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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Friday, July 08, 2011

NEWS: UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA ACQUIRES MY DYLAN PAPERS


I'm delighted to be able to announce that the University of Minnesota has acquired my papers and other material created from the late 1960s through to the late 2000s in the researching and writing of every edition of Song & Dance Man : The Art of Bob Dylan and of The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia.

The material, to be known as Michael Gray's Bob Dylan Papers, is to be held in the Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts, Upper Midwest Literary Archives, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota Libraries.

The institution's own announcement, to be made this weekend in the online version of the library's journal Continuum (paper copies next week), says this:

Michael Gray, a leading authority on the work of Bob Dylan, has donated his papers related to the development of his two landmark works, Song and Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan (1972) and The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia (2006). The collection includes all research materials, drafts of the books, publication materials, posters and flyers, and criticism, as well as other writings through multiple editions and reprintings of each work. Also included is correspondence with close associates of Dylan, including Naomi Saltzman, who was in charge of Dylan’s New York office in the early 1970s; Robert Shelton, the New York Times folk music critic who gave Dylan his first review; musician Al Kooper, who played the organ on ‘Like A Rolling Stone’; and Suze Rotolo, Dylan’s first girlfriend in New York City, who appears with him on the front cover of his second album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

They hope to have it all ready for public access in the autumn.

I am, of course, highly gratified by the fact of this acquisition, and by the knowledge that these papers will be both safe and accessible for a very long time into the future. And I'm especially happy that they're to be kept in as appropriate a place as Bob Dylan's home state of Minnesota. They've found a direction home.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Paul Metsa said...

That is fantastic Michael. Just a a mile or so from my house. Congratulations. They found their direction home. :) Best, Paul Metsa, Mpls. MN

4:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope this is merely foresight and that the finishing end is not at hand and that you are well. It's generous of you to make this material available.

5:23 pm  
Anonymous Pat Bauer said...

"I am ... highly gratified by the fact of this acquisition, and by the knowledge that these papers will be both safe and accessible for a very long time into the future. And I'm especially happy that they're to be kept in as appropriate a place as Bob Dylan's home state of Minnesota. They've found a direction home."

Us too! Bravo for all of your work, and for this incredibly fitting gesture!

6:31 pm  
Blogger joe butler said...

Well done Michael
do you remember that paper napkin Bob gave me with the lyrics for "make you feel my lurve" that I gave you for safe keeping ?

lol


joe

4:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Kooper, eh? That's worth it alone. Great news, Michael, just the place for them.

Yours Homer,
A grateful recipient of the "out-takes" folders...


PS You must be very pleased to find a fitting place. I am leaving my humble collection to Cambridge University Library but before I go 'knocking on the door that does not even exist anymore, if it were ever there at all', I'll have to sort the wheat from the chaff. I still have every mention of him in papers and magazines from c 75 - 2005. And goodness knows what else from Earl#s court ticket stubs to buckle belts and clocks. I can't imagine any library wanting all the paper records far less everything else.
or maybe I'll just leave it to them to sort out!

7:03 pm  
Blogger Matt said...

Congrats Michael,

I wanted to send you the following message, but couldn't place it beneath the relevant post

Hi Michael,

Prince's band - 'the female contingent of the New Power Generation' as he called them - performed a beautiful rendition of 'Make You Feel My Love' while he took a breather at the Hop Farm festival last Sunday.

It's so strange that this has become a standard - Dylan's first since 'Lay Lady Lay'?

Prince also performed 'All Along the Watchtower' at the 2007 Superbowl, presumably a nod to his faith - he is a Jehovah's Witness.

For his part, Dylan included Prince's 'Little Red Corvette' in the Cars episode of Theme Time Radio Hour, when he mentioned they were both from the same area, roughly speaking. He also apparently wrote the Wilburys song 'Dirty World' as a playful pastiche of Prince's songs about sex. I always see Prince when I hear 'Handy Dandy,' written in about the same period - 'he's got an all-girl orchestra / and when he says 'strike up the band!' they hit it.' That and the reference to a 'stick in his hand' (he used to carry a cane everywhere.)

The Hop Farm performance was sublime, btw - among his all-time great performances according to some. The Independent's review is here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/prince-hop-farm-festival-kentbrrichard-cheese-forum-london-2309796.html

8:43 pm  

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