Bob Dylan is truly a voice of his generation. He was a folk artist that defined an era with his music and with his songs. Here in the video below we get to watch Dylan’s performance of Mr Tambourine Man at Newport Folk Festival in 1964 when he was just around 23 years old and just about to begin his long and impactful music career. Dylan was actually a regular at the Newport Folk Festival for three consecutive years from 1963 to 1965. In 1963, he did his first apperance as a guest of Joan Baez and was welcomed so warmly by the folk music community. In 1965, the year of his final participation with the festival, Dylan provoked controversy with folk purists when he strutted out the stage with an electric guitar, a Fender Stratocaster with his set backed by a full electric band. It was known as the great Electric Controversy where the audience and folk music lovers were shocked and bewildered by Dylan’s outright diversion from the folk tradition.
But his pure and well-loved performance of his of “Mr. Tambourine Man” was done on 1964 when Dylan, young as he was then, already established himself as a “protest singer” and a “political songwriter”, combining traditional folk with words that proliferate a social message.
“Mr. Tambourine Man” wasn’t released officially until the next year after this performance, and that makes this live rendition more informal and more intimate to the delight of the audience, the festival goers who were enthralled by Dylan’s purity and artistry.
The song itself introduced the folk rock subgenre. Dylan’s dreamlike song was revolutionary for music, and his lyrics pull together coherently, leaving an impact to listeners.
Bob Dylan truly is a game-changer and wrote many game-changing songs at such a young age, which just shows that he possess wisdom beyond his years,
Watched the video below and be mesmerized yourself: