Rhapsody in Blue Premiers at the Aeoliann Hall, 1924
“The audience packed a house that could have been sold out at twice the size,” wrote New York Times critic Olin Downes on February 13, 1924, of a concert staged the previous afternoon at the Aeolian Hall in New York City. Billed as an educational event, the “Experiment In Modern Music” concert was organized by Paul Whiteman, the immensely popular leader of the Palais Royal Orchestra, to demonstrate that the relatively new form of music called jazz deserved to be regarded as a serious and sophisticated art form. The program featured didactic segments intended to make this case—segments with titles like “Contrast: Legitimate Scoring vs. Jazzing.” After 24 such stem-winders, the house was growing restless. Then a young man named George Gershwin, then known only as a composer of Broadway songs, seated himself at the piano to accompany the orchestra in the performance of a brand new piece of his own composition, called Rhapsody In Blue. Find George Gershwin at the library, on hoopla and in Freegal.
On January 12, 1938, best-selling author Judy Blume, known for her children’s books and young-adult novels, including “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” is born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Blume’s books, which realistically address such topics as menstruation, bullying, divorce, sexuality, friendships, family and body image, gained legions of young fans; however, their content frequently led them to be banned by school libraries. After her work was the target of an organized book-banning campaign in the 1980s, Blume became an anti-censorship activist. In addition to writing for young readers, Blume has penned novels for adults, including “Wifey” (1978), “Smart Women” (1983) and “Summer Sisters” (1998), all of which were best-sellers. To date, her books have sold over 80 million copies and been translated into more than 30 languages. Find Judy Blume at the library , on OverDrive ( Avalon or the Consortium) and on hoopla.