Picture of author.

Dave Van Ronk (1936–2002)

Autor(a) de The Mayor of MacDougal Street: A Memoir

33+ Works 271 Membros 7 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: 1963, Newport Folk Festival

Obras de Dave Van Ronk

Manhattan folk story (2013) 4 cópias
Van Ronk 2 cópias
Sunday Street (1999) 1 exemplar(es)
The Folk Blues Of [Double CD] (2014) 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works


Conhecimento Comum

Nome de batismo
Van Ronk, Dave
Outros nomes
Mayor of MacDougal Street
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Brooklyn, New York, USA



Wonderful and hilarious.
k6gst | outras 5 resenhas | Nov 12, 2023 |
It's great to read a memoir of the 60s folk movement that also engages seriously with the politics of the time. And is the story of someone who didn't have middle-class family money behind him, who had no fall-back if the music didn't work out. It's a fun, lively read too.
Clare_L | outras 5 resenhas | Sep 20, 2021 |
While we can be happy to have this book at all, it's a shame Van Ronk didn't live to see it through to completion. The loss is softened by two factors: the devotion of co-author Elijah Wald to the task of finishing it, and the fact that Van Ronk was a world-class raconteur, and many of his finely-honed anecdotes were preserved on concert tapes.
Nevertheless, it would have been good to have more of his well-founded takes on the musicians and other characters who populated Greenwich Village, since he was a long-term fixture there. He brings both critical acumen and nostalgic affection to his judgments.
Van Ronk was on the scene almost before there was a scene, and stayed on long after the scene had departed, remaining long enough to serve as generous godfather and mentor to the second wave of singer-songwriters who began to show up in the 80s. Anyone who met him, and there were many of us through the years, treasures the memory.
An unreconstructed Marxist, he came by his politics honestly, spending more time in the school of hard knocks than in any schoolhouse. Again, he was there before the trust-fund radicals of the late sixties, and was still there long after they had become dentists and stock brokers, an observation that bemuses, but doesn't embitter him.
He's also remarkably free of bitterness that Dylan preempted him by putting Van Ronk's arrangement of The House of the Rising Sun on his debut lp, just as Van Ronk was readying himself for his next recording session. Its distinctive descending chromatic baseline, the heart of his reading, was in turn lifted by the Animals for their first U.S. hit.
Nearly as famous is his finger-picked arrangement of Cocaine, but in Jackson Browne's recording. Browne, careful to avoid repeating Dylan's gaffe, offered to credit him with the copyright, but Van Ronk directed him to the estate of Rev. Gary Davis, from whom he had learned the song.
That anecdote alone says much about the man. His story was not rags to riches, but rags to ragtime, blues and folk. Now that the Coen Brothers have credited this book as the inspiration for their latest movie, I'm happy that he is getting posthumous recognition. Anyone interested in the music and politics of the fifties and sixties will enjoy reading the book, and will forgive it for not being the book it could have been if he had lived just a little longer.
One quibble: the name of singer-songwriter Eric Andersen is consistently misspelled. Da Capo: fix it please!
… (mais)
HenrySt123 | outras 5 resenhas | Jul 19, 2021 |
An interesting look at the folk scene in Greenwich Village. I picked the book to see what someone who was there when Dylan arrived on the scene. While there wasn't a lot on Dylan, what there was, agreed with what I always thought. The rest of the book was well written and really gives the reader a look at NYC in the 50s/60s.
bjkelley | outras 5 resenhas | Mar 24, 2017 |


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