Music is in the House

Portrait of Art Tatum, Rochester, N.Y.(?), ca. May 1946. Photograph by William P. Gottlieb.

Portrait of Art Tatum, Rochester, N.Y.(?), ca. May 1946. Photograph by William P. Gottlieb.

The thirteenth of October may fill the superstitious with dread, but today we celebrate the birthdays of three great musicians whose work fills the Music Division’s precious vaults.

Celebrate  gospel singer Shirley Caeasar (born October 13, 1938) with a medley including “You’re Next in Line,” an excerpt from Gospel: A Joyful Sound, a concert Caesar and her ensemble performed at the Coolidge Auditorium in 2002.

Celebrate singer/songwriter Paul Simon (October 13, 1941), recipient of  the first Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. See photos from the all-star concert performed at the Warner Theater in the Library of Congress Information Bulletin.

And last but far from least, remember jazz pianist Art Tatum (October 13, 1909), whose chops were so phenomenal that one of his albums is called “God is in the House,” with portraits from the William P. Gottlieb Collection in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. A search on “Art Tatum” in the Library of Congress’s online catalog results in more than two hundred hits, including recordings, biographies (including one geared towards children), and a volume of transcribed improvisations.

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