On This Day, May 9

Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM, Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan, was born in Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland on May 9, 1860. The character of “Peter Pan” first appeared in The Little White Bird (or Adventures in Kensington Gardens). The novel was published in the UK in 1902, and serialized in the US in the same year in Scribner’s Magazine.  Barrie’s more famous and enduring work Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up had its first stage performance on 27 December 1904. This play introduced audiences to Wendy, a character inspired by a young girl named Margaret Henley who called Barrie “Friendy”, but could not pronounce her Rs very well.  George Bernard Shaw described the play as “ostensibly a holiday entertainment for children but really a play for grown-up people”, suggesting deeper social metaphors at work in Peter Pan. Aim for “the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning”, and you’ll find yourself at the library, hoopla, and OverDrive.



Billie Holiday records God Bless the Child, May 9, 1941. The song was written by Holliday and Arthur Herzog in 1939. In her autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, Holiday indicated an argument with her mother over money led to the song. Reportedly, during the argument she said the line “God bless the child that’s got his own.” The anger over the incident led Holiday to turn that line into a starting point for a song, which she worked out in conjunction with Herzog. The back up band included Eddie Heywood and his Orchestra with Roy Eldridge (trumpet), Jimmy Powell, Lester Boone (alto saxophone), Ernie Powell (trumpet), Eddie Heywood (piano), Paul Chapman (guitar), Grachan Moncur II (bass), Herbert Cowans (drums). Have your own at the library,  on Fregal and  in hoopla.

In 1968, it sounded like this…

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