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Christmas Customs, Why Are They?

Who made the first Nativity scene? What is the symbolic meaning of the candy cane, the holly leaf or the Christmas tree? How did the legend of Santa Claus begin and why is kissing associated with mistletoe? Answers to these questions and the origins of other traditions can be found at this page about Christmas Legends.

To check out information on Christmas customs, crafts, recipes, movies, music, stories, legends, and more, check out these sources in the library to enhance your enjoyment of this holiday season.

What We're Reading November 2012

Thanksgiving Day kicks off a month of celebrations. May we suggest a movie, tips from Martha Stewart on Thanksgiving prepartions, a history, music to sooth, and a story about family.

Planes, trains and automobiles [videodisc] by Paramount Pictures

Martha's classic Thanksgiving [videodisc] by [presented by] Marth Stewart Living Omnimedia

Mayflower: a story of courage, community, and war by Nathaniel Philbrick

Thanksgiving [sound recording]: a Windham Hill collection

Thanksgiving night: a novel by Richard Bausch

Spooky Sounds for Halloween

If you are looking for a witch's cackle, a ghost's boo, or howling wolves, then check out some of these scary music cds. If want to Monster Mash, call the Ghostbusters, or tell the scariest stories, these cds will get you in the Halloween mood!

 

Halloween fun by Lois Skiera-Zucek

Casper's spookiest songs and sounds: 10 spooky songs plus creepy sound effects

Free Classical Music Download

This week's free download from our Classical Music Library is Ludwig van Beethovan's "Sonata No. 8, Op. 13 (Pathetique). Every two weeks,  you can download a free piece of music, courtesy of Alexander Street Press. Find the link from our Database page and you can sign up for future notices.

September is Classical Music Month

Classical music speaks both to the mind and to the heart, giving us something to think about as well as to experience.

—William J. Clinton, President of the United States, 1993-2001

Celebrate opening night at one of the many concerts offered throughout the month of September.The painting, featured above, is Attributes of Music by Anne Vallayer-Coster (1770)

Kids Music from the Movies

Just got home from the movie theater? Want to hear that great theme song again? Here are some soundtracks from the lastest and greatest family movies for you to enjoy:

Brave [sound recording]: original soundtrack by original score composed by Patrick Doyle

Hugo [sound recording]: original score by [music by] Howard Shore

Cars [sound recording]: original soundtrack

Enchanted [sound recording]: an original Walt Disney Records soundtrack by songs by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; score by Alan Menken

Marvin Hamlisch 1944-2012

Marvin Hamlisch, award winning film and broadway composer has died at the age of 68. Best known for his broadway hit A Chorus Line, Hamlish also wrote the scores for many famous films including The Way We Were, Ordinary People and Sophie's Choice. His adaptation of Scott Joplin's music for the movie The Sting earned him an Oscar in 1973.

Kids Tunes for the Car

Have a long car trip planned? Looking for some fun music to entertain the whole family? Here is a list of some great car tunes everyone will love.

Mater's car tunes [sound recording]: rock and rust with songs inspired by Disney-Pixar Cars!



Wee sing in the car [sound recording] by Pamela Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp



Car tunes [sound recording] by Sugar Beats


Classical Music Library Free Download

Classical Music Library is an award-winning, comprehensive streaming audio collection of classical music of over 130,000 tracks, including almost 50,000 recordings from EMI. Every two weeks, it offers a free music download from its popular online music collection. This week's free download is Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, Op. 64 performed by the Orquesta Filarmónica De La Ciudad de México.

20 Songs About Time

Absolute Animals 1964-1968 [sound recording] by the Animals — When I was Young - Eric Burdon & The Animals


Chicago Transit Authority [sound recording] by Chicago — Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is? - Chicago


Inarticulate speech of the heart [sound recording] by Van Morrison — River of Time - Van Morrison


60's pop hits [sound recording]Time Has Come Today - The Chambers Brothers

Remembering Elvis

Elvis Presley was told he'd never make it as singer. He kept trying until one late night at the recording studio, it all came together like magic. The rest is history and he went on to become one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Stop by the display showcase and remember Elvis. Earn CYS badges too. If you fill out a quiz and correctly answer all the questions, your name will be entered in a drawing for 2 free tickets to the Michigan Elvis Fest, July 13 and 14 in historic Depot Town, Ypsilanti. The quiz is located next to the Michigan Elvis Fest poster on the large print shelf. Return quizzes to the Help Desk.

You too can be a Star with Songify!

Songify, a creative and lively app, will turn anyone into a music master. It tunes, chops, and syncs your spoken words with pre-written background music. When you are finished you have a fun song featuring you. This app is available for multiple platforms all for free!

Robin Gibb 1949-2012

Robin Gibb, one of the three brothers who comprised the rock group the Bee Gees has passed away at the age of 62. Born in England, his family emigrated to Australia in 1958 where Robin and his brothers Maurice and Barry, began performing as the Brothers Gibb. They returned to England in 1966 as the Bee Gees, and in 1967 released their first recording there — the surreal "New York Mining Disaster 1941" — which became a hit both in England and America. Hits such as "Holiday," "To Love Somebody," "I Started a Joke," and "Massachusetts" soon followed. However it was the release of the soundtrack to the smash hit movie Saturday Night Fever that really cemented their fame.

25 Best Bands for Kids

Time Out New York Kids has named They Might be Giants as the #1 Band for Kids. The list of the Top 25 Bands for kids includes The Laurie Berkner Band, Gustafer Yellowgold, Recess Monkey and more. You'll find many groups from the list in the Children's music section of the library. Check out your favorite bands again, or experience some new music for the first time. Happy listening!

Here come the 123s [sound recording] by They Might Be Giants



Here come the ABCs [sound recording] by They Might Be Giants

Donna Summer 1948-2012

Donna Summer - Ordinary Girl book cover"Disco Queen" Donna Summer has passed away at the age of 63. She rose to fame during the mid-1970's disco trend with such hits as "Bad Girls," "Last Dance," "She Works hard for the Money," "Hot Stuff," and "Love to Love you Baby."

Crayons [sound recording] by Donna Summer

Levon Helm 1940-2012

Levon Helm, singer and drummer for the legendary rock group The Band died April 19 at the age of 71. His distinctive voice can be heard on such classic songs as "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down," "Up on Cripple Creek," and "The Weight." After the group's famed farewell performance in 1976 (dubbed The Last Waltz) Helm embarked on a solo musical career. In 1980 Helm appeared in the film Coal Miner's Daughter with Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn's father.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted its new members for 2012 on April 14. Among the inductees are Guns n' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donovan, Laura Nyro, Small Faces, Beastie Boys, The Crickets (of Buddy Holly fame), The Famous Flames (of James Brown fame) , The Blue Caps (of Gene Vincent fame), and The Miracles (of Smokey Robinson fame.)

The autobiography of Donovan: the hurdy gurdy man by Donovan Leitch

Buddy Holly: a biography by Ellis Amburn

Rockabye Babies! Lullabies for your Little Rocker

Is your little one a rocker at heart?  Looking for some Beatles, Madonna, or Van Halen just right for your baby?  Then look no further!  Check out Rockabye Baby!  Enjoy soothing, sleep inducing tunes from Def Leppard to Kanye West.

Rockabye baby! [sound recording]: lullaby renditions of depeche mode



Rockabye baby! [sound recording]: lullaby renditions of Dave Matthews Band by Bissell, Andrew, 1979-



Rockabye baby! Lullaby renditions of the Flaming Lips [sound recording] by Boone, Steven