With Base: 52.7 x 25.4 x 28.9cm (20 3/4 x 10 x 11 3/8")
Without Base: 37.5 x 25.4 x 28.9cm (14 3/4 x 10 x 11 3/8")
Base: 15.2 x 15.2cm (6 x 6")
United States\New York\Kings\New York
A pioneering figure in twentieth-century American music, Aaron Copland first rooted his work in jazz during the 1920s to showcase its divergence from European traditions. By the thirties, he used the flourishing mass media of radio and movies to create a large music-loving audience with film scores for Of Mice and Men and The Heiress, for which he won an Academy Award in 1949. Copland also composed scores for such ballets as Agnes de Mille's Billy the Kid and Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for the latter. His symphonic compositions include A Lincoln Portrait and Fanfare for the Common Man.
Performing one night at Harlem's fabled Cotton Club in the early 1930s, singer, composer, and bandleader Cab Calloway was suddenly unable to remember the lyrics to his own song "Minnie the Moocher." To fill the void, he launched into improvisational scat, singing "hi-de-hi, hi-de-ho." His performance soon had the audience joining in, and his raucous finale, Calloway later recalled, "nearly brought the roof down." Forever after, "hi-de-ho" was an integral part of his identity as one of the Big Band era's most popular and respected figures.
Much of Calloway's success was owing to his own rakishly vibrant style, which injected his band's performances with a festive exuberance. He also had a remarkable gift for recruiting and holding on to good musicians, and among his band members were such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Hinton, and Cozy Cole.
Playing his signature twelve-string guitar, Huddie Ledbetter was instrumental in introducing African American traditional music to national audiences. Known popularly as Lead Belly, a nickname given to him by a prison chaplain, he amassed a vast song repertory that ranged from the blues to early jazz and ragtime. Ironically, although a series of arrests in Louisiana and Texas almost cut short his career, they gave Ledbetter the break that transformed his life while he was in prison. In 1933, Ledbetter met folklorist John Lomax, who was traveling through the South recording folk songs from inmates-among others-for a music archive at the Library of Congress. Lomax helped to secure his parole and then accompanied him to New York. There, Ledbetter became a star, performing and recording for large audiences, many of whom had never encountered such music before.
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles\Hollywood
Nat "King" Cole first made his name in pop music primarily as a pianist with the King Cole jazz trio that he formed in 1939, and some experts think that his most significant contribution to music was a keyboard technique that influenced a number of other noted musicians. But by 1950, the public at large was coming to know Cole as the crooner whose relaxed manner went hand-in-glove with his caressing voice. As hits such as "Mona Lisa" and "Unforgettable" followed one another, he became one of America's favorite entertainers, and in the fall of 1956, he was the first African American to host a network television show. Cole was sometimes faulted for not being more outspoken in the civil rights cause, but his broad popular appeal was in itself a contribution to the struggle against racism.