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Taste of Sin

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Taste of Sin

The new MNHS exhibit Sights, Sounds and Soul: Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis opens this Saturday, April 26 so all this week we will post just a few of the over 2000 Charles Chamblis photographs we have in our collection.

In this photograph you can see the band Sweet Taste of Sin performing at the Jet-Away Club in 1985.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

For more information on the whole collection of Charles Chamblis photographs, please view the finding aid here.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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Record Shop

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Record Shop

The new MNHS exhibit Sights, Sounds and Soul: Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis opens this Saturday, April 26 so all this week we will post just a few of the over 2000 Charles Chamblis photographs we have in our collection.

In this photograph you can see Chico Harris (a.k.a. Chico Fatfingers) and Kyle Ray posing with an Isley Brothers record at the Hot Licks store in 1980.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

For more information on the whole collection of Charles Chamblis photographs, please view the finding aid here.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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Charles Chamblis Photography Collection

Monday, April 21st, 2014

From family reunions to the nightclub scene, there is no one who documented the Twin Cities Black community like Charles Chamblis. Affectionately called “The Pictureman,” he had a passion for photography and a knack for being everywhere at the right time. The Minnesota Historical Society is thrilled to have a collection of over 2,000 of his images documenting life in the 1970-1980s.

Sights, Sounds and Soul: Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis is a new exhibit of his work, opening at the Minnesota Historical Society on April 26, 2014.

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The Philadelphia Story

Monday, April 21st, 2014

The Philadelphia Story

The new MNHS exhibit Sights, Sounds and Soul: Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis opens this Saturday, April 26 so all this week we will post just a few of the over 2000 Charles Chamblis photographs we have in our collection.

This photograph shows The Philadelphia Story (also known as the Valdons) performing in the mid 1970s: (Left to right) Maurice Young, Clifton Curtis, Monroe Wright, Bill Clark.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

For more information on the whole collection of Charles Chamblis photographs, please view the finding aid here.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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Bing Crosby Tape

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Bing Crosby Tape

Audio tape cartridge of Bing Crosby’s music album “I Wish You a Merry Christmas,” manufactured by 3M Company, Revere-Wollensak Division, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1962.

For details, view this tape in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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Dan Murphy’s Les Paul Goldtop Guitar

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

“It was really a home spun band with very humble beginnings”.  That’s how former Soul Asylum lead guitarist Dan Murphy described his Minneapolis-based band, which rose to superstardom in 1992 with their hit single “Runaway Train”.  A native of Duluth, Murphy co-founded the group in 1981 with Karl Mueller and Dave Pirner as a trio under the name Loud Fast Rules, playing in garages, at parties, and in local clubs including First Avenue.  With the addition of Pat Morley on drums, the band changed its name to Soul Asylum in 1984 and began recording albums for the independent record label Twin/Tone Records. Grant Young replaced Morley on drums shortly after their debut album, Say What you Will, and for the next nine years the band played hundreds of concerts across the United States and Europe, building a following of fans and climbing the college radio charts.  After releasing a string of tepidly-received albums under the A&M label, the band signed with Columbia Records in 1992 and released Grave Dancers Union to critical and popular acclaim. The album’s success catapulted Soul Asylum to international celebrity and assured their reputation for the next twenty years as one of the world’s most renowned independent rock bands.

Purchased in the mid 1980’s at Benedict’s Music Store in Minneapolis, Murphy used this Gibson Les Paul guitar on every Soul Asylum album, starting with 1988’s Hang Time, until his departure from the band in 2012.  Murphy also logged hundreds of performances on the guitar as a member of Soul Asylum and the supergroup Golden Smog, including appearances at President Bill Clinton’s first inaugural ball, the MTV Music Awards, “Saturday Night Live”, the “David Letterman Show”, and the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.  The guitar joins the Society’s extensive holdings of artifacts and manuscript materials which document both the storied legacy of Soul Asylum and Dan Murphy’s celebrated achievements as a Minnesota musician.

Adam Scher, Senior Curator

Photo by Daniel Schwen.

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Star Wars 8-track

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Star Wars 8-track

8-track cartridge containing the soundtrack to Star Wars, 1977.

For details, view this 8-track in our collections database.

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Qeej (wind instrument)

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Qeej (wind instrument)

Bamboo and metal qeej (pronounced kheng) made by Shong Ger Thao of St. Paul, Minnesota in 1999.  A qeej is a free-reed musical instrument with multiple pipes.  Though Chinese in origin, the instrument is played by Hmong as well as Dong musicians.

For details, view the qeej in our online collections database.

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Blonde on Blonde

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Blonde on Blonde

Bob Dylan’s album Blonde on Blonde, released in 1966 by Columbia Records. This double album contains songs “I Want You,” “Rainy Day Women #12 $ 32,” and “Temporary Like Achilles.” Today, May 24, 2011 is Dylan’s 70th birthday. Bob Dylan was born in Duluth and raised in Hibbing.

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Bob Dylan’s lyrics for Temporary Like Achilles

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Temporary Like Achilles FrontTemporary Like Achilles Back

One of the first times in my career that I asked myself A) do I really get to do this for a living? and B) will I get my butt fired for buying this? was when I purchased a Bob Dylan manuscript. The item in question was Dylan’s lyrics to “Temporary Like Achilles.” Dylan recorded perhaps his best work ever on the double album Blonde on Blonde and when he was finished he handed his manuscripts, including this one, to the Nashville studio engineer Charley Bragg. Bragg later auctioned off the work through a London house and the Historical Society picked up “TLA” from a rare book dealer in Hollywood, CA in 1988. A thing of beauty, isn’t it? (Click to enlarge.)

Patrick Coleman, Acquisitions Librarian

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An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs