Meet the Black Producer Behind Bob Dylan

"Tom Wilson was a fascinatingly mysterious figure, a black Republican from Texas who graduated from Harvard and produced legendary misfits like Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel."

By Published on February 17, 2015

“I believe that everyone involved with the process of producing and purveying records is creative, or should be.”

Those words are attributed to Tom Wilson — supposedly from an unearthed transcript of a speech the gifted producer was set to give at an industry event sometime in 1966. Tom Wilson was the man behind some of the biggest and most influential rock music of the 1960s; having produced songs and albums for legendary figures such as Bob Dylan, The Animals, Simon & Garfunkel, The Velvet Underground and solo works by Nico. Prior to that, Wilson had founded Transition Records, and produced sessions for artists like Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, and John Coltrane.

While recording jazz records at Transition, Wilson caught the attention of Columbia Records. His time at Columbia would prove to be fateful and fruitful; it was during his first six months with the industry giant that he was introduced to Bob Dylan.

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