Wednesday, June 23, 2010

ON MUSIC ~ Posterity for Sound...

Image courtesy KGBKitchen via Flickr
You may have noticed that it is Audio Book Week in the bookish part of the blogosphere. But this week, the Library of Congress also announced the 2009 selections for the National Recording Registry. This is a list of sound recordings - be they speeches, musical performances or narrations - considered historical in nature and in need of prominent preservation for the benefit of our culture here in the U.S. and the historical impact that they have had in the world of sound recording in general.

This year's 25 new selections to the list range from Opera to Bill Cosby. All musical tastes are represented spanning incredible generations. There are military battles captured live, war protest songs as well as town hall debates. Sound's impact from the world of film is represented by Jiminy Cricket and Hal 9000. The Band, REM, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson and Patti Smith represent more modern selections. Howlin' Wolf, Little Richard and Tupac leave their mark as well. Classical, Jazz, Cajun, Blues, and Latin are registered. And there are interviews with everyday people as well as the narration of a favorite children's story. Some day perhaps we will see modern narrations from audio books appearing on this registry.

Looking at the overall registry (minus this year's selections) that has been compiled over the last 8 years, I was happy to see these selections in particular - though I wish there were links to the audio available from the registry's site:
  • Casey At The Bat - DeWolf Hopper (1906)
  • "Rhapsody In Blue" first recording - George Gershwin (1924)
  • Crash of the Hindenburg live reporting - Herbert Morrison (1937)
  • "War of the Worlds" - Orson Welles (1938)
  • "Who's On First" earliest radio recording - Abbott & Costello (1938)
  • "In The Mood" - Glenn Miller Orchestra (1939)
  • "Peter and the Wolf" - Boston Symphony Orchestra (1939)
  • "White Christmas" - Bing Crosby (1942)
  • Mary Margaret McBride interview of Zora Neale Hurston (1943)
  • Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" first LP recording - Louis Kaufman (1947)
  • Problems of the American Home - Billy Graham (1954)
  • "Songs for Young Lovers" - Frank Sinatra (1954)
  • "My Fair Lady" - Original Cast Recording (1956)
  • "Kind of Blue" - Miles Davis et al (1959)
  • "At Last" - Etta James (1961)
  • "Crazy" - Patsy Cline (1961)
  •  Inaugural Address - JFK (1961)
  • Address at West Point - William Faulkner (1962)
  •  I Have A Dream - MLK (1963)
  • "Live at the Appolo" - James Brown (1963)
  • "Respect" - Aretha Franklin (1967)
  • "Are You Experienced" - Jimi Hendrix (1967)
  • "The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East" - Allman Brothers Band (1971)
  • "What's Going On" - Marvin Gaye (1971)
  • A Prairie Home Companion first broadcast - Garrison Keillor (1974)
  • "Songs in the Key of Life" - Stevie Wonder (1977)
  • "Star Wars" soundtrack - John Williams (1977)
  • "Thriller" - Michael Jackson (1982)
  • "Nevermind" - Nirvana (1991)
Which of the recordings on the registry make you all tingly inside?  Which do you feel are missing?  Anyone can submit nominations for consideration!  Make sure your favorites aren't overlooked.


kayerj said...

there are some great titles in your list. My husband and I are fans of the old radio shows (ie, war of the worlds).

Anonymous said...

How bizarre it would be to listen to the Hindenberg crash via the live reporting.
War of the Worlds would also be cool.

ds said...

That is some list. I'd get all tingly over most of them. Faulkner, live? Zora Neale Hurston, live? Gershwin playing Gershwin. Swoon.

Hurston novel begun, btw. Most interesting.

Kathleen said...

I found the Dead on the registry so I guess I'm happy.