Music has been around for thousands of years, but sound recording has only been around for a relatively short time. In that time, recording has gone from wax cylinders to digital. The Library of Congress is doing its best to archive many of the recordings so that years from now they may be studied and enjoyed. This is from a recent LOC press release:
Congress established the National Recording Registry with the passage of the 2000 National Recording Preservation Act. Along with mandating the development of a comprehensive national program to ensure the survival, conservation, and increased public availability of America's sound-recording heritage, this law authorizes the Librarian of Congress, after reviewing public suggestions and consulting with the NRPB board, to select up to 25 recordings each year for inclusion in the registry.
The 250 titles named to the registry thus far illustrate the dynamic variety of recorded sound, ranging from groundbreaking pop hits and radio broadcasts to field recordings and seminal jazz and blues albums. Presidents, sportscasters, gospel choirs, rock bands and the sounds of Americana all share a place on the list. Visit www.loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb/nrpb-masterlist.html to view the full list and descriptions of all recordings named to the registry.
A Century of Recorded Music: Listening to Musical History by Timothy Day [780 DAY] is a scholarly study of musical recording in the twentieth century for those who may want an in-depth look at music. A recent addition to our collection is a more general guide to music, 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die: A Listener's Life List by Tom Moon [780.266 MOO]. Each of the 1,000 recordings is analyzed briefly. Here's part of the one on "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by the Tokens:
Written and recorded by a South African entertainer named Solomon Linda in 1939, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is the prototypical simple song that quickly becomes an "ear worm"--first its wem-oh-weh baritone chant lodges in your cortex, followed by that soaring falsetto theme. You can find yourseld singing the song even if you haven't heard it in years.The writing is accessible, and I love the album covers and performer photos that accompany the short entries.
"In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight..." Enjoy the ear worm. Heh, heh, heh.