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Dave Van Ronk


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Dave Van Ronk (June 30, 1936 – February 10, 2002) was a folk singer born in Brooklyn, New York, who settled in Greenwich Village, New York City, and was nicknamed the “Mayor of MacDougal Street.”

He was best known as a pioneer of the acoustic blues revival, but his work ranged from old English ballads to Bertolt Brecht, rock, New Orleans jazz, and swing. He was a pioneer of instrumental ragtime guitar, as well as an early supporter of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, among many others. Van Ronk was very influential on the music scene in New York City in the 1960s.

His musical career started when he moved from Brooklyn to Queens in 1951 and started to sing in a barbershop quartet.

Van Ronk died of colorectal cancer (colon cancer) in 2002.


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  • Theeboon

    I don't know 'bout you folks but his music is much more interesting and enjoyable to me than that of any succesful folkie from that era (hhrrrnng Bob hurrrrrrrrrr Dylan)

    Yesterday 2:30pm Reply
  • UprootMusic

    It seems each new artist I discover in my quest winds up to be deceased. Love his music and could listen to him talking all day. Tracking down a copy of his guitar lesson dvd.

    13 Jul 4:14pm Reply
  • Jeff_Ferguson

    He's the real folksinger.

    5 Apr 12:45pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    don't just listen to one song, he is great

    28 Mar 10:18pm Reply
  • maurits2711

    "Hang Me, Oh Hang Me" is just stunning.

    25 Mar 9:24am Reply
  • Jack492

    Unashamedly only came to know his music after the recent cohen brother's film, but he is a fine folk artist, great find!

    28 Feb 5:16am Reply
  • jack_rae

    Thanks Inside Llewyn Davis

    3 Feb 9:57pm Reply
  • ninjabilli

    Like terrellatrophy I too read about him in Dylan's Chronicles. Watched Inside Llewyn Davis last night, good film but nothing like the man. This guy is the real deal.

    27 Jan 11:39am Reply
  • Melvin_P

    Heard "In the Pines" for the first time a few years ago, and recently started listening to his other works. Absolutely brilliant.

    29 Nov 2013 Reply
  • imaginaryangie

    I cannot believe I'm just hearing this guy for the first time in the past week! How have I missed him for so long?? Glad to find him now and hoping to make up for lost time. :)

    20 Aug 2013 Reply
  • bliksala


    28 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Tostaky


    11 Jul 2013 Reply
  • zan666

    First listen for me today... I love how clean his music sounds; full of soul.

    22 Jun 2013 Reply
  • manisimmati

    Just getting into Dave van Ronk. I really like his voice and the "sparse" atmosphere of his songs.

    17 May 2013 Reply
  • WTWH

    High Quality version of the same photo which is the main photo at the moment, Click here and vote it up

    3 Mar 2013 Reply
  • caldoriaheights

    in before.

    25 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Sgt_Baker

    So under-appreciated for important he was in the folk-revival and the general cannon of American music.

    3 Jan 2013 Reply
  • SimonePerrota

    You just know by his delivery that he's been imitated many times.

    17 Nov 2012 Reply
  • SledzWSS

    only 34 shouts. wat [2]

    23 Sep 2012 Reply
  • HeyJazzMan

    Really puts his soul in songs like House Of The Rising Sun (what a rendition!), Wanderin' and Dink's Song. I love this man. Rest in peace, Dave.

    14 Apr 2012 Reply
  • All 57 shouts