My Greenwich Village: Dave, Bob and Me

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"Terri Thal’s memoir is told from the privileged position of not only having been there for the crowning, but as a woman on the cultural front lines. Her detailed recall brings a fresh perspective on the Greenwich Village folk scene of the ‘60s." ― Marc Eliot, best-selling author of Phil Ochs: Death of a Rebel

Terri Thal was very much a part of the folk music world in 1960s Greenwich Village, New York. Few people know that she was 21-year-old Bob Dylan’s first manager prior to his contract with Albert Grossman and Columbia Records. She also managed musician Dave Van Ronk (who later became her husband), and others to include the Roche sisters, Paul Geremia and The Holy Modal Rounders. She booked performances at coffee houses, clubs and basket houses. On 6 September 1961, she recorded a set from a young Bob at The Gaslight Café – a celebrated performance as it is one his first known live recordings, and the first known live recording to feature original songs. This concert became known to Dylan fans as the First Gaslight Tape! Terri took this ‘audition’ tape to clubs and concert producers, trying to get him gigs – and she still owns the original reel-to-reel tape! She had many friends in Greenwich Village including Suze Rotolo and a number of seminal 1960s folk musicians.

Terri Thal has two passions: folk music and social justice.

This is a personal story of the world of folk music in 1960s New York written by a Jewish woman from Brooklyn who, although not a musician, was an intrinsic part of this scene. Terri describes Greenwich Village as a community that was supportive, musically exciting and one in which people had fun.

Terri tells us what it was like to hang out in the Village coffee houses, to host folk singers like Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs who hung out at her apartment, and to be a manager. We hear her view and involvement of the 1960s socialist organizations, and how she later merged her professional work in not- for-profit agencies.