Press Enter / Return to begin your search.

The Hunting of Billie Holiday | Politico

How Lady Day was in the middle of a Federal Bureau of Narcotics fight for survival From his first day in office in 1930, Harry Anslinger had a problem, and everybody knew it. He had just been appointed head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics—a tiny agency, buried in the gray bowels of the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C.—and it seemed to be on the brink of being abolished. This was the old Department of Prohibition, but prohibition had been abolished and his men needed a new role, fast. As he looked over his new staff—just a few years before […]

Read More

What Louis Armstrong Really Thinks | The New Yorker

On October 31, 1965, Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong gave his first performance in New Orleans, his home town, in nine years. At twelve, he marched in parades for the Colored Waif’s Home for Boys, where he was given his first cornet. But he had publicly boycotted the city since its banning of integrated bands, in 1956. It took the Civil Rights Act, of 1964, to undo the law. Returning should have been a victory lap. At sixty-four, his popular appeal had never been broader. His recording of “Hello, Dolly!,” from the musical then in its initial run on Broadway, bumped the […]

Read More

BANNED: The Bluest Eye| PBS

FROM THE COLLECTION: THE LIBRARY, PBS The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison’s first novel, was published in 1970. Set in Lorain, Ohio — where Morrison herself was born — the book tells the story of Pecola Breedlove, an eleven-year-old African American girl who is convinced that she is ugly, and yearns to have lighter skin and blue eyes. This, she believes, could change her lot in life. Pecola lives in a violent household. Her parents consistently fight, and Pecola herself becomes pregnant after being raped by her alcoholic father, Cholly. Since its publication, the book has consistently landed on the American […]

Read More

A Lost Album From John Coltrane, With Thanks To A French-Canadian Director | NPR

Nate Chinen, NPR John Coltrane, photographed in his backyard in Queens, New York in 1963. JB/© Jim Marshall Photography LLC.Featured Image is never any end,” John Coltrane said sometime in the mid-1960s, at the height of his powers. “There are always new sounds to imagine; new feelings to get at.” Coltrane, one of jazz’s most revered saxophonists, was speaking to Nat Hentoff about an eternal quest — a compulsion to reach toward the next horizon, and the next. More than half a century after his death, that restless pronouncement also carries implications for us, the beneficiaries of Coltrane’s music. Not […]

Read More

Birmingham school teacher tops Billboard Smooth Jazz chart | CBS42

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Kim Scott is the head of the music department at the Alabama School of the Fine Arts. The Flutist also has a chart-topping new single out. Her recent release, “Emerge” is number one on the Billboard Smooth Jazz chart. When she isn’t teaching, Kim Scott is playing her flute. She says she started in 2010 with the vision of playing Jazz and wanted to represent the flute because “there wasn’t a lot of the sound on the radio.” Scott told CBS 42, “It’s a beautiful instrument, not just in the classical music the classical genre. So, […]

Read More

The Man They Called ‘Trane’, Remembering A Jazz Giant | uDiscoverMusic

Richard Havers, uDiscoverMusic Coltrane died on 17 July 1967 having given more to jazz in his 40 years than many who live a much longer life. His music has been an inspiration to many rock musicians as well as younger jazz musicians and his album, A Love Supreme, is one of the acknowledged masterpieces in the jazz canon. Born in North Carolina in September 1926, Coltrane’s father was a tailor and amateur musician able to play several instruments. Coltrane also showed an aptitude for music, studying the E-flat tenor (alto) horn, clarinet and alto saxophone in high school. Both of […]

Read More