The Real Dave Van Ronk: By those who knew him.

Dave Van Ronk as Elder Statesman

The new Coen Brothers movie “Inside Llewyn Davis” has raised Dave Van Ronk’s profile quite a bit and has set off a groundswell of opposition to the way the  movie makers promoted the film as ‘based upon’ Van Ronk’s memoir “The Mayor of MacDougal Street.”  To those who knew the man and experienced the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early and mid 1960’s the film’s portrayal of the scene can only be described as dark and somewhat one-dimensional.  There is actually little taken directly from the memoir and there isn’t even a character in the film that honestly resembles Van Ronk.

On American Pastimes we feature a one hour special broadcast of Angela Page interviewing the folks who knew the man, the real Dave Van Ronk: Christine Lavin, Suzanne Vega, Dave Massengill, Andrea Vuocculo - Dave's widow from an earlier marriage, Elijah Wald (Van Ronk’s biographer / author of “Mayor of MacDougal Street”) and "SingOut!" editor Mark Moss.  Also featured on the show are excerpts of Van Ronk interviews and his musings and of course his music.

The Mayor (far right) and his subjects on MacDougal Street
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Angela’s show “Folkplus” was originally broadcast and streamed on January 21, 2013 on hydro-powered volunteer run public radio WJFF 90.5 FM and www.wjffradio.org from Jeffersonville in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

Angela at the "Folkplus" mic

Angela has hosted “Folkplus” (folkplus.com) since 1993. It is broadcast on Saturdays and archived. Prior to her radio experience she had over 30 years in the folk music world running venues such as Greenwich Village’s “Speakeasy Club” on MacDougal Street where she worked with Van Ronk, and writing for “SingOut!” magazine and “Fast Folk Musical Magazine.”  Angela has developed extreme chemical sensitivities and intolerance and now produces her program from home.

A special thanks to Angela for graciously allowing KZFR to re-broadcast “Folkplus.”  It is the best presentation and portrayal of Dave Van Ronk’s legacy that has come out of the “Llweyn Davis” controversies.

Here's an interesting article about another folksinger who is "represented" in the film:

www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2013/12/19/new-bedford-folk-hero-paul-clayton-colors-inside-llewyn-davis/ngl8FfziaiKeahUS1mHDoM/story.html


"Inside Llweyn Davis" is currently playing at the Pageant Theater in Chico.





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