Izzy Young, Organizer of Bob Dylan’s First Big Concert, Dies at 90


Izzy Young, a businessman, political activist and founding patron of the Greenwich Village folks music scene who organized Bob Dylan’s first main New York live performance and devoted many years to supporting different musicians, has died at age 90.

Young’s daughter, Philomene Grandin, mentioned Wednesday that her father died of pure causes late Monday at his house in Stockholm. Before he moved to Sweden in 1973 and went into enterprise there, Young ran a folks music store in New York that nurtured a technology of artists.

Starting within the 1950s, Greenwich Village was the middle of a folks music revival that helped launch the careers of Dylan, Joni Mitchell and lots of others. Young, as a lot as anybody, made the revival attainable. In 1957, he opened the Folklore Center, remembered by Dylan as an “historical chapel, like a shoebox sized institute,” an important stopping level the place followers and folks performers would cease by for every thing from previous sheet music to obscure music books.

In 1960, Young had one other inspiration — to broaden folks music past espresso homes and produce it to a restaurant, an Italian place known as Gerde’s. When Dylan moved from Minnesota to New York within the winter of 1961, Gerde’s was an early cease. He performed his first skilled gig there, in April. A Dylan efficiency at Gerde’s in September of that yr was attended by The New York Times’ Robert Shelton, whose evaluate established Dylan as a rising star and introduced him his first report deal.

In November 1961, Young organized Dylan’s first main present outdoors of Greenwich Village, at Carnegie Chapter Hall, a small auditorium related to Carnegie Hall.

Young additionally gave early breaks to different high folks and folk-rock performers, together with Mitchell, John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful and Peter Paul and Mary, and later befriended Patti Smith. He wrote a column for the folks music publication “Sing Out!” and helped set up a 1961 protest — recognized and misnamed as “The Beatnik Riot” — after Parks Commissioner Newbold Morris stopped issuing permits for people musicians in Washington Square Park. It started as a peaceable gathering, however ended with police harassing protesters, shoving some to the bottom, and carrying others off. The metropolis quickly resumed permitting folkies within the park.

A movie of the occasion confirmed Young telling police that it was less than “Commissioner Morris to inform the folks what sort of music is nice or dangerous. He’s telling folks folks music brings degenerates, however it’s not so.”

In Stockholm, Young reopened his store because the Folklore Centre. It closed on the finish of November as a consequence of his age, his daughter mentioned.

The son of Jewish Polish immigrants, Young was born on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. After attending Brooklyn College, he labored for a couple of years at his father’s bakery earlier than deciding to enter enterprise for himself. Grandin mentioned her father devoted over 60 years to selling folks music and musicians.

“He had opened his coronary heart to so many individuals, so many poets who got here to his store,” Grandin informed The Associated Press. “And he was a implausible father.”

She spent a number of months final yr cataloging and packing up Young’s library of some 2,000 titles, with a view to promoting it as one assortment.

He is survived by his daughter, a son and three grandchildren. Funeral providers will probably be held in Stockholm, Grandin mentioned.