Bob Dylan is the best-known singer-songwriter in contemporary music. He burst onto the music scene in the early 1960s with lyrics so powerful that he became the spokesperson for his generation for years. Along the way he vhas influenced the direction of folk music, country, and rock and roll, bending all of those genres to suit his own musical vision.
The harmonica has been an ever-present part of Dylan's performances, and the image of his harp held in a metal brace around his neck is burned into the minds of music fans everywhere. He learned to play harmonica as a child and has pursued the instrument ever since. In fact, Dylan was signed to his first record deal with Columbia Records by producer John Hammond in the early 1960s as a direct result of his harmonica work as a sideman for another artist's recording session. He has incorporated the harmonica into every album he has recorded, spanning the many different musical phases of his career.
Dylan started out as a strong proponent of the first-position, major-key approach to harmonica, but once he came to New York City and learned to play cross harp he leaned toward that style as well as sometimes playing in the relative minor.
Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1941. He is still active today as a songwriter, performer, and recording artist.