Apr 5, 12:05 PM (ET)
By CARL HARTMAN
WASHINGTON (AP) – The discovery of a previously unknown recording by jazz masters Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane was announced Tuesday by the Library of Congress as it revealed this year’s additions to its National Recording Registry.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first words from the moon, speeches by President Wilson and Gen. Douglas MacArthur and songs by Al Jolson, Muddy Waters and Nirvana are among 50 recordings being set aside for special preservation.
There’s plenty of music, from Victor Herbert’s “Gypsy Love Song” of 1898, through Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” in 1939, to Nirvana’s 1991 album “Nevermind.” Performances must be 10 years old to qualify. This is the third group of recordings to be added to the registry.
The newly discovered performance by pianist Monk and saxophonist Coltrane at Carnegie Hall was never commercially recorded, the library said. The collaboration is not one of the 50 recordings being added to the registry.
News broadcasts being inducted include Wilson’s speech of Nov. 11, 1923, celebrating the fifth anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. It is the earliest surviving recording of a regular news broadcast.
Other inductees include an NBC broadcast of Charles Lindbergh’s arrival and reception in Washington after his solo flight to Paris in 1927; an Edward R. Murrow broadcast from a London rooftop during the Battle of Britain in 1940, and MacArthur’s “Old soldiers never die” speech in 1951 after President Truman recalled him from duty in the Korean War.
Jolson is heard singing George Gershwin and Irving Caesar’s song “Swanee” – Gershwin’s first hit. Waters contributes “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” from 1954. The library sponsored archivist Alan Lomax’s 1941 expedition to Mississippi, where he originally recorded Waters.
Classical recordings include Sergei Rachmaninoff playing his Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1929; a 1939 Boston Symphony performance of Sergey Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” and a 1958 performance of Handel’s “Messiah” by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Inductees from the rock era include James Brown’s 1965 “Live at the Apollo,” the Beach Boys’ 1966 “Pet Sounds,” 1971’s “The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East” and Public Enemy’s 1989 “Fear of a Black Planet.”
One of the odder selections is a collections of sounds made by Asian elephants. Some of the elephant sounds are infrasonic – inaudible to the human ear – but were nevertheless recorded by Katharine Payne of Cornell University in 1984.
Outer space buffs can listen to Armstrong’s famous “one small step for man” speech from the moon in 1969 – and follow that up with John Williams’ soundtrack to the 1977 movie “Star Wars.”