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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Lush Life: 1941

Lush Life: 1941

April 1941. "Prosperous Chicagoan spends evening at home." View full size. Medium-format safety negative by Russell Lee. A few Shorpy readers have identified this as bluesman Big Joe Turner.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Big Joe

Since I've seen this very photograph identified as Big Joe Turner on two other websites done by people with more knowledge about the man than I have and than vg claims to have, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that this is may very well be Big Joe Turner.

Big Joe It Ain't

Well I'm probably no more of an expert than the folks who guess it is, but I'm skeptical that that's Big Joe Turner. There is a slight resemblance, but no singing bartender would be wearing the get-ups in his portraits, and what's more, there's no indication whatsoever that this guy is involved with music.

Big Joe

Maybe copping a room up there to cut a record or two with his partner in KC boogie crime, Pete Johnson - but I thought Big Joe was originally based in Kansas City. Either way, great find! Him & Jimmy Rushing are my favorite shouters and I have a stack of 78's to prove it.

Double take...

Big Joe Turner.. For some reason it was "odd" to see a photo of him on Shorpy in the midst of folks in Small Town America working and playing. Pretty neat at the same time.


Looks like Big Joe Turner to me.


I don't know who he is, though he clearly seems to be a performer/singer -- but my grandmother had the same lampshade idea, you keep the plastic it came in and don't take it off. Ditto for the doilies on the chair arms. Top hat, white tie, tails and a cane -- sharp-dressed man!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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