Keeping the Blues Alive / Blues News  / Blues Photo of the week – Albert King

 Albert King –  Photo of The Week

The Photo of the week is Albert King and his famous performance at the Memphis Blues Festival, in June 1969.  Taken by photographer Baron Wolman during Albert King’s performance, he is able to capture the energetic performance of King.  And of course, his famous Flying V guitar!

The Memphis Blues Festival

This festival was the fourth annual Memphis Country Blues Festival and First Annual W.C. Handy Memorial Concert.  It began on Friday June 6th and Saturday  June 7, 1969 with three daytime concerts. It coincides with the W.C. Handy Memorial Concert in the Mid-South Coliseum on Sunday June 8th. 

The line-up highlights

Artist highlights included Johhny Winter, Canned Heat, Sleepy John Estes, Albert King, The Bar-Kays, Rufus Thomas and many more!  Tickets for these performances were $2.50 – $5.00 depending on what shows you were attending.

About The Photographer

Baron Wolman is an American photographer known for his work in the late 1960s for the music magazine Rolling Stone. He became the magazine’s first Chief Photographer from 1967 until late 1970’s.  Janis lived a few doors down; the Dead were just around the corner. The kid living upstairs from Wolman took too much acid and died. The year was ’67, and everyone was grooving. 

Baron’s Involvement with Rolling Stone

Fueled by the music and the times, a 21-year-old journalist named Jann Wenner gathered some friends and began a revolution in ink. Named Rolling Stone, this newsprint rag captured the era, defined it in print and pictures, and helped form a generation. Among the friends that Wenner interested in his project was Wolman, then a 30-year-old freelance photojournalist.

Already an established photographer for such glossy mags as Life and Look, Wolman accompanied Wenner in ’67 to cover the story when Mills College. A bastion of academic musical study canonized rock music by hosting a conference on its importance.  Wenner invited Wolman to shoot for the burgeoning Rolling Stone, Wolman agreed to work for free.  When the first issue hit the streets five months later, rock history began to be recorded.

The artists he captured on film

During his fast-paced tenure, Wolman’s lens captured the royalty of the ’60s pop and rock explosion: Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Iggy Pop, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Phil Spector, Jim Morrison, Ike & Tina Turner, Tim Leary, and a motley cast of hangers-on.  You can learn about Baron on his website:

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