Category Archives: music

Today we received word that noted UIP author Paul Bierley had passed away. For us, Bierley wrote The Incredible Band of John Philip Sousa. He penned other words on Sousa as well as acting as principal author of the three-volume Heritage … Continue reading

Though another state calls itself the Crossroads of America, Illinois deserves the title as much as any of the Lower 48, for here the prairie gathers the railroads and interstates to itself before the American transportation flares out onto the Plains … Continue reading

Word comes from the Library of Congress that twenty-five selections have been added to the National Recording Registry. While the likes of Merle Haggard and the unstoppable Gloria Gaynor will no doubt get the headlines, we at the UIP Palace of Sounds … Continue reading

Alan Harper left his home in England in 1979 on a pilgrimage to find the blues. His journey led him to Chicago where he worked at a sandwich restaurant and headed to the city’s blues clubs at night. On his … Continue reading

Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures by L. H. Stallings is a finalist in the 28th Annual Lambda Literary Awards in the LGBT Studies category. The Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender writing. … Continue reading

“Virtuosity in playing blues licks is like virtuosity in celebrating the Mass, it is empty, it means nothing. Skill—competence—is a necessity, but a true blues player’s virtue lies in his acceptance of his life, a life for which he is … Continue reading

Google has chosen musician-genius Clara Rockmore (left in the photo) for today’s doodle. Rockmore was a master of the theremin, that haunting/creepy sound-maker that entered our consciousness (on many levels, maybe) through 1950s science fiction films, “Good Vibrations,” and twentieth-century electronica, and by inspiring the … Continue reading

Appalachia is one of those words that encompasses a universe and leaves each of us to form our own ideas of what it means. For me, to use one example, Appalachia ties into the back-to-the-earth movement popular when I was … Continue reading

In Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics, musician, dancer, and scholar Phil Jamison tells the story behind the square dances, step dances, reels, and other forms of dance practiced in southern Appalachia. Jamison’s journey to learn and share the history and evolution … Continue reading

“Pretty much every modern electronic artist you consider ‘out-there’ will appear a lot more ‘in-here’ when you’ve heard this.”–Rob Fitzpatrick, writing for The Guardian, on Gordon Mumma’s Electronic Music of Theater and Public Activity.  A pioneer of electronic music, Gordon Mumma cofounded … Continue reading