Poster, 'Bob Dylan on Columbia Records', paper, made by Columbia Records, United States of America, 1965-1966
This is a 1960s poster bearing the name and image of the American entertainer and recording artist Bob Dylan. Produced and distributed by his US record company Columbia Records, it features a black and white drawing of Dylan as he appeared in 1965. The same image was used in a 1966 record promotion 'Nobody sings Dylan like Dylan' by the Australian Record Company Limited, Columbia Records' Australian distributors, using the CBS logo, advertising the first six Bob Dylan albums up to and including 1965's 'Highway 61 Revisited'. The image also appeared in the concert program for Dylan's 1966 Australian tour.
Posters of pop idols and counterculture heroes began to adorn young people's bedroom walls in the 1960s. Dylan posters projected an image that was cool, rebellious, independent and street-smart.
One of the most influential musical artists since World War II, Bob Dylan emerged from the folk music boom of the early 1960s and quickly began writing his own songs, thus creating a new style of entertainer, the singer-songwriter. As a composer, one of his innovations was to bring a sense of literary sophistication and social meaning to popular song lyrics. He wrote about war, oppression and hypocrisy with great artistry, and he inspired people to question and to think for themselves. Dylan pioneered an increasing intellectualisation in pop songwriting. Even the Beatles began to write and record songs which ventured beyond tales of teen angst.
However Bob Dylan never followed any trend and refused to be restricted by the many simplistic labels that journalists imposed upon him -- folk singer, protest singer, beat poet, phoney, charlatan, sell-out, legend, icon, spokesman for his generation, has-been and wandering minstrel. His singing has featured distinctive enunciation and delivery that stamped him as a unique (although much imitated) vocal stylist. Although an original, Dylan is grounded in the rich American traditions of folk, blues and country music, which reverberate in his songs.
In moving beyond the acoustic accompaniment expected of folk singers, Dylan smashed the wall between pop and folk. His decision to perform with an amplified band caused controversy on his 1966 world tour. The repercussions were felt in Australia when he visited in April that year. As he took the stage with a rock band for the second half of each concert, folk purists demonstrated their disapproval by booing or walking out.
While he has been typecast as a figure from the 1960s, Dylan has continued to write, record and perform critically acclaimed music at a consistently high level for over five decades.
Curator, Australian history & society
The poster was made by Columbia Records in the United States of America, 1965-1966.
Obtained when the donor's daughter, who was born in the 1970s, turned twenty-one and threw a 1970s party. Her father bought the poster in the United States of America. It is most likely that he bought it second hand, as it appears to be an original 1960s poster.