Fretwire. (Input/Output)

Article excerpt

With the music industry muddled by major-label tizzies over drastically dropping album sales, as well as some seriously disturbing celebrity scandals, I thought I'd take a quick look to music's past and future to cheer things up.

Congress has been looking back quite a bit lately, as it works to preserve America's musical heritage. As reported last month, we're in the midst of the Congress-declared "Year of the Blues." Now, the inaugural entries into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry have been announced. A long-term project aimed at archiving historically significant recordings, the Registry is part of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. Each year, 50 recordings--which can include music, spoken word, and radio presentations--will be selected from nominations made by the National Recording Preservation Board and the general public. The chosen represent sound recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant," and nominees must be at least ten years old.

The 2002 honorees start as far back as 18.88 with the Edison Exhibition Recordings, and go all the way up to 1982 with "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Other notable inclusions are Bell Laboratories experimental stereo recordings (1931-32), the first network radio broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry (1939), Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" (1944), "How High the Moon" by Les Paul and Mary Ford (1951), Elvis Presley's Sun Records sessions (1954-55), Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech (1963), and Bob Dylan's The Free-wheelin' Bob Dylan (1963). …