Lawrence Cohn

Lawrence Cohn

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).

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."



Nothing But The Blues

The Music and the Musicians


The story of America's most passionate and enduring music, told through fascinating narrative and vintage photographs.

It is our most passionate music, rooted in ancient Africa but brought to blossom in America at the doorstep of the twentieth century. It is a living heritage of song born in poverty, persecution, and hard labor, born of love and love betrayed, of holiness and sin, the pleasures and the pains of the flesh, the experience of tragedy, comedy, drunkenness, despair, desolation, and pure joy. It is the blues.

At root, the blues is rich in its simplicity, but it has flowered across the years in a variety of rare complexity. Perhaps no form of popular art is more immediately appealing than the blues, yet so rewards a thorough knowledge of its finer points. In eleven authoritative essays commissioned especially for the book, Nothing But the Blues traces the African-American origins of the music, its early development as popular entertainment, its early recorded manifestations, its regional differentiation (Mid-South, Tidewater-Piedmont, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Los Angeles), its many stylistic dimensions, and its contemporary manifestations. Country blues, urban blues, the evolution of rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll, and the blues revival are all fully covered.

But the written history is only part of the story. Blues fans have always treasured rare photographs of their heroes, and Nothing But the Blues is gloriously illustrated with posed and candid shots of the musicians as well as photographs of such one-of-a-kind artifacts and documents as Leadbelly's NYPD rap sheet and classic recording contracts. Nothing But the Blues features an introduction by one of the genre's living legends, B. B. King, and a comprehensive "best of the best" discography, including current and rereleased recordings as well as the collectors' treasures to go after.

Blues is more popular than ever before. Not only are reissues of historical blues classics selling in unprecedented numbers, but a whole new crop of vital young blues artists is active in clubs and on record today. Nothing But the Blues is a lavishly illustrated comprehensive history of the music and the musicians, as well as the promoters, producers, and others who have shaped--and continue to shape--this powerful and enduringly popular American musical art form.

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