WASHINGTON (AP) — A national repository for memorable recordings opened Monday with 50 selections, ranging from T.S. Eliot's poetry to old-school rap by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
The choices for the National Recording Registry were announced by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who appointed William Ivey chairman of a board of directors. The board and the general public will make suggestions, advising Billington on the final choices. Ivey is a country music expert and former head of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The 50 recordings were chosen from proposals by the public and the new board. They include early recordings made by Thomas Edison, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's fireside chats and the Rev. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
There also are early recordings of American Indians, a recitation of "Casey at the Bat," George Gershwin playing "Rhapsody in Blue" on the piano with orchestral accompaniment, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's address on D-Day, Herbert Morrison's description of the "Hindenburg" crash, Aretha Franklin singing "Respect" and the first network broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry radio show.