June 30: The Late Great Dave Van Ronk was born in 1936

I’d heard Van Ronk back in the Midwest on records and thought he was pretty great, copied some of his recordings phrase for phrase. […] Van Ronk could howl and whisper, turn blues into ballads and ballads into blues. I loved his style. He was what the city was all about. In Greenwich Village, Van Ronk was king of the street, he reigned supreme.
-Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)

House of the Rising Sun:

No Direction Home” – Bob Dylan House of The Rising Sun:

Birth name David Kenneth Ritz Van Ronk
Born June 30, 1936
Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Died February 10, 2002 (aged 65)
New York City, New York, United States
Genres Folk, ragtime, blues, country blues
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar, piano
Years active 1959–2002

 

David Kenneth Ritz “Dave” Van Ronk (June 30, 1936 – February 10, 2002) was an American folk singer. An important figure in the American folk music revival and New York City’s Greenwich Village scene in the 1960s, he was nicknamed the “Mayor of MacDougal Street”.

Van Ronk’s work ranged from old English ballads to blues, gospel, rock, New Orleans jazz, and swing. He was also known for performing instrumental ragtime guitar music, especially his transcription of “St. Louis Tickle” and Scott Joplin‘s “Maple Leaf Rag”. Van Ronk was a widely admired avuncular figure in “the Village”, presiding over the coffeehouse folk culture and acting as a friend to many up-and-coming artists by inspiring, assisting, and promoting them. Folk performers whom he befriended include Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Patrick Sky, Phil Ochs, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Joni Mitchell. Bob Dylan recorded Van Ronk’s arrangement of the traditional song “House of the Rising Sun” on his first album, which the Animals turned into a chart-topping rock single in 1964, helping inaugurate the folk-rock movement.

Van Ronk received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in December 1997. He died in a New York hospital of cardiopulmonary failure while undergoing postoperative treatment for colon cancer.

[A] tall, garrulous hairy man of three quarters, or, more accurately, three fifths Irish descent. Topped by light brownish hair and a leonine beard, which he smoothed down several times a minute, he resembled an unmade bed strewn with books, record jackets, pipes, empty whiskey bottles, lines from obscure poets, finger picks, and broken guitar strings. He was (Dylan)’s first New York guru. Van Ronk was a walking museum of the blues. Through an early interest in jazz, he had gravitated toward black music – its jazz pole, its jug-band and ragtime center, its blues bedrock… his manner was rough and testy, disguising a warm, sensitive core. Van Ronk retold the blues intimately… for a time, his most dedicated follower was (Bob) Dylan.
-Robert Shelton

Dave Van Ronk – The Folk Blues Of (Not Now Music) [Full Album]


-Egil

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