October 19, 2018

Today in History: Fiddler Henry Reed

Today in History–April 28–the Library of Congress features musician Henry Reed, born on this date in 1884 in West Virginia. Reed was a master fiddler as well as banjo and harmonica player who learned most of the tunes he played by ear and had hundreds of songs committed to memory. He never played professionally but became well known after Duke University graduate students Karen and Alan Jabbour began to tape his fiddling. Find out more about this master musician by visiting the Today in … [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: 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 visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below for related primary sources.Louis Jordan's Record "Let the Good Times … [Read more...]

Today in History: American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

Today in History–February 13–the Library of Congress features the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) founded on this date in 1914 by composer Victor Herbert. Learn more about Herbert and other ASCAP artists by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more resources.American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) founded from America's LibraryASCAP: One Hundred Years and Beyond online exhibitionAmerican … [Read more...]

Today in History: Dizzy Gillespie

Today in History–January 6–the Library of Congress features jazz great Dizzy Gillespie, who died on this date in 1993. Learn more about the terrific trumpeter-composer-bandleader who was one of the key figures in modern jazz music by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below for related primary sources.Dizzy Gillespie from America's LibraryDizzy Gillespie, Carl Van Vechten image setDizzy Gillespie, William Gottlieb image set"Posin'" Down Beat 13, no. 12 … [Read more...]

Today in History: W.C. Handy & the Blues

Today in History–September 28–the Library of Congress features William Christopher Handy, whose song the "Memphis Blues" was published on this date in 1912. Handy introduced the blues into mainstream music and became known as the father of the blues. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access a rich collection of blues music resources.W.C. Handy song recordingsW.C. Handy sheet musicW.C. Handy imagesW.C. Handy historical newspaper … [Read more...]