Manuscripts of early, unrecorded Bob Dylan songs go to auction

Manuscripts of early, unrecorded Bob Dylan songs go to auction
Bob Dylan, photographed in 1962, gave New York folk enthusiast Izzy Young manuscripts of two songs that Young will have auctioned on Thursday to support his Folklore Centrum in Sweden. (Don Hunstein / Columbia)

An early mentor of Bob Dylan who helped the aspiring musician get his career rolling in New York is auctioning of a pair of manuscripts Dylan gave him more than 50 years ago to generate money to support his folklore center in Sweden.

Dylan met folk music enthusiast Izzy Young when he first arrived in New York in 1961 and found his way to Young's Folklore Center in Greenwich Village, where he soon was introduced to Dave Van Ronk and other members of the New York folk community.


"One day a guy comes into my store, hangs around like anyone, quiet, plays with everyone around," Young said in a statement. "And he also goes through the entire library I had, sheet music, all the sample recordings for folk to listen to before buying, hardly talking, working all the time. And one day Dylan comes up to my 'desk' and drops a paper with a song called 'The Talking Folklore Center.'"

Dylan never recorded "The Talking Folklore Center," which he wrote in 1962, or "Go Away You Bomb" from the following year, but the manuscripts he gave Young a half-century ago will go up for auction on Thursday through Christie's New York auction house.

Young, 86, now runs the Folklore Centrum in Stockholm, where he moved in 1972, and continues to promote folk music and nurture young musicians.

A sample lyric from "The Talking Folklore Center":

You get daft and I'll get dizzy
We'll go down to see old Izzy
What did the fly say to the flea
Folklore Center is the place for me

Young introduced Dylan to Van Ronk, a key inspiration, and also promoted his first concert on Nov. 4, 1961, at Carnegie Chapter Hall, which drew an audience of 53 people and Dylan cleared $10.

Christie's pre-auction estimate for the manuscripts, which will be sold together as one lot, is $40,000 to $60,000.

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