Registry feeds its aural fixation

Nat'l registry adds 50 more recordings

The first broadcast of a presidential inauguration, the 1932 recording of “Show Boat” and Sonic Youth’s art rock masterpiece “Daydream Nation” are among the 50 recordings newly selected Tuesday for the National Recording Registry.

Additions to the registry span the years 1903 (Edouard de Reszke’s “Canzone del Portera”) to 1988 (“Daydream Nation”). Among the selections are the first official transatlantic telephone conversation, which took place on Jan. 7, 1927; Clem McCarthy’s 1938 broadcast of Joe Louis’ first round knockout of Max Schmeling; Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”; Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”; and 1952’s “Anthology of American Folk Music” edited by Harry Smith.

Jazz, pop, rock and gospel are represented by recordings from Count Basie, Nat King Cole, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Mahalia Jackson, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dave Brubeck, the Golden Gate Quartet, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, B.B. King, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Stevie Wonder.

Registry was created by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. Nominations for the registry were gathered from members of the public, who submitted suggestions online, and from the National Recording Preservation Board.

The Library of Congress also announced acquisition of 31 mint-condition test pressings from blues legend Robert Johnson and discovery of a jam session featuring jazz great Lester Young.

On behalf of Congress and the National Recording Preservation Board, the library is conducting a study on the state of audio preservation and will develop a comprehensive national recording preservation program, the first of its kind. The study encompasses the current state of sound-recording archiving, preservation, restoration activities and access to those recordings by scholars and the public. Rob Bamberger, director and writer for the National Recording Preservation Plan, will prepare the study and plan.

The Library of Congress is accepting nominations for the 2006 National Recording Registry on the National Recording Preservation Board Web site at www.loc.gov/nrpb/

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