Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in 1941, Bob Dylan had his name changed for fear of anti-Semitism. That reports Daily Mail Tuesday based on letters written by the singer that will be auctioned next month.

“Many people have the impression that Jews are just moneylenders and merchants. They think all Jews are like that,” said the singer in a 1971 letter to close friend and blues artist Tony Glover. “But they were only because they could. That’s all they were allowed to do.”

He also explained why he chose ‘Dylan’. “I mean, it wouldn’t have worked if I had changed my name to Bob Levy. Or Bob Neuwirth. Or Bob Donut,” the singer joked.

In another letter, the ten-time Grammy winner confessed to his love song Lay Lady Lay from 1969 not for the movie’s soundtrack Midnight Cowboy was created, but had previously been written in honor of Barbra Streisand.

Dylan broke through worldwide in the 1960s and has hits like Like a Rolling Stone, Knockin’ on Heavens’ Door in Hurricane released. He had his name officially changed in 1962. Letters that Dylan and Glover exchanged in 1971 will be auctioned next month at the RR Auction in Boston, US.

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