This photo was taken by Tim Hauser, Founding member of The Manhattan Transfer, while they were in the studio, in the middle of recording their Grammy-Award-winning album, "Vocalese."
Nancy's Offbeat Bio: When I was a kid growing up in a suburb of Philadelphia, I lived vicariously
through music, as heard on my father's old brown bakelite Zenith AM radio. In concert with listening to the radio was reading everything I could get my hands on about music in magazines like "16" and "Tiger Beat." Being a teenager in 1965 meant being infused with a special kind of magic that only the 60's offered. Daily audio & visual doses of The Beatles, Stones, Sonny & Cher, Beach Boys, Frankie Vallie gave me a window to a world I longed to be part of. I soon worked myself into the role of President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Sonny & Cher Fan Club, which led to my being able to get backstage to meet and photograph Sonny & Cher on November 20, 1965, while they were performing at Philadelphia Convention Hall. Wielding my mother's blue Brownie camera, a packet of flashbulbs and a backstage pass, it took all the courage a 16 yr old from Secane could muster just to walk through the door! After presenting them with the engraved silver pendants - gifts from fan club members, and sharing my S&C Scrapbook with Cher, it was time for the show to start. As I stood and was about to be escorted back to the audience, Sonny Bono leaned over and gave me my first ever kiss-on-the-lips from a man! Talk about motivation for the first "onstage" performance photographs of my career.
After high school and a two year stint studying painting, photography and sculpture with Italo Scanga, at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, I moved to Connecticut where I further honed my trade by photographing rehearsals for Long Wharf Theatre YPT (Young Peoples Theatre) and evening production stills for New Havens' Summer theatre "Theatre in the Park. This led to my first professional job as house photographer for The St. Nicholas Theatre in Chicago, working with playwright-in-residence: David Mamet and shooting production stills with Pre-"Evita" actress/singer Patti Lupone & Pre- "RoboCop"actor, Peter Weller, for a production of David Mamet's play, "The Woods."
In 1978, entertainer Billy Fellows introduced me to John Davidson, who after seeing some of my photography, invited me to work as "Camp photographer" for the launch of his "Singer's Summer Camp"(aka JDSSC) located on Catalina Island. Along with processing film in a darkroom that was raided every night by a batch of baby wild boar, I got to spend some of the best times of my life on board John's classic yacht "Principia", which was docked in Toyon Bay, and ferried celebrity guest speakers back and forth from Los Angeles. These guests included: Kenny Rogers, Andy Williams, producer Pierre Cossette, Mimes Shields & Yarnell, and actress Florence Henderson.
In 1980, I moved to Hollywood and soon after signed a contract as House Photographer with the newly-opened Beverly Theatre, in Beverly Hills. This allowed me to spend the better part of the next decade photographing an amazing array of artists including Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Tina Turner, James Brown, Miles Davis, Cyndi Lauper, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn, Bryan Adams, Stephane Grappelli, Herbie Hancock, Phoebe Snow, Sonny Rollins, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Pattie LaBelle, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Garcia, Donovan, The Four Tops, Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Seinfeld, Smokey Robinson, The Turtles and The Temptations - to name a few who performed at that magnificent old art deco house. This was truly a magical time in my life. I built my music portfolio at the "Bev Zone."
It was about the same time that I met and married Wolfman Jack's writer, Frank "Mars" Cotolo, which gave me the unique opportunity of working as Wolfman's personal photographer until 1989, when he and his wife Lou Lamb Smith, left LA for the healthier lifestyle offered at their plantation in Belvidere, North Carolina. Simultaneously, I was hired by KRLA Radio as their staff photographer, documenting promotional events throughout Los Angeles. Publicist extraordinaire, Dan Acree, also bought me in whenever possible, to photograph KIIS-FM's Rick Dee's with an assortment of his early morning, after-show celebrity visitors including Billy Idol, Huey Lewis, and The Manhattan Transfer.
In 1990, nine months after my divorce and the birth of my son, I left Hollywood to build a new life in Seattle. Along with teaching photography, I have also continued working in the music industry from my base in the Pacific Northwest. My photographs have been published and exhibited internationally.