« T.I. teases "ATL" sequel with cast reunion photos | Main | Old Dominion's self-fulfilling prophecy: "Happy Endings" lives up to its name »

Murray Lerner, filmmaker who captured Dylan "going electric" at Newport Folk Festival, dead at 90

Jason Kempin/Getty ImagesMurray Lerner, the filmmaker whose 1967 documentary Festival features footage of Bob Dylan's historic "electric" performance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, died Saturday of kidney failure at the age of 90, Variety reports. Lerner's son, Noah, a writer and producer for HBO, says his father passed away at his home in Long Island City, New York, after being ill for about three months.

"He was a complete filmmaker," Noah tells Variety. "A cinematographer first and foremost, but someone who also wrote, edited, produced, and directed."

Festival features highlights from the Newport Folk Festival from 1963 through 1966, and most famously includes footage of Dylan's first live performance playing an electric guitar, which caused a great deal of controversy among traditional folk music fans at the time. The movie also features appearances by Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul and Mary, Judy Collins, Donovan, Howlin' Wolf and many other musicians.

In 1981, Lerner won a Best Documentary Oscar for From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China. His credits also include the 1995 documentary Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival, which features performances from the star-studded 1970 U.K. fest, an event that included the final major appearances by Jimi Hendrix and The Doors' Jim Morrison. Murray's Isle of Wight footage also was used in a series of other documentaries focusing on individual artists' performances at the festival, including Hendrix, The Who, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Moody Blues, Leonard Cohen, and Miles Davis.

Lerner also co-directed the Grammy-nominated 2007 documentary Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who. Shortly before his death, he was working on a film focusing on Joni Mitchell's 1970 Isle of Wight performance, scheduled to be released next year.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ABC News Radio