If you were to reference Bob Dylan, many college students nowadays will probably not know who you are talking about. Even if they were to know who he was, chances are that they wouldn’t understand his importance to the development of folk music in America. Today, with artists like Noah Kahan and Taylor Swift dabbling in the folk genre, it’s important to look at where it all started. Bob Dylan, born in Minnesota in 1941, gained his fame in the early 1960s as he began to play in smaller clubs around the U.S. and befriend different folk musicians. During his high school years, he was inspired by artists like Elvis Presley and Little Richard and would often perform covers of their songs. He became friends with Woody Guthrie, famous folk and folk-punk writers, and a New York Times music critic, which helped set his career off. He signed a record deal after releasing his first self-titled album in 1962. He released his second album, Freewheeling Bob Dylan, the next year. This album gained him attention for his folksy sound and politically charged messages. His popularity continued to grow to the point that he became friends with famous country artist Johnny Cash. Unfortunately, he had to stop touring in 1966 after a bad accident, but during this time, he recorded lots of new songs. He continued to release music and even now to this day, at 82 years old, he continues to tour. In 1976, he was given the NME award for best songwriter and in 1988, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His songs may not be as popular anymore, but his influence on modern music is undeniable. Luckily, his music is predicted to only grow in popularity in the next few years. The Bob Dylan biopic, which is titled A Complete Unknown, is being directed by James Mangold, who is well known for his role in directing movies such as Girl, Interrupted; Wolverine; and Logan. The film takes place in the 1960’s and specifically highlights Bob Dylan’s performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. It will also highlight the friendship between Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. In the past few years, biopics have grown in popularity. Specifically, there has been a huge rise in biopics about musicians who have had a considerable influence on pop culture today. There was the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, where UE alumni Rami Malek played Freddie Mercury. There was also the biopic Elvis, where Austin Butler played Elvis. Soon, there will be a biopic for Bob Dylan where Timothée Chalamet will play the starring role. A lot about the movie is still unknown, including the exact release date, but it’s supposed to be out within the next year. Bob Dylan is an artist who, despite his huge influence on the folk genre, has become somewhat excluded when it comes to what younger people spend their time listening to. Many credit him with being the best songwriter to exist, and it’s not without reason. His story building and politically progressive folk songs touched the hearts of many, and his songs became the mottos for many who were focused on anti-war beliefs. Even his vocals were a unique change to what people were used to. I hope with the release of this new biopic that more people will discover his soul-touching songs and that he will once again be a part of mainstream pop culture.

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