In the Summer of 1968, Jonas Bernholm, a 21 year old music buff from Sweden, embarked on an incredible Soul Music Odyssey to the United States. In a little over two months, his journey would take him from New York to Los Angeles, with stops at eight other cities along the way. Arriving in a sweltering New Orleans on July 15th, Bernholm would spend the next eight days in search of the music. His chronicle of what transpired that week is absolutely fascinating reading, and provides a glimpse into the state of R&B Music in the Crescent City as Cosimo's Dover empire came tumbling down.
Bernholm would later go on to become known as 'Mister R&B', after founding the awesome roots music record label Route 66, revitalizing the careers of many of the all but forgotten artists he loved. He was kind enough to allow us to share some of the great photographs he took that July in our recent presentation at the Friends of The Cabildo 2020 Symposium and now, here for the first time, on The Cosimo Code. Thanks, Jonas!
On a subsequent trip to New Orleans in 1978, Bernholm snapped the photo below of the final seizure of Cosimo and Skip Godwin's Jazz City Studio at 748 Camp Street.
1. Jonas Bernholm's chronicle of his entire SOUL MUSIC ODYSSEY 1968 - Open Textbook (yorku.ca) (featuring even more great photographs) has been made available online as a York University Pressbook under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial license. Check it out!
2. The Jonas Bernholm Rhythm and Blues Collection. 1976-1991 is lodged at The Archives Center, Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The collection is open for research and access on site by appointment.
3. The Route 66 catalogue includes LP releases by such New Orleans artists as Roy Brown, Paul Gayten & Annie Laurie, and Joseph 'Mr. Google Eyes' August.
4. For the full sad story of the Dover Records collapse, with much new information, see the third edition of John Broven's Rhythm and Blues In New Orleans (Pelican Pub. Co., 2016).