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*Winner of the 2006 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award*
**Now the inspiration for a major motion picture written and directed by the Coen brothers**
Dave Van Ronk was one of the founding figures of the 1960s folk revival, but he was far more than that. A pioneer of modern acoustic blues, a fine songwriter and arranger, a powerful singer, and one of the most influential guitarists of the '60s, he was also a marvelous storyteller, a peerless musical historian, and one of the most quotable figures on the Village scene. The Mayor of MacDougal Street is a firsthand account by a major player in the social and musical history of the '50s and '60s. It features encounters with young stars-to-be like Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, and Joni Mitchell, as well as older luminaries like the Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Odetta. Colorful, hilarious, and engaging, The Mayor of MacDougal Street is a feast for anyone interested in the music, politics, and spirit of a revolutionary period in American culture.
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DAVE VAN RONK (1936-2002) was one of the founding figures of the 1960s folk revival, but he was far more than that. A pioneer of modern acoustic blues, a fine songwriter and arranger, a powerful singer, and one of the most influential guitarists of the '60s, he was also a marvelous storyteller, a peerless musical historian, and one of the most quotable figures on the Village scene.
ELIJAH WALD wrote the acclaimed study of blues legend Robert Johnson, Escaping the Delta. He also wrote the biography Josh White: Society Blues and Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas. He lives in Los Angeles.
''In Greenwich Village, Van Ronk was king of the street, he reigned supreme.'' --Bob Dylan
''A wise and very funny book.'' --New Yorker
''A hulking raconteur and iconoclast, [Van Ronk] fondly captures the spirit of the times.'' --Q magazine
''Charming, evocative autobiography by one of the key figures in the mid-twentieth-century folk revival . . . A must for those with an interest in the music, and of great appeal as well for anyone who enjoys a roistering life story recounted in a lively narrative voice.'' --Kirkus Reviews
''Singer-songwriter Van Ronk did more than most to earn the heady title of his memoir, gussied up for publication by the author of the outstanding blues history Escaping the Delta. In the folk-music ferment of late fifties / early sixties Greenwich Village, Van Ronk was a larger-than-life presence with a blustery personality to match his big frame, headlining the famous folk-music haunts and mentoring such up-and-coming stars as Bob Dylan. A masterful storyteller and robust singer who prided himself in making a living without leaving the Village, he was a musical sponge who picked up a wildly eclectic repertoire. He recalls the heyday of the pretourist, 1950s Village, before the so-called Folk Scare, when regulars went to Washington Square on Sunday afternoons for loose sessions that continued late into the night. He recalls first hearing Dylan -- 'the scruffiest-looking fugitive from a cornfield I do believe I had ever seen' -- at a Village coffeehouse and being impressed (the new arrival thereafter often crashed on Van Ronk's sofa). A richly evocative paean to a lost era.'' --Booklist
''Best Book of 2005--If you thought Bob Dylan's Chronicles emanated atmosphere, try Van Ronk's salty, seamless, and often hilarious re-creation of Greenwich Village . . . Where his Bobness could be frustratingly oblique, Van Ronk is concrete to the point of 3-D.'' --Library Journal
''A funny, insightful, and honest recounting . . . Many readers may go to the book looking for stories about other people, including Dylan -- and they are here -- but along the way they will discover, or rediscover, the story of Dave Van Ronk.'' --Associated Press
''Filled with amusing, colourful anecdotes.'' --Chart
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