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Search results for: "John Cohen"

A man plays a banjo on a porch swing

John Cohen’s Vega Whyte Laydie Banjo

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The American Folklife Center has recently acquired a five-string Fairbanks Vega banjo donated by musician, photographer, and filmmaker John Cohen before his death in 2019. The John Cohen banjo is extraordinary for three reasons: it is in itself a classic instrument, a beautiful example of a Fairbanks Vega banjo with a Whyte Laydie tone ring and an unusual tone projector; it belonged to John Cohen, one of the most significant figures in the revival of the five-string banjo; and it was often played by Roscoe Holcomb, a singular artist and crucial figure in American traditional music. Read more about the banjo's history, see pictures, and follow links to some video of the banjo being played, all in this blog post!

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

There is No Eye: The John Cohen collection is ready for research

Posted by: Nicole Saylor

This is a guest post by archivist Maya Lerman, who completed processing on the John Cohen collection. Maya has written for the blog about her work on this collection previously, and another of our staff, Todd Harvey, offered a recollection of Cohen’s rich body of documentation upon his passing last year. Musician, visual artist, writer, …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Inspiration for an Archivist: John Cohen, Tommy Jarrell, and the Blue Ridge.

Posted by: Stephen Winick

This guest post by AFC archivist Maya Lerman is part of a series of posts called Staff Finds During Difficult Times, in which staff members discuss collections and items that have been inspiring them while they are working at home during the covid-19 pandemic or in other difficult circumstances. Maya discusses her work on the John Cohen collection and the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection. The blog includes embedded old-time music and interviews with John Cohen and Tommy Jarrell.

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Remembering John Cohen (1932-2019)

Posted by: John Fenn

This is a guest post by Todd Harvey, reference specialist and acquisitions coordinator at the American Folklife Center. Todd worked closely with John Cohen in recent years, and was able to conduct an oral history interview with him in 2012. The American Folklife Center sadly notes the passing of collection donor and longtime friend, John …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Homegrown Plus: John Cohen & the Down Hill Strugglers

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In the Homegrown Plus series, we present Homegrown concerts that also had accompanying oral history interviews, placing both together in an easy-to-find blog post. (Find the whole series here!) We’re continuing the series with John Cohen and the Down Hill Strugglers performing Treasures From the Archive Roadshow. John Cohen is a founding member of the New Lost …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

A Visit From John Cohen

Posted by: Stephen Winick

The following is a guest post from Todd Harvey, a curator and reference specialist at the American Folklife Center archives, Library of Congress. It is a banner day when John Cohen visits the American Folklife Center. We greet him as an old friend, though in truth John has a longer association with the Center and …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Collection Connections: Hubby Jenkins Homegrown Concert, August 11

Posted by: Stephen Winick

We're excited for this week’s Homegrown concert from Hubby Jenkins, who will be playing old-time songs and spirituals that are the root of American folk, country, blues, and gospel. The concert premieres at noon on August 11 on our Facebook page. After that, the concert will be available permanently at his concert page, where you can also read more about Hubby. For now, I’ll just say that he's an old-time and blues musician living in New York. He's a singer and multi-instrumentalist who plays guitars, banjos, mandolins, and bones. He has been a member of the Rhiannon Giddens Band, and before that the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops.  As a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, he played at the Library of Congress back in 2012. In this post, I’ll try to whet your appetites by talking about a few of the songs Hubby plays in the concert, and presenting related field recordings from our collections.

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

“Doing Something Useful:” A Tribute to AFC’s longtime volunteer, Howard Kramer

Posted by: Nicole Saylor

This is a guest post by processing coordinator Ann Hoog, who among many other things, coordinates interns and volunteers at the American Folklife Center. One of the American Folklife Center’s long-time volunteers, Marshall Howard Kramer, passed away April 30, 2020, of COVID-19. Howard was a beloved member of AFC’s family for nearly 20 years. He …