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Jim DeRogatis

Let's Hoist One for Bob Dylan: We Loved Him Long Before His Nobel

And so Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first American to do so since Toni Morrison in 1993, and joining an august list of fellow American winners that includes Sinclair Lewis, Pearl Buck, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway.

Our fellow Chicagoan President Obama is down with this choice—“I have probably 30 Dylan songs on my iPod,” he said. “‘Maggie’s Farm’ is one of my favorites during the political season… It speaks to me as I listen to some of the political rhetoric”—but “The Internet Is Divided,” according to Time magazine. We daresay most hardcore Dylan fans probably are of two minds on the honor: After all, one of the things we’ve always loved about the artist born Robert Allen Zimmerman 75 years ago in frigid, gray Duluth, Minnesota is that he has been nothing if not cheerfully perverse, and we’re wise to heed his long-ago advice not to follow leaders.

To be clear, however, there is never a bad excuse to hoist one in tribute to the living legend who, whether or not he’s relegated Shakespeare to the alley, has given us some of the greatest music ever written, recorded, and still regularly performed in our fine country. So here’s to you, Bob, and how about revisiting our special three-episode career overview on Sound Opinions to celebrate?

Part One: The Early Years

Part Two: Dylan Goes Electric

Part Three: Modern Times

Follow me on Twitter @JimDeRogatis, join me on Facebook, and podcast or stream Sound Opinions.

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