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Folk Music Promoter And Patron Izzy Young Has Died
A proprietor of Greenwich Village's Folklore Center from 1957 to 1973, Izzy Young helped bring the '60s folk music revival to life, fostering the careers of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, the trio Peter, Paul and Mary, and many more. Young died on Feb. 4 of natural causes in his 90th year, at his home in Stockholm.
An "ancient chapel, like a shoebox sized institute," was how Dylan described the Folklore Center, which sold records, books and sheet music and hosted concerts. Unwilling to leave folk music trapped in coffee houses, Young arranged for regular folk concerts at the Italian restaurant Gerde's, where Dylan made his New York City professional debut in 1960. The following year, Young helped folk music spread beyond the confines of the Village, organizing Dylan's first major performance at Carnegie Chapter Hall, a side venue adjoining Carnegie Hall.
In addition to Dylan, Mitchell and Peter, Paul and Mary, other Folklore Center alumni assisted by Young were Tim Buckley, the Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian and an up-and-coming young poet named Patti Smith.
In 1973, Young closed the Center, moved to Stockholm, Sweden, and opened the Folkore Centrum mingling America's folk heritage with Sweden's own deep history of folk music. He operated the store and venue in several locations, hosting daily concerts until Nov. 2018 when the Centrum was closed due to his declining health.
"He had opened his heart to so many people, so many poets who came to his shop," said Young's daughter Philomene Grandin, "and he was a fantastic father." In addition to Grandin, Young is survived by his son and three grandchildren. His funeral will be held in Stockholm.