The Bob Dylan Center has acquired some rare artifacts, including a recording of his first major concert in 1961 in New York City and the so-called "Madison Tapes," recorded by a 19-year-old Dylan in a Wisconsin apartment.
The Dylan Center, which will open next spring in Tulsa, Okla., announced these new acquisitions on Tuesday.
The Madison tapes, recorded in the winter of 1960-61 in the apartment of musician Danny Kalb, feature the itinerant Minnesotan singing 20 songs by the likes of Woody Guthrie, Little Walter, Pete Seeger and Jimmie Rodgers. Kalb, who is two years younger than Dylan, became a protégé of Dave Van Ronk and went on to form the Blues Project and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Taking place shortly after Dylan signed with Columbia Records but before his debut LP was released, his Nov. 4, 1961, concert at Carnegie Chapter Hall showcased seven songs, including "He Was a Friend of Mine." Within two years, the singer would headline Carnegie's main stage.
The Dylan Center also acquired the so-called "Bailey Tapes," recorded at the Greenwich Village apartment of folk and calypso enthusiasts Mel and Lillian Bailey. Included are Dylan, in fall 1962, singing the earliest known renditions of his originals "Oxford Town" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right."
Among early Dylan artifacts at the museum is a never-seen-before photo of him in New York's Central Park in 1963 taken by Gloria Stavers.
Another recent acquisition is a 4,200-piece collection of books, albums and journals owned by Harry Smith, the folk musicologist whose 1952 compilation, "The Anthology of American Folk Music," became influential listening for Dylan and many others.
The Bob Dylan Center has collected more than 100,000 artifacts related to the music icon. In 2016, he sold his personal archives to the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which had established the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa in 2010. The Dylan museum opens on May 10, 2022.