Sally Grossman, Bob Dylan Cover Model, Dies at 81

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Sally Grossman, the wife of Bob Dylan‘s one-time manager, Albert Grossman, and cover model for Dylan’s 1965 LP Bringing It All Back Home has died at the age of 81.

Born in 1939, Sally grew up in Queens, N.Y., where she attended Adelphi and Hunter colleges. She’d eventually drop out, pursuing a career with Trans World Airlines and later becoming a waitress, all while remaining ensconced in the Greenwich Village folk music scene. It was there that she met Albert, who ran the Gate of Horn club at the time.

The two were married in 1964. Albert managed many of the era’s biggest names, including Janis Joplin, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Band and Gordon Lightfoot. Still, it’s Dylan with whom Sally will be eternally tied.

For his 1965 album, the rocker opted for an image of himself perched on a living room lounge chair, while Sally lay behind him wearing a red jumpsuit and holding a cigarette. The photo captured the imaginations of music fans the world over, with many wondering who this mysterious brunette was.

Bringing It All Back Home went on to sell more than a million copies. It is regarded as one of Dylan’s defining releases, a pivotal LP which featured the rocker’s shift from folk to electric sound.

“I was around and Bob just asked me to do it,” Sally matter-of-factly explained of the picture in 1996. “It’s amazing to be on an album cover that people remember 30 years later.” Grossman noted that Dylan “thought we looked dynamic, like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton” in the image.

Albert and Dylan would end their professional relationship in the late ‘60s. In 1970, the manager founded Bearsville Records, a recording studio and record label based in Woodstock, N.Y.. Sally would take over the enterprises in 1986, following Albert’s death. In 1989 she opened the Bearsville Theater, a music venue that had been her husband’s passion project. She’d help run the theater until selling it in 2004.

 

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