R & B and the Blues

B.B. King, Chuck Berry and Toot & The Maytals were amongst the most important black acts of their day, and although he didn’t specialise in black music to the same extent as he did other genres, Keith always captured them at their best.

Perhaps his most memorable work in this area was as in-house photographer for B. B. King’s ‘In London’ album recorded in 1971 at Olympic and Command studios. In response to the glowing worldwide reputation of white British R’n’B acts, ABC Records cunningly elected to hire a veritable who’s who of this country’s blues talent to accompany their own blues heavyweight, many of whom had readily admitted to having been influenced by King himself in their choice of music, if not career. They included Humble Pie’s Steve Marriott, Pink Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright, ex-Beatle Ringo Star, New Orleans legend Dr. John, Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green, Eric Clapton and the so-called ‘father of Britain’s blue scene’, Alexis Korner. Over a two week period, Keith shot hundreds of frames which not only reflected the enthusiasm of the musical chemistry taking place, but several iconic images of the great man himself.

And despite his close associations with Island Records and several of their artists, Keith worked with few of their many internationally renowned reggae acts, although the live gig he shot for Toots and the Maytals in 1976 caught the charismatic Jamaican singer at his most compelling.

All images are available for sale as high-quality hand printed editions.