On This Day: February 17 | Los Angeles Public Library
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On This Day: February 17

Keith Chaffee, Librarian, Collection Development,
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Welcome to ON THIS DAY! Each day, we'll look at a few moments from history and popular culture. We'll show you where you can rediscover classic movies and music, or read more about great moments in history. We'll point you to e-books, downloadable and streamable music and film, and e-audio; and of course, we haven't forgotten about physical books or DVDs.

Vieuxtemps: Violin Concertos #4 & #5 On this day in 1820, Henri Vieuxtemps was born. Vieuxtemps was a virtuoso violinist who toured Europe to rapturous reviews as a young teenager. Vieuxtemps played a violin made in 1741 by Giuseppe Guarneri, one of the most famous violin makers of the era. The Vieuxtemps Guarneri is still in use, having been meticulously maintained by its various owners for more than 250 years; it is currently played by the American violinist Anne Akiko Myers. When Vieuxtemps turned to composing, he focused primarily on his own instrument, and his seven violin concertos are his best known pieces today; Itzhak Perlman's performance of the fourth and fifth concertos is available for streaming at Hoopla
Andre Norton: Steel Magic On this day in 1912, Andre Norton was born. Norton wrote primarily science fiction and fantasy, much of it for a young adult audience; her first book (of more than 300)was published in 1934, and she would continue writing for more than 70 years. Norton was the first woman inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and the first to be named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. After her death, the SFWA created the Andre Norton Award in her honor; it is given each year to an outstanding science fiction or fantasy novel for young adults. In Norton's Steel Magic, three children are transported to the time of King Arthur; Steel Magic is available as an e-book at OverDrive.
The Many Sides of Gene Pitney And on this day in 1940, Gene Pitney was born. Pitney was a popular singer of the early 1960s best known for emotional tearjerkers such as "I'm Gonna Be Strong" and "Only Love Can Break a Heart." He was equally successful writing songs for other artists -- "He's a Rebel" (The Crystals), "Hello Mary Lou" (Ricky Nelson), and "Rubber Ball" (Bobby Vee) were all written by Pitney. By 1970, Pitney had mostly faded from view in the United States, but he would continue producing hit singles in England and Australia throughout the 1970s. Several of his hits are included on his first album, The Many Sides of Gene Pitney; it's available for streaming or download at Freegal.