I’ve felt so strongly [without anything but circumstantial evidence], that Bob Dylan must have listened to Shepherd in the early 1960s  that I once made up a list of questions about it.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, 

play a song for me

In the jingle jangle morning

I’ll come followin’ you.

What questions would I ask?

dylan as woody

Bobby, is That You, Woody?

Q: Mr. Dylan, sir, please, if I may, please. When did you start listening to Shep, please? Were you a Shepherd “night person”? Sir, please.

Q: How, please, did you find out about him, please?

Q: What about him got you interested in him, Mr. Dylan, sir?

Q: What were your thoughts about him then, and what do you think about him now?

Q: When did you stop listening to him and why did you stop?


Yes You Can–Love it!

Dylan quoted from a talk he gave in 2015: 

“Sam Cooke said this when told he had a beautiful voice: He said, ‘Well that’s very kind of you, but voices ought not to be measured by how pretty they are. Instead they matter only if they convince you that they are telling the truth.’ Think about that the next time you are listening to a singer.”

[I intrude to amplify that by saying that Maria Callas and Frank Sinatra, without beautiful voices, convince me.]

Q: Are there any ways that you feel especially attuned to what Shepherd said and how he said it?

Q: Any specific ways you’ve thought/behaved/ created that you might feel have been influenced by his style?

Q: Any specific aspects of what he said that might have influenced your music/lyrics?


Nice Ta See Ya Smile, Bobby!

Q: He was very negative toward folk and rock–especially regarding you and Joan Baez–were you aware of that–did you care?


The King and the President,

who says he’s a big Dylan fan.

Q: What about your feelings about Shep–then and now?

Q: What do you feel are Jean Shepherd’s best attributes?


Keep on Rockin’


[Because Jean Shepherd in the 1960s demeaned both Bob Dylan and

Joan Baez, among others, I’ve often felt that not only did he dislike the

political protests they were part of, but that he did not objectively

listen to some of the better rock and other music of the time.

I wish I coulda talked to Shep and gotten him to listen carefully

to some good rock and to some fine Dylan,

and then gotten him to admit what he really felt.

I’d a started with “Mr. Tambourine Man,”

and worked up ta “Like a Rollin’ Stone.”]




  1. joe shmoe says:

    i also question at times why he wasn’t into more of the folk music scene going on in the village at the time i started listing to shep at the age of 12 -13 / 64-71 with the old transistor earplug usually after the ballgame thanks for keeping the site open

    • ebbergmann says:

      I believe he felt that the tendency of much of the folk music crowd (musicians and audience) was naive in being so strongly anti-war (not understanding the danger of communism, etc.).

  2. Brett says:

    Greetings and thanks for a splendid site! I came by looking for info about, “Look, Charlie” and fell down the Shep rabbit hole. Reckon I’m among the perplexed uninitiated in that I failed to follow through on my earliest Shep love which didn’t happen until the 80s, I’m sorry to say.

    Oddly, I knew more about Silverstein and Lois Nettleton, both of whom I had the pleasure of meeting.

    I’ve got more exploring to do here and will certainly pass this along as well as your book info.

    Pax et lux,

    Brett Butler

    • ebbergmann says:

      Brett, welcome! I assume you’ve seen my posts regarding Look, Charlie, Shel, and Lois Nettleton. I include interesting info about Lois and her important connection to Shep and his creative life–see list in left column for her and for Leigh Brown, also a fascinating amount of info on how Leigh was enamored of Shep and plotted to capture him for herself!

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