the Berwald Hall in Stockholm. The prize is given by King Carl XVI Gustaf.
ALBUM RELEASE: The Essential Bob Dylan 10/31/2000

December, 2000

Dylan is listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century.
March 25, 2001

Dylan wins an Academy Award for his song “Things Have Changed,” from the previous year’s film
Wonderboys.
ALBUM RELEASE: Love and Theft 9/11/2001
ALBUM RELEASE: Live 1975 Bootleg Series Volume 5 11/26/2002

January 22, 2003

The film Masked and Anonymous, starring and co-written by Dylan, premieres at the Sundance Film
Festival.

June 23, 2004

Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of St. Andrews, Scotland’s oldest university.
ALBUM RELEASE: Live 1964 Bootleg Series Volume 7 3/30/2004

October 5, 2004

Chronicles, Volume One, the first volume of Dylan’s proposed three-part autobiography, is published. It stays on the New York Times Best Seller List for over 18 weeks, reaching the #2 spot.
ALBUM RELEASE: No Direction Home Bootleg Series Volume 7 8/30/2005

September 26, 2005

Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited Dylan documentary No Direction Home premieres on PBS and around the world. It will go on to win a Peabody Award and a Grammy.

May 3, 2006

Bob Dylan’s award winning radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour, appears on the XM satellite network. It goes on to become one of XMs top shows garnering close to 2 million listeners an episode.
ALBUM RELEASE: Modern Times 8/29/2006
Album debuts at #1 on the U.S. Charts and reaches #1 in 7 other countries.