Studio portrait of American violinist Maud Powell, c. 1909

Women, Men, and Classical Music

As more women embraced music as a profession, more men became worried that the world of the orchestra was losing its masculinity.
Black Swan record label of Alberta Hunter recording, 1921.

The History of Black-Owned Record Labels

Decades before Motown ruled the radio, labels like Black Swan and Black Patti put out records that didn't stereotype African American music.
A postcard showing three trolleys at the Public Gardens Portal in Boston sometime before 1914

The Folk Song That Fought against Fare Hikes

"M.T.A." is a humorous ditty about a never-ending subway ride. But it began in Boston's progressive political circles.
Photograph: a promotional image of Robert Preston in "The Music Man" (1962)


Source: http://lantern.mediahist.org/catalog/boxofficeaprjun182boxo_0208

How a Beloved Musical Became a Cold War Weapon

The 1962 film The Music Man was seen as so all-American that some hoped it would help win the Cold War by transmitting American values abroad.
Parlor room

What Ever Happened to the Parlor?

For musicologist Edith Borroff, the parlor was egalitarian, open, and joyful—all qualities she equates with the best musical spirit.
Julia Ward Howe

The Long, Winding History of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

Julia Ward Howe wrote her most famous poem, the legendary Civil War song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” in a single burst of inspiration 156 years ago.
Rudy Vallee

The Gender Politics of the First Boy Bands

Crooning, a musical style of the late 1920s and early 1930s, was fraught with gender panic. Where the singers manly enough?
Hormel Girls

The Singing, Dancing Hormel Girls Who Sold America SPAM

SPAM was introduced 80 years, but it was a military-style corps of singing women that helped the canned meat skyrocket in the years after World War II.
Woody Guthrie

How “This Land Is Your Land” Went From Protest Song to Singalong

Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” has lost a bit of its protest oomph—in part because of a decades-long denial of its later verses.