July 17, 2018

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 Was Born from America's … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Amateur Night @ the Apollo Race Relations

Read an oral history excerpt or the full oral history account by an audience member who attended amateur night at the Apollo Theater in November, 1938. African Americans and a few whites crowded the [Apollo] theater to enjoy--and mock--amateur musicians. In this account from American Life Histories, 1936-1940, Federal Writer Dorothy West describes an event that happened [there]. What does this event suggest about race relations in the late 1930s? What is West's view of the actions of the … [Read more...]