July 15, 2020

Primary Source Spotlight: Henry Creamer & Turner Layton

Song recordings After you've gone Childhood days Dear old Southland Everybody's crazy 'bout the doggone blues, but I'm happy Goodbye Alexander, goodbye honey boy If you'll come back I'm waiting for you, 'Liza Jane I've got the finest man Jubilee blues Oh! Frenchy! Strut Miss Lizzie Sweet Emalina, my gal Sweet mamma (Papa's getting mad) Sweet 'n' pretty That's the doctor, Bill Way down yonder in New Orleans When the shadows softly come and go … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was born on Nov. 30, 1912 and died on March 7, 2006. A highly influential photographer, he contributed to the Farm Security Administration, Life Magazine, and Vogue, and also wrote books and poetry, composed music, and directed movies. Gordon Parks photographs Trumpet Awards honorees Tom Bradley, Gordon Parks, Maya Angelou and others 1994 photograph Gordon Parks mention in The Detroit tribune. (Detroit, Mich.), 06 Nov. 1948 Gordon Parks in Today in History Gordon … [Read more...]

Today in History: Stravinsky & Balanchine

Today in History–December 1–the Library of Congress features the New York City Ballet premier of Agon, a collaboration between Igor Stravinsky and George Balanchine, on this date in 1957. Both Russian émigrés and colleagues from the Paris Ballet Russes, Stravinsky was a top composer of ballet music and Balanchine a leading ballet choreographer. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links to related resources below. A Ballet for Balanchine American Treasures of … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Leonard Bernstein illustrated letter

Leonard Bernstein was a famous American composer and conductor. Don't read the words, just study the illustrations. Zoom into the image online. What is the setting? What is the story? Now read the letter. Challenge yourself to decipher the writing on the pages, then read the transcript. How does the actual letter compare with the story you had in mind from analyzing the illustrations? Write a letter with illustrations to your mother or someone special in your life. Take pictures before you … [Read more...]

Today in History: George M. Cohan

Today in History–July 3–the Library of Congress features theater maestro George M. Cohan, born on this date in 1878. The multitalented Cohan was a playwright, songwriter, dancer, actor, theater owner, and producer. He also was awarded the Congressional medal of honor for his World War I song "Over There". Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access numerous primary sources. George M. Cohan Was Born from America's Library "Over There" sheet … [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: 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 Library ASCAP: One Hundred Years and Beyond online exhibition American … [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...]

Today in History: Aaron Copland

Today in History–November 14–the Library of Congress features composer Aaron Copland, born on this day in 1900. Copland created scores that simplified music and expressed the American experience. Learn more about this prolific artist by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more Copland treasures. Primary sources The Aaron Copland Collection (selections from Copland's music sketches, correspondence, writings, and photographs) Fanfare for the … [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 recordings W.C. Handy sheet music W.C. Handy images W.C. Handy historical newspaper … [Read more...]