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Music

  • American History Magazine

    Graceland

    When you think of important landmarks in American history, Elvis’ Graceland mansion might not be the first thing that comes to mind. The U.S. Capitol, the Empire State Building, Lexington Green where the shot heard ’round the world was...

  • American History Magazine

    What We Talk About When We Talk About Elvis

    Why we still love the poor white boy who turned race, class and sexual mores upside down— and then OD’d on the American Dream. He never held elective office, but that won’t matter to his legions of admirers. You watch—someday,...

  • American History Magazine

    Harmonica Wizard DeFord Bailey

    One of the biggest stars of the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville’s iconic showcase of country music, was a 4-foot-11 black harmonica player named DeFord Bailey. Bailey grew up in a musical family in Smith County, Tenn., 40 miles east of...

  • American History Magazine

    American History Book Review: Shout, Sister, Shout

    Shout, Sister, Shout: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe By Gayle F. Wald, Beacon Press, 2007 It’s a truism about rock ’n’ roll—and about most other things: The more you know, the more you realize...

  • American History Magazine

    American History Letters from Readers- December 2007

    Elvis: Iconic or Immoral? The August 2007 issue certainly gave Elvis Presley a good going over, which should make all of his many loyal fans pleased. However, there is a segment of the population who, though not exactly antiElvis, do not...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Music to Make War By

    Imagine the Civil War without rousing anthems, controversial tunes or even a grand march for the president. Early in the Civil War, patriotic music and art played significant roles in inspiring young men on both sides to join the cause and...

  • World War II Magazine

    Free Records, 8 Million of ’Em

    An instant hit with the troops, V-Discs are today a priceless archive of rare performances by jazz and pop greats. The letter, signed by a GI attached to one of the army’s far-flung radio stations, arrived from somewhere in Alaska....

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Today- November 2007

    Secret Recordings Reveal Hitler’s Generals Knew of the Holocaust For decades after World War II, the German army seemed to get a pass on the Holocaust. At Nuremberg, high-ranking generals insisted they never knew what was happening in...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Sing, Cowboy, Sing!

    From its mythical cattle drive origins, Western music flourished in romantic stories, novels, recordings and film, earning its place in the mosaic of American folk music...

  • Vietnam Magazine

    When James Brown Brought the House Down

    Ever since 1968, I have been meaning to compose a letter to the Godfather of Soul that begins something like this: Dear Mr. James Brown, First, I want to thank you for coming to Vietnam and performing for the soldiers at Long Binh. Second,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Review: Music of the Wild West

    The Music of the Wild West produced by John McEuen,Varese Sarabande Records, Studio City, Calif., 2007, $13.98. One of the best things about the 1993 10-hour documentary series The Wild West was the award-winning music produced by John...

  • American History Magazine

    American History Review: Smithsonian Folkways

    Smithsonian Folkways Ralph Rinzler Archives Jeff Place spends most of his waking hours communing with Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lead Belly, Big Bill Broonzy and hundreds of regular folks whose voices and music were preserved for...

  • American History Magazine

    American History Book Review: Playing the Changes

    Playing the Changes: Milt Hinton’s Life in Stories and Photographs Milt Hinton, with David Berger and Holly Maxson, Vanderbilt, 384 pp., 260 photos, $75 Milt Hinton spanned much jazz history. He also changed it: The master of the...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Look Away Dixie Land

    The song’s origins are murky, and its lyrics border on nonsensical. In its lifetime it has invigorated dance hall drunks, given zest to presidential campaigns and inspired military ardor with partisan lyrics. It’s also been abhorred by...

  • America's Civil War Magazine

    America’s Civil War Letters from Readers- November 2009

    Head and shoulders I thought your readers would like to know that the picture of Abraham Lincoln on p. 65 of the September 2009 issue is a fake. Lincoln’s head has been placed on the body of Francis P. Blair Jr., the U.S. senator from...

  • American History Magazine

    The Day the Music Died

    Buddy Holly’s death 50 years ago forced a generation to confront its mortality. Every night brought the same relentless dream. She went to sleep, knowing he waited, still her husband, forever young, with his life spread before him. Then...