The Library of Congress today (April 5) announced the third annual selection of 50 U.S. sound recordings considered culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.
The Library of Congress today (April 5) announced the third annual selection of 50 U.S. sound recordings considered culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. The selections will receive long-term preservation so that the public has access to them for future generations.
The recordings are chosen because they become evergreens or helped forge a seminal style, but non-musical selections like astronaut Neil Armstrong's broadcast from the moon also made the list.
The earliest pick is "Gypsy Love song" by Eugene Cowles from 1898. Among the other selections are Fats Waller singing and playing his own "Ain't Misbehavin' " (1929); Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" (1939); Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues" (1949); the Penguins' doo-wop classic "Earth Angel" (1955); John Coltrane's groundbreaking "Giant Steps" (1959); "The Girl From Ipanema," with Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto (1963); and James Brown's "Live at the Apollo" (1965).
More recent recordings include "The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East," from 1971; the "Star Wars" soundtrack by John Williams, from 1977; and Public Enemy's "Fear of a Black Planet," from 1989.
The registry tagged only one recording from the '90s: Nirvana's "Nevermind" (1991).
Recordings must be 10 years old to qualify. The public and registry panelists make the initial nominations.
Meanwhile, during the press conference announcing the recordings, an audio preservationist at the Library of Congress revealed that he has uncovered a major document in jazz history: an album's worth of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane playing together at a Carnegie Hall concert in 1957.
The two are considered one of the great pairings in modern jazz, but their work together was captured on only a few studio cuts. The long-lost concert was recorded by the Voice of America for its legendary Cold-War-era overseas jazz programs hosted by Willis Conover.
Says senior engineer and jazz specialist Larry Appelbaum: "I was just rifling through the box of tapes, and on the spine of one were the words, 'Jazz Concert 11/29/57.' I opened it up and saw the name T. Monk on the back. Then I saw the date. Then my heart started pounding."
The tapes will be preserved in transfers to high-resolution digital files stored and backed up on the Library's IT servers.