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Gen Music 250: History of Rock

Autor:   •  December 1, 2012  •  Essay  •  942 Words (4 Pages)  •  628 Views

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Briggs Goldberg

June 26, 2012

Gen Music 250: History of Rock

Bob Dylan is considered to be one of the greatest living popular songwriters and is considered by most to be one of the few musicians to actually contribute greatly to American culture. He is also considered by many to be one of the leading musicians of the counterculture in the United States being willing to help with movements of challenging the social norms that were accepted in society during the time where his music was popular in the 1960s.

In the 1960s, Bob Dylan was a very popular musician during the civil rights movement singing at major events such as the March on Washington in which Martin Luther King, Jr. The content and subject matter of his music dared to be different as he talked about events such as the murder of civil rights worker Medgar Evers and the breakdown of the farming and mining communities. I think that Dylan’s willingness to address these topics in his music shows that he is a “heartfelt man of the people” that cares about some of the inequalities of society.

Dylan is considered to be a very controversial musician at times as well as some critics feel that he was a disingenuous person who found a niche in folk music and took advantage of the opportunity. Many people may question his personal sincerity to actually supporting movements such as the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement. Some may have questioned whether Dylan’s projected performance was identical with the lived experience and was Dylan motivated by a desire to express his own feelings of how he felt about the movement. There were some events in which one could question Dylan’s character such as the time he accepted the Tom Paine Award from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. This was a particularly sensitive time for American society dealing with the recent death of President John F. Kennedy. Dylan went on a drunk rant and criticized the committee at that time and many individuals felt that the civil rights movement and Dylan were drifting a part after this event.

One of the main reasons why I felt that Bob Dylan should considered a heartfelt person who is a man for the people is because he was willing to challenge what society considered to be normal and encouraged others to do the same. So many times the society in which we currently live try to put people in this “box of life” to conform to what they feel is right for the society.

Bob Dylan was first willing to be different with the type of music he chose to pursue in terms of a career. Although he made some transitions between genres, he ultimately


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