Bob Dylan: Musician and Poet

From folk troubadour channeling the spirit of Woody Guthrie to rock icon and Nobel Prize–winning poet, Bob Dylan has been an influential American voice practiced in the American art of reinvention. Widely recognized as one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, Dylan continued to grow as a musician and artist exploring and adding to the American songbook. Dylan participated in early 1960s recordings of folk and protest music for Broadside magazine under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt, reissued by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. In the recordings, Dylan can be heard crediting co-founder of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Folkways champion Ralph Rinzler for the idea for a version of "Roll On, John." The Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections contains digitized photographic contact sheets from Dylan's controversial foray into electrified rock and roll music at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.