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Santa Claus Speaks!

This blog post was co-written with Bryan Cornell, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress.   Tis the season for Christmas carols and familiar holiday favorites, but did you know Santa Claus recorded for Victor Records? Well, not really. Gilbert Girard was a talented performer who frequently recorded children’s records with popular recording artist Len Spencer.  He also […]

Honoring Frank Sinatra on His Birthday

This post was co-written with Bryan Cornell and Karen Fishman. On the 100th birthday of Francis Albert Sinatra, the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center recognizes Ol’ Blue Eyes’ contributions to both sight and sound. Sinatra, who appeared in more than 50 movies, starred in the 1945 RKO  short film The House I Live In, which […]

Preserving Audio Cylinders: From Edison to the Archeophone

The following is a guest post by Audio Preservation Specialist Brad McCoy. Collections tend to take pride of place in any discussion of moving images and sound recordings at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation. It’s understandable — we like talking about the more than 5 million items in our collective care. But we’re […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (October 21-24, 2015)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. Wednesday, October 21 (7:30 p.m.) Back to the Future Part II (Universal, 1989) “The Future” has arrived. Picking up where Back to the Future left off, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), his girlfriend Jennifer (Elisabeth Shue), and Doc Brown […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (August 6-8, 2015)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. Our guest programmer for August is Richard Hincha, a preservation specialist in the Packard Campus film lab. My first theatrical film experience was Disney’s Sleeping Beauty on my fifth birthday, and I was immediately hooked. When I entered college, […]

Is It Live or Is It Edison?

Today’s entry is a guest post by Jan McKee, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Research Center. I have always wondered about the Edison tone tests.  Is it really possible that an audience could not tell the difference between an Edison Diamond Disc being played on a phonograph and the live performer singing while standing next to […]

The Old 97

Folklorist Norm Cohen has astutely observed that “[f]olklore thrives where danger threatens” (The Long Steel Rail, cited below, p. 169). The annals of commercially recorded traditional and popular song provide abundant support for this conclusion. In fact, by the early twentieth century — especially the decades of the teens and twenties — nearly every imaginable disaster or mishap was memorialized in song.  Natural disasters are […]

Where the River Shannon Flows

This blog post was co-written with Jan McKee, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without some sentimental Irish ballads to listen to with our green beer, and the name that is most synonymous with Irish ballads is John McCormack. John McCormack (1884-1945) was an Irish born American […]

That’s Kooper, not Cooper

Al Kooper, may not be as well-known as shock-rocker, Alice Cooper, but he has had a significant impact in the recording industry both behind the scenes and at center stage for several decades. This week we wanted to share an interview with Al Kooper from the Joe Smith Collection in the Recorded Sound Section at the Library of Congress. The Joe Smith collection […]