Library of Congress offers 10,000 pre-1925 recordings free online

Posted on: May 11, 2011

In Wednesday’s (5/11) Los Angeles Times, Randy Lewis reports, “The Library of Congress is flipping a switch Tuesday that will open a large chunk of the national archive of more than 3 million music and spoken-word recordings for public online streaming as part of a new National Jukebox project, a joint venture between the library and Sony Music that will give free access to thousands of Sony-controlled recordings long out of circulation because of commercial or copyright issues. Some of the 10,000 titles streamable at the new National Jukebox website have been unavailable for more than 100 years, a significant chunk of them because of complex laws controlling ownership of sound recordings, which did not become subject to federal copyright laws until 1972. Among the highlights are vintage performances by celebrated classical musicians, including Enrico Caruso and Fritz Kreisler; the first blues recording, ‘Livery Stable Blues,’ made in 1917 by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band; a comedy skit by the Vaudeville team of Gallagher and Shean; speeches of President Teddy Roosevelt; piano performances by jazz-ragtime pioneer Eubie Blake; and music of the John Philip Sousa Band conducted by its namesake.”

Posted May 11, 2011