Izzy Young, who organized Dylan’s first big concert, dies

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Izzy Young, a former music store owner who organized Bob Dylan’s first New York concert and devoted decades of his life supporting folk musicians, has died at age 90.

Young’s daughter, Philomene Grandin, said Wednesday that her father died of natural causes late Monday at his home in Stockholm. Before he moved to Sweden in 1973 and went into business there, Young ran a folk music shop in New York that nurtured a generation of artists.

Dylan was a regular visitor to the Folklore Center, the shop Young opened in Greenwich Village in 1957, and once called it “the citadel of Americana folk music.”

Young kept his eyes and ears open for talent as people with guitars and sheets of song lyrics went in and out of his store, inviting some to perform there.

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He organized Dylan’s first major public concert. The Nov. 4, 1961 gig took place at Carnegie Chapter Hall, a small venue connected to the venerable Carnegie Hall.

Others who played at the Folklore Center early in their careers include Peter Paul and Mary, John Sebastian of The Lovin’ Spoonful, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris and Tim Buckley, according to Young’s website.

In Stockholm, Young reopened his shop as the Folklore Centre. It closed at the end of November due to his age, his daughter said.

Grandin said her father dedicated over 60 years to promoting folk music and musicians who wrote and performed songs in the genre.

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“He had opened his heart to so many people, so many poets who came to his shop,” Grandin told The Associated Press. “And he was a fantastic father.”

She spent several months last year cataloging and packing up Young’s library of some 2,000 titles, with a view to selling it as one collection.

He is survived by his daughter, a son and three grandchildren. Funeral services will be held in Stockholm, Grandin said.