Philip Melnick, born May 7, 1935 in Chicago, got his start in photography as a teenager in Los Angeles in the 1940s, winning awards for his work in high school and developing a marked passion for stage production and music, especially folk music. From 1958-9, Melnick helped conceptualize the Ash Grove cabaret, and was the first general manager of the club, whose lighting, stage, and sound systems he designed and installed. He continued to help at the Ash Grove as a stage manager, performance coach, and general consultant, also photographing many of the historic folk and blues concerts that took place there. Since the Ash Grove’s closure, Melnick continued to be involved in the recording industry through the mid-’70s as a photographer. From 1977 to 2000, he served as a professor at Northern Illinois University, taking his talents into the realm of landscape photography, which he continues to explore in his present-day home of New Mexico.