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The location of the cover of DYLAN'S GOSPEL: THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS (Ode, 1969)
The album cover is a blown-up photo of Dylan leaning against the exterior wall of a small Spanish Mission Revival church in central Los Angeles.
About the album:
Dylan's Gospel is the only studio album by The Brothers and SIsters of L.A., a group of vocalists working as session musicians in the Los Angeles, California area during the album's recording in June 1969.
The Brothers and Sisters of L.A. was organized by Lou Adler specifically to record the album, which consists of gospel music-style covers of Bob Dylan songs. Members of the group included Merry Clayton and Gloria Jones. . . . The album was first released in 1969 by Adler's own Ode Records label.. . . It was initially a commercial flop, which convinced Adler not to reunite the Brothers and Sisters of L.A. for another performance. . . .. It was reissued by Light in the Attic Records on April 1, 2014. - From Wikipedia
Note: A special thanks to Hilda Fernout (more below) for finding the location and to Marie Fotini for her help in the search and background research.
The back cover:
This (below) is the photo of Dylan that is leaning onto the base of the chuch. It is most likely taken at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 by Barry Feinstein, since Barry Feinstein is given a photo credit on the back of the album.
Specifically the photo was probably taken on the Saturday afternoon on the weekend festival, when Dylan performed two songs at the afternoon "Contemporary songs workshop." Other very similar photos of Dylan in this dark shirt and dark jacket were taken at the same time by Dave Gahr and DIana Davies, but neither is credited on the album. (NOTE: comparison photos and more are at the end of the entry.)
It's also confusing as to whether Barry Feinstein took the front and back album cover photos or whether they were taken by the art director, Tom Wilkes, who lived in Los Angeles.
The back cover credit reads: "Design and photography by Tom Wilkes and Barry Feinstein" which is ambiguous - did they both do the design and both do the photography?
For now we are interpreting is as "design by Tom Wilkes" and "photogrphy by Barry Feinstein" since those were their specialties. And we are assuming that Barry Feinstein not only took the front and back cover, but also used a picture he had taken of Dylan to lean against the wall.
Finding the location:
Hilda Fernout, a PopSpots contributor, sent this album cover to us five years ago. We gave it our best shot, looking through many images of churches in Los Angeles and of photos by Barry Feinstein, but could not find any clues to the exact location.
Then out of the blue, just recently, five years later, Hilda send us an email with the title "I have found the location."
Hilda wrote that over the years she had literally looked though thousands of photos of the over 22,000 churches in Los Angeles using Google Images and other sources, and finally came up on this match to the Gospel Dylan cover church. And the vintage photo even had the location written on it! Thank you, HIlda, for your determined searching and excellent work!
Here's the picture of the church that Hilda finally ran across:
The location of the church - 3000 South Western Avenue at West 30th Street - turned out to be in the Jefferson Park section of Los Angeles, about five miles south of Hollywood Boulevard and a mile northwest of the University of Southern California.
The name of the church is the "30th Street Christian Church."
Here's what the church looked like in 2021 from Google Street Views. (click to ENLARGE)
And a closer view of the entrance.
To see the location in Google Street Views, click here.
Here's the church on a map of Los Angeles,
The PopSpot of the album cover.
The PopSpot of the photo on the back cover.
Trying to identify who took the Dylan headshot on the cover.
This is a photo of Dylan taken by Dave Gahr at the afternoon "Workshop" at Newport. Barry Feinstein is the man at the far right holding a camera in front of his face. (And it looks like he lent one to Donovan to look through.)
This is one of the times that afternoon when Feinstein might have taken the headshot of Dylan that was propped up next to the church on the album cover. (Before he put his harmonica rack on.)
This is a picture by the photographer Dave Gahr of Dylan, Donovan, and Mary Travers sitting in one of the soundtrucks (actually a van) in Festival Fields where Dylan performed in the afternoon. This looks like right about the time that the photo on the cover of the album was taken.
And here's a picure by Diana Davies also taken next to the same soundtruck. It also looks very similar to the Dylan photo on the cover of the album.
However , , , , ,This is a screengrab from the movie "Festival." It shows that Barry Feinstein was next to the soundtruck at the same time, too. (Thanks, Marie) So Feinstein had the opportunity to have taken Dylan's picture in this location also.
That is why, even though Dave Gahr and Diana Davies might have taken the Dylan shot, since Barry Feinstein was the only one given credit on the album, we are going with him as the photographer.
Below: A description of the album and its production that accompanies the YouTube video entitled: "The Brothers & SIsters - The Times They are a Changing (from the album, Dylan's Gospel."
"Of all the great back catalogs in the history of rock, Bob Dylan's is among the most covered, his acolytes ranging from The Byrds to Adele via Manfred Mann and Guns N' Roses. But something tells us you haven't heard anything quite like Dylan's Gospel by The Brothers and Sisters, a choir of Los Angeles session singers brought gloriously to the fore for a very special, one-off record.
Originally released in 1969 on Ode Records, this rare and sought-after album finds the California collective covering a clutch of Dylan classics in the era's revolutionary gospel style. Produced by Lou Adler, soon to work his magic on Carole King's mega-successful Tapestry, and arranged by Gene Page, noted for his work for Motown, the performers were largely unknown, but many went on to find great acclaim. Merry Clayton, the powerhouse singer best known for sparring with Mick Jagger on Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" (and star of the recent documentary 20 Feet from Stardom), appears here, as does Edna Wright of The Honeycones and Gloria Jones who recorded the original version of "Tainted Love" in 1965.
The cast of 27 singers also includes Ruby Johnson, Shirley Matthews, Clydie King, Patrice Holloway, Julia Tillman and more. The tracklist includes some of the best-loved Dylan songs from the singer songwriter's most productive decade, including "Lay Lady Lay", "All Along The Watchtower", "My Back Pages" and "Just Like A Woman".
The genesis of the project was Lou Adler, the music business visionary who staged the legendary Monterey International Pop Festival. He imagined a project that combined the songs of Dylan with L.A.'s most sought after session singers, most of which began their singing in the Baptist churches of South Los Angeles. "Listening to Dylan's songs, I felt there was a gospel-like feel to them, both spiritually and lyrically," Adler says in the liner notes. "So those two ideas, to work with these singers and to explore that side of Dylan -- came together."
Recording sessions at Sound Recorders Studios in Hollywood were a four-day party, with food, drink and far more musicians than were ordered, many of the singers bringing along cousins, mothers, partners and more. Carole King came to hear, as did Peggy Lipton and Papa John Phillips. It was a rock 'n' roll version of a gospel church. "Lou just put on a big, crazy party," remembers Edna Wright. "He had all these people together, all this raw talent. And we were there for nothing but the love of singing."
Presented in this long-overdue reissue is an often-overlooked album and a must for Dylan fans. The word of Dylan has rarely sounded so stirring." - Light In the Attic Records
About Tom Wilkes (the art director; from Wikipedia)
Thomas Edward Wilkes (July 30, 1939 - June 28, 2009) was an American art director, designer, photographer, illustrator, writer and producer-director.
(Photo: New York Times)
Wilkes was born in Long Beach, California and raised in southern California. Wilkes attended Long Beach City College, UCLA, and the Art Center College of Design in the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1967 Wilkes was the art director of the Monterey Pop Festival. From 1967 through 1969, he was the art director of A&M Records. He was a partner with Barry Feinstein in Camouflage Productions from 1970 through 1973, and a partner in Wilkes & Braun, Inc. from 1973 through 1974. In late 1974 and early in 1975, Tom was a partner and creative director in Hot M Productions along with David Lear, Drake Morton and Merrick Morton. He was art director of ABC Records from 1975 through 1977, and in 1978 he started Tom Wilkes Productions and became president of Project Interspeak, a nonprofit corporation.
Wilkes was responsible for scores of award-winning designs. In the Grammy Awards of 1974, he received a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package for Tommy performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and English Chamber Choir. In addition to creating hundreds of posters, logos, books, trade ads and illustrations, Wilkes designed such significant covers as the "invitation" iteration of The Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet; George Harrison's All Things Must Pass and The Concert for Bangladesh; Cheech & Chong's Big Bambu; and Neil Young's Harvest and Homegrown. Wilkes also produced and directed TV and radio spots, music videos, films, mixed media presentations and special events.
The two Beatles compilation albums released in 1973, "The Beatles 1962-1966" and "The Beatles 1967-1970", were designed by Wilkes. His name was shown (only on the US versions of these albums) in the bottom left-hand corner of the paper sleeve (side four) for housing the vinyl record.
For a list of over 100 album covers Tom Wilkes either designed or art directed see his WIkipedia entry.
About Barry Feinstein (the photographer; from WIkipedia)
Barry Feinstein (February 4, 1931 - October 20, 2011) was an American photographer and filmmaker, known for his photographs of 1950s Hollywood, the 1960s music scene, and his close personal and professional relationships with celebrities like Bob Dylan and Steve McQueen. Feinstein produced over 500 album covers, featuring his photographs and graphic designs.
In his late twenties, Feinstein was hired as a production intern at Columbia Pictures, later a studio photographer.
He subsequently became a photographer in Hollywood, where he worked with Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Charlton Heston, Jayne Mansfield, and Steve McQueen. His photos of celebrities, as well such politicians as John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, appeared in national publications, including Time, Esquire, and Newsweek.
In 1966, Feinstein accompanied Bob Dylan on his tour of England, and shot the cover photos of numerous albums by Janis Joplin, George Harrison, the Rolling Stones, and others.
Feinstein was a cameraman on the 1967 concert film, Monterey Pop, During Mardi Gras in late February of 1968, Feinstein, Les Blank, Baird Bryant and others were in New Orleans as part of the original "underground filmmakers" crew of Easy Rider that produced the acid trip segment of the movie on 16 mm film, but was replaced afterwards by a more experienced crew with 35 mm movie film.
In 1968 was the director-producer-cameraman on the music-zeitgeist movie You Are What You Eat.
In 1974, he again toured with Dylan, this time with The Band, around the United States.
"Ode Records (also known as Ode Sounds and Visuals) was an American record label, started by Lou Adler in 1967 after he sold Dunhill Records to ABC Records. It was distributed by CBS's Epic Records except between 1970 and 1976, when the label was distributed by A&M Records. The original incarnation was closed in 1978 and CBS took over most of catalog, often with Epic logos replacing Ode logos on reissues. Ode has the distinction of being the first non-CBS label to be distributed by CBS Records." - WIkipedia