The beautiful woman smoking a cigarette and reclining on a living room chaise lounge on the cover of Dylan's 1965 album "Bringing It All Back Home" was Sally Grossman, the wife of Dylan's manager, Albert Grossman.
Photographer Daniel Kramer took the photo at Grossman's home in Woodstock, N.Y. She, like Dylan's girlfriend Suze Rotelo, who appeared in the cover photo of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," gained fame as a Dylan muse.
Sally Grossman, who went on to manage the Bearsville Recording Studio and theaters in Woodstock after her husband's death, died March 10 in her sleep, according to media reports.
As a young college dropout, she hastened to the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s, working as a waitress at the musical hot spots Café Wha?,and The Bitter End. She likely witnessed Dylan's first performances at the Café Wha?.
Albert Grossman, a pushy overweight businessman who wore ill-fitting suits to scout talent in dark, intimate nightclubs, co-founded the Newport Folk Festival, where Dylan shocked folk purists in 1963 by performing with electric instruments.
In New York City, Grossman signed Dylan and put together Peter, Paul and Mary, who made Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" the anthem of the civil rights movement. Grossman went on to manage artists ranging from Gordon Lightfoot to Ian and Sylvia, Janis Joplin, Richie Havens and the Band.
The physically unappealing Grossman also met and married the young waitress Sally Buehler, who played a significant role in his business. The couple moved to Woodstock, an arts colony in upstate New York, enticing Dylan to move there.
Unmentioned in Sally Grossman's New York Times obituary, Dylan intensified his transformation in Woodstock, writing the songs for the earth-shaking albums "Bringing It All Back Home," "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Blonde on Blonde."
With several acoustic songs, "Bringing It All Back Home" signaled the transition. When Kramer arrived in Woodstock to take photos, Dylan asked that Grossman be in the picture.
She played significant roles in other bits of rock history: introducing Dylan to her friend, Sara Lownds, his first wife, and remaining silent about the motorcycle accident that caused Dylan to withdraw from touring for several years.
Also unreported in the Times obituary, she was involved in the Band's arrival at the Woodstock house they called Big Pink, where they recorded their revolutionary early albums and the "Basement Tapes" performances with Dylan.
Sally Grossman was not just a mysterious woman in a photograph. She influenced the course of American music.