2215 S. 3rd Street , Louisville, Kentucky 40208

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Rock n' Roll Photos by Dave Cronen

At 17 years old, Louisville native Dave Cronen began attending concerts and photographing national and international music acts as their tours brought them through Louisville, Lexington, and Cincinnati. From 1969 to the early 1980s Dave shot one hundred and fifty rolls of film of well-known rock n' roll, country, soul (and more!) performers that are now a part of the Photographic Archives.

“Impressions of the performances themselves have faded, but the muscle memories' still there. F-stops, shutter speeds and film types - and it taught me to keep my head on a swivel for the right moment, right light, angle, and shadow, also looking out for Andy Frain ushers not to boot me out. Aiming to capture what was in front of me before it was gone. It was an education to a Rock 'n' roll beat:”

-Dave Cronen

Presented in this exhibition are names and faces that many fans of music will recognize, from James Brown to Johnny Cash. Sure, many of these musicians have been photographed and seen countless times throughout their careers, but these images offer a glimpse of the artists as they were here, in our region; they give us a look at what was happening in our town some fifty years ago.

With his camera Dave captured the energy and excitement of these performances, like Chuck Berry's unforgettable and defiant set at the 1976 Gram Parsons Memorial Rock Festival in Lexington, when he refused to leave the stage, forcing promoters to turn off the electricity at 2:30 am. Venues like Freedom Hall are enormous and successful shots of performers require the photographer get close and so Dave got close - sometimes even on the stage. Various angles and plays with light present some intimate looks at larger-than-life players. Dave was not afraid to take chances, and it pays off in the quality of his photographs.

Also included are photographs of beloved musicians who have recently passed like Tina Turner, Robbie Robertson, and David Crosby. Local bands NRBQ, Buster Brown, and The Oxfords enjoyed moderate success and are displayed alongside heavy hitters like Santana, Loretta Lynn, and Curtis Mayfield. Dave's photos also give a face to the local radio disc-jockeys of WAKY including the late Johnny Randolph, and his more personal portraits of band members from POCO show off his skills shooting performers off the stage.

Event Details

  • Will Mcglincy
  • Grace Pendleton

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