Lee Balterman Photography: A Video Album of 1940’s Chicago Life

Carl Sandburg: Photograph by Lee Balterman

It would be hard to find a less theoretical artist than eighty six year-old Lee Balterman.  Balterman made his living as a Chicago-based photographer for Time, Life, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and other top magazines, producing memorable, even iconic celebrity portraits.  For example, his photographic portraits have included an ebullient President Eisenhower on a campaign swing, a ghostly Carl Sandburg staring into space in a lonely firehouse (see above) and a “Shaft”-era Isaac Hayes, conducting business by phone in the plush luxury of his white limousine.

Lee Balterman’s Chicago may be long gone, but it’s still a very interesting place to visit.  “I’m crazy about pictures,” he says.  “I went around with a camera, and when I saw something — boom!  You know, real fast.”  And unlike some of his peers in the history of local street photography, he always preferred people to buildings.  “Yeah, I like people,” he says with a twinkle in his eye.  “More or less.”

Lee Balterman: Photographs of 1940’s Chicago Life

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Joe Cocker: With a Little Help from My Friends

The 40th Anniversary: The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which is considered to be one of the greatest popular music albums of all time, celebrates its 40th anniversary today (it was released in the England on June 1, 1967, and a day later in the United States). In the context of its time, Sgt. Pepper” was a head-turning marvel. It blazed new sonic territory with its experimental use of multi-track recording, with its unconventional orchestrations, with its lyrical impact both playful and profound, with its dazzling cover art and with the very sequence of the songs.

Looking at the music today, it hasn’t lost a step, it hasn’t fallen from favor. It doesn’t need to be viewed in the context of its times in order to be appreciated. “Sgt. Pepper” is just as artistically and technically significant today as it was upon its initial release 40 years ago. Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help From My Friends” is adapted from the “Sgt. Pepper’s” album.

Joe Cocker: With a Little Help from My Friends (Woodstock)

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

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