Spirit of America Bookstore

America's  Music

Information on the many and diverse musical traditions of America,
bringing to your attention professional & obscure artists, their works and their museums,
and available books & audio tapes & videos & DVDs & ebooks for purchase . . .

topical pages:
Bluegrass Page
Country / Hillbilly / Folk Page
Rock 'n' Roll Page
Western Swing Music Page

Jazz Music Page
Saxophone Dept.
Dixieland Jazz Dept.

         Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs in color         on this page:
Ragtime
Big Bands & Swing
Classical / Composers
The Blues / R&B
Pop Music
American Songbook

Dates in Musical History

Artists & Groups
pioneers
later artists

General &  Genre  Topics
African American Sheet Music 1850-1920
Musica de la Frontera: Arhoolie Archives at U.C.L.A.
Museum of Making Music, in Carlsbad, California
"The American Rag": traditional jazz & ragtime newspaper
FestivalFinder: Music Festivals in North America
U.S. National Recording Registry [est. 2000] Master List
Download Song Lyrics
Super Lyrics
multi-genre music festivals circuit subsite at fuse.TV

Oxford Companion to Music book edited by Alison Latham  "The Oxford Companion To Music" [orig 1938, rev 1970 & 2002]
Edited by Alison Latham

Oxford Univ Press 9½x7½ hardcover [5/2002] 1450 pages! for $56.09
"The New Oxford Companion To Music" condensed? [1983]
Edited by Denis Arnold

Oxford Univ Press 7½x5 hardcover [11/83] 1000 pages in 2 volumes - out of print/used
Oxford Univ Press 7½x5 hardcover [11/83] 1000 pages in 2 volumes - out of print/used
Oxford Companion to Popular Music book edited by Peter Gammond  
"The Oxford Companion To Popular Music" [1991]
Edited by Peter Gammond

Oxford Univ Press 9x6 pb [12/93] out of print/used
Oxford Univ Press 9½x6½ hardcover [4/91] out of print/60+ used
Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments book edited by Anthony Baines  
"The Oxford Companion To Musical Instruments" [1992]
Edited by Anthony Baines

Oxford Univ Press 9½x6½ hardcover [11/92] for $100.00 {sic}
100 Most Influential African-Americans book by Colombus Salley  "The Black 100: A Ranking of The Most Influential African-Americans, Past and Present" [orig 1993, rev 1998] by Colombus Salley
Beyond the obvious – Martin Luther King, Jr. #1 & Frederick Douglass #2 – Afro-American artists & entertainers who made this list include Paul Robeson #24, Langston Hughes #34, Alex Haley #48, James Baldwin #49, Richard Wright #50, Zora Neale Hurston #52, Bill Cosby #62, Duke Ellington #67, Louis Armstrong #68, Toni Morrison #73, Lorraine Hansberry #77, Oscar Micheaux #81, Maya Angelou #85, Dick Gregory #88, Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis #91, Harry Belafonte #92 & Marian Anderson #94
Citadel Press 9x6 pb [rev 1/98] for $18.21
Citadel Press hardcover [2/93] out of print/used
Cambridge History of American Music book edited by David Nicholls  
"The Cambridge History of American Music" [1999]
Edited by David Nicholls

Cambridge Univ Press 9x6 pb [6/2004] for $36.22
Cambridge Univ Press hardcover [1/99] for $120.00
Guitar book by Tim Brookes  "Guitar: An American Life" [2005] by Tim Brookes
Kindle Edition from Grove Press [2007 edition] for $9.39
Grove Press 9x6½ pb [7/2006] for $11.10
Atlantic Monthly Press 9¼x6½ hardcover [4/2005] for $16.32
Blackstone UNABR MP3 audio CD [5/2005] priced for $29.95
Blackstone UNABR audio cassette [5/2005] for $79.95
Appetite For Self-Destruction / Record Industry book by Steve Knopper  "Appetite For Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of The Record Industry In The Digital Age" [2009] by Steve Knopper
Kindle Edition from S&S/Free Press [1/2009] for $12.99
Soft Skull Press 9x6 pb [12/2009] for $12.37
Free Press 9x6¼ hardcover [1/2009] for $20.12
How Music Works book by David Byrne   "How Music Works" [2012] by David Byrne
among Amazon Best Books of The Month, September 2012
Kindle Edition from McSweeney's [9/2012] for $9.99
McSweeney's 9x7 hardcover [9/2012] for $19.04

"Rhythm Oil" by Stanley Booth
"Sweet Soul Music" by Peter Guralnik
"This Wheel's On Fire" autobio by Levon Helm
two Presley books by Peter Guralnik

browse 'music history & criticism' books at Amazon

Amazon Music Unlimited [launched 11/2016] competing with Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora - 30-day free trial, standard charge $9.99/month, $7.99/month with Prime

Amazon Front Row [new 2016?] news, interviews, concert photos, festival coverage, exclusive music videos, and more

Brennan B2 disk player box  Brennan B2 disk player box at Amazon [2016] by Brennan USA
1.9" {4.8cm} high by 6" {17cm} wide by 6.7" {15.3cm} deep; hard disk player that can store an entire CD collection, allowing user to rip CDs with one click and to find any track in a matter of seconds; Sonos compatible, includes web interface, Internet Radio, optional Bluetooth; uses FLAC compression - 500GB model can store 1250 CDs, 2TB model can store 5000 CDs; takes commands on front of box or remote control laptop or PDA devices
black face 500GB player box from The Brennan [2/2016] for $499
metallic face 500GB player box from The Brennan [2/2016] for $499
black face 2TB player box from The Brennan [2/2016] SOLD OUT! / used

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Gospel  Music

The Gospel Sound  
"The Gospel Sound: Good News & Bad Times" [1971]
by Anthony Heilbut

Limelight pb [25th Anniv Edition] for $13.60
S&S hardcover [11/71] out of print/used

"Rejoice and Shout" documentary film [2011]

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Hawaiian  &  Slack  Key  Music
CDs & Vinyl / Hawai'ian Music Dept. {returns 3,800+ items} at Amazon

Keola Beamer

Robert Cazimero

Cecilio & Kapono

Don Ho

Kawika Kahiapo, Slack Key Guitar Master

George Kahumoku, Jr.
http://www.amazon.com/George-Kahumoku/e/B000APZYHE/

Dennis Kamakahi
http://www.amazon.com/Dennis-Kamakahi/e/B000AQ1L7K/

Harry Owens & His Orchestra

Cyril Pahinui
http://www.amazon.com/Cyril-Pahinui/e/B000APXTBW/

Gabby Pahinui & Family
http://www.amazon.com/Gabby-Pahinui/e/B000ARC5B0/

blue flowers divider line

George Kahumoku Jr's "Slack Key Show" Wednesdays at 7:30 at the Napili Kai Beach Resort on Maui
"Slack Key Show" channel on YouTubeofficial website

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" song [5:26] by guitarist Kawika Kahiapo at YouTube

Project Kuleana [est. 2011] - Music for the well-being of our lâhui
Oiwi TV homepageofficial website

"Kaulana Na Pua" song [10:31] :: filmed by Project Kuleana, sung by many artists
"Ka Na'i Aupuni (The Life of This Land)" song [8:03] :: filmed by Project Kuleana, sung by many artists

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Jukeboxes

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Barbershop  Harmony
Sweet Adelines Intl. [est. 1945]
Barbershop Harmony Society

Cajun  &  Zydeco  Music
Essential Cajun & Zydeco Music category at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Zydecos-Greatest-Hits/dp/B000003OB9/

Native  American  Music
browse Native American Music category at Amazon
Native American Music Awards

Piano  Rolls


1999 U.S. Big Band Sound 33¢ stamp

The  Big  Bands  &  Swing

Art Deco and his Society Orchestra {based in Los Angeles, CA}
Mark Copeland with The Pat Longo Orchestra
Royal Crown Revue swing band [est. 1989]
Essential Swing Music category at Amazon

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'Big Bad Voodoo Daddy' Swing Band: browse music

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Count Basie & Orchestra
Essentialsconcerts on VHSautobiography [1/86]

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Cab Calloway & Orchestra: Jazz Legends CD [3/2003]

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Frankie Carle: browse music

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Crazy Rhythm Hot Society Orchestra (based in Southern California)

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Tommy Dorsey Orchestra: browse music

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Duke Ellington & Orchestra: Essentialsofficial website
browse musicconcerts on VHSconcerts on DVD

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Ziggy Elman & His Orchestra: browse music

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Benny Goodman & Orchestra:
EssentialsJazz Legends CD [4/2003]free online radio programs

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Gordon Goodwin's 'Big Phat Band' [est. 2000]
browse musicofficial website

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Fletcher Henderson [1897-1952]: browse musicnew book [1/2005]

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Woody Herman & 'The Thundering Herd': browse music

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Stan Kenton Band: browse music

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Kay Kyser & His Orchestra: browse music

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Jimmie Lunceford Big Band: browse music

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Glenn Miller & Orchestra: Essentials

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Larry Wheeler Big Band

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Big Bands Database
free online big band radio programs
San Diego [CA] Swings
Southern California Swing Info

Big Bands by GTS   "The Big Bands" [1967]
by George T. Simon

S&S 9.6x6¼ pb [11/81] out of print/used
Schirmer Books hardcover [7/2000] out of print/used
Wonderful Era   "The Wonderful Era of the Great Dance Bands" [1972]
by Leo Walker

DaCapo Press 11x8½ pb [4/90] for $22.5
Doubleday hardcover [6/72] out of print/used
Big Band Almanac   "The Big Band Almanac" [1989]
by Leo Walker

DaCapo Press 10x7 pb [5/89] for $16.10
Jazz Legends, Big Bands, The Soundies on DVD   "Jazz Legends: The Big Bands, Volume 1 - The Soundies" [2007]
Storyville Films color/b&w DVD [7/2007] for $14.49
not listed on IMDb
"Jazz Legends: The Big Bands, Volume 2 - The Soundies" [2007]
Storyville Films color/b&w DVD [10/2007] for $14.49
not listed on IMDb
more on Soundies [1940-46] on Magic Lantern's Distribution & Exhibition Page


Ragtime  Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag
Colin D. MacDonald's Ragtime website
Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival & Institute
Orange County [CA] RagFest [Oct 2004 = #5]
West Coast Ragtime Society
West Coast Ragtime Festival [Nov 2004 = #18] in Sacramento, CA
Sutter Creek [CA] Ragtime Festival [Aug 2004 = #6]
Doc Wilson's Ragtime MIDI Files
Rick Benjamin's Paragon Ragtime Orchestra [est. 1986]

Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival [March 2014 = #1] in Durango, Colorado

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pianist Eubie Blake [1883-1983]
browse musiccredits on Broadway

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Scott Joplin [1868-1917]: browse musicfansite
"Scott Joplin" TV movie [1977] /tt0076674/

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'Jelly Roll' Morton
browse musicJazz Legends CD [5/2003]



The  Blues  and  R & B

2003 was "The Year of the Blues"
Temple of Blues [chat room/forum]
Harvelle's in Santa Monica CA [est. 1931]
David Nathan's Soul Music [dot] com
Club Rhythm & Blues in Albuquerque, NM
WilLee's Blues Club in Santa Fe, NM

listing of New Mexico Blues Festivals
Doheny Blues Festival [May 2010 = #13] at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, CA

Blues Foundation & Hall of Fame [est. 1980]

Essential Blues Music category at Amazon
Essential R&B Music category at Amazon

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Bobby 'Blue' Bland: browse music

'flawless' album "Two Steps From The Blues"

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Buddy Guy: browse music

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Albert King: browse music

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Son Seals [1942-2004]: browse music

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Joss Stone
browse musicrecord label's webpageofficial website

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Muddy Waters: browse music

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Junior Wells: browse music

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Sonny Boy Williamson {real name Rice Miller}
browse music

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Howlin' Wolf {real name Chester Arthur Burnett}
browse musicRock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 1991

"Howlin' Wolf Story" on DVD [11/2003] for $16.99

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Lightning In A Bottle soundtrack   "Lightning In A Bottle: A One-Night History of the Blues" [Vulcan/Sony Oct 2004]
Directed by Antoine Fuqua at the historic 'Salute to the Blues' concert at Radio City Music Hall in February 2003

video not yet available; full credits from IMDb
Sony Classics official movie webpage
Sony soundtrack CD [9/2004] 2 discs for $19.98


Scorsese Blues   "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey" [aired Sept-Oct 2003]
Produced for PBS by Martin Scorsese

Sony color DVD [10/2003] 7 disks for $97.99
Sony color VHS box set [10/2003] 7 tapes for $119.98
Hip-O Records audio CD set [9/2003] 5 disks for $55.98
full credits from IMDb
JK's unofficial fansite series page
official PBS series website
companion book by Peter Guralnick, Robert Santelli, Helen George Warren & Christopher John Farley
Amistad Press hardcover [9/2003] for $19.57

The seven-part film series includes:
opener "Feel Like Going Home" directed by Martin Scorsese
Sony soundtrack CD [9/2003] for $13.49
"The Soul of A Man" directed by Wim Wenders
Sony soundtrack CD [9/2003] for $13.49
"The Road to Memphis" directed by Richard Pearce
Sony soundtrack CD [9/2003] for $13.49
"Warming by the Devil's Fire" directed by Charles Burnett
Sony soundtrack CD [9/2003] for $13.49
"Godfathers and Sons" directed by Marc Levin
Sony soundtrack CD [9/2003] for $13.49
"Red, White & Blues" directed by Mike Figgis
Sony soundtrack CD [9/2003] for $13.49
"Piano Blues" directed by Clint Eastwood
Sony soundtrack CD [9/2003] for $13.49

Artist Compilations from Scorsese's "The Blues"
Allman Brothers: Mercury/Universal audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
Eric Clapton: Polydor audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
Jimi Hendrix: MCA audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
Son House: Sony audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
Robert Johnson: Sony audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
B.B. King: MCA audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
J.B. Lenoir: Chess audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
Taj Mahal: Sony audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
Keb' Mo': Sony audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
Bessie Smith: Sony audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Sony audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99
Muddy Waters: Chess audio CD [9/2003] for $10.99

Pop  Music

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entertainer Glen Campbell [1936-2017]
bridged several genres, from country to rock ('The Beach Boys') to pop to television host and acting.

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Melanie {Safka}
browse musicofficial websiteWikipedia

Beautiful People, Greatest Hits of Melanie audio CD album  "Beautiful People: The Greatest Hits of Melanie" [1999]
Buddha Records audio CD-R [3/2011] 19 tracks for $8.45
songs include "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)", "Ring The Living Bell", "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma", "Brand New Key", "Ruby Tuesday", "Nickel Song", "Beautiful People", and twelve more
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Katy Perry
browse musicofficial websiteWikipedia

official video [12:25] of Katy Perry's 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show on YouTube

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violinist-dancer Lindsey Stirling
browse music at Amazonofficial websiteWikipedia
autobiography "The Only Pirate at the Party" published by Gallery Books [6/2015]

"Something Wild" by Lindsey Stirling with Andrew McMahon {also in Disney's "Pete's Dragon"}
watch music video [8/2016 upload; 3:59] online at YouTube
"All of Me" by John Legend & Lindsey Stirling
watch music video [10/2013 upload; 5:12] online at YouTube
"Radioactive" by Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix
watch music video [3/2013 upload; 4:24] online at YouTube
"Game of Thrones" by Lindsey Stirling & Peter Hollens
watch music video [9/2012 upload; 3:15] online at YouTube
"We Found Love" by Lindsey Stirling with Ven Tribe (in Kenya, Africa)
watch music video [5/2012 upload; 4:26] online at YouTube
"Lord of The Rings Medley" by Lindsey Stirling
watch music video [2/2012 upload; 3:56] online at YouTube

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Shakira

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Britney Spears

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Taylor Swift

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crooner Andy Williams [1927-2012]

American  Songbook
This section derived from the discovery of several CD collections and TV specials with the title 'American Songbook';
each set might be unrelated to each other, but they are all concerning the same topic, so here you go —

'Great American Songbook' entry at Wikipedia
Great American Songbook Foundation [est. 2007]: official websiteWikipedia

American Songbook - Singers, Songwriters & Songs book by Ken Bloom  "American Songbook: The Singers, Songwriters, and The Songs" [2005]
by Ken Bloom, Foreword by Michael Feinstein

"100 years of American popular music - the stories of the creators and performers - 600 photos"; more than 200 listings, each featuring the artist’s personal and professional history, great songs, and important contributions, plus photos (many rare), record covers, anecdotes, and quotes; featured individuals include Harold Arlen, Louis Arm-strong, Tony Bennett, Hoagy Carmichael, Barbara Cook, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Duke Ellington, Dorothy Fields, Ella Fitzgerald, Stephen Foster, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and a host of others
Black Dog & Leventhal 12¾x10¾ hardcover [10/2005] out of print/40+ used
Stories Behind The Standards book by Charles Denison  
"The Great American Songbook: The Stories Behind The Standards" [2010]
by Charles Denison, Photography by Duncan Schiedt

Robert Reed Publrs 9x6½ pb [2010] out of print/used
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 album on CD   "The Original Great American Songbook (Original Recording Remastered)" [2003]
18 tracks performed by Louis Armstrong (2), Fred Astaire, Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine,
Johnny Hartman, Billie Holiday (3), Shirley Horn, Johnny Mathis, Carmen McRae, Anita
O'Day, Jeri Southern, Sarah Vaughan (2) & Dinah Washington (2)

U.T.V. audio CD [10/2003] for $8.39
 album on CD  "The Great American Songbook: 60 Unforgettable Songs Featuring Original
Recordings From Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Julie London,
Dean Martin" [2005]

import audio CD [8/2015] for $8.99
Disky import audio CD set [3/2005] 3 disks - out of prodn/used
60 tracks on three CDs

Great American Songbook  "The Great American Songbook" [PBS-TV March 2003]
3-part TV mini-series featuring archive footage of Robert Alda, June Allyson, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, The Andrews Sisters, Harold Arlen, Fred Astaire, Irving Berlin, Fanny Brice, Anne Brown, Virginia Bruce, James Cagney, Eddie Cantor, Ben Carter, Maurice Cheva-lier, George M. Cohan, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Dandridge, Johnnie Davis, Doris Day, Nelson Eddy, Alice Faye, Dorothy Fields, Judy Garland, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Benny Goodman, Oscar Hammerstein II, E.Y. 'Skip' Harburg, Lorenz Hart, Bob Hope, Lena Horne, Betty Hutton, Al Jolson, Howard Keel, Ruby Keeler, Gene Kelly, Jerome Kern, Frances Langford, Joan Leslie, Oscar Levant, Ida Lupino, Jeanette MacDonald, Gordon MacRae, Ray McDonald, Johnny Mercer, Ethel Merman, Dennis Morgan, Jules Munshin, Fayard Nicholas, Dick Powell, Eleanor Powell, William Powell, Elvis Presley, Paul Robeson, Richard Rodgers, Ginger Rogers, Sigmund Romberg, Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra, Bessie Smith, Kate Smith, Ann Sothern, Robert Taylor, Sophie Tucker, Fats Waller, Ethel Waters & Paul Whiteman • co-produced & hosted by Michael Feinstein, co-produced & directed by Andrew J. Kuehn
full credits at IMDbWarner Home Video color/b&w DVD [4/2003] for $15.92
the second disk on the Special Edition sets contains two hours of bonus footage (not broadcast)
Hudson West Special Edition color/b&w Blu-ray [2011?] 2 disks - available via third-party vendor for $44.95
Warner Home Video Special Edition color/b&w DVD [2011?] 2 disks for $29.95

American Songbook 100 Hits album on CD  "American Songbook: 100 Hits" [2010]
101 Distribution audio CD set [6/2010] 5 disks for $16.21
artists include Louis Armstrong (4), Fred Astaire (2), Chet Baker (3), Shirley Bassey, Tony Bennett (2), June Christy (4), Rosemary Clooney (3), Nat King Cole (6), Bing Crosby, Vic Damone, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jr. (5), Doris Day (4), Blossom Dearie (2), Billy Eckstine (3), Ella Fitzgerald (9), Judy Garland, Billie Holiday (5), Lena Horne, Frankie Laine, Peggy Lee (5), Julie London, Dean Martin (3), Johnny Mathis (2), Carmen McRae, Anita O'Day (2), Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra (9), Keely Smith (2), Jo Stafford, Mel Tormé (2), Sarah Vaughan (5), Dinah Washington (2), and Margaret Whiting (4), with two duets: Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra ("Well, Did You Evah!") and Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald ("A Fine Romance")

Important Dates
in American Music History


  • 1826 July 4th: Birthday of Stephen Collins Foster [1826-64] in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania.
  • 1854 Nov 6th: Birthday of 'March King' John Philip Sousa [1854-1932] in Washington, DC.
  • 1878 Feb 19th: Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931] received a patent for his phonograph.
  • 1898 Sept 26th: Birthday of composer George Gershwin [1898-1937] in Brooklyn, New York.
  • 1899 April 29th: Birthday of bandleader Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington
    [1899-1974]
    in Washington, DC.
  • 1901 Aug 4th: Birthday of musician Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong [1901-71] in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 1911 Sept 13th: Birthday of William Smith 'Bill' Monroe [1911-96], primary developer of bluegrass music, at Rosine, Kentucky.
  • 1914 Feb 13th: A.S.C.A.P. - The American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers - was founded.
  • 1917 April 25th: Birthday of legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald in Newport News, Virginia; she died in 1996 at age 79.
  • 1919 Oct 17th: Founding of the Radio Corporation of America.
  • 1920 Aug 29th: Birthday of jazzman Charlie 'Bird' Parker [1920-55] in Kansas City, Kansas.
  • 1923 Sept 17th: Birthday of singer / songwriter Hank Williams [1923-53] in Mount Olive, Alabama.
  • 1925 Nov 28th: Inaugural broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry radio program {originally called the WSM Barn Dance}, from Studio A at radio station WSM in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • 1926 Oct 18th: Birthday of Chuck Berry in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • 1926 Nov 15th: Debut of the National Broadcasting Company, with a network of 24 radio stations.
  • 1927 Aug 1st: Birth of country music, when Ralph Peer of Bristol, Tennessee signed Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family to recording contracts for Victor Records.
  • 1933 April 30th: Birthday of performer Willie Nelson in Abbott, Texas.
  • 1935 Jan 8th: Birthday of Elvis Aaron Presley [1935-77] in Tupelo, Mississippi.
  • 1936 Sept 7th: Birthday of rock legend Buddy Holly [1936-1959], born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock, Texas.
  • 1941 May 24th: Birthday of musician Bob Dylan {nee Robert Zimmerman} in Hibbing, Minnesota.
  • 1942 Nov 27th: Birthday of rock star Jimi Hendrix [1942-70] in Seattle, Washington.
  • 1944 Dec 15th: A single-engine plane carrying bandleader Glenn Miller [1904-44] disappeared over the English Channel while enroute to Paris, France.
  • 1948 April 3rd: Inaugural broadcast of the Louisiana Hayride radio program from station KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana.
  • 1948 June 18th: Columbia Records publicly unveiled its new long-playing ['LP'] phonograph record in New York City.
  • 1949 Sept 23rd: Birthday of Bruce Springsteen in Long Branch, New Jersey.
  • Summer of 1951: "Rocket 88", considered the first rock'n'roll record, held the #1 position on the rhythm & blues charts for 5 weeks.
  • 1953 Jan 1st: Country music legend Hank Williams [1923-53] died in the back seat of his Cadillac near Oak Hill, West Virginia while enroute to a performance in Canton, Ohio.
  • 1954 July 5th: Elvis Presley recorded "That's All Right" at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 1955 March 25th: Release of movie "Blackboard Jungle", featuring the Bill Haley & the Comets recording of "Rock Around The Clock".  2 min 10 sec [.wav file]
  • 1956 March 21st: Release of "Rock Around The Clock", the first full-length rock & roll movie.
  • 1957 Dec 1st: Buddy Holly and The Crickets performed "That'll Be The Day" and "Peggy Sue" on The Ed Sullivan Show on the C.B.S. television network.
  • 1958 March 24th: Elvis Presley was inducted into the U.S. Army in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 1959 Jan 12th: Barry Gordy, Jr. of Detroit, Michigan founded Tamla Records, later renamed Motown Records.
  • 1959 Feb 3rd: Rock musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper {J.P. Richardson} died in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.
  • 1959 Sept 13th: Elvis Presley met his future wife Priscilla Beaulieu while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. (They married in 1967 and divorced in 1973.)
  • 1960 Aug 17th: The former Silver Beetles rock band began their first gig under their new name 'The Beatles' at the Indra Club in Hanover, West Germany.
  • 1962 Jan 1st: British rock group The Beatles (with Pete Best) auditioned at Decca Records, who chose instead to sign Brian Poole and The Tremeloes.
  • 1962 Aug 16th: The Beatles band fired their original drummer Pete Best and replaced him with Ringo Starr.
  • 1962 Oct 5th: Release of The Beatles' first hit recording "Love Me Do" on the Parlophone label in U.K.
  • 1963 Jan 11th: Release in England by Parlophone Records of the single "Please Please Me" by The Beatles.
  • 1963 March 5th: Country music performers Patsy Cline, 'Cowboy' Copas, and 'Hawkshaw' Hawkins died in a plane crash near Camden, Tennessee.
  • 1963 March 22nd: The debut album of The Beatles, "Please Please Me", was released in the United Kingdom by Parlophone.
  • 1964 Feb 11th: First concert in America by 'The Beatles' band, at the Coliseum in Washington, DC.
  • 1965 July 12th: Capitol Records released 'The Beach Boys''s single "California Girls".
  • 1965 Aug 14th: Sonny & Cher hit "I Got You Babe" made #1 on the pop music charts.
  • 1966 May 6/7: The Rolling Stones single "Paint It Black" was released in the U.S. by London Records.
  • 1966 June 20th: First release by Capitol Records of the "Yesterday and Today" album by the Beatles. The original cover featured the Fab Four dressed in butcher smocks and posing with chunks of meat and parts of dismembered dolls – the resulting outcry forced Capitol to recall the albums and replace the covers with one having a more conventional group portrait. (The 'butcher cover' is now a collector's item.)
  • 1967 May 1st: Singer Elvis Presley married long-time live-in girlfriend Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • 1967 Aug 16th: Louis Armstrong recorded "What A Wonderful World" by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, which was an immediate hit in the U.K.
  • 1967 Dec 10th: Singer Otis Redding and six others died when their airplane crashed into Lake Monona near Madison, Wisconsin.
  • 1969 March 20th: John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.
  • 1969 Aug 15-17th: Woodstock Music & Art Fair outside Bethel, New York.
  • 1970 Sept 18th: Rock music legend Jimi Hendrix [1942-70] died in London, England at age 27.
  • 1970 Oct 4th: Rock singer Janis Joplin [1943-70] was found dead in her Hollywood hotel room at age 27.
  • 1972 Aug 18th: Elvis Presley filed for divorce from his wife Priscilla; the divorce was final in October 1973.
  • 1976 April 23: The debut album of the punk rock band 'The Ramones' was released by Sire Records.
  • 1977 Aug 16th: Elvis Presley died at age 42, at Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 1977 Oct 20th: Three members of the rock band Lynyrd Skynrd were killed along with three others in the crash of a chartered plane near McComb, Mississippi.
  • 1981 Aug 1-2: Launch of 24-hour Music Television, now M.T.V. Networks.
  • 1982 Nov 30th: Release of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album by Epic Records.
  • 1995 July 9th: Jerry Garcia [1942-95] performed for the last time with the Gratful Dead Band, at a concert at Soldier's Field in Chicago.
  • 1995 Aug 9th: Lead singer of the Grateful Dead rock band Jerry Garcia [1942-95] died of a heart attack at age 53 in San Francisco, California.
  • 1995 Sept 1st: Ribbon-cutting ceremony held for the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 1996 Sept 7th: Rap artist Tupac Shakur was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas Strip; he died six days later.
  • 2000 Nov 9th: Enactment of the National Recording Preservation Act, which established the U.S. National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.
  • 2012 Dec 12th: International Day of The Roadie, based on the standard microphone test "Check. One two... one two... one two".


The  Spirit  of  Rock'N'Roll  Page

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Western  Swing  Music  Page

Artists  &  Groups  –  American  Musical  Pioneers

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Howard 'Louie Bluie' Armstrong [1909-2003]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Armstrong
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003N2CVQS

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Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong [1901-71]
"Louis Armstrong is quite simply the most important person in American music. He is to 20th century music
(I did not say jazz) what Einstein is to physics." — documentary filmmaker Ken Burns

Essentials | concerts on VHS | IMDb info

Jazz Legends CD [4/2003]
biography [7/97]
New Orleans [LA] Satchmo Summerfest [July-Aug 2003 = #3]
NYC House & Archive

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George M. Cohan [1878-1942]

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Stephen Foster [1826-64]
browse music | fansite | PBS bio | PBS bio on VHS

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W.C. Handy [1873-1958]

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Robert Johnson [1911-38]
browse music | Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 1986 | documentaries on VHS | career box set

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Leadbelly [real name Huddie Ledbetter] [1888-1949]
Essentials | Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 1988

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Charley Patton [1891?-1934]
career box set | tribute album

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Spirit of America Bookstore's
John Philip Sousa [1854-1932] Page
  'Washington Post March' midi file [1 min 51 sec]

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Later  Artists  &  Groups

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The Beach Boys band official logo (in blue)  band [est. 1961]
browse Beach Boys albums at Amazonentry at Wikipedia

Spirit of America Bookstore's 'The Beach Boys' Page

more surf music on Spirit of America Bookstore's Surf Shack Page

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Harry Belafonte: browse music

"Sing Your Song" biopic [H.B.O. Fall 2011] directed by Susanne Rostock

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Jimmy Buffett: browse music

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Floyd Cramer  [1933-97]
browse music | Essential CD | Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 2003

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Jim Croce  [1943-73]
browse music | widow's restaurant in San Diego, CA | official website

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Bob Dylan
browse music | Essential CD | limited edition boxed set [9/2003] 15 discs | IMDb info
browse books | concerts on VHS | concerts on DVD | Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 1988

Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016

"Chronicles: Vol. 1" autobiography [2004] by Bob Dylan
S&S hardcover [10/2004] for $16.32 | S&S pb [9/2005] for $10.78

"Bob Dylan In America" [Doubleday Sept 2010]
by the historian Sean Wilentz

"Witmark Demos, 1962-64" [2010] 47 tracks

"Original Mono Recordings" [2010] on 9 CDs

"Revolution In The Air" songs of Bob Dylan by Clinton Heylin




watch "Tangled Up In Blue" concert video [4.26] online at YouTube
watch "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" b&w music video [7.28] online at YouTube
watch "A Hard Rains Gonna Fall {Live At Town Hall 1963}" concert video [8.30] online at YouTube
watch "With God On Our Side {Live At Town Hall 1963}" music video [7.00] online at YouTube
listen to "Death of Emmett Till" 1962 radio slideshow video [7.08] online at YouTube
watch "Woody Guthrie's Pastures of Plenty" music video [5.38] online at YouTube
watch electric "Forever Young" 1974 Letterman TV segment [] online at YouTube
watch "The Band: I Shall Be Released" segment of "The Last Waltz" [] online at YouTube
watch electric "Visions of Johanna" music video [8.13] online at YouTube
watch "time is an ocean but it ends at the shore" and "simple twist of fate" tv show (w/violin) music video [8.04] online at YouTube
watch "The Times They Are A Changin'" 1964 music video [] online at YouTube
watch "Don't Think Twice It's All Right" b&w 1964 British TV (w/trains & autos) music segment [3.34] online at YouTube
watch "It Ain't Me Babe {Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England May 1965}" bootleg [4.08] online at YouTube
watch "Mr. Tambourine Man {Live at the Newport Folk Festival 1964}" music video [5.55] online at YouTube
watch "Man of Constant Sorrow" b&w TV segment [3.03] online at YouTube

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The Eagles Band
browse music | limited edition boxed set [3/2005] 9 discs
concerts on DVD | concerts on VHS | Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 1998

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singer Eddie Fisher [1928-2010]
had 19 pre-rock Top Ten hits in 1950-54, with four at #1

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George Gershwin [1898-1937]  Gershwin's 'Rhapsody In Blue' [1924] midi file [16 minutes long!]
browse music | Essential CD | Wikipedia
http://www.amazon.com/Gershwin-Plays-Piano-Rolls/dp/B000005J1I/
http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Rolls-2-Gershwin/dp/B000005J3K/
http://www.amazon.com/George-Gershwin-plays/dp/B000000WW1/

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The Grateful Dead Band
browse music | concerts on VHS | concerts on DVD | Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 1994

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Vince Guaraldi [1928-76]
browse music | official website

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pianist Horst Jankowski [1936-98]: music | PK's fansite

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author-singer Janis Ian [b. 1951]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janis_Ian
"Society's Child" memoir, which won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album

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Janet Klein & her Parlor Boys Band (music of the 1910s, '20s & '30s}
browse music | official website

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guitarist Leo Kottke
browse music | Essential CD | songbook: paperback or CD-ROM

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Los Lobos Band: browse music

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norteña musicians Los Tigres Del Norte Band: browse music
14 Mexican movies made from their songs

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Mitch Miller [d. 2010]

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drummer Sandy Nelson: browse music

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Willie Nelson
browse music | Essential CD | concerts on VHS | concerts on DVD

official Willie Nelson website

Willie Nelson Biodiesel  "On the {^Clean} Road Again: Biodiesel & The Future of The Family Farm" [2007]
by Willie Nelson

Fulcrum/Speaker's Corner 7x4½ pb [8/2007] for $9.95
see also:
National Family Farm Coalition [est. 1986] website
Alternative Energy Page at Working Minds / Solutions
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recording team The New York Brass

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Harry Nilsson [1941-94]
Harry Nilsson's official site

Harry Nilsson's animated The Point on DVD  "The Point" animated TV movie [ABC-TV Feb 1971]
In a kingdom where everyone and everything is pointed, young Oblio's round head stands out, yet he is quite popular; an evil count has Oblio banished from the kingdom to other lands, where the boy and his dog Arrow discover other viewpoints. The TV show and music were written by Harry Nilsson; the original TV narration was by Dustin Hoffman, but due to contractual restrictions, was later rerecorded by Alan Barz-man, Alan Thicke & Ringo Starr. Co-produced & directed by Fred Wolf; co-produced, co-written & music by Harry Nilsson; co-written by Carole Beers & Norm Lenzer; DVD narration by Ringo Starr; other voices by Mike Lookinland, Paul Frees, Lennie Weinrib, Bill Martin, Buddy Foster & Joan Gerber
R.C.A. color DVD [3/2004] for $9.97
full credits at IMDbHarry Nilsson's official movie site
D.C.C. Compact Classics album by Harry Nilsson on audio CD [3/98] out of prodn/used

"Who Is Harry Nilsson (and Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?"
documentary film [Lorber Films Sept 2010]
Directed by John Scheinfeld; interviewees include Terry Gilliam, Dustin Hoffman, Eric Idle, Randy
Newman, Yoko Ono, Van Dyke Parks, the Smothers Brothers, Jon Voight & Brian Wilson
DVD/Blu-ray not yet available • full credits at IMDb

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record producer Sam Phillips [1923-2003]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Phillips

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singer-songwriter Sam Phillips: browse music

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singer Linda Ronstadt: browse music
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Ronstadt

"Simple Dreams" autobiography [2013] revealed her Parkinson’s disease

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Carlos Santana
browse music | Essential CD | concerts on VHS | concerts on DVD
official website | Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 1998

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guitarist Joe Satriani: browse music

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Phoebe {Ann Laub} Snow [1950-2011] - career 1972-2011
browse music | Wikipedia

debut album "Phoebe Snow" [1974]
"Second Childhood" [1976]
"It Looks Like Snow" [1976]
"Never Letting Go" [1977]
"Against The Grain" [1978]
"Rock Away" [1981]
"Something Real" [1989] in
"Natural Wonder" [2003]
"I Can't Complain" [1998]
"Very Best of Phoebe Snow" [2002]
"Natural Wonder" [2003]
"Phoebe Snow: Live" [2008]

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'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen
browse music | Essentials CD (3 discs) | concerts on DVD | concerts on VHS
official website | Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 1999
listed among Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People (May 2008)

"The Promise: The Making of Darkness On The Edge of Town" docufilm [H.B.O. Oct 2010]

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Steely Dan Band
browse music | official website | Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 2001   'Rikki Don't Lose That Number' midi file [4 min]

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Swingle Singers a cappella ensemble
Their repertoire encompasses classical, jazz, Latin, pop, and rock; they have released
over 50 recordings, and have won five Grammy Awards

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Thee Midnighters Band of East Los Angeles

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Townes Van Zandt [1944-97]: new docu film [July 2005]

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Neil Young
Spirit of America's Neil Young Page
browse musicofficial websiteentry at Wikipedia

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Band
browse music | Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame 1997

C.S.N.Y. Deja Vu movie soundtrack   "C.S.N.Y.: Déjà Vu" concert documentary [indep July 2008]
A record of the C.S.N.Y. band's "Freedom of Speech 2006" tour that included songs from Neil Young's "Living With War" CD. Co-written & directed by Neil Young (as Bernard Shakey)
video/DVD/Blu-ray not available
Warner Bros. live soundtrack CD [7/2008] 16 tracks for $14.99
full credits from IMDbofficial movie site

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browse all music concerts on DVD at Amazon
browse all music concerts on VHS at Amazon


Classical  /  Composers

Essential Classical Music category at Amazon

Classical Music in America  "Classical Music in America: A History of Its Rise & Fall" [2005]
by Joseph Horowitz

W.W. Norton 9¾x6½ hardcover [3/2005] for $26.37
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Blu-ray Audio Signature Classical Collection on 40 disks  "Blu-ray Audio Signature Classical Collection" [2013]
Blu-ray Audio Updated Edition music-only Blu-ray disk set [6/2014] 40 disks for $217.28
Forty (or 42) disks of classical/orchestral works that have capability of 7.1 DTS-HD 3-D sound (depends on your hardware, default is 5.1/6.1 DTS sound); compiled by Alexander Jero; performers not listed on Amazon entry; works include: Bach: Orchestral Suites #1 & #2 & #3, Tripelkoncert; Barber: Sympho-nies #1 & #2; Beethoven: Symphonies #1 & #2 & #3 'Eroica' & #4 & #5 'Fate' & #6 & #7 & #8 & #9 'Ode To Freedom', Violin Concertos; Brahms: Tragic Overture, Symphonies #1 & #4, Academic Festival Overture; Anton Bruckner: Symphonies #7 & #8; Chopin: Nocturns and Preludes; Dvorak: Symphonies #8 & #9 'From The New World'; Holst: The Planets; Mahler: Symphonies #2 'Resurrection' & #9; Mendelssohn: Symphonies #4 'Italian' & #5 'Reformation', Violin Concertos; Mozart: Requiem, Symphonies #35 & #38 'Prague' & #40 & #41 'Jupiter'; Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Night On Bald Mountain, Stokovsky Transcriptions; Rachmaninoff: Symphonies #2 & #3, Piano Concertos #2 & #3; Ravel: Bolero; Respighi: Pines of Rome, Fountains of Rome, The Birds; Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherezade, Russian Easter Festival Overture, Sadko, The Snow Maiden, The Tale of Tsar Saltan; Shostakovich: Symphonies #2 & #5 & #7 'Leningrad' & #9 & #12; Sibelius: Symphonies #5 & #7; Johann Strauss: The New Years Concert in Vienna; Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring, The Card Party; Tchaikovsky Overtures from Romeo and Juliet and 1812, Piano Concertos #1 & #3, Suites from Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, Symphonies #5 & #6 'Pathetique'; Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Concerto For Double Orchestra, L'Estro Armonico; and Wagner: Overtures & Preludes

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contralto Marian Anderson [1897-1993]

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P.D.Q. Bach [pseudonym of composer Peter Schickele]
browse music

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composer John Cage [1912-92]
"Cage was to the second half of the century what Schoenberg was to the first half." — Alex Ross

2010 bio by Kenneth Silverman

Kay Larson's authoritative new biography, "Where The Heart Beats", is the first work on Cage
to examine the influence of Zen Buddhism on him as an artist and as a man.

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Aaron Copland [1900-90]  'Fanfare for the Common Man 1943' midi file [3 min 14 sec]
browse musicEssential CDLibrary of Congress

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composer Gordon Getty: audio CDs

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composer Philip Glass
browse musicofficial website

Godfrey Reggio's 'Qatsi' Trilogy Page
all 3 'Qatsi' soundtrack CDs

Glass: A Portrait of Philip docufilm directed by Scott Hicks  
"Glass: A Portrait of Philip In Twelve Parts" [indep April 2008]
Co-produced & directed by Scott Hicks; on-camera appearances by Woody Allen, Chuck Close, Errol Morris, Godfrey Reggio, Martin Scorsese & Ravi Shankar
video/DVD not yet available; full credits from IMDbofficial movie site
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composer Ferde Grofé [1892-1972]: browse music

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Victor Herbert

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Los Angeles Philharmonic
"The L.A. Philharmonic is the most creative, and therefore the best, orchestra in America."
— Alex Ross, New Yorker Magazine critic, in 2012
official websiteentry at Wikipedia

Gustavo Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic 2009 Inaugural Concert on DVD  "Gustavo Dudamel and The Los Angeles Philharmonic: The Inaugural Concert" [2009]
90-minute color DVD of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Opening Night Concert performed on 8 October 2009 at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles, California, led by newly-appointed Music Director Gustavo Dudamel from Venezuela Broadcast on PBS-TV; directed by Brian Large; co-hosted by Jack Black, Andy Garcia, Tom Hanks & Quincy Jones • full credits at IMDb
Deutsche Grammophon color DVD [12/2009] for $15.69
Gustavo Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic Celebracion 2010 Opening Night Concert & Gala on DVD  "Celebración: Opening Night Concert & Gala" [2010]
Performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles, California, led by Gustavo Dudamel; the first half is bel canto pieces sung by Flórez, the second half features music with a Latin American theme.
Broadcast on PBS-TV; directed by Brian Large; featuring tenor Juan Diego Flórez, hosted by actress Eva Mendes • credits at IMDb
Deutsche Grammophon color DVD [12/2010] for $24.99
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composer Gustav Mahler [1860-1911]
browse musicJG's fansite • 1975 Ken Russell movie  on VHS | on DVD

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Cole Porter [1891-1964]
browse music2000 bio by WMJXB's fansite • 2004 bio movie: credits + DVD + VHS

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Arnold Schoenberg [1874-1951]
browse musicSchönberg Center in Austria

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Wm. Grant Still [1895-1978]
browse musicbiography [3/2000]papers at Duke Univ

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Morton Subotnik: browse music


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