Last week’s New York Times Magazine cover story focused on the mysterious Elvie Thomas and Geeshie Wiley, two early-20th-century musicians who, in the words of the magazine, “changed American music and then vanished without a trace.”
For the cover image, the magazine asked Craig Cutler to photograph a rare copy of Wiley’s record “Last Kind Word Blues,” which is owned by music collector Chris King. “King’s record is one of fewer than 10 surviving copies of the three known Paramount releases from Wiley and Thomas, notes the Times Magazine’s photo blog.
“People in the story talked about this record as being the holy grail of blues collecting,” Amy Kellner, a photo editor at the magazine, says in a blog post on the cover, adding that it is “one of the only physical clues to these two women.”
Read the story, written by John Jeremiah Sullivan, here.