Academic journal article Southern Cultures

The Legend Catcher: Rarities from the Collection of Photographer Dick Waterman

Academic journal article Southern Cultures

The Legend Catcher: Rarities from the Collection of Photographer Dick Waterman

Article excerpt

Dylan has a backstage smoke in '63.

Mississippi John Hurt sits with guitar case in hand the year before his death.

Pete Seeger listens to a young Phil Ochs in '64.

Reverend Gary Davis sleeps on his seat, oblivious to festival revelry.

Lightnin' Hopkins relaxes with a drink and a cigar.

And then there are the performers satisfying their audiences: B.B. with Lucille, feeling it in '68; Mother Maybelle and Mike Seeger sharing the spotlight in '65; Howlin' Wolf, Jack Elliott, Dock Boggs, John Lee Hooker, Otha Turner, and others delighting crowds across the decades.

Photographer Dick Waterman has been capturing legendary moments and the musicians who embody them for over forty-five years. The snapshots we collect here are all rare gems that preserve scenes, places, times, and personas. These photographs document many of the musicians whose careers resurged or first blossomed under the folk-blues revival of the 1960s and in the decades since.

Many of the pictures, of course, provide little or no hint of what lies ahead for their seemingly unknowing subjects. Bonnie Raitt in '69 obviously wouldn't have foreseen her iconographic status. Maria Muldaur in '73 couldn't have known she'd score a hit just a year later. The backstage Dylan--dutifully practicing with harmonica and guitar, in another snapshot from '63--wouldn't have predicted a portfolio that would include forty-five more albums. Dick Waterman's marvelous photographs, though, afford us the opportunity for time travel with the benefit of knowing the career and life trajectories of many of these musicians.

We're indebted to Dick Waterman for allowing us to publish these photographs for the first time. He still works professionally, and he still makes his photographs available to the public.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Singer and songwriter Bob Dylan (in 1963), who now has forty-seven albums to his name but whose debut had only been released the year before.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Singer, songwriter, and artistic and commercial success: Bonnie Raitt, in I969, two years before her namesake debut album.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"Mississippi" John Hurt (at a Cincinnati train station in 1965)--the 1928 Okeh Records guitarist and country blues singer whose career underwent a revival from 1963 until his death the year after this photograph was taken.

Opposite: Blues icon B.B. King in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1968, the year his Lucille album was released.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Maria Muldaur (in 1973)--the folk-blues singer who would release numerous albums and the following year's hit "Midnight at the Oasis," and who also would go on to sing with the Grateful Dead.

Opposite: Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer and Blues Hall of Famer "Howlin' Wolf" (Chester Arthur Burnett) in 1966.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Above: Bob Dylan, 1963, the year The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan was released, which eventually went platinum. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.