Happy 82nd birthday, Bob Dylan. One of the most well-known names in music from the baby boomer generation, Dylan is considered by many as America’s most revered and acclaimed contemporary songwriter. His incredible catalog over the last 50+ years represents some of the most significant works in American folk and rock music. Classics tunes such as “All Along The Watchtower”, “Like A Rolling Stone”, “Maggie’s Farm”, “Tangled Up In Blue”, and “I Shall Be Released” are just a small piece of Dylan’s legacy, as the musician has released several influential albums over the years like Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, and Highway 61 Revisited.

Famous for “going electric” surprise at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, Dylan is credited with bringing contemporary folk music into the rock and pop music era, weaving his politically charged lyrics with the exciting live musicianship that we’ve come to expect from concerts today. By doing so, Dylan essentially merged the worlds of folk and rock that encouraged the musical counter-culture movement of the late ’60s.

Related: Bob Dylan Announces New Album, ‘Rough And Rowdy Ways’, Shares New Track “False Prophet” [Listen]

Dylan’s acceptance of “plugged-in” instruments (and subsequent hiring of The Band as his “electric” band) inspired a generation of musicians to explore the medium, and he heavily influenced artists like the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, and Jimi Hendrix (among countless others) to plug in and explore their instruments and songs in new, groundbreaking ways. On top of all that (as the story goes), he even maybe sort of introduced The Beatles to the joys of marijuana. Without Bob Dylan, we might have never heard Jerry Garcia play one of his beautiful guitar solos on an electric guitar, The Beatles might have never been introduced to their psychedelic side, and The Band may have never made their way into the public eye.

To celebrate Dylan’s 81st birthday today, check out some great footage of the man himself performing his well-known songs over the years, along with a few of his most fun collaborations, and some very impressive covers performed by an eclectic range of artists. Enjoy the videos below, and happy birthday Bob!

“Mr. Tambourine Man” – Newport Folk Festival – 1964

[Video: BobDylanTV]

“Maggie’s Farm” – Newport Folk Festival – 1965


Bob Dylan and The Band – “Forever Young” – The Last Waltz

[Video: Luka Prutki]

Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead – Giants Stadium – 7/12/1987

[Video: Positively Garcia]

The Travelling Wilburys – “Handle With Care”

[Video: TravelingWilburys]

Famed producer T. Bone Burnett organized these incredible contemporary songwriters to complete unfinished songs from Dylan’s Basement Tapes-era with The Band. This modern supergroup, dubbed The New Basement Tapes, includes Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Rhiannon Giddens, and Elvis Costello. This video below captures Mumford singing the beautiful “Kansas City,” with special guest Johnny Depp filling in for Costello on guitar.

The New Basement Tapes – “Kansas City”

[Video: EMI Music Australia]

Johnny Cash – “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” – Newport Folk Festival – 1964

[Video: JohnnyCashShow]

Dave Matthews Band – “All Along The Watchtower” – Live In Central Park

[Video: Dave Matthews Band]

Jerry Garcia Band – “Tangled Up In Blue” – 7/9/77

[Video: Grateful Dead on MV]