{ subscribe_url:'/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/nls-music-notes.php' }

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: H (Part 2 – Hibbler, Albert George “Al”)

A Portrait of Al Hibbler

Today we celebrate the career of Al Hibbler. Al Hibbler was an American baritone vocalist famous for singing rhythm and blues and traditional pop music. Born in Mississippi in 1915, Hibbler attended the Arkansas School for the Blind, where he sang in the choir and became interested in jazz.

By the 1940s he had joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and was its only male vocalist. Hibbler also performed with the Count Basie Orchestra, as well as other ensembles, which did not please Ellington. So Hibbler eventually went out on his own, and in the 1950s had several million-selling hits: “Unchained Melody,” “He,” and “After the Lights Go Down Low.”

But the mid-1950s were marked by the start of the Rock ‘n’ Roll era, and the Civil Rights movement. Hibbler took part in the latter, and was arrested several times. Because of this, most record companies dropped him, the one exception being Reprise, Frank Sinatra’s new label.

Some other singers adapted to the changing times by using acting or comedic talents, but Hibbler lacked these gifts. He died in Chicago on April 24, 2001.

Unchained Melody may be found in “I Can Play That!” Pop Hits compiled by Nick Crispin, BRM35076.

If you want to hear about Duke Ellington and other big bands, try

Digging Music, DBM00190
Duke Ellington, DBM00533
From Jump Street: A Story of Black Music, DBM00715
Jazz. Vol. 4, Jazz Singers,  DBM03755

These are just a few of the books that you may borrow from the Music Section, and many others may be downloaded from BARD.

If you need help or have questions, call us at 800-424-8567, and press option 2 for the Music Section.

New BARD Additions: October 2018

This is a guest post from Hannah Noel, a West Coast native currently living in North Carolina. She is a recent graduate of UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science, where she earned her MSLS and focused her studies on archival work in an arts and museum-specific context. She is interning at NLS at the […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: G (Part 1 – Gershwin, George)

This week, we will take a look at American composer George Gershwin. George Gershwin was one of the first American composers to use both popular and classical idioms. Years before his most famous compositions were penned, he worked on Tin Pan Alley as a song plugger—that is, someone who was hired to play and promote […]

New BARD Additions: August 2018

The hot and hazy dog days of summer are here, but the NLS Music Section has been working diligently to provide digital music books and scores for our patrons to access instantly. Take a look at the audiobooks and braille scores we have made available on NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) during the […]

Blind James Campbell and His Nashville Washboard Band

“Tennessee, Tennessee, there ain’t no place I’d rather be”–This is the song that we have been singing for the past several weeks here in the Music Section of the National Library Service (along with Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter in their song “Tennessee Jed”).  The NLS national conference in Nashville has now come and gone, […]

American Composers and Musicians from A to Z: F (Part 1-Foster, Stephen Collins)

Hard Times Come Again No More! American Composers, Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864) I am happy that we are focusing on American composers as a blog cycle; there are always new discoveries and new things to learn about our unique country’s history. And sometimes, if you want to understand an atmosphere of a specific era, look […]

A Blast of Brass!

Last year we discussed method books available from the NLS Music collection for most band and orchestra instruments. We’ve even done some posts on specific instruments, like saxophone and violin. Today, though, I decided to focus a post specifically on brass instruments. “Why brass?” you ask. Well for one, brass instruments are near and dear […]

Nashville Sound: Hargus “Pig” Robbins

Hargus “Pig” Robbins might be the most famous piano player you’ve never heard of, though you’ve likely heard his work. The National Conference of Librarians Serving Blind and Physically Handicapped Individuals will begin in a matter of days in Nashville, Tennessee, so today I want to tell you about a musician who is blind and […]