Cohen records a historic conflict ending in the 1960s between musicians and the police in New York. Harassed musicians and performers were joined by a 'Citizen's Committee' of famous writers and publishers to fight the City Police Department's arbitrary rules and regulations against musicians, performers, and other employees of hotels, restaurants, and cabarets, and its powerful highly publicized 'law and order' Commissioner Stephen Kennedy. Among the musicians were Bud Powell, JJ Johnson, Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, and Johnny Richards. Important social issues dominated several trials, detailed in this book. Ultimately, the musicians and entertainers won. The author writes from personal experience, since he was attorney for the musicians, the entertainers, and the Citizen's Committee.
About the Author
Maxwell T. Cohen, Professor of Constitutional Law and Sociology, Northampton (PA) Community College, taught law and social problems and issues at both SUNY and CUNY. Cohen was awarded a plaque at the Newport Jazz Festival by the New York Jazz Museum for defending the civil rights of musicians and other performing artists. He was also cited and received an Award of Appreciation from the Society of Black Composers. Cohen's previous book, Race and Religion in Adoption Proceedings, was instrumental in the elimination of restrictive religious and racial laws in adoption and similar proceedings. He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Baws by the State University of New York and an international Commendation for his work in international Human Rights by The Center for Research in Religious and Human Rights in Closed Societies.