|Izzy Young was the guru of American folk music. In this documentary covering his legendary Folklore Center in New York Izzy meets with friends and collaborators like Pete Seeger, Allen Ginsberg, The Fugs, Mayor Ed Koch to reminisce. It includes unique archival footage and folk music from the 1960s.|
Young is credited with playing a crucial role in the rise of folk music in the 1960s, and with catapulting a young Bob Dylan to stardom by arranging his first proper concert, at Carnegie Chapter Hall, in 1961. He opened Izzy Young's Folklore Center on MacDougal Street in New York's Greenwich Village in 1959. It became a focal point for the American folk music scene of the time, a place where one could find such limited circulation publications as Caravan and Gardyloo. From 1959 to 1969, Young wrote a column entitled "Fret and Frails" for the folk music journal Sing Out. He served on the "editorial advisory board" for the magazine until his departure for Sweden a few years later.
Young arranged concerts with folk musicians and songwriters, who often made contacts with other musicians at the Folklore Center. Bob Dylan relates in his memoirs, Chronicles, how he spent time at the Center, where Young allowed him to sit in the backroom of the store, listening to folk music records and reading books. Dylan met Dave Van Ronk in the store, and Young produced Dylan's first concert at Carnegie Chapter Hall in New York City on Saturday, November 4, 1961.
"I broke my ass to get people to come," Young said in a recent interview with Tablet. "Only 52 people showed up but about 300 people remember being there. Everyone wants to say they were there. You understand?"
Dylan wrote a song about the store and Young entitled "Talking Folklore Center".