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Category: African American History

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Gottlieb Jazz Photos on Flickr

Posted by: Larry Appelbaum

William P. Gottlieb (1917-2006) is one of the most celebrated jazz photographers. His iconic images documenting the great stylists and innovators in American jazz and popular music have been studied and reproduced for generations, and his collection of photographs is one of the Library’s great treasures. The Music Division is now pleased to announce the …

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Robert Cole

Posted by: Pat Padua

This post is abridged from a biography written by James Wolf, Digital Conversion Specialist, Music Division, for African-American Band Music & Recordings, 1883-1923 in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Read the entire article here. Robert Allen Cole was born on July 1, 1868, in Athens, Georgia, the son of former slaves. Like Will Marion Cook and James …

Woman with dark hair, fancy dress and pearls with eyes closed and mouth slightly open, singing

Happy Birthday Sir Duke

Posted by: Pat Padua

Otto. Cutey. Stinkpot. Wucker. Dumplin’. Maestro. Big Red. Head Knocker. Puddin’. These are some of the many nicknames given the man born Edward Kennedy, whom we all know as “Duke” Ellington. Born April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C., Ellington was one of the great jazz bandleaders, pianists, and composers. The Music Division is home to …

Woman with dark hair, fancy dress and pearls with eyes closed and mouth slightly open, singing

Happy Birthday Lady Day

Posted by: Pat Padua

Billie Holiday, one of the great jazz singers, was born April 7, 1915.  She recounted her hard life in the autobiography Lady sings the blues, but despite her suffering at the hands of family, a racist society, and her own addictions,  despite the smoky, world-weary voice of her later years, the joy her music brought to …

Woman with dark hair, fancy dress and pearls with eyes closed and mouth slightly open, singing

African-American History Month: James Reese Europe

Posted by: Pat Padua

“He was our benefactor and inspiration. Even more, he was the Martin Luther King of Music.” Pianist Eubie Blake said this of  composer/bandleader James Reese Europe,  who was born in Mobile, Alabama on February 22, 1881. Europe’s accomplishments run from the grand “Concert of Negro Music” that he conducted for a 125-man orchestra at Carnegie Hall in …

Woman with dark hair, fancy dress and pearls with eyes closed and mouth slightly open, singing

African-American History Month

Posted by: Pat Padua

Celebrate African-American History month with a presentation of  African-American Band Stocks on the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. This collection of “stock” arrangements – published orchestrations for instrumental groups – is written by some of the most important African-American composers of the early 20th century. Among those represented are J. Rosamond Johnson,  whose most famous song,  ”Lift Ev’ry Voice …

Woman with dark hair, fancy dress and pearls with eyes closed and mouth slightly open, singing

Jazz Collections at Library of Congress

Posted by: Larry Appelbaum

The discovery five years ago of the Thelonious Monk-John Coltrane 1957 Carnegie Hall concert tapes focused attention on the deep jazz collections here at the Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2005/05-090.html). The tapes, found while preserving the Voice of America Collection, were subsequently issued by Blue Note Records and became a sensation in the jazz world. Since …