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Pic of the Week: Name that Composer Edition

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Detail from "ASCAP meeting" by unknown photographer.
Taken at the Friar's Club, March 27, 1924. John Philip Sousa Collection.

One of the most memorable images from Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation of  the Stephen King novel The Shining is a shot of a framed group photo from the heyday of the fictional Overlook Hotel. It has become an iconic image, and its resonance in the film can lend almost any vintage group photo an air of the uncanny. This week’s featured picture, taken at a March 27, 1924 meeting of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers,  may not hide a terrible secret.   But such is the power of music that if you play the film’s theme, based on Berlioz’ setting of the “Dies Irae,” any old group photo becomes shrouded in mystery.

The photo comes from the Music Division’s John Philip Sousa Collection, and Sousa himself is in this photo, as are many of his contemporary composers.  Among these faces are men and women who composed songs long forgotten as well as those we still know today. But who are they? Who are the African-American composers at the right hand of the photo? View the 21 MB tiff of this image here and let us know whom you recognize!

Comments (2)

  1. I wish we knew which man was Sousa & other compers in the shot

  2. At first glance, I’ve got Sousa, George and Ira Gershwin, Sam Coslow, and maybe Dana Suesse. I know I can do better.

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