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.
Charles Walton Papers are an archival collection held at the Harsh Research Collection at Woodson Regional Library. Charles Walton was a jazz drummer, music educator and author of “Bronzeville Conversations,” a research and oral history project that documented the jazz and blues world in Black Chicago. The collection includes oral history recordings that discuss Charlie Parker.
William McBride Papers are another archival collection held at the Harsh Research Collection. From the 1930s through the 1980s, William McBride was an artist, political activist and collector of Bronzeville cultural memorabilia. There are a number of musical and dance performance posters in this collection, including a poster showcasing Charlie Parker performing “Jazz at the Philharmonic,” with Coleman Hawkins at the Civic Opera House in 1948.
Charlie Parker Played Be Bop is colorful, funny and a great introduction to Charlie Parker for children.
Lawrence O. Koch's Yardbird Suite is an in-depth study of Parker, including record date details, over 200 musical illustrations, and biographical information arranged chronologically and linked with Parker's recordings.
One of Charlie Parker's most popular albums, Bird and Diz, was released in 1952.
Online Resources and Film
The Chicago Defender Historical Archive (1910-1975) and the Chicago Tribune Historical Archive (1849-1990) offer full-text access to these newspapers. Use these online resources to find articles about Charlie Parker's Chicago performances and other jazz legends.
The documentary Celebrating Bird explores Parker's amazing talent and the addictions that haunted him. The film includes the only surviving TV footage of Parker playing "Hot House."