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Reggae Artists Offer Up Tribute to Dylan

There's a new CD out that, at first glance, looks like a re-issue of the old Bob Dylan album, Bringing it All Back Home. A closer look at the cover reveals some differences: The woman in red seated behind Dylan is posed the same way, smoking a cigarette, but she's Jamaican with dreadlocks. And the Time magazine cover at her elbow doesn't display Lyndon Johnson; it's a November 1930 cover of the emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie.

The music inside is all Dylan, but it's performed by reggae artists. It's a tribute CD to Dylan, called Is It Rolling Bob? The CD is the brainchild of record producer Gary Himmelfarb, a.k.a. Doctor Dread.

"I'd always wanted to marry Bob Dylan lyrics with reggae music," he says. "Bob Dylan was a protest singer and reggae is protest music." NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Doctor Dread about the CD and his work with the reggae artists who helped create it.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Robert Siegel
Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.