August 25, 2019

Today in History: Frank Sinatra

Today in History–July 13–the Library of Congress features Frank Sinatra, who made his recording debut on this day in 1939 with the Harry James band. After, Sinatra sang with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra before beginning his solo career. On his own, Sinatra became a teenage sensation but would later appeal to music and movie fans of multiple generations. Learn more about this talented artist by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary … [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: Marian Anderson

Today in History–January 7–the Library of Congress features singer Marian Anderson, who made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on his day in 1955. Barred from attending a Philadelphia music school because of her race, Anderson's family, friends and church helped fund private voice lessons. Although she toured Europe and the United States extensively, Anderson continued to suffer discrimination. In the most infamous incident, in 1939 Anderson was prohibited from performing … [Read more...]

Today in History: Jenny Lind

Today in History–September 11–the Library of Congress features soprano Jenny Lind, who made her American debut in New York City on this date in 1850. The concert was the first of a 93-stop American tour for the 19th-century singing sensation who sang opera as well as popular songs. Learn more about the "Swedish nightingale" by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links below. Jenny Lind image set Jenny Lind sheet music Jenny Lind's prize song (sheet music & song … [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 Was Born from America's … [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...]

Today in History: Leontyne Price

Today in History–February 10–the Library of Congress features singer Leontyne Price, born on this date in 1927. This opera star earned 18 Grammy awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Learn more about Price by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access primary sources about opera from across the Library. Leontyne Price Born from America's Library Leontyne Price image set #Opera Before Instagram: Portraits, 1890–1955 online exhibition Opera song … [Read more...]