A convergence of grief, memory and music for Memorial Day.
Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Dave Brubeck and Gerry Mulligan were just a few of the musicians who showed up to help inaugurate the Monterey Jazz Festival.
In the final months of their lives, jazz artists have sometimes made recordings of great power and poignancy.
Cafe Society was New York City's first integrated nightclub and a cultural flashpoint for artists, jazz musicians, intellectuals, and activists of the 1940s.
Billie Holiday died 50 years ago today. From the archives, Night Lights offers several musical and written remembrances.
Trumpeter, vocalist and a dynamic entertainer, Louis Armstrong showcased all these aspects of his talent in 28 full-length films and several short features.
You can now become a fan of Night Lights on Facebook. If you're just discovering the program through Facebook, here are some shows you might want to check out.
When Harry Smith, creator of The Anthology of American Folk Music and dean of American bohemians, received a Grammy just a few months before his death in 1991, he said, “I’m glad to say that my dreams came true–that I saw America changed through music.” In the book Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights, David Margolick proposes that racism–a bedrock element of Americanism–was challenged and ultimately changed by a single song, a song sung by Holiday titled “Strange Fruit.”
Although Johnny Green is best remembered for composing significant standards, he actually spent the bulk of his career working in the movie industry.
Novelist Nelson Algren and singer Billie Holiday are two iconic figures of mid-20th-century American culture, though Holiday is surely better-known than Algren.