Dubbed “The Mayor of MacDougal Street,” Dave Van Ronk (1936–2002) was an iconoclastic folksinger and an influential figure in the American folk music revival of the 1960s. Because of his interest in African Americanfolk music and blues, and his gift (or curse) of a gravelly baritone voice, Van Ronk was often criticized for his approach to his musical repertoire. His rejoinder was that he reserved the right to sing songs in the style that he deemed to be “the right way.” This 1959 Folkways recording, his first on any label, is a collection of 19th- and early 20th-century traditional folk and blues songs that persuasively illustrates his stance. Remastered from original LP Master Tapes in 1959 in Classic Folkways style tip-on jackets featuring original liner notes.

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