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Category: Recorded Sound

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Our Favorite Scrooge

Posted by: Karen Fishman

Of all the roles I’ve done, the one I’d like best to be remembered for is Scrooge. It is unquestionably one of my favorites. Lionel Barrymore, Dec. 21, 1947. The New York Times. (Interview with Dorothy O’Leary). When MGM Records released A Christmas Carol in 1947, Lionel Barrymore had been playing Ebenezer Scrooge for twelve …

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Gargantuan Graphophone Records

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

At some point time around the year 2008 the last physical audio format, the cd, seems to have nearly winked out of existence. Its replacement? An army of wispy, intangible files including mp3, .aiff, wave, ogg vorbis, flac and many others.  Of course, many of these formats produce very high-quality audio, and I can now pack a collection of …

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It’s scandalous! It’s immoral! It’s the “Turkey Trot”!

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This blog post was co-written with Jan McKee, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress. This year, after Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family, why not burn off some of those calories and thwart those tryptophans by dancing the Turkey Trot instead of sleeping on the living room sofa?  This vigorous dance was developed …

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The Accidental Rock Star

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

Last night the Library of Congress honored veteran songwriter and performer Billy Joel with its coveted Gershwin Prize for  Popular Song. The Library of Congress awards the prize annually to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin. It’s not entirely coincidental that the Library has also just uploaded a revealing interview with Joel …

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Earwitness to History: the Marine Corps Combat Recordings

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This blog post was co-written with Megan Harris, reference specialist for the Veterans History Project, Library of Congress. What you’ve just heard is from the Marine Corps Combat Recordings, an amazing and vivid accounting of the war in the South Pacific during World War II. Not only are these recordings one of the most historically …

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The Elusive Buddy Bolden

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

 The following post is by David Sager,  Processing Technician in the Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress. This post is in commemoration of the 84th anniversary of Buddy Bolden’s death and the never-ending discussion of his legendary lost cylinder recording. Charles “Buddy” Bolden, 1877-1931, often referred to as the “first man of jazz,” holds an …

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Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (November 6-8, 2014)

Posted by: Mike Mashon

A couple of special program notes: we’re postponing Thursday’s scheduled “Verdi and the Silent Film” program and replacing it with the 1982 film version of La Traviata starring Plácido Domingo. And on Saturday we’ll be joined by filmmakers Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Jones Wright as they talk about their documentary The 78 Project. Thursday, November …

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Mark Twain Sort of Speaks to Us

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

This week’s recorded sound update is a guest post by Jan McKee, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress. Mark Twain was known to have made recordings on three occasions; unfortunately none of them are known to have survived. The earliest recording was made by Thomas Edison in 1888.  In 1891, the author himself …

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A Look Inside the National Jukebox

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

What follows is a guest post by Carla Arton and Harrison Behl, processing technicians in the Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress   In May 2013, the staff-led Packard Campus Institute (PCI) hosted a presentation on the National Jukebox by Gene DeAnna, Head of the Recorded Sound Section at the Library of Congress. In his presentation, Gene showcases …