Boy from the north country: Bob Dylan in Minnesota

Share story

Bob Dylan
Folk singer and songwriter Bob Dylan plays the harmonica and acoustic guitar in March, 1963 at an unknown location. He was born in Duluth, Minn., in 1941 as Robert Allen Zimmerman.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 is the 70th birthday of Bob Dylan, one of the most admired and influential artists of our time.

Dylan spent his formative years in Minnesota; he was born in Duluth and raised in Hibbing. He became a folksinger in Minneapolis. A new documentary from Minnesota Public Radio News explores Dylan's Minnesota roots and how they influenced the evolution of his music.

View a large-format photo gallery of Dylan's career and download a .mp3 of the documentary.

In the documentary, you will hear from Leroy Hoikkala who played the drums in Dylan's high school band, the Golden Chords. Long-time friend Dick Cohn describes Dylan playing risqué rhythm and blues in St. Paul basements when he was a teenager.

Marilyn Matheny talks about Dylan finding his voice as a folksinger in the Minneapolis community of Dinkytown. Plus you'll hear the story of St. Paul native Larry Kegan who was one of Dylan's closest friends.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.