New Lost City Ramblers founders honored

Tom Paley with his Brown Jug AwardWhile much of the focus for the past few weeks has been on the IBMA Convention and FanFest, there has been bluegrass activity elsewhere in the world.

For instance in New York last month Tom Paley and John Cohen, two of the founder members of the influential New Lost City Ramblers, were presented with the Brown Jug in recognition of their significant contributions to old-time music in the Northeast United States.

The duo were honored during the 11th Park Slope Bluegrass & Old-Time Jamboree in Brooklyn, New York, which took place on September 13.

In a piece on the Acoustic Music Scene, Michael Kornfeld wrote:

Paley (now 80) and Cohen (now 75) formed the New Lost City Ramblers, along with Mike Seeger, in mid-1958 and presented their first concert on September 13th of that year – exactly 50 years to the day of their performance at the Park Slope Jamboree.

The Brown Jug award was the brainchild of James Reams, a New York-based bluegrass musician and bandleader, who conceived of it as a way to recognize people in the Northeast whose impact on the music deserved to be honored but who might be less likely to be recognized by national organizations since for some of them (unlike this year’s recipients), their impact was only regional in nature.

Previous recipients of the Brown Jug include such notables as the late singer-songwriter and musician John Herald, Bill Knowlton, who was named Broadcaster of the Year by the IBMA in 1997, Stephanie Ledgin, an award-winning folk and bluegrass music photo-journalist and author, and the late Doug Tuchman, a bluegrass promoter who was instrumental in bringing Bill Monroe and other bluegrass music greats to play venues in the city.

You can read more about the Brown Jug Awards at the Acoustic Music Scene website.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.