In 1939, talented singer Marian Anderson was denied the spotlight at the D.A.R.'s Constitution Hall on account of her race. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt quickly saw to it that she had another venue--the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. On Easter Sunday, a crowd of 75,000 listened to her in person, and her music was carried on the radio and heard by many more. After the concert, Marian Anderson went on to break more racial barriers in the entertainment industry and became a voice of the Civil Rights Movement.
A daughter of union organizers, Mary grew up in Greenwich Village and while only a teenager sang backup for the legendary Pete Seeger. Today, her clear, warm vocals on songs written by Seeger and Bob Dylan remind us of the softer aspects of 1960s social struggle. "If I Had a Hammer," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Blowin' in the Wind" are still favorites for youth groups.
By Sarah Amick, CRRL Intern
Shel Silverstein was a unique writer with many artistic talents. While generally best known for his poetry and literature for children, he was also a cartoonist, composer, lyricist, and folksinger. He was born Sheldon Allan Silverstein on September 25, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois. In the preface to her book entitled Shel Silverstein, Ruth K. MacDonald writes, "Shel Silverstein is admittedly not a great technical poet; he will not be remembered for the advances he has made in the rhyme, meter, diction, or form of his poetry, which children have come to love so much. What he has accomplished is bringing poetry-- perhaps more accurately described as light verse-- to children who would otherwise avoid it." I believe that Silverstein had made a huge impact on children's literature, and his poetry has undoubtedly influenced children of all ages.
Forty years ago, crowds of young people converged on the quiet farming town of Bethel, New York, for a legendary concert. For many, it was the pivotal cultural event of their lives. The Woodstock Generation may be approaching retirement age, but the memories of those wild summer days rock on in books, music, and video.
Andrea Davis Pinkney's (September 25, 1963 -- ) books are full of the rhythms of the African-American community. Stroll down memory lane with Scat Cat Monroe as he follows the rise of Ella Fitzgerald from the small-town girl who liked to sing and dance on street corners to wowing the crowd at the Apollo Theatre when she was only seventeen, dressed in work boots and hand-me-downs.
National Music Week is May 3-10, and the theme is "Music: Poetry of the Heart."
Piano students of teachers who are members of the National Music Society will perform in the Headquarters Library lobby, Monday, May 4 - Thursday, May 7, 6-8pm.
We kicked off our Music on Mondays in March series this week with Quintessential Brass on March 9. Read about it in the Free Lance-Star. Join us for 3 more great performances:
March 16 - Driftwood Fire - Appalachian Bluegrass & Jazz
March 23 - Sean P. Harris - Classic American Folk & Popular Music
March 30 - Fredericksburg Saxophone Quartet - Classical to Jazz
John Cephas died at his home in Woodford, Virginia, on Wednesday, March 4, at the age of 78.
The Caroline County resident was a nationally recognized blues singer and guitarist who played many local venues with singer and harmonica player Phil Wiggins--including the summertime Music on the Steps series at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library and the Bluemont concerts.