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Lectures >> Botkin Flyers: Waterman
Benjamin Botkin Lecture Series: Texts from the Event Flyers
Between Midnight and Day: The Last Unpublished Blues Archive
Dick Waterman, agent, representative, photographer, and friend to some
of the most influential African American musicians of the twentieth
He will be showing 70 images from his vast collection.
Book signing follows lecture.
Wednesday, February 23 2005
6:30 P.M.- 7:30 PM
Sixth floor of the James Madison Building
The Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C.
Closest Metro stop: Capitol South (orange and blue lines), First and C
Between Midnight and Day: The Last Unpublished Blues Archive (Thunder's Mouth
Press/Insight Editions, 2003)features many of the most important photographs
from Dick Waterman's unparalleled vintage blues archive. Here Waterman presents
rare images, many previously unseen, and illuminates them with his own first-hand
commentary offering his unique perspective as an agent, representative, photographer,
and friend to some of the most influential figures in American music. Waterman
includes personal recollections and 120 color photographs of blues legends
like Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Chuck Berry, Ray
Charles, Bob Dylan, Son House, "Mississippi" John Hurt, Skip James,
Janis Joplin, B.B. King, Fred McDowell, Bonnie Raitt, Otis Rush, Roosevelt
Sykes, Big Mama Thornton, Sippie Wallace, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Bukka
White, and Howlin’ Wolf. Contributors include critically acclaimed
music biographer Peter Guralnick, Grammy award-winning musician Bonnie Raitt,
author Chris Murray.
Dick Waterman moved to Boston to study Journalism at Boston University
in the 1950s. Attracted by the emerging folk music scene in the area, he
began to write for “Broadside Magazine” and eventually became
the feature editor, writing the cover article for each issue. At the same
time, he pursued his life-long interest in photography.
In 1963, he began
to promote shows in the area featuring live blues artists Mississippi
John Hurt and Booker White. In the spring of 1964, he went to Mississippi
with Nick Perls and Phil Spiro on a quest that eventually led to the rediscovery
of Eddie “Son” House, a legendary blues singer who had vanished
from the Delta music scene over 20 years earlier.
Finding Son House was a
turning point in Waterman’s life. He started
to book Son and this led to the founding of Avalon Productions, the first
booking agency ever formed to represent blues artists. Within a few years,
he was representing
Son, Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, Booker White, Lightning Hopkins,
Mance Lipscomb, Fred McDowell, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup and many
others. With the emergence of the Chicago blues scene, Waterman added amplified
to his roster, bringing this music to a national audience.
By the late 1960s, he had met Bonnie Raitt and played a crucial role in
convincing her to begin a music career that would ultimately lead to huge
success and many Grammy awards. Together, they worked to preserve the blues
of many traditional artists by bringing higher visibility and greater income
to these music veterans.
Waterman moved to Oxford, Mississippi, in the 1980s
leaving the live music scene to begin a second career through the photographs
that he had been
taking since the early 1960s. In February of 2000, Dick Waterman was
the Blues Hall of Fame in the Non-Performer category for his work as
manager, agent, promoter, writer and photographer.
Waterman will illustrate his lecture with images from his book, which
will be available for purchase after the lecture