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I was going through some of my old magazines, picking out the ones that were Christmas issues, and came across this illustration for a story in Woman's Day, December 1959. Taking a closer look, I found an artist mention: Andy Warhol.
Andy was a young illustrator trying to do his thing in New York in the 50's, doing some fashion illustration and advertising as well as the occasional album cover. His work mostly consisted of the "blotted-line" variety, and done very well, if you ask me. This is a nice one for the Christmas season. One of my favorite illustrated Blue Note album covers was done by Andy in 1958: Blue Lights, Vols. 1 & 2, by Kenny Burrell. I put an emphasis on "illustrated" because most of Blue Note's covers featured photos and graphics and I harbor a great amount of love for many of those types of covers as well.
Anyway, the Burrell cover was nice because of the posing and composition of the character juxtaposed with the simple sans serif type, the hallmark of Blue Note covers. Most of the design work was done by Reid Miles, featuring strong photography by Francis Wolff. There's a funny story about how Francis used to get so mad at Reid for cropping off the tops all the musicians' heads of Francis' shots.
You can see a great deal of these incredible covers in Blue Note: The Album Cover Art, by Graham
Things are ramping up around here for Christmas. Lots of stuff going on around the household, so expect a bit of a pause here on The Ward-O-Matic. I'll probably get around to posting something on Christmas Day, but until that time, have a great and safe Holiday.