#TBT: Charlie Parker’s First Recording


For today's Throwback Thursday, let's remember jazz musician Charlie Parker (1920-1955), who first recorded 75 years ago on April 30, 1941. Charlie Parker was a legendary Grammy-winning jazz alto and tenor saxophonist who, with Dizzy Gillespie, created the musical style called bop or bebop. Celebrate the musical talent of Charlie Parker with these library materials. Archives Charles Walton Papers are an […]

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#TBT: Lady Gaga Is Born

Source: qthomasbower, Flickr

For this Throwback Thursday, I'd like to look at the stratospheric rise of Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, who turns 30 on Monday, March 28. In less than a decade since her first album, The Fame, Lady Gaga has made an indelible mark on pop music, even drawing comparisons to Madonna. There has […]

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#TBT: 50th Anniversary of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds

Source: jeanfrancoishayeur, Flickr

I was a Beach Boys fan from a young age, but it took me a while to appreciate Pet Sounds. Once I connected to the album, however, it became one of my all-time favorites. Although it was met with a lukewarm reception from American critics and audiences, it’s considered one of the most important, influential and, […]

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The Black National Anthem and the Multitalented Men Who Wrote It

J. Rosamond Johnson (l) with his brother James Weldon Johnson 
Source: ASCAP, Wikipedia

James Weldon Johnson is often called the Renaissance Man of the Harlem Renaissance—with good reason. The author of the novel The Autobiography of An Ex-Colored Man, he was also a respected poet, newspaper columnist, diplomat and the first black leader of the NAACP. But he is perhaps best known for writing the lyrics to the stirring […]

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#TBT: The Day the Music Died

Source: Wikimedia Commons, public domain

For Throwback Thursday, we’re going back to February 3, 1959, “The Day the Music Died,” when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, along with their pilot, were killed in a plane crash in Iowa. After the musicians endured numerous colds, flus and freezing bus rides while on tour, Buddy Holly decided […]

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Quiz: Super Bowl Turns 50

Super Bowl 50, February 7, 2016 sign with San Francisco in the background

The AFL/NFL World Championship Game, also now known as Super Bowl I, was held January 15, 1967 in Los Angeles. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10. As they played that game, they probably had no idea the Super Bowl would become the event it is today. The stage for this year’s […]

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#TBT: Happy Birthday, Dolly Parton!

Dolly Parton 1988

Singer-songwriter, actress, entrepreneur and country legend Dolly Parton turned 70 on January 19. For this Throwback Thursday, let's celebrate with a look back at her career. A prolific musician with 46 Grammy nominations and 25 No. 1 hits on Billboard's country charts, Dolly Parton is adored by her legion of fans for her pure voice and simple melodies […]

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#TBT: History of Billboard Hits Quiz

Source: shawnhoke, Flickr

The first Billboard music chart was published 80 years ago, in January 1936. A number of charts were consolidated, and the first Hot 100, which is still around today, appeared in 1958. The modern Hot 100 not only takes into account sales and radio play but has added digital downloads and streaming to the equation. The […]

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Quiz: Test Your Holiday IQ

Wrigley Building and Trump Tower with Christmas tree in the foreground

For many of us, books, movies and music put us in the holiday spirit and shape our traditions with family and friends. So what better way to celebrate the titles we love than a holiday quiz? Our bloggers Beth, Katie, Laura, Mary, Michelle, Municipal_Reference_Guy and Shilo created this quiz to give you something fun to share this holiday season.

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Do You Wanna Build _ _________? (Holiday Music)

Admit it; it’s so easy to fill in the blanks for those beautiful, but oh-so-tired lyrics! It’s kind of crazy how often the same old songs are played over and over again, especially around Christmastime. The holiday tunes one hears on the radio and in almost every store this time of year have similar expressions […]

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