Back in 2005, we talked with Elijah Wald about his biography of folksinger Dave Van Ronk, The Mayor of MacDougal Street. Wald was Van Ronk's guitar student and finished the book after the influential musician died in 2002.
Wald's book — a first-person account of the Greenwich Village folk-music scene in the late '50s and early '60s — inspired the upcoming film Inside Llewyn Davis. Much of the lead character's repertoire and story comes from Van Ronk. In this archived interview, Wald discusses this pivotal time and what Van Ronk represents.