I don't want to get into a raging debate about Mr. Fine's comments about
the list being too jazz heavy, but the criteria for a recording's
inclusion is stated below:
"Recordings selected for the National Recording Registry are those that
are culturally, historically or aesthetically important, and/or inform
or reflect life in the United States."
Doesn't it make sense then that a music as culturally, historically and
aesthetically important as jazz (often called "America's classical
music") should be heavily represented in a National Recording Registry?
Why is it that other countries (France, Denmark, Japan, etc.) revere
jazz more than the land where it was created?
Tom Fine wrote:
> The Command records, specifically "Persuasive Percussion,"
> "Provacative Percussion," "Big Band Bossa Nova," and "Stereo/35mm" all
> charted, in fact Persuasive was at the top of the Billboard stereo
> album charts for weeks and weeks. I know for a fact that "Persuasive"
> and "Provacative" together sold over 1 million records, and the
> briefly-available CD reissues sell for dozens of dollars used. These
> were immensely popular records in their time, and were very important
> to the industry as far as getting stereo established with the
> listening public, the Regular Joes.
> I don't know about 1000 Strings, but I think Esquavel sold quite well,
> too. After the massive success of Command, all the major labels tried
> doing percussion and "stereo spectacular" records. Some sold quite
> well, many were expensive flops, some are better remembered today than
> they were accepted by the public when released.
> Also not on the list but deserving to be there are the only two
> classical Gold Records from the 1950's -- the Mercury mono "1812
> Overture" (Dorati/Minneapolis) and Van Cliburn's "victory lap"
> recording after he won the Moscow competition, on RCA. I believe in
> those days, Gold meant half a million or more in sales dollars, not
> 500,000 units.
> I hesitate to suggest this, but ... if you're making a registry that's
> truly representative of Americans' recording and listening tastes,
> then you need to include something disco from the mid-70's. I'd
> suggest that the soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever," which I think
> went mulit-platinum, would cover that.
> I'm not sure how the nominating process works, but this list is very
> jazz heavy. Just to be clear, I love jazz and have a huge collection
> of jazz albums and listen to jazz more frequently than any other type
> of music, but, it was never what paid the bills for the music
> business, at least not from the dawn of LPs forward. It was a freak
> occurance for a jazz album to be a mainstream hit, and those albums do
> belong on the list, stuff like "Kind of Blue," and "The Girl from
> Ipanema." I don't have a beef with deep-catalog jazz on the list, I
> just wish other stuff that had a much wider influence on the listening
> public were on the list.
> Oh, one other thing that belongs on the list if you're including
> important audio documents. Mickey Kapp made a 6-LP deluxe set for
> Time-Life called "To The Moon" that summed up the space program
> through the first moon landing and included extensive NASA and other
> audio. It was more general and more all-encompassing than any other
> space-related recording and apparently sold many copies based on how
> many used and well-worn copies show up on eBay and in record shops
> I've visited.
> It was nice to see O. Winston Link's train recordings listed, but what
> about Emory Cook's, which were ground-breaking? I think Link's are
> much cooler, but Cook was there first.
> Mike, definitely agree about Sound in the Round, although I'm not sure
> how many copies of this sold to a mass audience. I know it came out on
> stereo LP (I have a mint copy), but I think it got its big bang in the
> early 2T tape days, so that was a niche if highly enthusiastic audience.
> BTW, I'm not convinced the folks who write copy for this list are even
> clear that stereo happened before 1958!
> Ya know, the thought also occurred to me that Latin music is
> under-represented, big-time! Anything from the Rhumba, Samba, Cha-Cha
> records of the 1940s to Machito to Latin funk to more modern
> pop-oriented Latin music like Ricky Martin (multi-platinum stuff,
> should not be ignored even if it's not a typical collector's taste).
> Aaron Levinson might chime in here, he's the true Latin expert on this
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 10:02 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New LoC Recording Registry
> From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> Also, no early stereo pop stuff, which sold millions and millions of
> Tom, you would have LOVED the presentation Dennis Rooney gave at ARSC
> last week about 1959: the first full year of the stereo disc. It was so
> evocative of my experiences in hi-fi that year I hit 13 and bought my
> first component system (as partially just discussed in the prior posting
> about getting my first tape recorder.) I was so glad my daughter was
> sitting there next to me to hear it, especially since we had gone thru
> the catalogs of 58 and 59 last year for a project she was doing. Of
> course now I have to go thru the pre-recorded tape catalogs of those
> years to figure out the prior question, but those catalogs are several
> hundred miles away right now.
> I assume that you mean things like the Command Persuasive/Provacative
> Percussion series, the Somerset 101 Strings series, Bob Schory,
> Esquavel, and Sounds Your Eyes Can Follow on RCA, etc. but there are a
> fair amount of early stereo stuff from the 58-61 years like (1958) Dance
> Mania. Tito Puente; Winds in Hi-Fi. Eastman Wind Ensemble with Frederick
> Fennell; "Poeme Electronique." Edgard Varese; (1959)Time Out. The Dave
> Brubeck Quartet; Mingus Ah-Um. Charles Mingus; Giant Steps. John
> Coltrane; Kind of Blue. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley,
> Bill Evans, and others; "What'd I Say," parts 1 and 2. Ray Charles;
> (1960) Drums of Passion. Michael Babatunde Olatunji; and (1961) Judy at
> Carnegie Hall. Judy Garland.
> We should nominate Sound in the Round, Music for Non-Thinkers, Music for
> Bang Barooom and Harp, Delirium in Hi-Fi, Bob and Ray on A Platter,
> Cartoons In Stereo, etc etc. I've been meaning to do these and a bunch
> of other things but I never get around to it. You can put nominations
> in year-round. They did The Churkendoose this year (one of my
> favorites), and I've got a bunch of other kids records that also need to
> be nominated. I resolve to do it, and all you other complainers, get
> off your duffs (or stay on your duffs in front of the computer) and
> nominate what you favor.
> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]