June 16, 2019

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: 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: 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 Library Dizzy Gillespie, Carl Van Vechten image set Dizzy Gillespie, William Gottlieb image set "Posin'" Down Beat 13, no. 12 … [Read more...]