Top of page

Category: Recorded Sound

A view looking past a digital display screen towards the doors of an indoor theater, with

The Old 97

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

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 …

A view looking past a digital display screen towards the doors of an indoor theater, with

Where the River Shannon Flows

Posted by: Karen Fishman

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 …

A view looking past a digital display screen towards the doors of an indoor theater, with

That’s Kooper, not Cooper

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

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 …

A view looking past a digital display screen towards the doors of an indoor theater, with

Believe Me, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted by: Karen Fishman

With only two days until Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d look at one of the sweetest and most popular love songs, “They Didn’t Believe Me.” Composer Jerome Kern wrote the music for a 1914 American adaptation of a British musical. Don Tyler writes in his book, Hit Songs, 1900-1915: The Girl from Utah was brought …

A view looking past a digital display screen towards the doors of an indoor theater, with

Grammy Awards

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

Be sure to tune into the 57th Annual Grammy Awards this Sunday.  We’ll be watching it with great interest here in the Recorded Sound Section at the Library of Congress as two members of our technical staff have been nominated! Robert Friedrich, Audio Preservation Specialist at the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center,  has been nominated …

A view looking past a digital display screen towards the doors of an indoor theater, with

What We’re Reading Now: Recent Additions to the Reference Collection in RSRC

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This blog post was co-written with Jan McKee, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress. The Recorded Sound Research Center not only provides access to the Library’s sound recordings but it also maintains a collection of reference books that support materials in the collection. These books include discographies, bio-discographies, directories, histories, and technical works …

A view looking past a digital display screen towards the doors of an indoor theater, with

You Won’t BELIEVE What They Said About Us!

Posted by: Mike Mashon

The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center has garnered a fair amount of media attention over the years and 2014 was no exception. Here’s a selection of print and broadcast stories from last year that, taken together, provide a good overview of who we are and what we do. The announcement of new additions to the National …

A view looking past a digital display screen towards the doors of an indoor theater, with

The Waters Were “Boiling with Light”

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

So pioneer ecologist and deep-sea diver Dr. William Beebe described the scene surrounding his diving bell as he and his partner, Otis Barton, peered into the depths a half mile below the waters near Bermuda in the fall of 1932. The dive, which reached a depth of 2,200 feet, was the deepest a human had ever ventured beneath the …

A view looking past a digital display screen towards the doors of an indoor theater, with

Scrap for Victory!

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This blog post was co-written with Jan McKee, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress. During World War II scrap drives were a popular way for everyone to contribute to the war effort. By recycling unused or unwanted metal for example, the government could build ships, airplanes and other equipment needed to fight the …