Bob Dylan has nothing but praises to offer Rev. Billy Graham, saying that the American evangelist changed his life and even compared veteran preacher to a “rock ‘n’ roll” legend.
Dylan was born from a Jewish family, but he later converted to Christianity and Graham was a huge pull on his faith. “When I was growing up, Billy Graham was very popular. He was the greatest preacher and evangelist of my time — that guy could save souls and did,” he shared with AARP Magazine.
Dylan could not pass up the opportunity to see Graham live in action, so he went to a few of his rallies back in the ’50s and ’60s. And the singer, just like the rest of the people who flocked to Graham’s sermons, could not help but be impressed when he heard Graham speak.
“This guy was like rock ‘n’ roll personified — volatile, explosive. He had the hair, the tone, the elocution — when he spoke, he brought the storm down. Clouds parted. Souls got saved, sometimes 30 or 40,000 of them. If you ever went to a Billy Graham rally back then, you were changed forever,” he said.
Dylan added that no other preacher can quite compare to Graham, as he could draw in the crowds better than any football team or rock ‘n’ roll star. “Seems like a long time ago,” mulled Dylan, “long before Mick Jagger sang his first note or Bruce strapped on his first guitar — that’s some of the part of rock ‘n’ roll that I retained. I had to. I saw Billy Graham in the flesh and heard him loud and clear.”
The singer’s faith is also evident in his song preferences. Dylan mentioned that he loves the song “Amazing Grace,” especially the line that says,”that saved a wretch like me.”
“Isn’t that something we could all say if we were honest enough?” he said. “I like spiritual songs. They struck me as truthful and serious. They brought me down to earth and they lifted me up all in the same moment.”
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