16 April 2008

Career Cultural Contribution Pulitzer for Dylan This Year

Bob Dylan, cover photo for Blonde on Blonde (1966)

In the Arts category for 2008 Pulitzer Prizes, Bob Dylan won recognition "for his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."

Well and truly stated. For anyone asking themselves "why?" right now, check out Martin Scorsese's documentary No Director Home. Filled with archival footage and great interview clips, including Dylan himself, this film covers Dylan's career from his youth growing up in small town Minnesota to his motorcycle accident in 1966. And that's only the beginning of the story. Bob Dylan has continued his cultural contribution for more than 45 years and is still tearing up the rock and folk highways.

The Pulitzer committee's way of describing Dylan's contribution is well-crafted but bland English. Let's translate it into the language of rock 'n roll. Bruce Springsteen described the first time he heard Dylan's groundbreaking single, Like a Rolling Stone: "that snare shot sounded like somebody’d kicked open the door to your mind… I knew that I was listening to the toughest voice that I had ever heard."

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