Mar 25, 2021

Winston Churchill, Kermit and Janet Jackson recordings preserved for posterity

The US Library of Congress is more picky: admitting just 25 recordings to its Recording Registry every year. Nas' iconic debut, Illmatic, was also added to the registry, as was Labelle's Lady Marmalade and Louis Armstrong's 1938 recording of When the Saints Go Marching In. Churchill is included for his speech at the White House on Christmas Eve 1941, less than three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor dragged America into the Second World War. The Library of Congress recognised how the pop star had rejected pressure to repeat the commercial success of her previous record, Control, and instead made a record that grappled with racism, homelessness, gun crime and social injustice. Thought to be the oldest playable recording of an American voice, it begins with the sound of brass instruments, followed by recitations of Mary Had a Little Lamb and Old Mother Hubbard. Edison's St. Louis tinfoil recording.

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