Saturday, 13 October 2012 | Art Schuna
Dick Waterman is an author, photographer and blues music promoter. He began in the music business by promoting local blues shows in the Boston area in 1963. The following year he joined Nick Perls and Phil Spero on a journey to Mississippi that was to change his life. The trio were in search of Son House, a bluesman who was only known as a performer on a few Paramount label 78s that were recorded in Grafton, WI in the early 1930s. Based on a tip by Bukka White, they traveled South only to find that he was no longer there. They eventually found him living in Rochester, New York. Before long, Dick founded Avalon Productions to manage Son House and a number of other blues artists including Mississippi John Hurt and Skip James. Avalon promoted other artists including Bukka White, Arthur Crudup, J.B. Hutto, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy and Luther Allison. He also managed Bonnie Raitt early in her career. Dick photographed his artists and others over the years and this led to a later career as a professional photographer. A number of his photos were featured on the Blues Hall of Fame wall, which featured photos of all inductees at the time at Luther’s Blues club here in Madison when they were in business. His work may be seen at www.dickwaterman.com. His book, Between Midnight And Day: The Last Unpublished Blues Archive has about 100 of his photos together with recollections of the artists portrayed. I feel fortunate to own 3 of Dick’s photos. Dick also assisted in writing the book B.B. King Treasures . He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000. Dick is an incredible story teller and has many stories to tell about his career and the artists with whom he worked. About half of this interview is about the discovery and return of Son House as a performer. Perhaps one of the greatest rediscoveries in the blues revival era. I use excerpts of my interviews with music to create radio specials. Dick had so many stories I needed to do 2 shows to do justice to his interview. Click on the title above to access the interview.