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From the Recording Registry: “Phonautograms” (c. 1853-61)

The very first recording of the human voice (added to the Library’s National Registry in 2010) may not be what you think it is.  But here scholar David Giovannoni looks back at this momentous technological–and cultural–breakthrough. Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville invented sound recording when he conceived of a machine that would do for the ear […]

From the National Recording Registry: Remembering Don Everly

 An Evening with Don Everly February 1, 1937 – August 21, 2021     It is truly the end of an era with the passing of the talented, charming and iconic Don Everly. The influence The Everly Brothers have had on so many musicians and genres of music is immeasurable. Don and his brother, Phil, […]

From the National Recording Registry: The Everly Brothers “Cathy’s Clown” (1960)

This week brings great sadness to rock fans everywhere and especially to those of us who work with the National Recording Registry. On Saturday August 21, Don Everly passed away at the age of 84, and today Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts joined him. Both The Everly Brothers and Rolling Stones are honored in the […]

From the Recording Registry: “A Wild and Crazy Guy” (1978)

Today is Steve Martin’s birthday!  As we wish Steve a happy day, comedy historian Kilph Nesteroff recalls Martin’s breakthrough comedy album that was added to the Library’s National Recording Registry in 2004. It was only audio, but it conjured up images of a man in an all-white suit. It was just a record, something you […]

From the Recording Registry: “The Girl From Ipanema” (1963)

Added to the Library’s National Recording Registry in 2004, “The Girl From Ipanema” is recalled by writer/musician Glenn Zottala. Astrud Gilberto In the 1960s–a very turbulent time in America–Stan Getz released “The Girl from Ipanema.” This became a huge hit both nationwide and worldwide. Who would have thought such gentle lyrical music would catch the […]

From the National Recording Registry: “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard (1968)

One of country music’s most iconic songs, by one of its most legendary artists, named to the Library’s National Recording Registry in 2015, is recalled by scholar Rachel Rubin. When Merle Haggard released “Mama Tried” in 1968, it quickly became his biggest hit. But, although in terms of broad reception, the song would be shortly […]

From the National Recording Registry: “16 Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford (1955)

Tennessee Ernie Ford’s legendary crossover hit, “16 Tons,” added to the Library’s National Recording Registry in 2014, is remembered here by author Ted Olson. In 1955, Tennessee Ernie Ford (born Ernest Jennings Ford on February 13, 1919, in Bristol, Tennessee) was an established recording star who could claim several major country hits as well as […]