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All over the U.S., folk singers are doing what folk singers are classically supposed to do -- singing about current crises. Not since the Civil War era have they done so in such numbers or with such intensity. Instead of keening over the poor old cowpoke who died in the streets of Laredo or chronicling the life cycle of the blue-tailed fly (the sort of thing that fired the great postwar revival of folk song), they are singing with hot-eyed fervor about police dogs and racial murder. Sometimes they use serviceable old tunes, but just as often they are writing new ones about fresh heroes and villains, from Martin Luther King to Bull Connor.

The Peter, Paul and Mary recording of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" is, according to Warner Bros. Records, the fastest selling single the company has ever cut. "Blowin'" is young Dylan at his lyrically honest best. It sounds as country-airy as Turkey in the Straw, but it has a cutting edge.

TIME, July 19, 1963

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