Anarchy Man!

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The Anarchist Encyclopedia:
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// -- Dave Van Ronk
anarchist songster

Dave Van Ronk, anarchist Wobbly songster

Dave Van Ronk cashed his checks & joined Mississippi John & Rev Gary Davis playing music on Mars with the I.W.W. choir.

— Bleedster Cordley Coit

Gone, Sunday, February 10, 2002,  to "...Another Time & Place":

David —

I saw Dave Van Ronk for the first time at the first Vancouver Folk Festival
I attended many lifetimes ago.  I dozed off on the ground in my sleeping
bag in front of the main tent during an evening concert.

I awoke slowly to a sky full of stars and to his incomparable voice filling
the night with "Candy Man."

In all the years since, I've never heard the expression,

"I thought I'd died and gone to heaven,"

without remembering Vancouver & Dave Van Ronk.

—Love, Ruth S.
June 30, 1936 — Dave Van Ronk lives. American songster. Unfortunately better-known for nurturing & helping Bob Dylan get his music career off the ground than for his own music.
In 1959, Dick Ellington & Dave Van Ronk wrote & self-published THE BOSS'S SONGBOOK, the subtitle of which was "Songs To Stifle the flames of discontent". It was supposed to be a humorous collection, consciously modeled on the IWW Little Red Songbook.

Dick had a Multilith 1250 & did some movement printing in New York City during the 1950s, including VIEWS AND COMMENTS, which was published by the Libertarian League. It was either a weekly or biweekly paper edited by Sam Dolgoff & Russell Blackwell.

— Robby Barnes

"Of course I was aware of the folk music thing in Washington Square. I had been hanging around the village for a few years by this time, & the sight and sound of happily howling Stalinists offended my assiduously nurtured self-image as a hipster, not to mention my political sensibilities, which were at the time vehemently I.W.W. — anarchist."

Far more than one of the founding figures of the 1960s, Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002) was also ’among other things’ a pioneer of modern acoustic blues, a fine songwriter & arranger, a powerful singer, & one of the most influential guitarists of the 60s, as well as a peerless musical historian & storyteller. "The Man" (Tom Paxton) was in the mix with Bob Dylan (who slept on Van Ronk's couch for his first year in NY), Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, & Joni Mitchell, as well as older luminaries Woody Guthrie & Odetta.

"In the engine room of the NY Folk Scene shoveling coal into the furnace, one Big Man rules. Dog-faced roustabout songster. Bluesman, Dave Van Ronk.

Long may he howl."

— Tom Waits


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