Robert 'Bob Dylan' Zimmerman at 70

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan celebrates his birthday today.

The legendary musician, whose songs - from Blowin' in the Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin' - were anthems of the 1960s counter-culture, has just turned 70.

In a career which has spanned five decades, Dylan has won nine Grammy awards, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won an Academy Award for a song on the soundtrack of the film Wonder Boys.

Despite his announcement in the 1970s that he was a born-again Christian, Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman to Jewish parents in Minnesota.

He later stepped back from Christianity, although he has released several gospel-themed albums and in 2009 compiled a charity Christmas album featuring traditional carols including Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem.

In June 1969, the Jewish Chronicle's music critic wrote of Mr Dylan's ninth album Nashville Skyline that it "would not attract over-much attention if he was not…known under the name of Bob Dylan.

"Here we have a "folk poet" in happy mood. But this is feeble, gutless stuff."

However in a later piece on Dylan's contribution, the JC described him as "the man whose scorching writing powers did most to bring about the revolution in rock lyrics, stimulating a generation of songwriters to stretch their perspectives."

Last updated: 8:12am, May 24 2011