- Sally K. Sommers Smith Wells
(b New York, NY, Dec 13, 1936). American Folklorist and musicologist. Trained as a physical chemist, he is one of the foremost scholars of American traditional-music history, practice, and recording. In addition to holding faculty positions in chemistry at two undergraduate institutions in Portland, Oregon, he has taught undergraduate courses in folk song, bluegrass, country, and Jewish music in Portland and at UCLA. Cohen is perhaps best known for his long association with the John Edwards Memorial Foundation (now John Edwards Memorial Forum; JEMF). He served as the editor or co-editor of the JEMF Quarterly from its inception (as the JEMF Newsletter) in 1965 through 1988. He has lectured and written extensively on American folk song and is particularly well known for his study of the railroad as a theme in American folk music, published as Long Steel Rail: the Railroad in American Folksong. He has also compiled a two-volume regional encyclopedia of American folk music as well as a collection of case studies in folk music research, ...