This photo was taken on Sarah’s first national tour as a single. I was a student at The Institute of Design at the time, and called Sarah directly at her hotel (possible in those days) and received permission to photograph her in her dressing room for the next issue of a non-existent college newspaper.
Dave Garroway (the first Today show host) was a well-known Chicago disc jockey then and “Sassy’s” biggest and most vocal fan. When she came onstage, David preceded her scattering rose petals for her to walk on. This got a lot of press locally and did not resonate too well with a few bigots that took notice. About mid-week, a group sat in the front row and waited for Sarah to start singing, and proceeded to throw tomatoes at her.
This photo was taken a few days before that notorious incident.
Extract take from ‘Jazz by Ted Williams’ available now.
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