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Category: Recorded Sound

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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 …

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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 …

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“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 …

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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 …

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Rex Stout on the Air

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This blog post was written by Matt Barton, curator of the Recorded Sound Section. Rex Stout (1886-1975) remains well known as the creator of Nero Wolfe, the blunt, erudite and mostly housebound detective with a passion for orchids and fine food. Stout wrote thirty-three novels and forty-one novellas from 1934 to 1975 detailing the exploits …

Tuning in the March on Washington

Posted by: Matthew Barton

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has been seen and heard countless times since he gave it on August 28, 1963 at the climax of the March on Washington, and a review of the radio coverage of it, including the prelude and aftermath can bring us closer to the whole experience of that day in its many parts, and maybe even to grasp the feelings of the marchers themselves.

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Sousa and the Talking Machine

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This blog post was written by David Sager, research assistant at the Recorded Sound Research Center. John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), the American composer and bandleader, who was known as “The March King,” was a profoundly talented and accomplished man. His musical compositions went beyond marches and included operettas, waltzes, and songs. He also wrote several …

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The Mystery Chef

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This blog post was written by Matt Barton, curator of the Recorded Sound Section. When The Mystery Chef and his eponymous radio program first appeared on NBC’s Boston affiliate WBZ in May of 1930, they were an almost immediate hit, and were soon being heard nationally over the network. The Great Depression was hitting hard …