Know something funny? Bob Dylan only has a high school education. Well, he could technically mark his education as “Some College” because he attended the University of Minnesota for a year before dropping out. But it seems all he ever focused on was music anyway.
Dylan graduated from Hibbing High School in Hibbing, Minn. on this day in 1959, before heading to college for that one year. He was still known by his real name back then, Robert Zimmerman…We can see how that doesn’t have the same ring to it.
It didn’t take long for something at college to turn Dylan’s interest from rock and roll to folk music. For whatever reason, he became supremely interested in the raw emotion and deep meaning behind the most honest folk songs, rather than the pure exuberance associated with early rock and roll. As he’s quoted in the liner notes for the 1985 box set Biograph:
“The thing about rock’n’roll is that for me anyway it wasn’t enough … There were great catch-phrases and driving pulse rhythms … but the songs weren’t serious or didn’t reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings.”
And there in Minnesota, a legend was born. Obviously Dylan would explore rock styles in many of his best songs, but his writing drew by far the most influence from folk music. And, incredibly, he needed no more than a guitar and a high school diploma to become one of music’s great poets. That’s what you call a genius.
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