Saturday, February 2, 2013

25 Sound Recordings for the National Recording Registry

Two years ago I made comment on the National Film Registry. Only one of those has been inducted since, The Times of Harvey Milk, this past year. (My post:

So I thought I’d instead turn my attentions towards the National Recording Registry, which since 2002 has been compiling important recordings. Examples are the early Edison reels, FDR’s fireside broadcasts, Born to Run, and “A Change is Gonna Come”. The most recent recording added was 1995’s “Dear Mama” by 2Pac, added in 2009, 14 years after it was released. As such, my list didn’t consider anything past 1999.

For a list of what’s already inducted check out:

1885 (?): Volta Lab Experimental Recordings.
1893 (?): Benjamin Harrison Recording – A wax cylinder of Harrison, the first recording of a President.
1911: “Aloha Oe” recorded by Madame Alapi.
1912: Teddy Roosevelt campaign speech.
1937: First recording of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy on the radio.
1939: “Canto XLV – With Usura” read by poet Ezra Pound.
1944: Julius Howell Interview – Recording of a Confederate soldier interviewed on the Civil War.
1948: H.L. Mencken Speaks – The only recording of Mencken’s voice that’s preserved.
1950: William Faulkner Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech.
1956: Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
1957: “That’ll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly.
1961: The Smothers Brothers at the Purple Onion – Seminal comedy album.
1961: Freedom 7 recordings – first recordings of manned American space exploration.
1964: “Mississippi Goddam” by Nina Simone.
1967: “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procul Harum.
1968: There and Now: Live in Vancouver by Phil Ochs.
1969: Complete Woodstock recordings.
1971-73: Nixon White House Tapes.
1971: “Birdland” by Weather Report.
1972: Superfly by Curtis Mayfield.
1975: A Chorus Line, original Broadway cast recording.
1976: Concert of the Century – Celebrating Carnegie Hall’s centennial: Menhuin, Horowitz, and Stern.
1978: Einstein at the Beach, first recording of the Philip Glass opera.
1978: Recording of Harvey Milk’s last words, in case of assassination.
1996: Endtroducing….. by DJ Shadow.

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