Bob Dylan is an instantly recognizable musician, boasting over half a century in the industry, but where did he grow up?
Bob Dylan was born to a Jewish family in the city of Duluth, Minnesota. However, he would grow up in the much smaller settlement of Hibbing, also in Minnesota. He lived here until he was eighteen, at which point he relocated to Minneapolis.
Read on to learn more about this legendary musician and his earlier years.
Like a Rolling Stone
Bob Dylan is arguably one of the most recognizable musical artists of all time. His career spanned decades – six by 2020 – and he had countless accomplishments. His performance acumen guided him into several genres, and he released a staggering amount of tracks and albums.
His musical journey began when he was born in Duluth, a city in Minnesota, in 1941. Bob Dylan was born into a Jewish family and was named Robert Allen Zimmerman by his parents. Although he was born in Duluth, he grew up almost one hundred miles away, in Hibbing, Minnesota.
Dylan had a relatively humble upbringing, in a small, close-knit family. He had one sibling, an older brother, and became influenced by music very early on in life. He began listening to artists like Elvis Presley and Little Richard, and fell in love with music and performing.
In an article from 2017, Dylan explained a little about his early life in Minnesota. He stated it was, “… frostbite in the winter, mosquito-ridden in the summer, no air conditioning when I grew up, steam heat in the winter and you had to wear a lot of clothes when you went outdoors.”
He was eager to get started in the industry himself. While he attended high school, Bob Dylan reportedly assembled several bands. He took the lead role in these bands, working his vocal talent for the better. It was here that he began experimenting with pseudonyms, performing briefly under the name Elston Gunn.
However, the ‘Bob Dylan’ persona would span when the man himself went off to college. While attending the University of Minnesota, he began performing locally under the moniker of ‘Bob Dillon’. He’d sing country and folk songs, attempting to generate something of a following and make some money on the side.
Dylan had relocated to Minneapolis to attend university in 1959, but by 1960 he’d hit the road again. He moved to New York, eager to pursue a full-time career in music. As luck would have it, he’d find success within just one year of arriving in the city.
Allegedly, Dylan’s reputation grew rapidly, owing to his confidence and talent. He was an accomplished songwriter, and reportedly churned out tracks faster than anything. In his efforts to break into the industry, he became a familiar face around folk clubs in Greenwich Village, New York.
After a slight reinvention of himself in the mid-sixties, Dylan began his career in earnest. He found near-instant success, releasing five albums before he changed his sound. The earlier claims of Dylan being a non-stop writing machine seemed true, as he released album after album.
In fact, by 2020 Bob Dylan had released an overwhelming thirty-nine albums. In his nearly sixty-year career, he’d almost never stopped producing music, seeing continued success year after year. He’d stormed through countless tours and appearances, and received a huge amount of awards.
However, Dylan wasn’t satisfied just with being an incredibly well-accomplished musician. In 2012, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. Amazingly, in 2016, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature, for his near immeasurable work in music. He was the first-ever musician to receive the award.
His speech was read out at the awards’ banquet, which you can see on YouTube below.
The Nobel Committee explained that Dylan was awarded the prize “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” It was – and is – one of the highest accolades an artist could possibly receive. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also claimed a whopping ten Grammy Awards over the years.
Dylan’s legacy will undoubtedly stand proud for many years to come. He’s been marked on numerous occasions as one of the most recognizable and influential figures of the twentieth century. He’s also been honored as one of the greatest performers and songwriters of all time.
He certainly stands a long way from the small town of Hibbing, Minnesota.