Black Americans Who Influenced Bob Dylan.
75-year-old Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature Thursday and the tributes and stories about his life are rolling out. He started performing in NYC in 1961 and became a well-known fighter against racism, classism, violence and discrimination against black Americans during the Civil Rights Movement.
However, everyone tends to forget about the major influence black musicians had on his career:
1. Little Richard
Little Richard was born Richard Penniman in 1932. He was one of the 10 original 1986 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
2. Big Bill Broonzy
Lee “Big Bill Broonzy” Bradley
is considered to be one of the leaders of the American folk music revival.
Last year Dylan was honored during the MusicCare Awards and gave a long and revealing acceptance speech. He said that Big Bill Broonzy’s song “Key to the Highway” directly affected his song “Highway 61.”
3. Ma Rainey
Gertrude “Ma Rainey” Pridgett was one of the first professional stage performers to sing American blues. She was most popular in the 1920s and is often called the “Mother of the Blues.”
Dylan referred to her in the 1965 song “Tombstone Blues” and hat-tipped her “Yonder Comes the Blues,” with an updated version titled “Yonder Comes Sin”.
4. Odetta Holmes
She’s known as Odetta, was an American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to as “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement” or “The queen of American folk music”.
Bob Dylan, once said, “The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta. I heard a record of hers Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues in a record store, back when you could listen to records right there in the store. Right then and there, I went out and traded my electric guitar and amplifier for an acoustical guitar, a flat-top Gibson. … [That album was] just something vital and personal. I learned all the songs on that record”