Dick Waterman (born July 14, 1935, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States) is an American writer, promoter and photographer, who has been influential in the development and recording of the blues since the 1960s.
Life and career
Waterman studied journalism at Boston University in the 1950s. He moved on to write for Broadside Magazine and became its feature editor. In 1963, he began to promote local shows with blues artists including Mississippi John Hurt and Booker "Bukka" White. The next year, he went to Mississippi on a quest that eventually led to the "rediscovery" of legendary blues singer Son House.
Following this, he founded Avalon Productions, the first booking agency ever formed to represent blues artists. Within a few years, he was representing House, White, Skip James, Mississippi John Hurt, Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins, Arthur Crudup, Junior Wells, J. B. Hutto and many others. He also promoted concerts by folk and rock acts in the Boston area. In the late 1960s he met a young female guitarist and singer named Bonnie Raitt and persuaded her to begin what has become a long, fruitful music career.
As the older blues artists died, Waterman’s responsibilities shifted to taking care of their estates and providing for their heirs. He moved to Oxford, Mississippi, in the 1980s and began a second career publishing the photographs of blues, folk, country and jazz artists that he had been taking since the early 1960s. His book Between Midnight and Day: The Last Unpublished Blues Archive contains about 100 of his photographs from the 1960s onwards.
In 1993, Waterman was instrumental in placing a new headstone on the grave of Mississippi Fred McDowell with funding from Bonnie Raitt through the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund. Waterman delivered a stirring tribute to McDowell, an early mentor of younger musicians including Raitt, at the dedication ceremony on August 6, 1993, in Como, Mississippi.
In 2000, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, as one of the first non-performers to be so honored.
- "Botkin Lecture Flyer: Between Midnight and Day (The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress)". Loc.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
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- "Mississippi Fred McDowell". Smokestacklightnin.com. Retrieved 2013-12-07.