50 Years Ago Today: Bob Dylan Performs ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’

It was 50 years ago today that Dylan performed Blowin’ In The Wind in Greenwich Village.  The song was based on the spiritual song “No More Auction Block,” which was also included in Dylan’s live repertoire.

“Blowin’ In the Wind” was published a month later in Broadside magazine, although the recorded version would not make its appearance until August of 1963.

The space between the writing and actual release of the song caused much controversy about who originally wrote it.  However, by the summer of 1963 the song gained much popularity when Peter, Paul, and Mary released a cover version making it number two on the Billboard Hot 100 of that year.

The overall success of the track was a huge boost to Dylan’s career.  Eventually Dylan became burnt out on performing the spiritual and was reluctant to perform it in his live shows for several years.

Finally, in August 1971 Dylan performed at the Concert for Bangladesh where he was asked by George Harrison who asked if he would play the popular tune.  Dylan replied by saying, “Are you going to play ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand?’”  Dylan did eventually give in and performed the song to a raging audience.


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