Put a Song in Your Heart

Music can inspire us during our worst times, or be the backbone of a celebration. Check out some of these stories about the people behind the music, and check the links for where to listen to their tunes.

Little Melba and her big trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown

A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Includes afterword, discography, and sources. Her music can be interloaned through MeL.

With rhythmic swirls of words and pictures, Suzanne Slade and Stacy Innerst beautifully reveal just how brilliantly Gershwin reached inside his head to create his masterpiece, Rhapsody in Blue. It's a surprising and whirlwind composition of notes and sounds and one long wail of a clarinet-dazzling and daring, just like George Gershwin himself!

Read about the beginnings of hip hop and break dancing. 

Search our catalog for Beatles music and you'll get a lot of options. Most will be located in the adult CD collection (CD/ROCK B), but covers done for kids are available, too.

A girls' band, started as a school band, tours the world playing swing music.

Another tale of a band that started from very little and grew in reputation.

Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews

A Grammy-nominated headliner for the New Orleans Jazz Fest describes his childhood in Tremé and how he came to be a bandleader by age six.

Relates the story of jazz innovator Louis Armstong's rise from street waif to international superstar.

A portrait of the legendary country music star is told through lyrical free verse that conveys information about his impoverished childhood and the extraordinary talent that enabled his career and rise to success on the world stage.

Ludwig van Beethoven by Yann Walcker

Introduces the early life of the Austrian composer, offers a brief guide to listening to his works in different musical forms, and suggests related activities.

The first-ever picture book biography about pioneering African-French musician; Joseph Bologne, introduces readers to one of the most famous men in 18th century France.

Frankie liked to sing by John Seven