Today: It is 50 years since Bob Dylan released The Freewheelin Bob Dylan


” I think it was the first time I ever heard Dylan at all… And for the rest of our three weeks in Paris, we didn’t stop playing it.” 
– John Lennon

Dylan had already moved on to other songs when his first masterpiece was released. Contrary to his first album, this album mostly has songs penned by the man himself.  With songs like Blowin’ in the Wind, Girl From The North Country, Masters Of War,  and  Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right  that are still a big part of Dylan’s concerts half a century later,  Freewheelin’ is an album whose music will live long after anyone who is  reading this post is gone.

Facts from Wikipedia: 

Studio album by Bob Dylan
Released May 27, 1963
Recorded April 24–25, July 9, October 26, November 1 and 15, December 6, 1962, and April 24, 1963 at Columbia Records Studio A, 799 Seventh Avenue, New York City
Genre Folk
Length 50:04
Label Columbia
Producer John Hammond, Tom Wilson

The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in May 1963 by Columbia Records. Whereas his debut album Bob Dylan had contained only two original songs, Freewheelin’ initiated the process of writing contemporary words to traditional melodies. Eleven of the thirteen songs on the album are original compositions by Dylan. The album kicks off with “Blowin’ in the Wind”, which would become one of the anthems of the 1960s, and an international hit for folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary soon after the release of Freewheelin’. The album featured several other songs which came to be regarded as amongst Dylan’s best compositions and classics of the 1960s folk scene: “Girl from the North Country”, “Masters of War”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”.

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall:

Dylan’s lyrics embraced stories ripped from the headlines about civil rights and he articulated anxieties about the fear of nuclear warfare. Balancing this political material were love songs, sometimes bitter and accusatory, and material that features surreal humor. Freewheelin’ showcased Dylan’s songwriting talent for the first time, propelling him to national and international fame. The success of the album and Dylan’s subsequent recognition led to his being named as “Spokesman of a Generation”, a label Dylan came to resent.

The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan reached number 22 in the US (eventually going platinum), and later became a number one hit in the UK in 1964. In 2003, the album was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2002, Freewheelin’ was one of the first 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

Girl from the North Country:

Even if you were among the handful of people who bought Bob Dylan’s 1962 self-titled debut, you couldn’t have predicted The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, the 1963 folkie touchstone where Dylan transformed American songwriting and blew the minds of everyone from his coffeehouse compatriots to the Beatles.

– The Rolling Stone Magazine

Album of the day @ JV:

Other May-27:

  • That’ll Be the Day” is a song written by Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison and recorded by various artists including The Crickets and Linda Ronstadt. It was also the first song to be recorded (just as a demonstration disc) by The Quarrymen, the skiffle group that subsequently became The Beatles. Although Norman Petty was given a co-writing credit on it, he was not actually involved in the composition, but only in the production of this well-known recording.The re-recorded version of “That’ll Be the Day” was released by Brunswick Records on May 27, 1957, and is featured on the debut album by the Crickets, The “Chirping” Crickets, which was issued on November 27, 1957. The song is considered a classic in the rock and roll genre and is listed at #39 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


  • Neil Mullane Finn OBE (born 27 May 1958) is a New Zealand recording artist. Along with his brother Tim Finn, he was the co-frontman for Split Enz and is now frontman for Crowded House. He has also recorded several successful solo albums and assembled diverse musicians for the 7 Worlds Collide projects.


  • Junior Parker (May 27, 1932 – November 18, 1971) was an American Memphis blues singer and musician. He is best remembered for his unique voice which has been described as “honeyed,” and “velvet-smooth”. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001.


  • Don Williams (born May 27, 1939, Floydada, Texas, United States), is an American country singer, songwriter and a 2010 inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame. He grew up in Portland, Texas, and graduated in 1958 from Gregory-Portland High School. After seven years with the folk-pop group Pozo-Seco Singers, he began his solo career in 1971, singing popular ballads and amassing 17 No. 1 hits.


4 thoughts on “Today: It is 50 years since Bob Dylan released The Freewheelin Bob Dylan”

  1. I remember how cool I thought I was when I was turned on to my first Bob Dylan album”The Freewheelin Bob Dylan”! A friend of mine told me, Johnny had found a new recording artist to listen to and he looks just like him.
    It was a great celebration of Bob Dylan’ s songs, and I was happy to see him honored by so many popular performers, but of course, I almost always, would rather here him singing his own songs. “I Shall Be Released” surprised me to see that it was Bob Dylan’s voice with the Band. That was one of my favorite songs from “The Bootleg Album Volume 1-3”, and I never recognized his voice in it till I saw him singing it in this video, tonight. Thanks. I like it even better, now. This song was instrumental in helping me a burden for Glory Cloud
    Prison Ministry to be founded for getting the gospel to hundreds of prisoners for 5 years. Many of them prayed to receive Jesus for their Saviour.

Comments are closed.