Tuesday, September 26, 1961: Bob Dylan

Appearing on the bill with the Greenbriar Boys, Bob Dylan begins a two-week run at Gerde's Folk City in New York. Robert Shelton of The New York Times catches the show, and on Friday, September 29, his influential review appears in the Times.

Headlined "Bob Dylan: A Distinctive Folk-Song Stylist," Shelton describes Dylan as "resembling a cross between a choir boy and a beatnik" and "both comedian and tragedian." He concludes: "But if not for every taste, his music-making has the mark of originality and inspiration, all the more noteworthy for his youth. Mr. Dylan is vague about his antecedents and birthplace, but it matters less where he has been than where he is going, and that would seem to be straight up."

Within a month Dylan would sign a contract with Columbia Records; within two months, he would be recording his first album.

* Excerpt from "No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan" (book by Shelton): @
* "Bob Dylan's Big Break" (Entertainment Weekly, 1997): @
* Description of handbill (video by Pete Howard, www.postercentral.com): @
* www.bobdylan.com: @
* Earlier blog post about Dylan: @

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