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The connection with Bob Dylan boggles the mind. In October 2016, it was announced that Dylan would receive the Nobel prize for literature. In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him second among the 100 greatest artists in the western world.

But there was a time when Dylan was Bob Zimmerman, a first-year student at the University of Minnesota from Hibbing, Minnesota. It is here that Red Nelson’s entertainment establishment, the Ten O’Clock Scholar, enters the picture. This account, under the heading “the Scholar”, comes from the Twentieth Century Minnesota Music History Channel.


“The original Scholar, Minneapolis' first coffeehouse, was in Dinkytown at 414 (or 418) - 14th Ave SE. Although it was technically the Ten O'Clock Scholar, everyone just called it the Scholar. Owner Red Nelson bought it for $5,000 and a motorcycle. Red's partners were Ann Mossman and Steve Oleson.

It is, of course, famous as the place a young Bob Dylan played from fall 1959 to fall 1960. In a 1965 Will Jones column, former proprietor Dave Lee said he would have 30 different kinds of tea on the menu, and regularly kicked out Dylan. "Dylan would come in and sing, and for a while it was all right, but that monotone would go on and Muriel would say to me 'They're beginning to leave. You'd better get rid of him.'"

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The July 1963 Twin Citian describes "singing entertainment on weekends with good sandwiches served in an off-beat coffee house with murals adorning the walls. Particularly good for people watching. Here the students gather to converse, [???] and think."

Red Nelson would have afterparties at places called:

•The Red [Brick] Palace
•Ground Zero - across from 7 Corners
•Rainbow Gallery - a jazz place (see separate entry)
•The People's Club - on Cedar Ave.

In the book West Bank Boogie, Red noted that Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters pulled up to the Scholar in their bus one day, and drugs became the downfall of the mellow folk scene.

A blog entry says there was a fire in December 1965 which started in the grocery store next door.

The Scholar moved several times - one iteration was extant from at least 1966 to at least February 1970 at 247 Cedar Ave. on the West Bank.

Scholar Biography by Jeanne Anderson

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