Forty-nine years ago today, Columbia released Bob Dylan's single "Like a Rolling Stone" (which I soon bought and wore out) and the rest is history--Dylan became a mega-star and the song was picked ten years ago as the greatest single ever, by Rolling Stone, beating out "Satisfaction," released just a month before in 1965. The promo copies for the six-minute single released to radio stations on this date held the first two verses and refrain on one side, the final two on the other--that's how revolutionary the song was.
But the single nearly did not happen! A guy who played key role wrote a piece about it in 1964 after it got that Rolling Stone honor. I just gave it a re-read and it's great. I forgot the details--that Columbia rejected the song, and this guy got an acetate and got it played at the hot disco Arthur. Folks went nuts, forcing Columbia to release it....Then, what happened live after he was called "Judas."