Vanished Venues: Gerde's Folk City

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Our series on great concert halls and nightclubs from New York music history continues with a look at Gerde's Folk City, a hub for the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1960s and ‘70s – and the site of Bob Dylan’s first professional gig.

As part of our series Vanished Venues, we talk with Dylan biographer Sean Wilentz and singer Suzzy Roche. Plus: folk trio (and Gerde’s regulars) The Roches perform their song “Face Down at Folk City.”

 

Brother John Sellers and Jack Baker at Gerde's Folk City in March 1961
Brother John Sellers and Jack Baker at Gerde's Folk City in March 1961 ( Photo by Marcia Stehrr/Face Down at Folk City Facebook Group )
 Folk music had a home at Gerde’s. This poster is from 1962.
Folk music had a home at Gerde’s. This poster is from 1962. ( Courtesy of Happy Traum/Face Down at Folk City Facebook Group )
Many singer-songwriters of the 1960s and 1970s found their voices at Gerde’s. Peggy Atwood, pictured here, was Folk City's resident country and western star.
Many singer-songwriters of the 1960s and 1970s found their voices at Gerde’s. Peggy Atwood, pictured here, was Folk City's resident country and western star. ( Photo by NY MusicAwards/Face Down at Folk City Facebook group )
A group song at Gerdes, featuring Mark Dann, Lucinda Williams, James Humphrey, Marie Gabrielle, Bernadette Contreras, Karan Bunin and Jeff Ampolsk.
A group song at Gerdes, featuring Mark Dann, Lucinda Williams, James Humphrey, Marie Gabrielle, Bernadette Contreras, Karan Bunin and Jeff Ampolsk. ( Photo by NY MusicAwards/Face Down at Folk City Facebook group )
Peggy Duncan-Garner tends bar
Peggy Duncan-Garner tends bar ( Photo by Theodore Lee/Face Down at Folk City Facebook Group )
Odetta performs on stage at Gerdes Folk City.
Odetta performs on stage at Gerdes Folk City. ( Photo by Theodore Lee/Face Down at Folk City Facebook Group )
In 1970 Gerde’s Folk City moved from 11 West 4th Street to 130 West 3rd Street. It closed its doors in 1987.
In 1970 Gerde’s Folk City moved from 11 West 4th Street to 130 West 3rd Street. It closed its doors in 1987. ( Photo by Theodore Lee/Face Down at Folk City Facebook Group )
In 2000, a new nightclub, The Village Underground, opened in the basement of Folk City’s former home.
In 2000, a new nightclub, The Village Underground, opened in the basement of Folk City’s former home. ( Photo by Tiffany Camhi )
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