"When I get married today" by Clarence Gaskill. Philadelphia: Shisler, Gaskill & Benkhart, Inc., 1913.
Anglophiles on this side of the pond had to get up awfully early this morning to witness the pageantry across the sea. We hope and presume that Prince William did not have this week’s featured sheet music in mind as he awaited his bethrothed. Composer Clarence Gaskill bleakly portrays married life as “no wining and dining. ” The singing dandy further laments, “Mister Carnegie, Oh hear my plea/Save a medal for me,” in reference to philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who in 1904 established the Carnegie Hero Fund.
Gaskill’s best known song may be a number first popularized by Russ Columbo (who co-wrote it) and later revived by singers from Perry Como to James Brown: “Prisoner of love.” One senses a curious leitmotif in Gaskill’s oeuvre. But a life of matrimony need not be the ball and chain of song, and In the Muse wishes the royal couple a grand start to what is already a fairy-tale adventure.
I first met composer and multi-instrumentalist David Amram 25 years ago when we did a late night radio interview at WPFW-FM. I knew about his music, of course, his film scores (The Manchurian Candidate, Splendor In The Grass, Pull My Daisy) and collaborations with leading jazz, classical, folk and world music artists. But that free-wheeling […]
The following is a guest post from Music Archivist Chris Hartten. Morton Gould delighted American audiences for over seventy years with his impressive array of original symphonic compositions and arrangements. Born in New York in 1913, Gould quickly established himself as a tour de force on the radio and was recognized as one of the […]
The following is a guest post from Senior Producer in the Concert Office Anne McLean. A new music mini-series, Distinctly America!, brings a fascinating sampling of American composers–established and emerging–to the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium this spring (for a complete lineup of events, visit the Concerts from the Library of Congress website). George Crumb, Sebastian Currier […]
The following post is by Larry Appelbaum, Senior Reference Specialist, Music Division. For the final night of the Library’s Jazz Film Series, we celebrate composer David Amram, who at age 80 continues to break ground in jazz, classical and world music. As a jazz French horn player, Amram worked with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy […]
This week’s featured picture is from the Herta Moselsio Collection, a remarkable body of work that can be found in our Martha Graham presentation. In 1939, film maker Moselsio worked with Martha Graham to film her work Lamentation, which premiered in New York in 1930. This iconic work of Graham places the solo dancer on […]
This week’s featured title comes from Henri Dora. “Puzzle March” is illustrated with the image of a refined gentleman hard at work on a puzzle whose solution would seem simple enough: to put the numbers one through fifteen in order. Our distinguished fop is nonetheless frustrated, frazzled, and finally driven mad by his inability to […]
Legendary blues singer Bessie Smith was born on this day in 1894 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Portions of this blog post were taken from the online exhibit, American Treasures of the Library of Congress. Bessie Smith gained immediate success in 1923 with her first recording “Down Hearted Blues”/”Gulf Coast Blues.” Her renditions of Negro life in […]
In the Muse chatted recently with Senior Acquisitions Specialist Loras Schissel. What are you working on right now? I’m putting the final touches on the personal correspondence for the American composer David Diamond, which is neat because it’s not only David corresponding with other musicians and other New York type people, but he was real […]
The following is a guest post from Head of Acquisitions & Processing Denise Gallo. April 12 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of Battle of Fort Sumter, the first major conflict of the Civil War. Having seceded from the Union four months earlier, South Carolina had been demanding that the Union evacuate the fort. […]