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Newport Folk Festival – Featuring Howlin’ Wolf

Newport Folk Festival – Featuring Howlin’ Wolf (July – 1966)

Howlin’ Wolf was the real deal when it came to the blues.  To some, he was an innovator and to others, the patron saint of blues rock.  A prominent harmonica player, proficient guitarist and a master showman. He did things in a big way! Such is the case when he performed at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival.  With his booming voice and his imposing physical presence, he came to preach the blues and that’s what he did with his band of musicians in tow.  

The Face Behind the Camera

David Gahr became a professional photographer in 1958, when his unique skill in portraiture was recognized by Folkways Record founder Moses Asch.  Gahr’s photos become the album jackets of the label’s roster of traditional and contemporary recording artists.  Gahr’s images are the definitive portraits of the most important music makers of the second half of the twentieth century and a defining record of the arc of major careers.  

He turned his back on a promising career as a scholar to take pictures and listen to music.  And as a result, he landed among the pre-eminent photographers of American folk, blues, jazz and rock musicians of the 1960s and beyond.  He wanted to not just take pictures of his subjects but to also elevate them rather than merely capture them.  For more info on Gahr check out his website:

Photo Credits: Newport Folk Festival, July 1966 (l to r: S.P. Leary, Sam Jones, Andrew McMahon, Hubert Sumlin, Howling Wolf) source of photos: David Gahr / Richard Shelton: The Face Of Folk Music. – New York 1968, p. 242; 

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