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Category: Music

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

National Recording Registry 2024! Green Day, Blondie, Doug E. Fresh, Juan Gabriel!

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Blondie, Green Day and the Mexican star Juan Gabriel headline the National Recording Registry Class of 2024, revealed today by Librarian Carla Hayden. The 25 recordings added to registry each year are recognized for their aesthetic, cultural or historical"signficance to the American story, and includes everything from wax cylinder recordings to podcasts. This year's class featured songs and recordings spanning nearly a century, including work by comic actress Lily Tomlin, from hip-hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh (and Slick Rick) and the polished New Wave sound of The Cars.

Colorful fashion sketch of a woman wearing a multi-colored dress

Florence Klotz: Costume Design & Broadway History

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Broadway legend Florence Klotz won six Tony Awards for her costume designs, more than any previous designer. The Library’s Florence Klotz Collection includes designs for many of her works, including “Follies,” “A Little Night Music,” “Pacific Overtures,” “On the Twentieth Century,” “City of Angels" and “Kiss of the Spider Woman." For her final show alone, a revival of "Show Boat," she designed 585 costumes for 72 actors. In all, there are approximately 2,500 designs, plus hundreds of additional pages of correspondence, notes, photographs and other items. There also are more than 40 “Show Bibles” — extraordinary volumes that track every aspect of every costume for a show by performer.

Womens History Month: Filling in the (Almost) Lost World of Maggie Thompson

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Margaret Virginia “Maggie” Thompson spent most of her life in tiny Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, more than a century ago. When a Library genealogist came across Thompson's long-lost scrapbook recently, she set out to solve a mystery: Who were the other people pictured in her scrapbook?

George Gershwin leans foward onto a table, smiling and wearing suit and tie. Black and white head and shoulders photo.

Gershwin’s “Rhapsody” at 100; Still Capturing the American Character

Posted by: Neely Tucker

George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” a rapturous burst of music that has become a motif of the nation’s creative spirit, turns 100 today. It was first performed in New York on the snowy Tuesday afternoon of Feb. 12, 1924. Commissioned and premiered by the popular conductor Paul Whiteman at a concert designed to showcase high-minded …

Photo of sheet of notebook paper in a three-ring binder with song lyrics and musical notation written in blue pen

“Feeling Good” About the Leslie Bricusse Collection

Posted by: Neely Tucker

On May 15, 1962, the British songwriting team of Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley were up-by-the-bootstraps types, just hitting their 30s, and would become big stars. On that day, they scratched out what would become perhaps their most influential hit, a deceptively simple song called "Feeling Good." Nina Simone would make it her anthem in 1965, and Michael Bublé would have a worldwide hit with it nearly three decades later. The Library's Bricusse collection preserves that moment of creation in one of his meticulously kept notebooks.

Program cover shows two hands holding a small globe, which is filled by a red atomic mushroom cloud

“Dr. Atomic,” The Oppenheimer Opera

Posted by: Neely Tucker

When the San Francisco Opera debuted “Doctor Atomic,” an opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams based on physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and the test of the first atomic bomb, its first lines contained a scientific error. Marvin L. Cohen, president of the American Physical Society, was in the audience and caught it immediately. Here's how he and Adams changed it.

Football Forever!

Posted by: Neely Tucker

We're down to the college football national championship game next week and the NFL playoff are just around the corner. It's a perfect time to check in with "Football Nation" author Susan Reyburn as she chooses favorite items from the Library's collections. This article is slightly adapted from the January-February issue of the Library of Congress Magazine.