“He was a cross between a choir boy and a beatnik, a 20-year-old with a voice , anything but pretty”
– Robert Shelton
Robert Shelton helped start Mr. Dylan’s career with his Sept. 29, 1961, profile.
Robert Shelton, born Robert Shapiro (June 28, 1926, Chicago, Illinois, United States – December 11, 1995, Brighton, England) was a music and film critic. Shelton was perhaps most notable for the way in which he helped to launch the career of a then unknown 20-year-old folk singer named Bob Dylan. In 1961, Dylan was performing atGerdes Folk City in the West Village, one of the best-known folk venues in New York, opening for a bluegrass act called the Greenbriar Boys. Shelton’s positive review, in The New York Times, brought crucial publicity to Dylan, and led to a Columbia recording contract.
Robert Shelton’s review was the start of a proffesional relationship with Bob Dylan, and he wrote the liner notes to the album, Bob Dylan. Dylan also lent Shelton’s apartement to have a place to write.
He is the writer of the book, No Direction Home – The Life and Music of Bob Dylan:
One thought on “September 29: Bob Dylan at Gerde’s Folk City profile in the New York Times 1961”
Hallgeir, I’m glad you’ve brought this post today to set the record straight. Robert Shelton, if not more important, has been as important as John Hammond ( and Suze Rotolo ) to help Bob ( “Lucky” ) Dylan take off faster than any other at the time.
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