Underestimating Albert

revisiting Albert Grossman’s management of Bob Dylan

Authors

  • Mike Jones University of Liverpool

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.v8i2.189

Keywords:

authenticity, Bob Dylan, Albert Grossman, artist management, Folk Revival, Greenwich Village, music contracts, music publishing, royalties, A&R

Abstract

This article represents an exploration of the contribution made by Albert Grossman to the career of Bob Dylan. Dylan is such a distinctive performer and songwriter that he can easily appear to be entirely self-made. Certainly, Dylan has a forceful character and appears to delight in confounding all who would ask questions of him. Further, the role of Grossman, his first manager, has all but entirely been written out of Dylan’s early history (not least by Dylan himself). The fact that Grossman died in 1986 has facilitated this process. The concern of ‘Underestimating Albert’ is to argue the reverse, that Grossman’s role in the creation of Dylan as a popular music success cannot be underestimated.

Author Biography

Mike Jones, University of Liverpool

Dr Mike Jones is a member of staff at the Institute of Popular Music at the University of Liverpool. He is Programme Director for the MA in Music Industry Studies. His first book, The Music Industries: From Conception to Consumption, was published by Palgrave in 2012. He is a songwriter whose songs have featured on 11 albums. He debuted his ‘performance biography’ of Joni Mitchell in 2012.

References

Baez, J. 2009. (1988). And a Voice to Sing with. London: Simon and Schuster.

Dylan, B. 2004. Chronicles Volume One. London: Simon and Schuster.

Escott, C. 2010. Liner notes to The Bootleg Series Volume Nine: The Witmark Demos. Sony Music.

Goodman, F. 1997. The Mansion on the Hill: Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springsteen, and the Head-on Collision of Rock and Commerce. London: Jonathan Cape.

Gordon, D. 2010. Liner notes to Folksinger’s Choice. Leftfield Media.

Gray, M. 2006. The Bob Dylan Encyclopaedia. New York and London: Continuum.

Marsh, D. 2008. The Beatles Second Album (Rock of Ages). Emmaus: Rodale.

Rotolo, S. 2009. A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties. London: Aurum Press.

Shelton, R. 2011. No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan. Revised edn. London: Omnibus.

Spitz, B. 1998. Dylan: A Biography. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Published

2014-05-20

How to Cite

Jones, M. (2014). Underestimating Albert: revisiting Albert Grossman’s management of Bob Dylan. Popular Music History, 8(2), 189–204. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.v8i2.189

Issue

Section

Articles