Top of page

Category: Recorded Sound

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

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

Posted by: Cary O’Dell

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 …

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

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

Posted by: Cary O’Dell

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 …

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

From the Recording Registry: “Wichita Lineman” by Glen Campbell (1968)

Posted by: Cary O’Dell

The great American songwriter, Jimmy Webb, who has written everything from “Up, Up and Away” to “MacArthur Park,” is, not surprisingly, represented on the Library’s National Recording Registry via his great composition “Wichita Lineman,” first recorded by Glen Campbell in 1968.  With the help of Kent Hartman, the Library today takes a look back at …

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

Celebrating Black Performers in the New and Expanded National Jukebox!

Posted by: Cary O’Dell

This post was written by David Sager, Reference Specialist in the Recorded Sound Section. The Library of Congress National Jukebox has been updated and expanded! With a new URL, //www.loc.gov/collections/national-jukebox/about-this-collection/, and a new user-friendly player, the Jukebox is not only more flexible, but far more massive in scope, with the addition over 4,000 recordings from …

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

HAPPY PRIDE! How “Y.M.C.A.” Became a Gay Anthem!

Posted by: Cary O’Dell

Today, on the final day of Pride, the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry, with the help of author Josiah Howard, looks back at one of its most recent and best-known additions–the Village People’s “YMCA.”  Though, today, you’ll hear the track at everything from a school dance to a 50th anniversary party, it has also …

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

On the Recording Registry: “The OKeh Laughing Record” (1922)

Posted by: Cary O’Dell

“The OKeh Laughing Record” original label Imported into the United States in 1922, “The OKeh Laughing Record” is one of the most unusual, (in its way) influential, and surprisingly enduring novelty records ever recorded. Actually, there is nothing overly complicated about the recording itself. On it, a solo cornetist begins a rather slow, sad, even …

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

“Carnegie Hall Memories” by Lorna Luft

Posted by: Cary O’Dell

In 2003, only the second year of the National Recording Registry, the 1961 album “Judy at Carnegie Hall” was added to the Library of Congress’ esteemed list of landmark recordings.  Last year, the Library asked actress, singer, author and daughter of Judy Garland, Lorna Luft, to share her memories of that remarkable and deeply enduring …

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

Bob and Ray

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This post was written by Matt Barton, curator, Recorded Sound Section. Born in the early 1920s, Bob Elliot (1923-2016) and Ray Goulding (1922 – 1990), better known as “Bob and Ray,” never knew a world without radio, and reveled in the medium from early childhood. They became professional announcers while still in their teens, eventually …