Online Extra | New additions to the National Recording Registry

President Calvin 'Silent Cal' Coolidge now is keeping company with the likes of Fats Domino, Jimi Hendrix and the old fog horn at Kewaunee, Wis., in the National Recording Registry.

These notables are among 50 subjects added recently by the Library of Congress to its registry of historically significant recordings. The registry, created by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, now contains 200 recordings that move to the head of the queue for preservation in a permanent archive.

Selections are made by the National Recording Preservation Board. To qualify for the registry, recordings must be at least 10 years old and be culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.

The latest additions date from a 1903 recording of Metropolitan Opera star Edouard de Reszke to the 1988 Sonic Youth album, Daydream Nation. More than half were recorded between 1917 and 1948 and only one after 1976. Most are musical, ranging from classical through jazz, country and blues to soul and rock. But there also are radio broadcasts, including Coolidge's 1925 inauguration and selections from the Fred Allen Show. Miscellaneous recordings include the first official transatlantic phone call and William Faulkner's 1962 address to the West Point Military Academy.

The Library does not have all of the recordings listed in the registry. Inclusion means that the library now will attempt to get the best quality copy now available for archiving. The best copy might not be the commercially released copy, said Eugene DeAnna, head of the library's Recorded Sound Section.

This year's selections to the National Recording Registry are:
  • Canzone del Porter' from 'Martha(von Flotow),' Edouard de Reszke (1903)
  • Listen to the Lambs,' Hampton Quartette; recorded by Natalie Curtis Burlin (1917)
  • Over There,' Nora Bayes (1917)
  • Crazy Blues,' Mamie Smith (1920)
  • 'My Man' and 'Second Hand Rose,' Fanny Brice (1921)
  • 'Ory's Creole Trombone,' Kid Ory (June 1922)
  • Inauguration of Calvin Coolidge (March 4, 1925)
  • 'Tanec pid werbamy/Dance Under the Willows,' Pawlo Huemiuk (1926)
  • 'Singin' the Blues,' Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra with Bix Beiderbecke (1927)
  • First official transatlantic telephone conversation (Jan. 7, 1927)
  • 'El Manisero' ('The Peanut Vendor'), Rita Montaner, vocal with orchestra (1927); 'El Manisero,' Don Azpiazu and his orchestra (1930)
  • Light's Golden Jubilee Celebration (Oct. 21, 1929)
  • Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Op. 84, Modesto High School Band (1930)
  • 'Show Boat,' Helen Morgan, Paul Robeson, James Melton and others; Victor Young, conductor; Louis Alter, piano (1932)
  • 'Wabash Cannonball,' Roy Acuff (1936)
  • 'One o'Clock Jump,' Count Basie and his Orchestra (1937)
  • Archibald MacLeish's 'Fall of the City,' Orson Welles, narrator, Burgess Meredith, Paul Stewart (April 11, 1937)
  • 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' radio broadcast of May 11, 1938
  • Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fight, Clem McCarthy, announcer (June 22,1938)
  • 'John the Revelator,' Golden Gate Quartet (1938)
  • 'Adagio for Strings,' Arturo Toscanini, conductor; NBC Symphony (1938)
  • 'Command Performance' show No.21, Bob Hope, master of ceremonies (July 7, 1942)
  • 'Straighten Up and Fly Right,' Nat 'King' Cole (1943)
  • Allen's Alley segment from 'The Fred Allen Show'(Radio broadcast of Oct. 7, 1945)
  • 'Jole Blon,' Harry Choates (1946)
  • 'Tubby the Tuba,' Paul Tripp (words) and George Kleinsinger (music) (1946)
  • 'Move on up a Little Higher,' Mahalia Jackson (1948)
  • 'Anthology of American Folk Music,' edited by Harry Smith (1952)
  • 'Schooner Bradley,' performed by Pat Bonner (??1952-60)
  • 'Damnation of Faust,' Boston Symphony Orchestra with the Harvard Glee Club and Radcliffe Choral Society (1954)
  • 'Blueberry Hill,' Fats Domino (1956)
  • 'Variations for Orchestra,' Louisville Orchestra (1956)
  • 'Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On,' Jerry Lee Lewis (1957)
  • 'That'll Be the Day,' Buddy Holly (1957)
  • 'Poeme Electronique,' Edgard Varese (1958)
  • 'Time Out,' The Dave Brubeck Quartet (1959)
  • Studs Terkel interview with James Baldwin (Sept. 29, 1962)
  • William Faulkner address at West Point Military Academy (1962)
  • 'Dancing in the Street,' Martha and the Vandellas (1964)
  • 'Live at the Regal,' B.B. King (1965)
  • 'Are You Experienced?' Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)
  • 'We're Only in It for the Money,' Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (1968)
  • 'Switched-On Bach,' Wendy Carlos (1968)
  • 'Oh Happy Day,' Edwin Hawkins Singers (1969)
  • 'Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers,' Firesign Theatre (1970)
  • 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,' Gil Scott-Heron (1970)
  • 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken,' Nitty Gritty Dirt Band(1972)
  • The old fog horn, Kewaunee, Wis., recorded by James A. Lipsky (1972)
  • 'Songs in the Key of Life,' Stevie Wonder (1976)
  • 'Daydream Nation,' Sonic Youth (1988)

The entire registry, which contains recordings from 1888 through 1991, is available online.

About the Author

William Jackson is freelance writer and the author of the CyberEye blog.

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