April 11 in History: Bob Dylan Plays Greenwich Village for the First Time

Macdougal Street, Greenwich Village
Macdougal Street, Greenwich Village via Steve Santore

After a few months of hard times in New York town, Bob Dylan played his first professional gig at Gerde's Folk City on April 11, 1961.

Playing as the opening act for John Lee Hooker, Dylan was supposedly eyed for a position after Woody Guthrie asked to hear him play at a get-together. The venue had only been open a year, but would go on to debut many of the acts that would define the sound of the '60s and '70s folk revival.

Dylan's career would quickly take off, and by October 1961, Dylan would be signed to Columbia Records.

Gerde's Folk City was located at 11 West 4th, now the site of the Hebrew Union College campus.

Take a trip through Dylan's NYC history in the (slightly NSFW) video below, which is a modern visit to all the Greenwich Village locations that Dylan called home.


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