Jim McCrary may hardly be a household name but the artists he photographed are.
Jim McCrary has died in Los Angeles at the age of 72. In the late 60s and 70s he was the staff photographer for A&M Records.
Jim shot more than 300 album covers during his career. Probably the most famous of them was Carole King’s ‘Tapestry’.
In the obituary in the Los Angeles Times, journalist Valerie J. Nelson has written a details tribute to the man, telling some of the stories behind the covers.
Jim was known for having an exception knack of being about to photograph the personality of his subject. For ‘Tapesty’ he was at Carole King’s house but needed something to make the image look more personal. He saw her cat and carried it on the pillow to the window ledge in front of Carole and snapped the famous photo.
He also took that cover shot for the first Carpenters album after spending all day looking for the right location and eventually snapping the shot on with Karen and Richard Carpenter on the side of the road along Highland Avenue.
Jim’s niece recalls in the article how once when her uncle was doing a photo session for Michael Jackson for the ‘Off The Wall’ album and how when ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’ came on the radio, he switched the channel to a horrified Michael, not it was a Jackson song.
Jim died from complications from a chronic nervous system.