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The Jewish Bob Dylan

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 29 min
Event Type: Documentary Program Origin: KPFA

Bernard Timberg analyzes the songs of Bob Dylan looking for Jewish themes and imagery. He identifies messianic longings in “Quinn the Eskimo”; references to Jewish burial practices in “Masters of War”; and finds significance in the fact that the initials of John Wesley Harding can be interpreted as the name of the Jewish God, YHWH. Issues such as social justice and a sense of being an outsider imbue the songs of Dylan as they do the history of the Jewish people. Timberg also interviews a number of people who knew Dylan when he was still Bob Zimmerman in an efforts to investigate the Jewish roots of his music, including a woman that was at his Bar Mitzvah and a counselor at a Jewish summer camp Dylan attended as a child. Also explored are a number of myths about Dylan that touch upon his Jewish identity.

Musical Selections:  [excerpt of an apparently Jewish folk song] -- Highway 61 [excerpt] -- When The Ship Comes In [excerpt] -- Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) [excerpt] -- Masters of War [excerpt] -- Dear Landlord [excerpt] -- I Pity the Poor Immigrant [excerpt] -- A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall [excerpt] -- Father of Night [excerpt] -- Father of Night
Genres:  Folk Music; Popular Music
Subject:  Dylan, Bob, 1941-; Folk music; Popular music; Rock music; Judaism
People:  Timberg, Bernard ; Dylan, Bob, 1941-
Recording Date:  6/15/1972
First Broadcast Date:  6/15/1972
 
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