Library of Congress Launches Free National Jukebox Online

Ooooo! I get to mention Sony without typing “Playstation Network” or making a snarky comment about how they consider locking the door to the server room network security. Damnit! Anyhoo…

“The Library of Congress and Sony Music Entertainment today unveiled a new website of over 10,000 rare historic sound recordings available to the public for the first time digitally. The site is called the "National Jukebox" (www.loc.gov/jukebox/)” –press release.

The new site features a wide range of recordings from 1901 to 1925 in all their wonderfully scratchy, un-mastered glory. Of particular note is Livery Stable Blues by Original Dixieland Jazz Band, the first jazz record ever made.

However the one ‘do not miss attraction’ of the new site has to be wonderfully restored 1919 Victrola Book of the Opera. Weighing in at 436 pages, Book of the Opera describes 110 operas with text, classical artwork, and photos of performers, theaters, and costumes Book of the Opera even links to the music discussed. Fun Fact: This massive tome used to cost 75 cents. Hey, Library of Congress! This thing would make one heck of an iPad app! Just sayin’.

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