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Dave Van Ronk

Nicknamed the Mayor of MacDougal Street, Dave Van Ronk was a native of New York City and a prominent figure in the folk music scene. He arrived at Washington Square Park during the folk revivalist boom in the 1950s and quickly made a name for himself as a raconteur, troubadour, and provocateur. Despite living hand-to-mouth, he taught himself to play guitar and became known for his eclectic blend of dixieland jazz, ragtime, blues, vaudeville, and other styles.

Van Ronk's music eluded classification and he often clashed with the commercial music industry due to his unique sound. He described himself as an "inconsistent" artist who would take on any style that he liked. Although primarily an arranger rather than a songwriter, he received recognition for his contributions to music when he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.

Throughout his career spanning over four decades, Van Ronk released albums on various labels including [l20694], [l19591], [l39357], [l30679], [l1610], [l31486], and more. He continued performing live until his death in 2002 from complications following colon cancer surgery. His autobiography written with Elijah Wald titled "The Mayor of MacDougal Street" was published posthumously along with a live album recorded towards the end

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