Jazz Goes to High School

Metropolitan Vocational High School, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1947. Photograph by William P. Gottlieb.

Friday we released another batch of images from the William P. Gottlieb Collection to Flickr. This set of images includes figures such as pop singer Frankie Laine (seen posing with a souvenir throw pillow bearing his likeness), blues icon Leadbelly, Latin Jazz legends Machito and Graciella Grillo, just to name a few.  Among these pictures is an image that, as one Flickr commenter points out, features the dramatic lighting and low angle of a classic Gottlieb portrait, but has as its subject an unknown student musician. The photograph was part of a Gottlieb story for Down Beat Magazine on Metropolitan High School, a vocational school for music in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. According to a 1969 New York Times article, the school closed forty years ago. The Lower East Side is a very different place today, but you can still visit Katz’s Deli, and Gottlieb’s images live on.

Happy Birthday Wolfgang!

The following post is by Daniel Walshaw, Music Division. Today is the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest composers to ever put pen to paper, and what exactly does that mean? I never quite understand our fascination with celebrating the birthdays of our favorite minds that are long gone. Does it make […]

Sheet Music of the Week

This week’s featured sheet music is from the songwriting team of lyricists Sam Lewis (whose most famous lyric is probably “For All We Know”) and Joe Young (whose biggest hit was “I’m Gonna Sit Myself Right Down and Write Me a Letter”), with music by Maurice Jerome. The bittersweet “Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight […]

An American in Harris

The following is a guest post by Music Division Archivist Chris Hartten. Roy Harris spent a lifetime searching for the American in American music. Born in Chandler, Oklahoma on February 12, 1898, Harris was profoundly influenced by American folksongs and poetry as a young student. He studied with Arthur Farwell and Nadia Boulanger during the […]

More Gottlieb Jazz Pics

The Music Division has uploaded its latest batch of William P. Gottlieb jazz photos onto our Flickr site. Several are particularly eye-catching, notably the two images of bassist Chubby Jackson: one  with dramatic lighting, the other showing Jackson’s irrepressible personality. There is an impressive triple exposure of bandleader Jerry Jerome, and an unusual shot of […]

A Pair of Kings

On this Feast of Three Kings, celebrate the recent birthdays of a pair of musical kings:  bandleader Xavier Cugat  and rock and roll icon Elvis Presley. Francesc d’Asís Xavier Cugat Mingall de Bru i Deulofeu was born in Spain on January 1st, 1900.  Cugat, was dubbed “The Mambo King” in the 1995 Walt Disney feature A Goofy […]

Good Luck, Tomas!

The Music Division wishes the best of luck to Senior Concert Producer Tomas Hernandez, who retired last week after ten years in the Concert Office. In the Muse chatted with Tomas on his penultimate day in government service. What’s your favorite memory of your time at the library? There have been so many wonderful concerts! […]