A Coen Brothers Movie About Dave Van Ronk?


Reports are going around, including from the Los Angeles Times, that the Coen Brothers plan to make a movie loosely based on 1950s-1960s folk-singer Dave Van Ronk and the New York folk scene. It will be great to see the Coens creating another movie based around great music like O Brother Where Art Thou?

If you watched Martin Sorsese’s documentary about Bob Dylan, No Direction Home, you might recall that one of the most interesting interviewees in the movie was Dave Van Ronk. Van Ronk was a folk singer in Greenwich Village during the 1960s, and he was a friend and supporter to many of the singers who would go on to more fame than he achieved, such as Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Van Ronk passed away in 2002 while he was working on a memoir, which was then completed by his collaborator Elijah Wald. The book, which will be used by the Coens, is titled after one of Van Ronk’s nicknames, The Mayor Of MacDougal Street.

This video features Van Ronk near the end of his life talking about the song ‘Green Rocky Road,” along with a 1980 performance of the song.

When I go by Baltimore,
Ain’t no carpet on the floor.
Come along and follow me;
Must go down to Galilee,
Singin’ green, green rocky road,
Promenade in’ green;
Tell me who ya love,
Tell me who ya love.

What do you think about the plans of the Coen Brothers? Who should play the Van Ronk character in the movie? Leave a comment.

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