The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

May 24, 1997

       Saint Of The Day:

              Bob Dylan

ob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman 56 years ago on this day at Duluth, Minnesota, in 1941. He had an incalculable influence on popular music. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop song writing, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-conscious narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notions that in order to perform, a singer had to have a conventionally good voice, thereby redefining the role of vocalist in popular music. As a musician, he sparked several genres of pop music, including electrified folk-rock and country-rock. Dylan's force was evident during his height of popularity in the '60s, but his influence echoed throughout several subsequent generations. Many of his songs became popular standards, and his best albums were undisputed classics of the rock & roll canon. Dylan's influence throughout folk music was equally powerful, and he marks a pivotal turning point in its 20th century evolution, signifying when the genre moved away from traditional songs and toward personal songwriting. While at college, he began performing folk songs at coffeehouses under the name Bob Dylan, taking his last name from the poet Dylan Thomas. Dylan made his way to New York City in January of 1961, immediately making a substantial impression on the folk community of Greenwich Village. Over the course of 1962, Dylan began to write a large batch of original songs, many of which were political protest songs in the vein of his Greenwich contemporaries. These songs were showcased on his second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Comprised entirely of original songs, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan made a huge impact in the US folk community, and many performers began covering songs from the album. Of these, the most significant were Peter, Paul & Mary, who made "Blowin' in the Wind" into a huge pop hit in the summer of 1963 and thereby made Bob Dylan into a recognizable household name. By that point, Baez and Dylan had become romantically involved, and she was beginning to record his songs frequently. Dylan was writing just as fast, and was performing hundreds of concerts a year. By the time The Times They Are A-Changin' was released in early 1964, Dylan's songwriting had developed far beyond that of his New York peers. Heavily inspired by poets like Arthur Rimbaud and John Keats, his writing took on a more literate and evocative quality. By the end of 1965, he had ended his romantic relationship with Baez and had begun dating a former model named Sara Lowndes. Simultaneously, he gave the Byrds "Mr. Tambourine Man" to record for their debut album. When he played the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, supported by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the audience greeted him with vicious derision, but he had already been accepted by the growing rock & roll community, as well as the mainstream press, who were fascinated by his witty, surreal and caustic press conferences. On July 29, 1966, he was injured in a motorcycle accident outside of his home in Woodstock, New York, home, suffering injuries to his neck vertebrae and a concussion. The event was a pivotal turning point in his career. After the accident, Dylan became a recluse, disappearing into his home in Woodstock and raising his family with his wife, Sara. After a few months, he retreated with the Band to a rented house, subsequently dubbed Big Pink, in Bearsville to record a number of demos.

MODEL: Dylan's energy. He has turned out a prodigious amount of work, enough for any three giants in the world of music.

Your Birthday Today:

May 24
Day of the Sharp Tongue Gemini

Socially-aware, Emphatic, Keen

Self-absorbed, Sarcastic,

Your convictions. If you were born on May 24, you are opinionated, especially where society is concerned. Unfortunately, you may flip-flop on issues from week to week, so no one really knows where you stand. Having a quick mind and a cutting tongue, you won't hesitate to tell them. Ruled by the number 6 and the planet Venus, love is a dominant theme in your life, but you are hard to pin down with responsibility.

A talker. You are very eloquent and can manipulate people's emotions. You are also philisophical and insightful, expressing your broad ideas to a wrapt audience. Engrossed in these big ideas, you often forget the little things of daily life like cleaning and grooming. If not for a supportive family or domestic help, you would live in squalor.

Public address system. For all your outspokenness, you are a bit reserved and protect your privacy, especially if famous. You want to speak your mind only when you see fit, blasting out announcements and criticism. You are not as approachable as others would think.

Defender of the downtrodden. You are a champion of the everyman and loathe the privileged. You may become so wrapped up in the fight, however, that you lose objectivity and find yourself fighting alongside a group with questionable morals or motives.

Some advice: Be a little diplomatic and not so judgmental. Avoid making soapbox speeches. Be true to your friendships and yourself. Stop and smell the roses once in awhile.

Also born on this day: Gary Burghoff (actor) James Crenshaw (journalist. after-life expert) Queen Victoria (British monarch) Bob Dylan (singer, songwriter) Priscilla Presley (actress, married Elvis) Patti Labelle (singer) Mai Zetterling (Swedish film director) Coleman Young (Detroit mayor) Archie Shepp (jazz saxophonist) Joseph Brodsky (Nobel Prize-winning poet) Roseanne Cash (singer) Elsa MAxwell (columnist, pianist, press agent, actress).