Memories & Anecdotes Of “A Great Day In Harlem”

Posted by D.A. Gutierrez in History

October 3rd, 2010   No Comments »

"A Great Day In Harlem" by Art Kane, 1958

“A Great Day In Harlem” by Art Kane, 1958

I have this strange fascination with delving into things. Be it a song, book, play or even an item in the newspaper – it’s not enough for me to take something at face value. I usually research the back story, look up references and connect dots to appreciate the work on a whole new level.

That’s why the Sept 10, 2010 episode of Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, which aired a few weeks ago, really appealed to me. This particular show examined the events on that August morning in 1958 when 57 legendary musicians self-assembled to create a timeless photograph. The firsthand account by Piano Jazz host Marian McPartland (someone who was actually there that morning and only one of five living artists who appeared in the photo) discussed the gathering, which has been emulated countless times and was even a central object in Steven Spielberg’s “The Terminal.”

So check out this “story behind the story” on NPR’s website. If you’re interested,  I found this engrossing narrative connecting the dots between Old Spice (yes, the deodorant brand), the television show “Mad Men” and the “Great Day” photograph.