Bob Dylan Reaches 50 Year Anniversary of First Concert
"Bob Dylan: Live in Concert." While that headline might seem routine after all these years of him being on his "Never Ending Tour," at one time it was a completely new proposal. In fact, believe it or not it was 50 years ago this week (Nov. 4, 1961) that Bob Dylan gave his first concert. Though billed for the evening as Bob Dylan's "First New York Concert," it was, in fact, his first real concert anywhere!
Upon arriving in NYC, Dylan infiltrated the Gerdes Folk City scene and shared bills with other like-minded troubadours, but up to that time had not ever given his own concert. In September of '61, he was opening a string of evenings for The Greenbriar Boys, a seminal bluegrass outfit who often held residency at Gerdes.
It was during this two-week stint that Dylan caught the attention of Robert Shelton of The New York TImes, who gave him unprecedented coverage in his review for an opening act. The impact was instant -- within a mere few days, John Hammond had signed Dylan to Columbia Records. Amazing how fast things moved back then!
50 years on, still on the road, still making records! Mr. Dylan, we bow to you! Happy Anniversary!