Music Row Played a Key Role in Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan's Career

October 14, 2016 by Sarah Heffern

Homes and businesses along Music Row.

photo by: Rick Smith

Homes and businesses along Music Row.

It's not every day that a historic neighborhood gets to claim a Nobel laureate, but this week, Nashville's Music Row got that honor when Bob Dylan was announced as the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. According to Carolyn Brackett, senior field officer here at the National Trust, Dylan's decision to record in Nashville was spurred in part by his friendship with Johnny Cash, whom he had met at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island in 1964.

Two years later, in 1966, Bob Dylan recorded Blonde on Blonde on Music Row, working with the Nashville Cats, who were top studio musicians. Following that success, Dylan made two additional albums on Music Row — John Wesley Harding in 1967 and the country music-style Nashville Skyline in 1968.

Through the end of this year, the Country Music Hall of Fame is featuring an exhibit called "Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City," which looks at the relationship between the two musicians and how it changed the Nashville music scene.

"Bob Dylan’s decision to record in Nashville in 1966 provided a major catalyst for bringing many others to what must have seemed like a very unlikely destination in the politically polarized sixties. In spite of its reputation as a conservative town, removed from the main trends in popular music, Nashville was home to musicians who had a huge influence on other music scenes of the era."

Read more: Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City

And learn more about Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize vial the New York Times: Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize, Redefining Boundaries of Literature

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