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  • The Legend CatcherRarities from the Collection of Photographer Dick Waterman
  • Dick Waterman (bio)

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. [End Page 35]


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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.

[End Page 36]


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Singer, songwriter, and artistic and commercial success: Bonnie Raitt, in 1969, two years before her namesake debut album.

[End Page 37]


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“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.

[End Page 38]


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

[End Page 39]


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Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer and Blues Hall of Famer “Howlin’ Wolf ” (Chester Arthur Burnett) in 1966.

[End Page 40]


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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.

[End Page 41]


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Bob Dylan, 1963, the year The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was released, which eventually went platinum.


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John Fahey (left), steel-string guitarist in the roots tradition, and the groundbreaking bluesman Son House (right), in 1965.

[End Page 42]


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Mother Maybelle Carter of The Carter Family, and Mike Seeger, acclaimed folklorist and folk musician, in 1965.


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Protest singer and social activist Phil Ochs (with Pete Seeger behind him) in Newport in 1964, the year of Ochs’s All the News That’s Fit to Sing.

[End Page 43]


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Mance Lipscomb, the seminal bluesman, in 1965, the year of the show that Arhoolie Records preserved on Mance Lipscomb Vol. 3: Texas Songster in a Live Performance.

[End Page 44]


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Reverend Gary Davis, a.k.a. Blind Gary Davis (in 1965 at the Newport Folk Festival)—the finger-picking guitarist and singer...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 35-53
Launched on MUSE
2010-08-13
Open Access
No
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