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Clip: Library of Congress announces preservation of 50 recordings (including rare Lester Young find)

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    Library of Congress Picks 50 Recordings By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 11, 2006
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 11, 2006
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      <http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/arts/AP-Preserving-Sounds.html>

      Library of Congress Picks 50 Recordings

      By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
      Published: April 11, 2006

      Filed at 2:41 p.m. ET

      WASHINGTON (AP) -- A high school band plays Beethoven. President
      Calvin Coolidge delivers his inaugural address. Fats Domino turns
      ''Blueberry Hill,'' a hit for big-band leader Glenn Miller, into a
      rock 'n' roll classic.

      They're among the 50 records that the Library of Congress has deemed
      worthy of preservation this year.

      ''The National Recording Registry represents a stunning array of the
      diversity, humanity and creativity found in our sound heritage,
      nothing less than a flood of noise and sound pulsating into the
      American bloodstream,'' Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said
      in announcing the choices for 2006.

      The library took the occasion to announce a rare find: a 1940 jam
      session featuring tenor saxophonist Lester Young, The night club
      couldn't be positively identified, said Gene DeAnna, head of the
      library's recorded sound section, but it may have been the Village
      Vanguard in downtown Manhattan.

      ''It wasn't Carnegie Hall,'' DeAnna said at a news conference. ''At
      one point you can hear the MC announcing, 'The chili con carne is
      ready, if anyone wants to order it.'''

      Loren Schoenberg, executive director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem,
      compared it to finding a Shakespeare sonnet or a short story by Ernest
      Hemingway.

      The library also announced that it had recently received 186 test
      pressings of records made in the late 1950s or early 1960s, among them
      25 songs by bluesman Robert Johnson. The pressings, donated by blues
      collector Tom Jacobsen, were used to make the first Johnson reissue
      anthology, ''King of the Delta Blues,'' which influenced the Rolling
      Stones and other groups.

      The Modesto, Calif., High School band did well in competitions of the
      1920s and 1930s. Few high school bands were recorded until the late
      1940s, making the Modesto school's 1930 version of Beethoven's
      ''Egmont Overture'' a rarity.

      Coolidge, known as a man of few words, spoke for 47 minutes in the
      first broadcast inaugural address. A circuit of 21 radio stations was
      put together for the event in 1925.

      Domino recorded his relaxed version of ''Blueberry Hill,'' adding
      Creole cadences, in Los Angeles in 1956. He was inspired by a Louis
      Armstrong version of the song, which Miller had taken to No. 1 in
      1940.

      Other rock classics being inducted include Jerry Lee Lewis' ''Whole
      Lotta Shakin' Goin' On'' and Buddy Holly's ''That'll Be the Day,''
      both from 1957; the Jimi Hendrix Experience's ''Are You Experienced?''
      from 1967; and Sonic Youth's landmark noise-rock album ''Daydream
      Nation,'' from 1988.

      Other sounds to be preserved include a radio broadcast by Clem
      McCarthy of Joe Louis' first-round knockout of Max Schmeling in 1938.
      The audience was estimated at 70 million. ''The symbolism of an
      African-American defeating a citizen of the political state that
      proclaimed the superiority of the white race was lost on no one,'' the
      library commented.

      Samuel Barber's ''Adagio for Strings'' was performed the same year by
      the NBC Symphony, led by Arturo Toscanini. The library noted that the
      work has been called the ''American anthem for sadness and grief.''

      Every year since 2000, the library has registered recordings ''that
      are culturally, historically or aesthetically important and/or inform
      or reflect life in the United States.'' Last year it unveiled newly
      discovered tapes of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane from 1957, a
      discovery that yielded one of the top-selling jazz CDs of 2005.

      ^------

      On the Web:

      Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb/nrpb-home.html
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