Episode Air Date: June 13, 2016
Artist: Marian Anderson
Recording Title: Heav'n, Heav'n
You’re listening to Marian Anderson with “Heav’n, Heav’n”, a Masterpiece 78 from 1943, and
You’re on the Sound Beat.
When Marian Anderson performed at Princeton University in 1937, she was one of the most famous singers in the world. None other than Arturo Toscanini, once told her she had a voice “heard once in a hundred years”. She was probably well-received by the crowd, but as an African American woman, she was also denied accommodation at a nearby hotel. Luckily, a gentleman in attendance offered her lodging for the night, and…probably some interesting conversation. His name: Albert Einstein.
The contralto and the physicist would remain lifelong friends. Anderson, as a matter of fact, stayed with Einstein just months before his death in 1955.
Photo: “Marian Anderson” by Carl Van Vechten – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Van Vechten Collection, reproduction number LC-USZ62-42524.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons