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Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind” a Breakout Hit

July 5, 1963 - The racial crisis in the South has become a theme of major importance for folk singers of the North. A concert this afternoon in Greenwood, Mississippi by Theodore Bikel, Josh White, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan (pictured) will support the voter-registration drive there. Tonight, at the Forest Hills (Queens) Music Festival, Peter, Paul and Mary will perform their second national hit tune dealing with, among other topics, the integration issue: “Blowin’ in the Wind,” a composition by Mr. Dylan. The folk trio’s recording of “Blowin’ in the Wind” promises to be a major commercial hit. The disk, released June 18, has been called “the fastest-selling single in the history of Warner Brothers Records.” In 8 business days, the record sold 320,000 copies, with sales in the South surprisingly heavy. Radio stations in Cleveland, Washington, Philadelphia, and Worcester have played “Blowin’ in the Wind” every hour on the hour. This success follows by one year the triumph the trio achieved with “The Hammer Song,” another anti-discrimination plea, by Mr. Seeger and Lee Hays. “Hammer” sold 738,000 copies and became a “freedom song” in the South.


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