Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Music for the ages

Noticed today on Resourceshelf, an announcement from the Library of Congress of this year's National Recording Registry additions. The Registry consists of 225 recordings chosen by the Librarian of Congress as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Among this year's additions, The Rolling Stone's 'Satisfaction', Sam Cooke's 'A Change is Going to Come', The Ronette's 'Be My Baby', Pete Seeger singing 'We Shall Overcome' at Carnegie Hall in 1963, and The Carter Family's 1928 (!) recording of 'Wildwood Flower'. There are voice recordings, too: Alan Ginsburg's 'Howl', Roosevelt's address to Congress the day after Pearl Harbor. And several other songs and musical recordings that were a big part of my life -- and everyone else's -- at various times.

It was hearing Maybelle Carter playing and singing 'Wildwood Flower' at various Bluegrass festivals and at the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival that made me obtain an Autoharp back in the '70s. Reading this today I got it out of the closet, tuned it, and found chords to the song so I could try to play it again. This time I'm going to get it right.


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