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Bob Dylan Earns Cheers at Carnegie Hall

Oct. 27, 1963 - The solo program by Bob Dylan at Carnegie Hall last night left his listeners stirred and cheering for more. The capacity audience, many of high school age, heard Mr. Dylan perform 20 of his songs and adaptations in the folk vein. They became caught up in the eloquent musical statements of a 22-year-old minstrel who is unlike any singer or songwriter to be heard today. “The Times They Are a-Changin’” serves notice on parents to understand their children or move out of their path; “With God on Our Side” hurls a challenge at pious platitudes of history; “Only a Pawn in Their Game” laments the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, but goes on to analyze the social factors that caused his murder. Several songs — of love, reform school, and a writer’s despair — were as personal as the country blues. Mr. Dylan’s contempt for censorship was disclosed in his “Talkin’ John Birch,” which has been barred from television and recording. He also spoke derisively against political blacklisting of artists. All this added up to the fact that Mr. Dylan is more than an entertainer. His poetry, for all its topical urgency and lack of polish, will probably outlive much of the writing by the “professional” poets. He is assuming the role of radical spokesman, with music as his vehicle. The adulatory reception of his listeners indicated that he was speaking for them, too.


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