Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Bob Dylan

Dr. Bob Prescribes Bob Dylan: the Television Commercials

For the second week in a row, I’m offering up a different sort of Dr. Bob Prescribes (DBP) post.  Yesterday’s Music History Monday marked the private ceremony, held on April 1, 2017, during which Bob Dylan received his Novel Prize for Literature.  Typically, if I were to follow my usual modus operandi in today’s DBP, I would now be prescribing for you my favorite Bob Dylan album (or albums). But circumstances force a confession: with the exception of “Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits,” (pictured above), I don’t own any of Dylan’s albums.  In fact – and I trust his will not affect your good opinion of me – I’ve never been much of a Bob Dylan fan.  And while I recognize and acknowledge his greatness, I personally have never thought much of his attitude, his voice, or even, with a few exceptions, his songs. Okay, color me a barbarian; you wouldn’t be the first. I can handle it. But as for the various “personas” Dylan has concocted/projected over the course of his 60-plus year career: those personas have always fascinated me.  Cool to the point of detachment, Dylan is, in fact, a middle-class Jewish nebbish from Hibbing Minnesota crossed with a […]

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Music History Monday: Bob Dylan: Nobel Laureate

On April 1, 2017 – 7 years ago today – Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, 1941) was awarded his Nobel Prize in Literature in a private ceremony held at an undisclosed location in Stockholm, Sweden.  At the ceremony, Dylan received his gold Nobel Prize medal and his Nobel diploma. The cash prize of eight million Swedish kronor (837,000 euros, or $891,000) was not handed over to Dylan at the time, as he was required to give a lecture before receiving the cash. That lecture was recorded and then released some 9 weeks later, on June 5, 2017.  The private award ceremony was attended by twelve members of the Swedish Academy, that organization tasked with choosing the recipients of the Nobel Prize in literature.  According to Sara Danius, the academy’s permanent secretary, a good time was had by all: “Spirits were high. Champagne was had.” Ms. Danius went on to describe the occasion in a bit more detail: “Quite a bit of time was spent looking closely at the gold medal, in particular the beautifully crafted back, an image of a young man sitting under a laurel tree who listens to the Muse. Taken from Virgil’s Aeneid, the inscription reads: ‘Inventas […]

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