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Now…That’s Entertainment!

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Summertime, and the living is easy

…Except here at the NLS Music Section where we use the time to update our catalogs and circulars.

In the near future, we will be offering a new version of the former Instructional Cassette Recordings Catalog. But because of the growth of the collection it will be divided into two separate catalogs. One will be for audio instruction, so the guitarists and pianists among you can easily get right to the nitty-gritty of finding a new challenge and learning a song. The other half will cover music appreciation, broadly speaking. It’s a big project, but as I look closely at the audio music appreciation collection, I am gratified to discover some new treasures.

I can by no means cover every genre, but I thought I would list some of my favorite artists and include the call number, so you can download from BARD or request via cartridge from us.

In the classical field, we have violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler, DBM 1196 and DBM 288. Harpsichordist Wanda Landowska talks about her life and music on DBM 160. Another famed violinist and great communicator about music is Yehudi Menuhin, available at DBM 69 and 374. Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia discusses his favorite concerts and music on DBM 289, and presents a master class at DBM 62.

For vocal aficionados, you can swoon over singing truck driver Mario Lanza, DBM 896, and smile with John McCormack as he sings about Irish Eyes, DBM 1195. Hear him and other great singers on The Voices of Opera, DBM 185. It provides a vocal classification of opera singers, illustrating each voice part and includes opera excerpts. Tenor Jan Peerce ventured into both classical and popular music at DBM 823. Jeanette MacDonald, a soprano introduced to the public in movies and thereby introducing the public to opera as well, is heard on  DBM 341. Another soprano, Beverly (aka Bubbles) Sills, also brought opera to the public via television and multiple appearances on The Tonight Show. You can hear about her on DBM 973. And I must include my favorite bon vivant, pianist Artur Rubinstein, with performances by Brahms and Beethoven on DBM 969.

Photo of Artur Rubinstein sitting in performance at the piano.
Photo of Artur Rubinstein sitting in performance at the piano.

Keep in mind, this is just a sample of my personal favorites. There are many more artists in our collection.

In the popular field, we have jazz, pop, reggae, blues, salsa and country represented. Many jazz fans enjoy listening to Marian McPartland and her program Piano Jazz. A small sample includes Mulgrew Miller, Butch Thompson from Prairie Home Companion, George Shearing, Gerry Mulligan, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea. It’s a jazzer’s paradise. Sounds of the Latin culture and a “taste” of salsa can be enjoyed with Tito Puente, DBM 1026. Reggae idol Bob Marley is available on DBM 717. And I can’t leave out the electrifying Janis Joplin at DBM 899, or the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis, at DBM 814.

Concluding our popular choices are some classic country stars, like Tex Ritter, DBM 878, Jimmie Rogers, DBM 882, and Hank Williams, DBM 813. When one considers that Hank Williams’ career only lasted three years, his contribution to country-western music is truly impressive. Another great contributor, who decided to do things his way (and I am glad about that) was Willie Nelson. Willie Nelson is the most recent singer/songwriter to be honored by the Library of Congress with the Gershwin Award.  We have guitar lessons of his songs, such as On the Road Again, DBM 3131 and the iconic Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain at DBM 3386.

Stay tuned to this blog and announcements in our music magazines about the updated catalogs, which will include the Smithsonian Folklife collection as an ongoing update. We look forward to patron’s response when they learn about them and request some of our new titles.

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