Watch Bob Dylan make his first TV appearance with ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ back in 1963
One of the most iconic figures in music still has to start somewhere. Even if you’re Bob Dylan. Back in 1963, the young and vibrant folk singer was just making his way in the world when he was invited on to WBC-TV to sing a selection of songs including the new single from his upcoming album The Freehwheelin’ Bob Dylan.
The song in question, ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’, would go on to be the most celebrated of Dylan’s compositions and here he delivers a captivating performance of the track for the audience at home.
When he was invited on to the show to perform, the singer was gaining pace as one of the leading voices of the folk momvement in New York. Greenwich Village, so often awash with poets and writers, were all talking about his new kid called, Bob Dylan.
Recorded in March 1963 but not aired until May, the performance acts as the first time a large audience had heard a clip from the upcoming debut album. But as well as delivering the first real spin of ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’, Dylan also shared another two cracking performances.
As well as ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ the singer performed, ‘Ballad of Hollis Brown’ and the brilliant ‘Man Of Constant Sorrow’. The latter of which was a familiar moment for Dylan as he took on an old folkloric tune and adapted it for a new, hungry audience. Dylan covering Dick Burnett’s tune, written in 1913, for the television audience.
For a long time, the recordings of Dylan’s first TV appearance were lost to the ether but now we can watch the selection of performances and revel in the vintage video and the power of Dylan’s performance. The videos were made available through Martin Scorsese’s PBS television documentary No Direction Home and are now available below.
What strikes us most about the videos is the confidence and defiance that Dylan shows with only his eyes and vocals. He is determined and powerful with every single note. Watch the moment Bob Dylan made his first television appearance below: