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The University Library’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, along with the Spurlock Museum, are planning several events this spring to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the publication of Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale.
Library Friend Michael L. VanBlaricum, also an Illinois alumnus, was invited to curate a multi-venue exhibition. Not surprising, as VanBlaricum has amassed perhaps one of the finest collections of Ian Fleming material in private hands. He is also President of The Ian Fleming Foundation, dedicated to the study and preservation of the history of Fleming's literary works, the James Bond phenomenon, and their impact on popular culture.
Many film scholars have suggested that John Barry’s early Bond orchestrations established an entirely new music genre to portray the excitement and intrigue associated with the spy thrillers of the 1960s. However, the syncopated guitar riff that begins the “James Bond” music theme that was first introduced in 1962 for Dr. No, and the rich orchestral cadence of the infamous “007” tune that was launched in From Russia with Love in 1963 have remained the two quintessential melodies associated with all of the Bond movie sequels that followed from 1964 through 2012. Such prominent composers and performers as Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Hamlisch, Monty Norman, Duran Duran, Carly Simon, Nancy Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass have followed in Barry’s artistic footsteps, but none have surpassed his influence on the musical portrayal of Britain’s most recognized super spy. This exhibit explores the historical and musical roots of these two distinct movie themes and illustrates through music, photographs, graphic art, and oral history interviews their lasting impact on the Bond movie legacy.
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:30-12:00 and 1:00-5:00. Special hours on April 13 from 1:00-3:00.
For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/CasinoRoyale60.