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Friday Night Fever Music History

The return of Webster Hall: A tale of debauchery and activism in one of New York’s oldest clubs

The East Village nightclub Webster Hall reopens this evening with a concert by Jay-Z after an extensive interior renovation by new owner Barclays/Bowery Presents. Have tickets to tonight’s show? Then you’ll be able to judge for yourself whether the storied venue retains its “idiosyncratic grandeur.” The hall has had many facelifts over the past 133 years, evolving to mirror the […]

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Music History

Why New York City needs a tribute to Billie Holiday, our sweet Lady Day (UPDATE: They’re building it!)

UPDATE (March 11, 2019): The city has announced that it will commission a Billie Holiday memorial, joining new statues for Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Katherine Walker and Dr. Helen Rodríguez-Trías. Graham, the subject of a landmark case that desegregated New York City mass transportation, was also suggested by our readers. The city previously announced the creation of a monument to Shirley Chisholm. Here’s our pitch for a monument to Holiday which ran back […]

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Music History Podcasts

Scott Joplin in New York: A Ragtime Mystery

PODCAST How did one of the greatest composers of the 20th century end up buried in Queens in a pauper’s grave? Scott Joplin, the “King of Ragtime”, moved to New York in 1907, at the height of his fame. And yet, he died a decade later, forgotten by the public. He remained nearly forgotten and buried […]

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Music History

Lena Horne at 100: Eight New York places to celebrate her centennial

The superstar and civil rights activist Lena Horne had such a dynamic, multi-faceted and enduring career — starting in 1933, she worked regularly well into the late 1990s — that we all may have different views of who she was. Horne was one of the first African-American women to break through in Hollywood in the […]