Photography of Benny Joseph: "The Early Years of Rhythm and Blues"

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

Updated 12:08 PM ET, Tue October 20, 2015
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A new exhibition presented by the International Center of Photography features prints by a Texas photographer. "The Early Years of Rhythm and Blues: Photographs by Benny Joseph from the Documentary Arts Collection" follows the rise of rhythm and blues music in the 1950s and 1960s within the context of civil rights movement. In addition to being a photographer, Joseph worked at KCOH radio station in Houston, where he took the photo of disc jockey Skipper Lee Frazier with go-go girls. Browse the gallery for more images. Benny Joseph/ICP
The exhibit is on view at the ICP Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, New Jersey, from October 18 to January 10, 2016. It includes portraits of such celebrated performers, including B.B. King, pictured here at the City Auditorium in Houston in 1962. Benny Joseph/ICP
Joseph photographed gospel singer Della Reese, who became the first black woman to host her own variety show, "Della," and serve as guest host of "The Tonight Show." She had a successful television career, appearing in "Sanford and Son," "Picket Fences" and "Touched by an Angel." Benny Joseph/ICP
Houston's Club Matinee, known as "the Cotton Club of the South," was located in the Fifth Ward, a neighborhood east of downtown Houston that was home to many black-owned businesses. Benny Joseph/ICP
The exhibit features a photo of country blues singer Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins of Houston. Joseph's main source of income was studio portraiture, but like many photographers in his day, he had to do it all to make a living: portraits, snapshots, news, advertising, churches, parades, politicians, social groups, dances and musicians. Benny Joseph/ICP
This photo of a couple dancing was taken at the Eldorado Ballroom in Houston, a black-owned and operated venue featuring live performances of black "secular" music: blues, jazz, R&B, and occasionally pop and zydeco. Philanthropists Anna and Clarence Dupree established the ballroom to provide a "class" venue for black social clubs and entertainment. Benny Joseph/ICP
The exhibition includes Joseph's portraits of prominent African-American civil rights leaders, including Thurgood Marshall, pictured here at Antioch Baptist Church in Houston. Benny Joseph/ICP
Another photo taken at Houston's Eldorado Ballroom portrays a teen hop, or dance. As the venue of choice for upscale blues and jazz performers, the ballroom was also a symbol of community pride in Houston's Third Ward. Benny Joseph/ICP