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Thread: John Cohen 1932-2019

  1. #1
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default John Cohen 1932-2019

    This posted on Facebook by John's son Rufus:
    My father John Cohen passed away this evening at home in his living room. David Amram had stopped by and played him Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia” on the old out-of-tune piano. John was gone a couple of minutes later. Last week he said “Thank you everybody for making me who I was”
    A few weeks ago I played with John and David Amram at an informal gathering at Tompkins Corners Cultural Center. I have played with him at various parties and just hung out. Always an interesting character and full of wonderful stories and a rich life well lived. We will all miss him.

    For those not familiar with him by name, he was one of the founders of the New Lost City Ramblers and remained an inspiration or a few generations in the old time community. He also was a filmmaker, photographer and artist and made many iconic images of the folk and traditional music scene for decades.

    Here's an in-depth interview with John from 2017.
    Jim

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  3. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    RIP Mr. Cohen.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #3

    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    RIP Mr. Cohen. I didn't know him personally but I enjoyed his music.

  5. #4
    Expert on my own opinion Bogle's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    So sad to learn of this.....he was a superb performer, a great interpreter of old-time music, and a wonderful musician.

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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    Was just mentioning John and NLCR on our radio show last week. Sad to hear he is gone. We seem to be losing too many these days.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  7. #6
    Rush Burkhardt Rush Burkhardt's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    RIP John. You and the New Lost City Ramblers helped jump-start old-timey and bluegrass in my heart!
    Rush Burkhardt
    Towson, MD


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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    He gave us a lot of great information and insight and shared what he knew readily. RIP

  9. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    Here is a clip from Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest TV show, John with NLCR members Tracy Schwarz, and Mike Seeger.

    Jim

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  10. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    Here's another more recent video of John with the Dust Busters.

    Jim

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    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  11. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    John was an excellent photographer and there are many iconic photos in his work. You can see some on his publisher's site.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
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    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  12. #11
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    First saw John with NLCR at Eliot House, Harvard, 1962 or thereabouts; this was the old Tom Paley/Mike Seeger/John Cohen version, and some of that concert (who knew someone was taping it?) showed up on their 20 Years of Concert Performance two-LP set. Later, heard him again with the Putnam String County Band -- Jay and Lynn Unger, Abby Newton on cello, and John -- Fox Hollow Festival, 1971-2 or so.

    A true immersion in American traditional music, as a performer, photographer, cinematographer, writer -- every way he could be. Suburban Jewish kid, Yalie, not the background one would expect for a hillbilly musician. But when the music grabs hold of you, ethnicity, class, family background, education, geographic location -- all those factors can become irrelevant. It's the old-timey sound, or the blues, or bluegrass, Cajun, Celtic, klezmer -- whatever reaches you.

    Another major influential of the great folk revival leaves us, but leaves us with a precious legacy.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    Thanks for the statement about the power of music to “grab” you, allenhopkins. It’s not a choice you make...

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    Registered User jdchapman's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Cohen 1932-2019

    I'm grateful, though saddened, to learn this here. Mr. Cohen's contributions to my own education, and joy, in music were huge. I'm sorry I never met him to say so.

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