Robert Yellin, professionally known as Bob Yellin, was born in New York City in 1936 to a musical family. His father was an NBC studio pianist, his mother was a concert pianist, and his brother Pete Yellin was a jazz saxophonist.
Yellin became interested in bluegrass music as a teenager, and began to participate in the weekly folk music gatherings in Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park. Together with John Herald and Eric Weissberg, whom he met while playing in Washington Square, he formed the bluegrass band The Greenbriar Boys in 1958.
Through his folk music connections, Yellin met Ralph Rinzler, accompanying him on a number of fieldwork trips as a photographer. His fieldwork photographs document folk musicians and artisans. The collection dates from 1964 to 1966. Photographic materials include 69 rolls of negatives, contact sheets made from the negatives, and 54 prints. The photograph collection includes photographs of Doc Watson, Clarence Ashley, Clint Howard and Fred Price.