Lawrence Cohn

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Lawrence Cohn is best known as one of the creators of Legacy Recordings, a branch of Sony Music Entertainment and as the originator and producer of the Roots 'N' Blues series.

Cohn was educated as a lawyer and became Vice-President of CBS/Epic Records and later head of Playboy Records and Music. One of his responsibilities at CBS was to co-supervise the Country Music Division, he was also COO & minor partner in the short-lived CBS Records-Bob Dylan generated label, "Accomplice Records." [1980-82] He has continued his career as a producer, writer and critic. He wrote Movietone Presents the Twentieth Century (New York : Saint Martin's Press, 1976) and edited Nothing But The Blues : The Music and the Musicians (New York : Abbeville Press, 1993).[1]

He has eight Grammy Award nominations and won Grammy Award for Best Historical Album in 1991 for the "Robert Johnson : The Complete Recordings" project. In the same year he also received the W. C. Handy Award for his work on Robert Johnson and was honored with a Special Distinction Award by the Blues Foundation for his "Contribution to the Blues." Moreover, Sony Music provided him with their first President's Award, for his work on Robert Johnson. He was also selected as one of the "100 Most Important People In The Music Business." [BAM, 1991[

During his tenure at both CBS & Playboy, he was responsible in various ways for the Discovery/Signing/Producing/Career Decisions of many artists including but not limited to: Billy Joel [as "Attila"], Willie Nelson, REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick [as "Fuse"], Edgar Winter, White Trash, Johnny Winter, Fleetwood Mac [Peter Green version], Shuggie Otis, Johnny Otis, Sugarcane Harris, The Johnny Otis Show, Ivory Joe Hunter, ABBA [as "Bjorn & Benny"], Jo Ann Kelly, Brenda Patterson, Sam Phillips [productions], Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders, Lead Belly [first live concert], Otis Blackwell, Gene Austin, Rufus [pre-Chaka Khan], Max Weinberg ["Blackstone"], Poco, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, Jim & Jesse, Bob Luman, David Houston, Jim Messina, Terry Reid, Mashmakan [Canadian super group], Gary Busey ["Carp"], Redbone, CHASE. Santana, Neil Diamond, Taj Mahal, Clancy Bros. & Tommy Makem, Gene Autry, Pete Seeger, Bill Monroe.

Cohn spent several years in Paris, France as the head of a Magazine & Book Publishing Company, he is a "three category" Blues Foundation winner [Hall of Fame; Vintage Historical Reissue; Career: Historical Preservation] as well as being a vernacular music collector of note and a founding member of the near-legendary "Blues Mafia," a group considered by many as a major impetus regarding the renewed interest in Traditional American Music!

His book, "Nothing But The Blues: The Music and the Musicians," received numerous awards. Amongst them, the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, BMI-Ralph Gleason Award and the Blues Foundations's "Hall of Fame" designation, he has received numerous awards and citations for his work, including France's "Academie Charles Gross: Grand Prix Du Disque." [1992] He is the recipient of the President's Life Achievement Award, given by his undergraduate alma mater, City College of New York [CUNY]. [2016]; "Living Blues Magazine Awards." [1] Producer of the Year [2] Best Historical Project: Pre-War. [2018].


Lawrence Cohn, ed. (1993). Nothing But the Blues: The Music and the Musicians. Abbeville Publishing Group (Abbeville Press, Inc.). ISBN 1-55859-271-7.