John Cohen (New Lost City Ramblers) Passes Away, R.I.P.

John Cohen, founding member of the folk collective New Lost City Ramblers as well as music expert and skilled photographer, has reportedly passed away as confirmed by his son on Facebook. He was born on August 2, 1932 and passed last night, September 16, 2019.

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”

It’s notable for Grateful Dead fans that John Cohen was likely the source of muse for the song “Uncle John’s Band” which is a staple of their legacy. He was notably there during the Beat Generation and the arrival of Bob Dylan to the mainstream music scene.

John Cohen on Bob Dylan, 1962

© Pieter Groenveld

His photography archive is now part of the Library of Congress, too.