If my memory serves me right, then good old Bobby released his first album in the very early sixties. (he recorded as a sideman and anonymously as Blind Boy Grunt for a least a year before the Columbia album) Here we are approaching the millenium, and so many of us still have opinions on his work, his persona, his ethics, and his alledged "betrayal" of his folkie supporters. Wow! that's longevity, and certainly makes his inclusion in "most significant folkie" a valid if debatable issue.
Every so often I put that first record on and I'm still amazed. The music was unlike anything that I had ever heard. Extroverted to the max, but with incredible discipline. I've heard bootleg tapes from the same period that were just plain awful..out of tune, sloppy, off key, and hardly worth playing a second time, so I have to think that John Hammond sr. (the producer) got the very best from him. The guitar playing was absolutely superb! The singing, VERY scary...and in a nutshell, memorable. Whatever it was he had, it worked!