For immediate release
October 25, 2006
Chad Campbell, NPR
NPR HONORS FIVE HISTORICAL RECORDINGS PRESERVED BY THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS IN FIVE-PART SERIES ON ALL THINGS CONSIDERED WEEKEND
FIRST HIT FROM JERRY LEE LEWIS EXPLORED THIS SATURDAY OCTOBER 28
OTHER RECORDINGS FROM JIMI HENDRIX, JOE LOUIS, MAMIE SMITH AND ARTURO TOSCANINI
Washington, D.C.; October 25, 2006 – NPR’s All Things Considered Weekend has selected five historical recordings from the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry to present and analyze in a five-part series that begins this Saturday October 28 on the program. For the past four years, 50 recordings have been named to the National Recording Registry each year by the Librarian of Congress James H. Billington that are believed to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” to preserve for all time.
The staff of All Things Considered Weekend reviewed the 2005 list of 50 recordings and chose five diverse recordings including songs from rock-and-roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis and blues singer Mamie Smith, the debut album from Jimi Hendrix, a performance from an acclaimed symphony orchestra, and an historic boxing match. Independent producers Ben Manilla and Media Mechanics produced the series for the program.
The five recordings featured on All Things Considered Weekend, hosted by Debbie Elliott are:
October 28 – Jerry Lee Lewis “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On” (1957): Giving Lewis international popularity, the hit single still remains popular nearly fifty years later. The segment includes Jerry Lee Lewis, musician and critic Robert Gordon, and engineer on the recording Jack Clement.
November 4 – Arturo Toscanini Conducting The NBC Symphony Orchestra Performance of Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” (1938): Originally broadcast on NBC Radio, the recording has become one of the most popular of all 20th century classical works. The segment includes specialists on Toscanini, author Joe Horowitz; on Barber, author Barbara Heyman; and on the NBC Symphony Orchestra, Mortimer Frank.
November 11 – Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues” (1920): Mamie Smith was the first black vocalist to record a commercial vaudeville blues record. The recording was a surprise hit, supposedly selling more than 250,000 copies. Experts include Michael Taft, head of staff at the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress, former Epic Records executive/author Lawrence Cohn, and activist/author Angela Davis.
November 18 – Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced? Album (1967): The groundbreaking debut album from influential guitarist Jimi Hendrix launched him into superstar status and included such classics as “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe” and “The Wind Cries Mary.” The segment includes thoughts from guitarist/songwriter Vernon Reid, engineer on the album Eddie Kramer, and musicologist Reuben Jackson.
November 25 – The Second Joe Louis-Max Schmeling Fight (June 22, 1938): Believed to have the largest audience to date for a single radio broadcast, NBC’s broadcast of the boxing rematch between American Joe Louis and German Max Schmeling was viewed as more than a sports event. Louis son, Joe Louis Jr., will be featured in the segment.
The National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 established the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress to maintain and preserve sound recordings and collections of sound recordings. A total of 400 recordings deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" have been selected for the registry since 2002.
To listen to the series and for information about your local All Things Considered station, please visit www.npr.org/stations. Archived audio of each segment will be available in the evening following broadcast at www.NPR.org. The Website will also include archival photos from the Library of Congress as well extra audio and interviews.
NPR’s All Things Considered Weekend is a one-hour weekend version of the popular afternoon newsmagazine. The program, hosted by Debbie Elliott since September 2005, airs on 587 public radio stations across the country, reaching more than 1.8 million listeners each week.