Dylan's Favorite Songwriters

What do Warren Zevon, Jimmy Buffet and Gordon Lightfoot all have in common?
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2009 4:20 PM CDT
Randy Newman performs during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Bob Dylan is one of the most widely influential living songwriters—but who has influenced him? Bill Flanagan got Dylan to dish on some of his favorite songwriters for the Huffington Post. The winners? Jimmy Buffett, Gordon Lightfoot, Randy Newman, John Prine, and Guy Clark all got nods. Though Dylan’s probably not a Margaritaville fan, he cited Buffett’s Death of an Unpopular Poet.

  • For Lightfoot, Dylan prefers Shadows, Sundown, and If You Could Read My Mind, though he admits he “can’t think of any I don’t like.” 
  • Dylan feels Zevon’s “musical patterns are all over the place, probably because he's classically trained. There might be three separate songs within a Zevon song, but they're all effortlessly connected. Zevon was a musician's musician, a tortured one.”
  • On Prine: “Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs.”
Click the link for a slideshow of Dylan's favorite songwriters.