Saved for Everybody, 2

LOC 1

In my June 21st article, I explained why the Library of Congress (see above) has kept a selection of films “showcasing the range and diversity of American film history.”  The LOC also has selected a collection of  recordings for its National Recording registry that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.  No recording is eligible for inclusion in the collection until ten years have passed since its creation.”  Selections are made every year beginning in 2002.  25 recordings (or, occasionally, more) are selected in each year.  “Recordings may be a single item (ie, one important song) or a group of related items (eg, an album) or may contain music, non-music, spoken word, or broadcast sound.”

As with films, recordings that have been chosen are listed on a website. (www.loc.gov)  Other information about the recordings can be found there, as well as how sound recordings can be nominated for the LOC’s selection.

Among the LOC’s selections from 2002, for example, are the following:

LPMF 2

Single recordings: How High the Moon, by Les Paul and Mary Ford (see above);  Respect, by Aretha Franklin;  Stars and Stripes Forever, by a Military Band;  Strange Fruit, by Billie Holiday;  This Land Is Your Land, by Woody Guthrie;  What’d I Say, by Ray Charles;  White Christmas, by Bing Crosby;  Rhapsody in Blue, by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra (composed by George Gershwin).

MDavis 3

Albums: Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan;  Songs for Lovers, by Frank Sinatra;  Dance Mania, by Tito Puente;  Kind of Blue, by Miles Davis (see above), Bill Evans, John Coltrane, et al;  Precious Lord: New Recordings of the Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey.

A+C 4

Other sound recordings: Casey At The Bat, by DeWolf Hopper; Fireside Chats, by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1944);  I Have a Dream Speech, by Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech;  Ragtime Compositions on Piano Rolls by Scott Joplin (1900s);  Sun Records Sessions of Elvis Presley;  War of the Worlds, by the Mercury Theatre of the Air  (Orson Welles, et al);  Who’s On First, Radio Broadcast of Abbott and Costello (see above).

 

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About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures above...it's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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1 Response to Saved for Everybody, 2

  1. Marc Kuhn says:

    I sing regularly in the shower…a wide variety of songs Americana…might I ever get a nomination? Yeah, I don’t think so either.

    Like

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