Today is an anniversary of special significance for many U.S. citizens. There have been two previous posts by Katie Rodda about the impact of war on music (Veterans Day and Armistice Day and The Music and Sounds of the Vietnam Era) relating how music affected the era and events.
Lasting approximately two hours, the attack on Pearl Harbor disrupted lives and families for generations to come. Popular music in the United States was turning towards a blend of sophistication from the big bands, ballads, and sometimes plain old fun. But Europe also had their favorites and anthems, still sung today (I’m imagining a British pub and camaraderie emerging after a few pints.)
We have audio and braille materials in the NLS Music collection available for our patrons. Victory at Sea, a television documentary about the war focused on naval battles and was orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennet from twelve themes composed by Richard Rodgers. There Are Some Days You Don’t Forget, DBM 01179, is a Mike Whorf Kaleidoscope program with memories of Pearl Harbor and D-Day. What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, available at DBM 00869 includes “Sentimental Journey” and “I’ll Be Seeing You”, possibly an optimistic farewell for a wartime romance. “I’ll Be Seeing You” is also available in braille at BRM 07455 for high voice and piano.
But, there are fun and uplifting songs as well; a particular favorite of mine is “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, brought to the front by the Andrews Sisters with its fun lyrics and swing rhythms. It’s available for piano at BRM 07840. “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” along with “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” and “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) the White Cliffs of Dover” are all available in BRM 25727, Hits of the Forties. And Just Standards Real Book, C edition at BRM 36374 is a recent BARD upload with lots of great tunes including another edition of “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “It’s Been a Long Long Time,” and “I’ll Get By (As Long as I Have You.)”
The movie From Here to Eternity takes place in an exotic locale unknown to U. S. citizens until December 7, 1941. The movie’s composers were nominated for an Oscar in best music score category. DBM 00556 features an interview with George Duning, one of the composers.
Black and white photo of the view facing northwest – U.S. Naval Base, Pearl Harbor
Today’s blog celebrates the career of W.C. Handy. Born in Florence, Alabama on November 16, 1873, William Christopher Handy became interested in music at an early age. His father, a minister, felt that music was an unwise career choice for him and, indeed, the young Handy experienced years of poverty and homelessness at first. But […]
This blog takes a look at composers who were affected by World War I and the music that they composed.
Audio version of NLS Music Appreciation catalog now available.
When I was a teenager, I began learning about classical music by listening to radio programs in the evening. Often the shows would begin with an overture or “light classic”, such as the Light Cavalry Overture (which our school band played), or the William Tell Overture (the “Lone Ranger” to me). There was also a […]
One of the most nerve-racking events I ever experienced as a music student was participating in master classes. I remember one class in particular vividly; the feeling of slight panic as the master class teacher repeated for the fourth time, “no, not like that, try again.” I could hear the audience shifting in their seats […]
Often the blogs we write have something to do with the calendar: a historic event, date of birth or death, etc. but this blog concerns a favorite topic of mine. Going through all the Robert Greenberg courses that the Music Section offers, I found one called “The String Quartets of Beethoven.” So I got the […]
Recently on June 9th-10th, I had the pleasure to present some treasures at the recent “Pride in the Library: LGBTQ+ Voices in the Library of Congress Collections” exhibit. This was in the Jefferson Building and there was great interest in what was on display. The attendance record (2,365 visitors over three days) illustrates the level of […]
Now that the hockey season is officially over, there is only one major sport that is capturing the nation’s attention: baseball! I find that baseball is synonymous with summer, as it’s been played in the summer months for generations. I’m sure I’m not alone recalling warm summer evenings spent gathered around the radio listening to […]
We’ve discussed show-tunes, Broadway, and the Great American Songbook on the blog before, but we have yet to talk about perhaps one of the most influential composers of American standards: Irving Berlin, who happens to celebrate his 129th birthday today. Along with penning a few Broadway scores, including the score for Annie Get Your Gun, […]