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MacDougal Mayor Dave Van Ronk: Inspiration For Llewyn Davis

When the Coen Brothers first started working on their latest film, Inside Llewyn Davis, about the folk scene in mid-20th Century Greenwich Village, they started with a singular image: Songwriter Dave Van Ronk being punched out in the street.

How and why that happened was the springboard for the fictional film, which is not ultimately a pure Van Ronk biopic. But the movie has helped reignite interest in the life and career of Van Ronk, who died in 2002, leaving his memoir unfinished.

Writer and musician Elijah Wald picked up the thread, and The Mayor of MacDougal Street is now out in a new paperback from Da Capo Press.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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