On This Day in History--January 8th: Elvis Presley was born in 1935

Elvis Presley was born today on January 8th, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Known to many as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis got his start in the music industry singing for Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records, in 1954. Phillips, who had hoped to find someone who could do justice to the songs and sound of African-American musicians and provide those songs with a broader audience, took Presley under his wing and had him record a few cover songs that made their way onto the radio. They were an instant and overwhelming hit.

Elvis went on to become one of the most important artists in 20th century pop culture and the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music, releasing dozens of albums and singles, including From Elvis in Memphis and Elvis's Christmas Album. His unique voice, style, and his interpretations of songs from African-American sources made him a wildly popular and highly controversial figure. He made his film debut in Love Me Tender in 1956 and continued to appear in many other films in the years following. Nominated for 14 Grammys, he won three, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame.

Follow the links and you'll find many of Elvis's albums (and a few biographies!) in AADL's collection.

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Patti Page, 1950s pop and country singer, has died

Patti Page, who topped the 1950s charts selling 100 million records, died yesterday in Encinitas, California.

Ms. Page was the first singer to overdub her own harmonies, with the help of Mitch Miller, musician and record producer. In 1948, she was strapped for funds so she used the overdub technique for Confess, which became her first hit single.

Her second number one hit is the beloved Tennessee Waltz . It has sold more than 15 million copies and enjoyed renewed popularity as part of the sound track for the 1983 movie, The Right Stuff, starring Glen Scott, Ed Harris, and Dennis Quaid.

Another of her signature tunes was the popular children's tune, (How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window, her fourth million-copy seller in 1953.

Until recently, Ms. Page who had maintained a busy performance career throughout the decades, gave 50 concerts a year. She was 85 years old when she died.

eMedia @ AADL

Wednesday January 2, 2013: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Training Center

Come learn how to:
- Log in and search for ebooks and audiobooks using the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services,
- Use Adobe Digital Editions and the Overdrive Media Console,
- Get library books for your Kindle, Nook, or iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch,
- Listen to AADL Podcasts and download music, and
- Watch AADL Video on Demand.

Please bring your library card, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or other device. Registration is not required. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Go to aadl.org/classes for the complete schedule.

See you in class!

Audiobook for Teens

One of the best things about audiobooks is finding a voice that makes the character come alive, a voice that makes you feel as if the character herself is speaking to you. I found such a voice in Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s Dairy Queen.

Fifteen-year-old D. J. Schwenk has always done what was expected of her, taking on the brunt of running her family’s small Wisconsin dairy farm when her father injured his hip. When a family friend sends Brian Nelson, the quarterback from her high school’s rival football team, to help out on the Schwenks’ farm that summer, D. J. decides to do something unexpected and try out for her high school’s own football team.

Narrator Natalie Moore’s perfect Wisconsin accent brings this hilarious story to life, and whether you’re a football fan or not, you’ll find yourself cheering D. J. on in her quest to try something unexpected. The series continues with The Off Season and Front and Center.

The Magic of Hearing a Story Aloud

There is no denying the magic of a story read aloud. If you’re looking for a little extra magic in your audiobooks, then these fairy-tale titles may just do the trick:

The Frog Princess by E. D. Baker; read by Kathleen Kellgren (5 hours, 30 minutes)
After reluctantly kissing a frog, an awkward, fourteen-year-old princess suddenly finds herself turned into a frog, too, and sets off with the prince to seek the means – and self-confidence – to become human again. A hilarious fractured fairy tale.

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley; read by L. J. Ganser (6 hours,15 minutes)
Orphans Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are sent to live with an eccentric grandmother that they have always believed to be dead. The first in the series of fairy-tale inspired mysteries.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale; read by Cynthia Bishop and the Full Cast Family (10 hours)
Princess Anidori, on her way to marry a prince she has never met, is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers. Adapted from the Grimms’ fairy tale.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine; read by Eden Riegel (5 hours, 42 minutes)
In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her. Winner of the 1998 Newbery Honor medal.

Benjamin West: General Wolfe and the Art of Empire

Currently on view at the University of Michigan Museum of Art is one of the William L. Clements Library's major artworks, Benjamin West's painting, the Death of General Wolfe (1776). General Wolfe triumphed over the French at the Battle of Quebec in 1759 and it is considered to be the decisive event in determining British domination of North America.

If you would like to know more about the French and Indian War (1754-1763), The war that made America : the story of the French and Indian War is a new acquisition at the Ann Arbor District Library available as a book, video and book on CD.

To further explore the topic we also have The French and Indian War : deciding the fate of North America, The French and Indian War; an Informal History, and Empires at war : the French & Indian War and the Struggle for North America, 1754-1763.

Joe Returns!!

It’s always a party when Joe Reilly hits the stage at the AADL! Bring the little ones for dancing, singing and learning about this beautiful, mysterious and spinning planet of ours! Wiggle out the winter lazies on Sunday, December 30th at 2:00 pm Downtown and check out Joe's newest CD.

Performance Network: A Little Night Music Runs through Dec. 30

Performance Network in Ann Arbor is showing A Little Night Music, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The book is by Hugh Wheeler -- and the romantic musical is a six-time Tony winner. The show is "a rollicking tour-de-force of love, lies, and liaisons," the PN website says, with "an amazing musical score, including. . . Send in the Clowns." Here is the plot summary: "Desiree Armfeldt is an enchanting Swedish actress. While on tour in a country town, she runs into former lover Fredrik, who has brought his young wife to the theatre. Reminiscing in Desiree's dressing room, their passion rekindles. The two seek to continue their affair at a gathering for several guests at Fredrik's country home, setting in motion a hilarious and flirtatious weekend for all." Ticket information is here.

Music: First Aid Kit

Anthemic folk-rock has been buzzing loudly in 2012, with northern European-based bands like Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters and Men stomping their way up to the peaks of the Billboard 200 and selling out arenas worldwide. The Denver-based folk-rock band, The Lumineers, have steadily gained momentum with their self-titled debut, joining the Avett Brothers near the Billboard top-10 and at the pointy end of many listeners' and critics' best-of-the-year lists.

For those that like their folk-rock a little quieter, more introspective, and heartbreaking, give First Aid Kit a try. Their second album, The Lion's Roar, released January 2012, features the Swedish sisters' lush harmonies and gorgeous melodies, with lyrics that linger like wine, for example, the following chorus from their single, Emmylou, which speaks to the relationship between Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris as well as Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash:

I'll be your Emmylou and I'll be your June
If you'll be my Gram and my Johnny too
No, I'm not asking much of you
Just sing little darling, sing with me

First Aid Kit would make a fine pairing with Tallest Man on Earth, Iron & Wine, and Bon Iver.

Mittenfest VII is coming up soon!

Mittenfest is an annual local music festival held in Michigan and played by Michigan bands. The festival serves as a fundraiser for 826michigan, dedicating 100% of its profits to the non-profit organization which helps tutor students ages 6-18 with writing. 826michigan is part of a nationwide network of non-profits, started in San Francisco by the acclaimed author Dave Eggers. Last year, Mittenfest raised $21,290.00 for 826michigan, bringing the total raised over the last six years to $55,000.00!

For its seventh consecutive year running strong, Mittenfest is going to run a full 5 days, over which 50 Michigan bands will perform live, including Frontier Ruckus, Starling Electric, Shigeto, Patrick Elkins, and Our Brother the Native, just to name a few! To see the other 45 bands and a complete 5-day schedule, click here.

Mittenfest VII will be held this year at Woodruff's at 36 East Cross Street in Ypsilanti, starting Friday Dec. 28th and running through Tuesday Jan. 1st. Bands will starting playing at 5:30pm and will run through 12:30am each day. Tickets are $10/day or $82.60 for the full 5-day pass. It's only 9 days away - don't forget! - head on out next weekend to hear some great live music and support a great local organization!

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