May 11, 2011

Wild About Harry!

The Library of Congress has launched a very exciting initiative partnered with Sony: The National Jukebox. Here's a little history on the project:

"The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives. Recordings in the Jukebox were issued on record labels now owned by Sony Music Entertainment, which has granted the Library of Congress a gratis license to stream acoustical recordings.

At launch, the Jukebox includes more than 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925. Jukebox content will be increased regularly, with additional Victor recordings and acoustically recorded titles made by other Sony-owned U.S. labels, including Columbia, OKeh, and others."

Anyone in the mood to make a playlist from the 1920's? Well, now you can! Just go here and you can listen to others' playlists or make your own! Along with executives from Sony and Mr. James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, Harry Connick Jr. showed his support for the project by speaking to the group and playing "Wild About Harry" by Eubie Blake (written in 1921). Connick Jr.'s father was the DA in New Orleans and this song was his dad's campaign song. When little Harry was 9 years old, he had the privilege of playing with Eubie (they showed us video footage of this). After he played, our office was able to meet and get a photo with him! He was extremely nice (unlike some of the other celebrities I have met) which was refreshing.

So how's that for a start to the work week? Be sure to check out the National Jukebox and make a playlist. This is an incredible resource that has been made available for everyone to use!

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