January 23, 2017

Primary Source Spotlight: Jazz Music

Jazz audio recordings Jazz webcasts and performance videos Jazz image set Gottlieb jazz photos on Flickr "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free" images & score Jazz sheet music Jazz life histories Jazz Chicago 1 Jazz Chicago 2 Jazz Chicago style Jazz magazine clippings from the William P. Gottlieb collection Historic newspaper coverage: jazz (through 1922) More jazz texts Joslyn Art Museum: Jazz on the Green A Local Legacy Influence of Jazz on … [Read more...]

Integrating Technology: Linking Primary Sources to Literature

This is a guest post by Ruth Ferris, an elementary school librarian from Billings, Montana, and a grantee in the TPS Regional Grant Program. It is always a pleasure when I can connect my love of books with my love of history, seasoned with technology.  One favorite tool is ThingLink, which allows you to take a picture and embed links to other types of media within the picture.  I live in Montana and most of my students are more familiar with country music than jazz music. So how do I … [Read more...]

Today in History: Jelly Roll Morton

Today in History–July 10–the Library of Congress features jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton, who died on this day in 1941. Born Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe in New Orleans, Louisiana, Morton billed himself as "Jelly Roll" while playing minstrel and vaudeville shows. In addition to jazz, Morton also played ragtime, blues and spirituals. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more jazz resources from the Library. Jelly Roll Morton from America's … [Read more...]

Today in History: Billie Holiday

Today in History–April 7–the Library of Congress features jazz singer Billie Holiday, born on this date in 1915 in Baltimore, Maryland. Although she had no formal music training, Holiday arranged and composed music in addition to singing. Her 1939 rendition of Lewis Allan's "Strange Fruit," a song about lynching, was described in the liner notes to Immortal Sessions of Billie Holiday as "…the most anguished and harrowing expression of protest against man's inhumanity to man that has ever been … [Read more...]

Today in History: Duke Ellington

Today in History–April 29–the Library of Congress features jazz great Duke Ellington, born on this date in 1899. Ellington started to play piano at age 7 and wrote his first song–Soda Fountain Rag–at age 15. By his late teens, he was earning enough money to help his parents move into a better house. Ellington's musical versatility was astounding and not limited to jazz; he also wrote oratorios, suites, concertos, and even opera, as well as for the Broadway stage, movies, television, nightclubs, … [Read more...]

Today in History: Ella Fitzgerald

Today in History–April 25–the Library of Congress features Ella Fitzgerald, born on this date in 1917. One of the greatest jazz singers of all time, Fitzgerald got her start at Amateur Night at Harlem's Apollo Theater and went on to win 13 Grammys, including two of the first awarded in 1958. Learn more about this legendary vocal artist by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access some more primary sources. Ella Fitzgerald from America's … [Read more...]

Today in History: Louis Jordan

Today in History–December 21–the Library of Congress features saxophonist Louis Jordan, debuted two popular singles on rhythm and blues (R&B) charts on this date in 1946. With a style that combined jazz and blues, Jordan and his Tympany Five launched 54 singles in the 1940s, 18 of which songs reached number one. Learn more about this talented musician by visting the Today in History section, then click the links below for related primary sources. Louis Jordan image set "Let the Good … [Read more...]

Featured Image: Julian and Julienne

More jazz related posts … [Read more...]

Today in History: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Today in History–September 24–the Library of Congress features writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, born on this day in 1896. Named for his distant cousin Francis Scott Key, author of the The Star-Spangled Banner. Fitzgerald also enjoyed instant success with his first writing effort, the novel This Side of Paradise. Five years later Fitzgerald's most celebrated novel, The Great Gatsby, was published. Learn more about this iconic American author by visiting the Today in History section, then click the … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Capturing Character on Camera

The Today in History section for July 10 features Jelly Roll Morton, one of jazz music's primary influences. From 1938 to 1948, William P. Gottlieb took over 1600 photographs of celebrated jazz artists. Carl Van Vechten also took a similar number of photographs of celebrities, including many figures from the Harlem Renaissance. The Library has two great resources for learning about the art of photography and how photographers capture and present a music performer's character on camera, which we … [Read more...]