John Byrne Cooke was an award-winning writer, a photographer and musician with more than forty years of experience in each of these arts, an actor who has appeared in eleven stage productions over the past six years, and a narrator with experience ranging from voice-over film narration to audio books to live performances with the Grand Teton Music Festival.


ON THE ROAD with Janis Joplin



Janis Joplin

Berkley Books

Buy the new paperback edition at:

  • Reporting the War
  • Historical Novels
  • Author's Bio
  • and more

Go To John's Writing Home Page  


John (left) with the Charles River Valley Boys

John was a member of the Cambridge, Mass., bluegrass and old-time band the Charles River Valley Boys during the folk boom. Later in the 60s, he was road manager for Big Brother & the Holding Company and Janis Joplin. John lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming from 1982 until he passed away in September 2017 where he performed more than 400 times with the legendary Stagecoach Band and appeared for over ten years at the Jackson Hole Hootenanny.


As a musician and rock road-manager in the 60s, John was taking pictures the whole time. His subjects span the transition from folk music to rock, including Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, traditional musicians like Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, Mississippi John Hurt, and many more.

Bob Dylan relaxes in the artists' lounge backstage at Philharmonic Hall in Lincoln Center in October, 1964

Bob Dylan, 1964

Go to John's Photography website


John has played characters ranging in age from eleven to eighty, in roles as different as Virgil Blessing, the older cowboy in William Inge's "Bus Stop," and Senex, a lecherous Roman, in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

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John as Klaus Stansdorff, Gestapo spy

Klaus Stansdorff, Gestapo spy "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940"