In last week’s U.S. 1, Richard K. Rein recounted the successes of the dozen minority students among the 800-plus members of the Class of 1969 at Princeton University.
This week — thanks to the article on music producer Joe Boyd that appears on page 32 of this issue — we discover that, in addition to the doctors, lawyers, and architects in that pioneering group of students at Princeton, there was also a photographer, music producer, and folk music aficionado.
That would be Jim Floyd, son of the former Princeton Township mayor and still a resident of Princeton. Back in the summer of ‘65, Floyd followed his interest in music to the Newport Folk Festival, where he snapped the photo of various folk stars that would later become the cover of Joe Boyd’s 2006 memoir.
Even though Floyd and Boyd both grew up in town, they didn’t know each other then. Here’s how the 1965 photo came to the author’s attention nearly 40 years later. In the fall of ‘65 Floyd teamed up with another freshman, Jon Taplin, to produce a concert of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band at Alexander Hall. At that event Floyd met Geoff Muldaur, and ran into him occasionally over the years at various concerts and when he lived in Skillman and worked for Boyd’s small record label (Hannibal Records) during the ‘80s.
A half dozen years ago, when Muldaur was performing at a Princeton Folk Music Society concert, Floyd gave Muldaur a photo from the ‘65 Newport festival. Muldaur asked Floyd if he had any other photos from that event. Floyd sent him a batch that included the future book cover photo. Muldaur asked Floyd if he could give the photo to his former manager Joe Boyd as a 60th birthday present.
Now the book with Floyd’s photo has sold more than 50,000 copies. But just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t jump to any conclusions about the photographer. Floyd’s resume as a folk music photographer appears relatively limited. While his college classmate Taplin went on to the entertainment big leagues (becoming tour manager of Bob Dylan and the Band and producing Martin Scorsese’s first feature film, “Mean Streets”), Floyd went from Princeton to the University of Rochester to earn a Ph.D. in psychology. Today he is a psychologist with a private practice in Princeton.
To the Editor: Eloise Inappropriate
A record number of Americans are losing their homes, unemployment is at an all-time high, entire companies and corporations are failing, and the economy is the worst it has been since 9/11. I found your choice of the “Eloise” article that dominated your November 12 issue of U.S. 1 to be vulgar and inappropriate.