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Review: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk

16 Apr 05 - 01:31 PM (#1463030)
Subject: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: dwditty

A few years ago, I had occasion to sit and chat with Dave Van Ronk for about 30 minutes or so. The man's personality is so consistent in his sining and playing, his story telling, and, as I found out, his conversation. I have just started reading the newly released Mayor of MacDougal - Dave's autobiography which has been completed by Elijah Wald. The book reads exactly like one last conversation with DVR.

A CD of DVR recordings (including his very 1st, I think) is also available HERE (url in case the clickie does not work: http://www.worldmusicstore.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=11801

There is a link to almost an hour of material in Sidetracks - excerpts, interviews, and songs available there as well.

This is not an Advertisement. DVR is may all-time musical hero.

dw


16 Apr 05 - 04:36 PM (#1463148)
Subject: RE: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: Jerry Rasmussen

Thanks for psoting this, DW! I'll have to pick up the book. Dave sure was an unforgettable character (although I doubt he ever would have made the Reader's Digest column of that title..

Jerry


16 Apr 05 - 05:12 PM (#1463160)
Subject: RE: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

A fellow Merchant Seaman and a wonderful musician too. Thanks DW and I hope to hear you sing a version of his "All my trials" song one day, which was one of my favourite DVR songs..
Yours, Aye. Dave


17 Apr 05 - 12:01 AM (#1463310)
Subject: RE: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: Francy

Tom Russell's tribute to Dave on his latest CD "Hotwalker" is pure poetry music........Frank of Toledo


18 Apr 05 - 12:01 PM (#1464377)
Subject: RE: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: dwditty

As I go through this book, it occurs to me that there are likely several (or maybe even many) mudcatters referred to in this history of Greenwich Village.


22 Jul 05 - 02:11 PM (#1525492)
Subject: RE: Review: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: Peter T.

Interesting book, could have been three times as long. One feels he was only getting rolling.

Our own Dick Greenhaus is mentioned fondly. Not to mention the belly dancer.

yours,

Peter T.


22 Jul 05 - 04:27 PM (#1525631)
Subject: RE: Review: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: dick greenhaus

Autobiography, like folk music, is above mere accuracy. Kiki was a modern (and ballet) dancer; she did do some belly dancing, but that was several years later.


22 Jul 05 - 10:55 PM (#1525938)
Subject: RE: Review: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: Peter T.

Oh well, I knew it was too Ronk to be true.

Of all the books so far on this topic, I must confess that Dylan's Chronicles, part 1, is the best, maybe not for facts, but for sheer writing.

yours,

Peter T.


23 Jul 05 - 10:25 AM (#1526226)
Subject: RE: Review: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: PoppaGator

I bought the book from Dick, read it, enjoyed it immensely, and have quoted from it in at least one Mudcat thread.

That discussion concerned the speeded-up recording of some 1920s-30s 78rpm singles ~ Van Ronk relates a great Mississippi John Hurt story about a song (Frankie's Blues) that MJH didn't really play at the impossibly fast tempo presented by the original record. The recording engineer had adjusted the speed to make the song fit on one side of a 78, and years later, a few blues-crazy guitar players drove themselves nuts trying to imitate what they were hearing. When John Hurt had been "rediscovered" and came to visit New York, he told the true story and set everyone straight.

I rarely buy books, relying on the public library to support my serious reading habit. Unfortunately, this wonderful book is not being purchased by the New Orleans Public Library, so I now own a copy. You should too!


23 Jul 05 - 11:21 AM (#1526244)
Subject: RE: Review: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: Judge Mental

Dave Van Ronk honored me on many occasions by having me as a guest in his apartment. When I read the book, I felt like I was back at Sheridan Square, drinking chilled white wine, listening to his stories. I miss the big guy.


23 Jul 05 - 06:45 PM (#1526562)
Subject: RE: Review: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: Big Al Whittle

It is a fabulous book, by a great writer and very sincere fan of Dave - genuinely interested in the way that he lived and how his life worked out the way it did.

Try the Josh White book by the same author.

I think what comes out is his respect of both these artists and their attempts to live a civilised decent life through times that didn't always help them.

I am an Elijah Wald fan.

all the best

big al whittle


17 Jun 09 - 11:41 AM (#2658618)
Subject: RE: Review: Mayor of MacDougal - Van Ronk
From: Cool Beans

Finally got around to reading it. I loved it!! I laughed nonstop for five minutes at the true story behind the Folkways LP "Sounds of a South American Rain Forest."