George and Barbara Bush

On January 6, 1945, George Herbert Walker Bush, on leave from active duty in World War II, married former Smith College student Barbara Pierce. The bride was twenty years old—the groom her senior by just one year. George Bush enlisted in the Navy the day he graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Still eighteen when commissioned in June 1943, Bush became the youngest pilot in the United States Navy. Following the war, he attended Yale University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1948.

[George Bush, half-length portrait…]. Official White House photo; David Valdez, photographer, 1989. Presidents of the United States: Selected Images from the Collections of the Library of Congress. Prints & Photographs Division

After a career in the Texas oil industry, Bush entered national politics. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1966 and 1968. During the 1970s, he held several key government positions including United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

[First Lady, Barbara Bush…]. Official White House photo; David Valdez, photographer, Jan. 8, 1989. First Ladies of the United States: Selected Images from the Collections of the Library of Congress. Prints & Photographs Division

Twice selected to be Ronald Reagan‘s running mate, George Bush was elected president in 1988. As president, he guided the United States out of the Cold War, presided over a U.S. victory in the Persian Gulf, and proved an effective advocate of free trade.

Barbara Bush raised six children while assisting her husband in his business and political careers. Over the course of their marriage, Mrs. Bush organized twenty-nine family moves. Like many women of her generation, Barbara Bush volunteered in a variety of social and humanitarian causes. During her years as wife of the vice president and later as first lady, family literacy was one of the issues championed by Mrs. Bush.

George H. W. Bush died on November 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. His passing came less than a year after the death of his beloved wife Barbara.

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Dizzy Gillespie

On January 6, 1993, Dizzy Gillespie, the last of the primary originators of Be-Bop jazz, died in Englewood, New Jersey. The trumpeter-composer-bandleader had laid the foundation of modern jazz with pianist Thelonius Monk, drummer Kenny Clarke, guitarist Charlie Christian, and alto saxophonist Charlie “Yardbird” Parker.

“Well, Be-bop!” [Dizzy Gillespie]. William Gottlieb, photographer; New York, 1947. In: Down Beat 14, no. 11 (May 21, 1947):15. William P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

Be-bop is a way of phrasing and accenting. The accent is on the up beat. Instead of OO-bah it’s oo-BAH. Different chords too. And lots of flatted 5ths and 9ths. There’s lots more to it. But just now I can’t think of what.

Dizzy Gillespie quoted in “Posin'”. In: Down Beat 14, no. 19 (Sept. 10, 1947):6. William P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

52nd Street, New York, N.Y., ca. 1948. William Gottlieb, photographer, 1948. William P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

In the 1940s, jazz thrived at venues such as the Three Deuces, the Troubador, and the Famous Door which shared the stretch of 52nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues with strip clubs and restaurants. The area was alternately referred to as “Swing Lane” and “Be-Bop Alley” and often simply called “The Street.”

Dizzy and his fellow innovators frequently gathered at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem for after-hours jam sessions. The men favored complicated chord changes and rapid syncopated rhythms due in large part to their effect of frightening away less-talented musicians who would have wanted to join in had they felt capable.

Gillespie thrilled audiences with his effortless combination of heart-stopping talent and irrepressible showmanship and made incalculable contributions to jazz throughout his career, championing Afro-Cuban jazz and influencing such musical behemoths as Miles Davis. Dizzy continued to play until the end of his life. He toured far-flung locales making his bent trumpet, moon cheeks, and compositions such as “Night in Tunisia,” “Manteca,” and “Birks Works” recognizable to jazz fans around the world.

Gillespie’s Gyrations and Gestures Get His Band Going.” In: Down Beat 14, no. 18, (August 27, 1947): 2. William P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

New York—This is what the customers miss when the Diz directs his band, back to the audience. In the first photo we find an appealing lullaby-like attitude, indicating the gentle treatment. Picture two makes one wonder what good the mike would do inside Gillespie. Climax comes in the third shot. It seems a little hard for Dizzy to believe what he hears. Last, the final bow of exhaustion, and the work on one number is over.

The William P. Gottlieb Collection, comprised of over 1,600 photographs of celebrated jazz artists, documents the jazz scene from 1938 to 1948, primarily in New York City and Washington, D.C. During the course of his career, Gottlieb took portraits of prominent jazz musicians and personalities, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Mary Lou Williams, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Earl Hines, Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, and Benny Carter. This online collection presents Gottlieb’s photographs, annotated contact prints, selected published prints, and related articles from Down Beat magazine

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie…Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947. William Gottlieb, photographer, 1947; In: “Ella keeps it on the beat.” Down Beat 14, no. 20 (Sept. 24, 1947): 5. William P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division
Portrait of Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Cecil Payne, Miles Davis, and Ray Brown, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948. William Gottlieb, photographer, 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division
Portrait of Dizzy Gillespie, New York, N.Y., ca. May 1947. William Gottlieb, photographer, 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

Why must you wear a goatee to play good hot horn? Strictly utilitarian, man…strictly utilitarian! Nothing faddish about it. First, it gives my lips strength. You know what hair did for Sampson. It’s protection, too. Can’t afford to let a razor get too close to those chops.

Dizzy Gillespie answers William Gottlieb in “Posin'”. Down Beat 13, no. 12 (June 3, 1946): cover. William P. Gottlieb Collection. Music Division

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