The cover photo

Terry Cryer is a British jazz and blues photographer once described as "The Dean of UK jazz and blues photographers." He is best known for his portraits of some of the greatest African American musicians in late-career, including Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Rushing, Eartha Kitt, and Big Bill Broonzy.

In 1956, as Cryer tells it, he joined with Jimmy Rushing and Eddie Condon on tour to gain access to musicians at work and play. One evening, Cryer befriended Broonzy during a concert in Manchester. His iconic photo of Big Bill was taken during this encounter.

After the concert, Cryer was invited to drink with Broonzy and other musicians in the dressing room. When returning from the meeting, Cryer and a friend were involved in a car accident. Cryer suffered a broken neck but resumed taking pictures after recovery. ''We had got pissed with Big Bill in the dressing room after the concert," he recalled. "It is not surprising we crashed!"

Cryer's photograph was the inspiration for the cover image of Bluesmokestory. He kindly gave permission to use it in altered form. However, he is the owner of the original image which can be found at his website along with images of other great musicians. Use of the altered cover image is prohibited without the permission of Cryer and signifyDesign.com.

Photo copyright ©1956 Terry Cryer. All rights reserved www.terrycryer.com.