March 11, 2011
Jack Hardy, Folk Singer, Songwriter and Playwright, Dies in New York
Jack Hardy, folk singer, songwriter and playwright of great influence
to many performers, has died in New York.
Beginning in the mid-seventies, Hardy hosted Monday night pasta
dinners at his apartment on Houston Street, which were open to all
songwriters. He also began a small, informal songwriters' group at The
English Pub in Greenwich Village, which later became a more formal
songwriters' night at the Cornelia Street Cafe in December 1977.
This group would later evolve into the Songwriter's Exchange,
releasing an album on Stash Records in 1980. Eventually, the group
formed a cooperative, led by Hardy, and in 1981 took over the booking
of the "Speak Easy", which became a thriving venue for songwriters.
Hardy was also the founder and first editor of Fast Folk Musical
Magazine in 1982.
He frequently toured with long-time friend and fellow songwriter David
Massengill as a duo called the Folk Brothers. They are pictured below
at last year's 50th reunion concert at Gerde's Folk City.
The hundreds of songwriters who frequented Hardy's apartment
gatherings over the years included Suzanne Vega, Richard Shindell,
John Gorka, Jeff Gold, Wendy Beckerman, Richard Julian, Christian
Bauman, Linda Sharar, Rod MacDonald, Lucy Kaplansky, the Gregory
Brothers and Christine Lavin.
RIP, Jack Hardy.