Jimmy Baynes, Woman in cha cha pumps

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Original vintage Kodacolor print | 3.5 x 5 inches | processor's wet stamp verso

James Hamilton ("Jim" or "Jimmy") Baynes, Jr. was born July 12, 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest of 11 children. By the 1950s, he was an amateur photographer, launching the Baynes Foto Service at 2220 East 87th Street.

For three decades, Baynes photographed life in Cleveland's African-American community, which was concentrated on Cleveland's east side. He could be seen at local events in his dark suits with his camera, shooting Polaroids and selling them for $5 each. 

Baynes photographed everything from private weddings to beauty competitions and burlesque shows, making many photographs in the city's entertainment venues. His work includes jazz, R&B, and rock and roll musicians including Louis Armstrong, Ruth Brown, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, and Louis Jordan.

Although Baynes' photographs were often published in Cleveland magazines and newspapers, such as The Call and Post, his photographs provide a unique view into Cleveland's African-American life, music and culture, one rarely covered by the mainstream media.