“The Metropolitan Opera Murders,” the latest entry in the Library’s Crime Classics series, is a novel from a woman who knows the score. Helen Traubel, a longtime star soprano who performed at the Met for years, wrote the book in 1951, shortly before she left the opera to pursue a career in popular entertainment.
The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center has found a never-before-seen home movie of the infamous Altamont Free Concert in 1969, during which a member of the Hell’s Angels killed a member of the audience. The incident became a cultural turning point of the era.
Judy Garland insisted that the original gloomy lyrics of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” be rewritten to a warm, wistful tone in what is now a holiday standard. Garland debuted the song in the 1944 musical, “Meet Me in St. Louis.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda and his production team researched Jonathan Laron’s papers at the Library for the new musical, “tick…tick…Boom!” Here’s how they did it.
Mark Eden Horowitz, a senior music specialist in the Music Division, recounts his long friendship with Stephen Sondheim and how the maestro’s papers will come to the Library.
Billy Strayhorn was an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and lyricist, most often working for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He wrote “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Lush Life,” “Chelsea Bridge,” “Day Dream” and dozens of other standards. His papers are collected at the Library of Congress.
Hazel Scott was the gorgeous face of jazz at the mid-century; the most glamorous, well-known Black woman in America, making more than $100,000 per year, draped in custom-designed jewelry and furs. Her remarkable career is preserved in the Library’s Music Division.
Glen Campbell’s hit recording of “Wichita Lineman” is one of the inductees into the National Recording Registry. Here’s how Campbell, songwriter Jimmy Webb and studio musicians put the song together.
The earliest known English-language work on magic was published in England in 1635, containing how-tos for many tricks, including an on-stage decapitation. It’s the forerunner of the “saw the assistant in half” trick, performed for ages. The Library’s copy of this influential book comes from the library of Harry Houdini, the master magician and escape artist of the early 20th century, who donated his collection to the Library.
During Pride Month, the U.S. Copyright Office offers guidance and encouragement to drag performers to register their creative work for copyright protection.