Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday Night At The Liberal Curmudgeon: Dylan Goes Electric, Newport 1965

One of the major transitions in Bob Dylan's career took place at the Newport Folk Festival, July 1965. Never content as an artist to stand still, Dylan outraged many of the acoustic folk purists in the audience by performing with an electric rock band, one that included the late blues guitar master Mike Bloomfield. The three-song set started with "Maggie's Farm," above. At the end of the performance, one can hear the boos among many in the audience; regardless, Dylan prevailed by loosening the boundaries of both folk and rock. He gave rise to the hybrid folk-rock sound characteristic of such groups as The Byrds, who became known for their outstanding covers of his work. 

To read a passage on the Newport performance from Robert Shelton's "No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan," click here.

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