Ten great photos taken during the heyday of the blues | Bleader

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ten great photos taken during the heyday of the blues

Posted By on 04.17.18 at 06:00 AM

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The Chicago History Museum bought 40,000 photos in 2016 from the estate of Raeburn Flerlage, a music promoter, salesman, and radio host.

Flerlage also worked as a freelance photographer from 1959 to 1970. He died in 2002.


The museum has put many of the images on display in its new "Amplified: Chicago Blues" exhibit. It also put 1,00o of them online in an easily searchable database.

The photos include shots of blues greats like Koko Taylor and Willie Dixon as well as folk artists like Bob Dylan. Here are ten of our favorites.

click to enlarge Koko Taylor and Lightnin' Hopkins at Western Hall in Chicago on April 23, 1965 - CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Koko Taylor and Lightnin' Hopkins at Western Hall in Chicago on April 23, 1965
click to enlarge The White Owl BarBQ House in March 1965 - CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM
  • Chicago History Museum
  • The White Owl BarBQ House in March 1965

click to enlarge Junior Wells performing at Theresa's on October 19, 1965 - CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Junior Wells performing at Theresa's on October 19, 1965
click to enlarge Mike Bloomfield interviewing Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett) at Burnett's home in Chicago in 1964 - RAEBURN FLERLAGE/COURTESY CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM
  • Raeburn Flerlage/Courtesy Chicago History Museum
  • Mike Bloomfield interviewing Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett) at Burnett's home in Chicago in 1964

click to enlarge Little Walter at Theresa's Lounge in October 1965 - CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Little Walter at Theresa's Lounge in October 1965

click to enlarge Willie Dixon performing at a recording session at Delmark Records on June 26, 1968 - CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Willie Dixon performing at a recording session at Delmark Records on June 26, 1968

click to enlarge Muddy Waters performing at Pepper’s Lounge at 43rd and Vincennes in 1961 - CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Muddy Waters performing at Pepper’s Lounge at 43rd and Vincennes in 1961
click to enlarge Little Walter playing guitar near Maxwell Street in the early 1960s - CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Little Walter playing guitar near Maxwell Street in the early 1960s

click to enlarge Otis Spann and James Cotton rehearsing in Muddy Waters's basement in Chicago in February 1965 - CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Otis Spann and James Cotton rehearsing in Muddy Waters's basement in Chicago in February 1965

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