Folk City

Via NYU Archives

Opening officially on January 26, 1960, Bob Dylan played his first professional gig here in 1961. He opened for John Lee Hooker. Logan English, a local singer and poet was instrumental in getting Dylan his first appearance. His widow Barbara Shutner said:

“My husband Logan English and I met Bob Dylan at Bob and Sid Gleason’s house… One night we were all sitting around and Woody [Guthrie] said something like, “Play something” to this kid sitting on the couch. The kid was Bob Dylan, and he sang and it was just beautiful. So Logan said, “I’m working at Gerde’s. I’m the MC. We’ll get you to play there.” So that Monday night, Bob came in and did his first set.” (Quoted in John Bauldie, Wanted Man: In Search of Bob Dylan, London, 1990, p. 37.)

Gerde’s became one of the best known music venues of the time, helping to launch the careers of several world-renowned musical acts. It became one of the top music clubs in America before finally losing its lease in 1987. “Rolling Stone Book of Lists” called Folk City one of the three top music venues in the world, along with The Cavern and CBGB.

Other Notable Concerts Played At Gerde’s Folk City:

2/13/1986 – They Might Be Giants
1/29/1986 – The Smithereens
8/17/1984 – T-Bone Burnett
10/7/1983 – Big Mama Thornton
3/11/1983 – Rick Danko
10/23/1975 – Patti Smith Group
2/18/1965 – Simon & Garfunkel
1/29/1964 – John Lee Hooker
4/29/1962 – Bob Dylan
8/18/1961 – Peter Yarrow
8/11/1961 – Judy Collins

Some Of The Artists That Played Here Include:

Joan Baez
Pat Benatar
The Band
Johnny Cash
T-Bone Burnett
Harry Chapin
Elvis Costello
David Crosby
John Denver
The Mamas and The Papas
The Byrds
Arlo Guthrie
Tim Hardin
Richie Havens,
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Jimi Hendrix
John Lee Hooker
Janis Ian
Janis Joplin
Al Kooper
Melissa Manchester
Buffy Sainte-Marie
Bette Midler
Liza Minnelli
the Minutemen
Joni Mitchell
Linda Ronstadt
Carly Simon
Simon and Garfunkel (as Kane & Garr)
Patti Smith
Phoebe Snow
The Smithereens
Steely Dan
10,000 Maniacs
Muddy Waters
The Youngbloods

Gerde’s Folk City
11 W 4th St
New York NY 10012