Friday, March 22, 2013

The Twist and D-Day Broadcast among Latest Entries to the National Recording Registry

In the eleventh year of the National Recording Registry, Librarian of Congress James Billington has selected 25 sound recordings as the official entries for 2012, stating: "Congress created the National Recording Registry to celebrate the richness and variety of our audio heritage and to underscore our responsibility for long-term preservation, to assure that legacy can be appreciated and studied for generations. Our challenge, however, continues to be finding collaborative and innovative ways to protect and make available this unmatched legacy to the public."

In reverse chronological order, the selections for 2012 are as follows:

1. "The Audience with Betty Carter," Betty Carter (1980)
2. "Einstein on the Beach," Philip Glass and Robert Wilson (1979)
3. "Saturday Night Fever," The Bee Gees, et al. (1977)
4. "Ramones," The Ramones (1976)
5. "Wild Tchoupitoulas," The Wild Tchoupitoulas (1976)
6. "Music Time in Africa," Leo Sarkisian, host (July 29, 1973)
7. "The Dark Side of the Moon," Pink Floyd (1973)
8. "Cheap Thrills," Big Brother and the Holding Company (1968)
9. "Sounds of Silence," Simon and Garfunkel (1966)
10. "Hoodoo Man Blues," Junior Wells (1965)
11. "Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley’s," Clarence Ashley, Doc Watson, et al. (1960-1962)
12. "The Twist," Chubby Checker (1960)
13. "Crossing Chilly Jordan," The Blackwood Brothers (1960)
14. "The Shape of Jazz to Come," Ornette Coleman (1959)
15. "A Program of Song," Leontyne Price (1959)
16. President's Message Relayed from Atlas Satellite, Dwight D. Eisenhower (Dec. 19, 1958)
17. Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Van Cliburn (April 11, 1958)
18. "Descargas: Cuban Jam Session in Miniature," Cachao Y Su Ritmo Caliente (1957)
19. "South Pacific," Original Cast Album (1949)
20. "Just Because," Frank Yankovic & His Yanks (1947)
21. D-Day Radio Broadcast, George Hicks (June 5-6, 1944)
22. "You Are My Sunshine," Jimmie Davis (1940)
23. "Begin the Beguine," Artie Shaw (1938)
24. "Bacon, Beans and Limousines," Will Rogers (Oct. 18, 1931)
25. "After You’ve Gone," Marion Harris (1918)      

The full National Recording Registry currently numbers 375 recordings, and can be viewed here. The Registry solicits nominations for inclusion on the registry; further information on the criteria and procedures for making nominations is available at the Registry website     

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Complete Route for RAGBRAI XLI

The complete route for the 2013 Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa has just been announced. Beginning in Council Bluffs on July 21 and concluding in Fort Madison on July 27, the overnight and pass-through towns are shown on the map above, which can also be downloaded as a PDF. Registration for RAGBRAI XLI is still open online, with an April 1 deadline for week-long riders.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Song for International Women's Day 2013

Launching on International Women's Day, celebrated annually on March 8th, "One Woman" is "a rallying cry that inspires listeners to join the drive for women's rights and gender equality." The song was written for UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

The theme for this year's International Women’s Day is "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women." Violence against women is "a gross human rights violation that affects up to 7 in 10 women and a top priority for UN Women." For further information and a schedule of events sponsored by UN Women, including a live webcast, visit the IWD 2013 website.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Emancipation Proclamation at 150

The sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation was observed by the U.S. Postal Service on January 1, 2013 with the issuance of a commemorative stamp at the National Archives. While marking a momentous event in American history, what is unusual about this stamp is that the design is based on a letterpress-printed broadside. Designer Gail Anderson and art director Antonio Alcalá collaborated on the graphic design, with printing executed with the assistance of Jim Sherraden at Hatch Show Print. Photos of the process can be viewed at the Felt & Wire web site. In addition, the U.S.P.S. is offering a limited edition of both numbered and signed and numbered prints, as well as the stamps themselves with and without the first day of issue cancellation.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

WFMU Marathon 2013: Freedom Is Free-Form!

Love free-form radio? Then consider supporting independent station WFMU during its annual fundraising Marathon that runs March 4 through March 17, 2013. WFMU first hit the airwaves on April 24, 1958 at the now-defunct Upsala College and has never looked back. Currently based in Jersey City, New Jersey, WFMU broadcasts at 91.1 Mhz and via a second signal at 90.1 Mhz in Mount Hope, New York. WFMU has also long been an Internet pioneer, streaming its programming 24/7 in multiple formats, including iPhone and Android. Past shows are archived at the station's website, which also features WFMU's entertaining and content-rich blog.

What is free-form radio you might ask? WFMU describes itself as follows:
WFMU's programming ranges from flat-out uncategorizable strangeness to rock and roll, experimental music, 78 RPM Records, jazz, psychedelia, hip-hop, electronica, hand-cranked wax cylinders, punk rock, gospel, exotica, R&B, radio improvisation, cooking instructions, classic radio airchecks, found sound, dopey call-in shows, interviews with obscure radio personalities and notable science-world luminaries, spoken word collages, Andrew Lloyd Webber soundtracks in languages other than English as well as country and western music.
And because WFMU is 100% listener-supported, with zero corporate, government, or other underwriting, WFMU DJs have for years maintained complete autonomy and control over their own programming, which is indeed extraordinarily eclectic. Check out the current WFMU audio smorgasbord, and see for yourself!