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Over the Rainbow, and More: Part 1

Every year, 25 recordings are added to the LOC’s National Recording registry, recordings that are considered “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” The purpose of this blog is not to list all 25 of them, but to highlight those where the song is part of the NLS Music collection. Most of these items may be downloaded from BARD. Keep reading, you may find some surprises, as I did.

Over the Rainbow

Over the Rainbow Judy Garland’s 1939 recording reminds me of family gathered around the television to enjoy “The Wizard of Oz.” In braille there is Popular Music Lead Sheets No. 34, BRM29295; a George Shearing arrangement in “The Giants of Jazz Piano”, BRM35937, volume 2; a version for B-flat cornet in “Our School Band Book”, BRM17941; plus “Popular Songs of Inspiration for Flute”, BRM34561; A version for B-flat clarinet and piano is at BRM21194.

Large-print readers will find the song in “Through the Years, Golden Standards”, ed. By Carol Cuellar, LPM621. And in “Standards and Showtunes, Book One”, by Dick Fieldhouse, LPM779.

In audio format, Bill Brown can teach you to play it by ear: On Alto sax, DBM02728; fingerstyle guitar, DBM03472; regular guitar DBM02665; soft-rock guitar (Eva Cassidy cover), DBM02809; piano, DBM02414.

American Pie

At first I just let myself enjoy the infectious beat of the music, but later I wrote to my favorite rock station, asking for their explanation of the lyrics (“When the jester sang for the king and queen in a coat he borrowed from James Dean”, etc.). RNIB’s transcription of the song is at BRM22298. The song is also included in “Great Songs of the 70s”, ed. By Milton Okun, BRM27690.

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing

Two recordings of this great song were selected, one by Manhattan Harmony Four from 1923, along with a later version by Melba Moore. NLS patrons may borrow a large print version at LPM636 or  a braille version at BRM29554.

I will have more songs in Part Two.

Celebrating Black Composers

In honor of Black History Month, this blog post will highlight materials in the music section that are written by or about African American composers. These composers wrote in many styles, including popular, Western classical, jazz, gospel, and more. Here is some music by three Black composers that we have available in our collection. Harry […]

A Miniaturist and More

For many music lovers, the end of January brings to mind two birthdays: Mozart’s on the 27th, and Schubert’s on the 31st. Could a composer born between these two giants, end up being overlooked? Perhaps. It was while preparing my blog about the Viking Opera Guide (BRM29585) that I learned that the 29th of January […]

Newest BARD Additions

Since we are on a roll talking about BARD, I thought it would be good to highlight some of the new (or newly digitized) titles that we’ve uploaded to BARD over the past few weeks. Talking Books Uncle Dave Macon (DBM03766) This is a look at “Uncle Dave” Macon (also known as “The Dixie Dewdrop) and […]

A Four Hour Concert in an Unheated Hall

On this day, over two hundred years ago, a historic concert took place. It was in Vienna, in the middle of the Advent season, and Beethoven needed some money. “But, Beethoven,” you would say, “surely he was doing fine! He is Beethoven! Everyone loves him!” However, in Vienna in 1808, just because everyone loved you […]

What A Great Service!

I heard these words a lot this past weekend. That’s because the NLS Music Section made its way to the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) conference in Grapevine, TX. While there, I was able to promote our service to music teachers from all over the country—and some future music teachers too! The refrain I kept […]

Never Too Late!

Forty-three years ago patron Dianne Phelps earned her Music Education degree at Eastern New Mexico University. She faced difficult challenges with her partial vision at the time and struggled with some of the faculty, reluctant to award her a degree. Thankfully, she prevailed. Afterwards, she had a keyboard and was frustrated as she was not […]

Our Newest Books on (and off) BARD

Since it’s back-to-school time, many folks find themselves looking for new projects, new topics of interest, and new hobbies. I sincerely hope that many of you reading this are hoping to learn how to play music or your favorite song, improving your already extant musical skill, or maybe teaching yourself about some topic in music […]